06/03/2013 Newsnight


06/03/2013

The economic legacy of Hugo Chavez, British help for the Syrian rebels, payday loans reform and the Argentine take on the Falklands. With Gavin Esler.


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Tonight, as President Chavez is mourned in Cuba, Bolivia and across

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the world, as well as in his own country, Venezuela, did he waste

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billions of dollars in oil wealth, or bring a degree of social justice

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to the poor? Also tonight, as the number of refugees reaches one

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million in Syria, the Government promises armoured vehicles and body

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armour to the main opposition. Should we give them bullets and

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guns as well? We cannot look the other way while

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international law and human rights are flouted. We cannot step back

:00:41.:00:45.

from a crisis that could destablise the heart of the Middle East.

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payday loan companies have 12 weeks to clean up their act or else. We

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discuss with the payday loan boss and campaigning MP, whether

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stricter advertising guidelines will make any difference. 30 years

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after Argentina planted this flag on the Falkland. What do the

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Argentinians make of the islanders holding a referendum on their

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future. TRANSLATION: What is the point in asking these people if

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they want to be British, it is like asking an Argentinian if he wants

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Good evening, Hugo Chavez is not dead, he's immortal. That, at least,

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was the tone of the mourning on the streets of Caracus today. His

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revolution is irreversible, according to the Government of Cuba.

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But is it? Will the passing of the man who was a thorn in the side of

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the United States, mean a major change to the politics of Latin

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America. Did he really use $1 trillion of Venezuela's oil wealth

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to transform his country, as his supporters claim, or is the real

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Chavez legacy one of posturing, waste, authoritarianism and lost

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opportunities. In a moment, Paul Mason will assess the economic

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legacy of the man known as El Comandante. First I'm joined from

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Caracus, which has seen extraordinary scenes today, by

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Venezuela's ambassador to the UK. There is a short delay on the line.

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What were the scenes that you witnessed like in Caracas today?

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Thank you for the invitation. The scenes today are historic scenes,

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because we are witnessing the passing of the most popular man in

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perhaps the last 150 years in our history. One of the most popular

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and respected men in Latin America. So the hundreds of thousands of

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Venezuelans who poured on to the streets to pay their respect to

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their leader. They did it in a very quiet way. They were expressing

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their emotions. You could see there was no trouble whatsoeverment they

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were marching along, crying, but also celebrating his life. Making

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sure that his legacy would go on in the future. You say that, but how

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can you be sure that it won't simply be rolled back when the new

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:03:13.:03:13.

President comes in, in 30 days? new President, who will be elected

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over the next four weeks, almost surely will be Gabriel Mudingayi,

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because he's the one -- Nicolas Maduro, because he's the one,

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chosen by the people, even today you could say that this mourning

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march with hundreds of thousands, they were also pushing for Maduro,

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because he as the one who can guarantee that Chavez's work will

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remain and will succeed. I mean Maduro and Chavez now are a kind of

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combination. The one important thing to know here is that Chavez

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changed, he brought a sea-change in Venezuelan politics, now people

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have to be concerned for the poor, people have to put the poor first.

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The poor are in the picture and welfare for the poor and concern

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for social issues is important. Any politician from any sector of

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society who doesn't follow those principles won't succeed in

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Venezuela. There is a new kind of politics where the poor are the

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priority. Please stay with us, because we

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want to continue this discussion. First our Economics Editor Paul

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Mason. In Caracus, the send-off has begun.

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Wall-to-wall people, mourning a President who survived a coup, won

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four election, but could not beat cancer. Neighbouring Presidents

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paid their respects, here Bolivia's Evo Morales, toiling on foot, amid

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the thronging crowd. The Chavez movement mourned. TRANSLATION:

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Chavez is alive among us and will continue this fight. Chavez sowed

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and he will see what he sowed, we will continue to be with Chavez.

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But Chavez, the root to economic radicalism, was opened by the

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failed military coup of 2002. With the old elite now powerless,

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he began what he called the Bolivarian Socialist Revolution.

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Over the last 12 years Venezuelan oil revenues are rocketed to $100

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billion a year W that money he changed things. Venezuela's poverty

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rate fell, outstripping the average fall for Latin America. After the

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financial crisis, growth was not spectacular, critics blamed the

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scale of nationalisation, and the flight of capital. Inflation

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remains persistently high. I have been close to Chavez for the

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best part of a decade. If anybody knows what Chavez was trying to do

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it is this man. A British marks igs, whose books Chavez read -- Marxist,

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whose books Chavez read and became a close associate. Millions of poor

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people in Venezuela without access to health, were provided free

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medical service by the Cuban doctors, which was a deal in

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exchange for oil and provided by Cuban doctors. And there was a

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report that say the that Venezuela was illiteracy-free. I don't think

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that gets to the heart of the question. Here is a man, you can

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say what you like, here is a man that gave a voice to millions of

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poor people that had no choice previously. Though inequality has

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fallen and is the lowest in Latin America, the Chavez regime came

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under persistent criticism from human rights groups, for political

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pressure on judges, and on the opposition media. For his opponents,

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the economic upside all comes at a price. 14 years of Chavez's rule

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has left Venezuela, frankly, in a shambles. It has one of the highest

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inflation rates in the world. On par with places like Zimbabwe or

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Ethiopia. It has staggering debt, large and growing fiscal deficit,

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crumbling infrastructure, growing blackouts and power outages are now

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common. Soaring crime. Almost every facet of economic life and social

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life in Venezuela is in worse nonthan when he found it.

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Chavez didn't just use the oil money at home, he used it to help

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Cuba, to help Argentina clear its debts. He used preferential oil

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prices to aid allied countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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The result is a continent visibly shifted to the left. But now

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Venezuela faces a new election, and the opposition is set to stand on

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the platform of an end to free oil for other countries. In London

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tonight, those signing the book of condolence know that for a

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revolution this one relied mightly on the will and popularity of one

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man. Chavez did not by any traditional definition deliver

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socialism. What he delivered was a capitalism of redistribution, a

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pro--poor capitalism. And he used the oil -- pro-poor capitalism. He

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use the oil money to defy the United States and gain diplomatic

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independence like no-one else in Latin America. Where Venezuela goes

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next depends on how that can survive without the personality of

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the man himself. While some expect a phase of moderation after this

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mass outpouring of grief, others want the masses, thus mobilised, to

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push things further. You can't plan what you don't control. You don't

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control what you don't own. In other words they have done half the

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job, but the other half remains to be done. And the job as far as you

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are concerned would be that classic socialist transformation? Oh yes.

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We will never know what Hugo Chavez would have done with his fourth

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presidential term. What his successor does will have impact all

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over Latin America. The ambassador is still with us from Caracus, and

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we will be joined by Argentina's ambassador to the United Nations,

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and the documentary film-maker and who met Chavez.

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Ambassador, the charge against Chavez is you should be a much

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richer country, but he's made a mess of it. For example, a third of

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your oil export money is use to pay off the debt to the Chinese. It is

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economic lunacy? OK thank you very much for that question. One of the

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facts that most people ignore can you hear me? Let's see if you can

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hear me. I can hear you? Can you hear me now. Yes. OK, one of the

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facts that most, one of the facts that most people ignore is that the

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20 years previous to Chavez's Government the Venezuelan economy

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fell for almost 20%. And that was what explains Chavez's victory in

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1998. Even though with all the oil and money that we had previously,

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the Venezuelan society impoverished itself to ridiculous levels. With

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Chavez we have reverted that tendency, and that is why you can

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see millions of people voting for Chavez for more than 15 elections.

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So it is ridiculous to say that the country is in a shambles, when the

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real shambles, we had it before Chavez. OK, ambassador we will

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leave it there, thank you very much for joining us from Caracus.

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Let's go over to Arao, and Emilio Cardenas, -- Buenos Aires, and

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Emilio Cardenas, can you explain to me how you think the country has

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performed under Chavez, when we have heard that what he did was he

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took a country where there were huge discrepancies between rich and

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poor, and he allowed a degree of social justice? My major concern

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with these 14 years under Hugo Chavez that Venezuela has gone

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through has to do with the deterioration of democracy. Under

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Chavez the checks and balances of democracy have virtually

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disappeared. The legislationive body is just rubber stamping what

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the executive power says, the judiciary is not independent any

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longer. There is a major concentration of power in the hands

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of the executive. In addition to that, Venezuela has lost some of

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their fundamental freedoms. We will come on to that in greater detail

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for a second. Would you accept in terms of the economy that he has

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tried to redistribute wealth to some of the poorest people in his

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country, and that's why so many of them turned out today. They think

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he's got a grip on the economy, the right grip? Are you asking me about

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the situation of the Venezuelan economy now? Yes.

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I think that the economy is going through a major difficulty. They

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have just, as you know, devalued. They have a very high inflation.

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There are all kind of price distortions caused by the subsidise.

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-- subsidies. If Maduro is elected that is not going to change at all.

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If the opposition instead makes it to the Government in the forth

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coming elections, then the Venezuelan economy may begin to be

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rebuilt. But at this time the people of Venezuela, after the

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devaluation, have relatively lost a lot of the standards of living

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particularly compared with neighbours. The economy of

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Venezuela is far from being in an ideal situation. Let me bring in my

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guest in the stud yo. It is far from an ideal situation. We see a

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lot of run away inflation, and a lot of money that could have been

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spent on building up the intrastructure and it hasn't been

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done. Dfrpb infrastructure, and it hasn't been done. When talking

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about the flainflaigs it was 55% when chaff -- talking about

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inflation, it was 55% before Chavez took over the presidency. There

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were massive investment in infrastructure, growth last year

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was 5.6%. I think someone mentioned that there has been mass social

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investment. This is the reason why millions of Venezuelans are voting

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for Chavez. If the scenario this doomsday scenario presented by

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other speakers, it would be counterintuitive for Venezuelans to

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vote for Chavez. The oil production has dropped by 25% since 2001,

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there is a booming oil price, it is not a well-run economy? It is part

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of a cartel, as part of an OPEC cartel, sometimes oil production

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has to decrease in order for the price to remain high. What about

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the debts, $45 billion of debts to the Chinese, taking up oil exports

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a third of them just to service it, that is nuts? I know with the

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Government they have signed close to 300 agreements with China. Last

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year there was one signed for $40 billion worth of investment. It is

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diversifying its economy away from the US. I think this is to the

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benefit of the Venezuelan people. Let me bring in Emilio Cardenas

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again, do you accept that he was elected several times, fairly,

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international observers said these were fair elections. So even though

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there were problems with the press and some of the anti-democratic

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pressures you talked about, fundamentally he was the legitimate

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ruler of his country? I can hardly hear you, my friend. The

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microphones and earphones are not working well. Do you accept that he

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was elected several times fairly and in that sense he was a

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democrat? Well, to be a democrat you need more than being elected by

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normal elections. You need to respect the values of democracy,

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and you need to uphold, by the institution, respecting the working

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of the institutions. So I think that one thing is to look

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democratic, and a very different thing is to be democratic. I think

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that Venezuela has now a chance to recover democracy. We will see

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whether the opposition can grab that chance. Alternative low they

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will stay in a situation where they may look democratic, as I said, but

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where the working of the democracy is far from the normal work of a

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democracy. A final thought on that. Isn't that the point, that he may

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have done certain things for social justice, as you say, he did them by

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being an autocrat rather than a democrat? I find it strange that an

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autocrat has 15 elections in 14 years, and won three presidential

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elections with resounding victories. I have to be careful. But he closed

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down the opposition, some opposition press people, he put

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people in jail, without due process of law. These are not the action of

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a democrat? Again my understanding of these cases is probably

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different to yours. We don't have time to go into them. With regard

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to the private media, we can't forget that they essentially played

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an instrumental role in the US- supported coup against them. They

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are regulated in a way they would have been regulated in Britain.

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Thank you very much. In a moment, what do the payday

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loan companies need to do to stay in business? And 30 years on,

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mapping the future of the Falkland. Now, is Britain tiptoeing towards

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arming the members in Syria. The Foreign Secretary, William Hague,

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announced body armour and armoured vehicles and communication

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equipment will be sent to the rebels. It is to protect civilians,

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it is not guns and bullets, not yet. The day when we learn a million

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Syrians have been forced out of the country by horrific violence, one

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in 20 of the population. Should we avert a further humanitarian

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catastrophe by giving the fighters what they say they need?

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Faced with what he called extreme human suffering, the Foreign

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Secretary, William Hague, announce the UK would be stepping up support

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for the Sir -- announced the UK would be stepping up support for

:18:20.:18:23.

the Syrian opposition. We are identifying equipment most useful

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to them and most likely to save most lives. I will keep the House

:18:27.:18:33.

updated. It will certainly include armoured four-wheel drive vehicles

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to help opposition forces move around more quickly, and he

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protection equipment, including body armour. For the rebels it is

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not enough. They argue they need weapons and ammunition to fight Al-

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Assad's regime. The west has been reluctant to give them what they

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want. Many have pointed out that atrocities are committed on both

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sides of the conflict. There are fears that any guns supplied by the

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rest could go directly into the hands of extremists, including Al-

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Qaeda, known to be active in the country.

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The EU currently has placed an arms embargo on Syria, though Britain is

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pushing for it to be relaxed. All the while refugees continue to

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flood out of the country. With Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq,

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all having to provide support for hundreds of thousands of Syrians

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crossing their borders. The pressure for action is rising,

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and with the Arab League saying today that their members are free

:19:31.:19:36.

to offer military support to the rebels, just how long will it be

:19:36.:19:41.

before British supplied weapons are being used in Siria.

:19:41.:19:46.

Gareth Owen from Save The Children has returned from the region, and

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the chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee is also with us.

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What conditions are there in Syria? They are truly awful, unimagineably

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awful. If you are a refugee, and we have reached a grim milestone where

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one million have come, and half a million Syria. Millions of Syrians

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are living in abject conditions. We are watching a middle income

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country slowly but surely be completely destroyed. You are in a

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humanitarian organisation, do you accept that the only thing to stop

:20:15.:20:21.

this is ending the war, which means overthrowing Al-Assad, which means

:20:21.:20:25.

someone may have to give guns to the rebels? I do think the end to

:20:25.:20:29.

suffering is ending the war. We have to demand the global world

:20:29.:20:32.

leadership finds a way to unite and create some actionable plan to

:20:32.:20:36.

bring about the end of the conflict. To go as far as to say do I think

:20:36.:20:40.

that is a question of arming the rebels. I think that is for others

:20:40.:20:45.

to answer. Require Malcolm Rifkind raised it in the Commons. I

:20:45.:20:48.

wondered if you thought armoured vehicles and flack jackets, and

:20:48.:20:53.

water purification might be fine, but it won't bring it on an end?

:20:53.:20:57.

Malcolm did raise it, I don't agree with him. I think there is a big

:20:58.:21:02.

difference to giving aid to civic and rebel leaders we know. And

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giving weapons and ammunition to hard-nosed militants who come from

:21:06.:21:10.

all over the world to cause trouble, whom we don't know, and whose

:21:10.:21:16.

intentions are unclear. Those, by definition, would be the wrong

:21:16.:21:21.

hands. The recognised head of the opposition army, said they need

:21:21.:21:24.

anti-aircraft missiles and aircraft, that would stop the stilling of the

:21:24.:21:27.

civilians? I think William Hague has got right. There has been a

:21:27.:21:31.

step forward, announced today, we are providing more protective

:21:31.:21:35.

weapons for the rebel leaders, we are providing testing equipment to

:21:35.:21:39.

see if Al-Assad starts using chemical weapons. This is all very

:21:39.:21:43.

important, but if you start going into the anti-tang territory, where

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does it go? It is not -- anti-tang territory, where does it go. It is

:21:51.:22:00.

Jihadis flocking in all from all over the world. That is the dilemma

:22:00.:22:03.

for humanitarian organisations, I know you hate to say that people

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need to be armed, but you need to stop the tangs and the planes?

:22:09.:22:13.

on the side of the Syrians, and not on an armed group. I have worked in

:22:13.:22:19.

conflict for 20 years, it ends up in the same place. Whether it is

:22:19.:22:22.

Somali, where I started out, or the Balkans, sooner or later you get

:22:22.:22:26.

into this debai. We have a more immediate concern, not to doubly

:22:26.:22:29.

fail the people of Syria. If we can't find a political solution

:22:29.:22:36.

quickly, that is a shame. It would be a disgrace if we didn't upscale

:22:36.:22:39.

the urgent humanitarian relief, not reaching the people in Syria in

:22:39.:22:43.

adequate cannotties at the moment. Part of the debate you have already

:22:43.:22:45.

raised, the specter of Afghanistan and Iraq, where guns did fall into

:22:46.:22:50.

the hands of other people, you arm one lot and it turns out to be the

:22:50.:22:54.

Taliban or Al-Qaeda who get T on the other hand there is Bosnia, as

:22:54.:22:58.

was suggested, and Rwanda, where we didn't do anything, and now you

:22:58.:23:02.

know did nothing but hand wringing afterwards? It is slightly academic

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as to whether or not we should be supplying arms to the rebels. They

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are being supplied already by other people. The Arab League have now

:23:10.:23:16.

said, but not enough? You say that. There seems to be a lot of stuff

:23:16.:23:20.

going in there, whoever is supplying at the moment I'm sure

:23:20.:23:24.

can up it. We have to carry people with us, the United Nations won't

:23:24.:23:28.

back this, as long as China and Russia are exercising a veto. The

:23:28.:23:34.

EU is being fairly supportive, but up to a point. I think actually in

:23:34.:23:37.

a rational, proportion national response to what is going on at the

:23:37.:23:44.

moment, where the Foreign Secretary is the right place to be. It was a

:23:44.:23:47.

move forward? It was, closer to intervention. He left all options

:23:47.:23:53.

on the table. He did, I wondered if relaxing or threatening to relax

:23:53.:23:57.

the EU arms embargo, would that possibly be yet another step in the

:23:57.:24:01.

right direction? It would, it is more or less what he has done. He

:24:01.:24:06.

has kept his options open. He has said this is under constant review.

:24:07.:24:10.

He has made it clear that is something they will go back to.

:24:10.:24:14.

do you see things developing over the next few weeks? Not well. The

:24:14.:24:18.

history of these situations is it gets worse and worse. Six month

:24:18.:24:21.

from now we could be talking about two million refugees and a million

:24:21.:24:24.

children fleeing. Where does it end? I don't know, there is no easy

:24:24.:24:29.

answer. My experience tells me this gets worse and worse, and the

:24:29.:24:32.

humanitarian scenario become more and more acute, with increasing

:24:32.:24:36.

loss of life, and we end up a year from now in the same place, only

:24:36.:24:41.

much, much worse. You have eloquently explained the dilemma,

:24:41.:24:45.

two million refugees, three million, there is another couple of million

:24:45.:24:49.

displaced within Syria. Where do we say that is it? There is no obvious

:24:49.:24:53.

answer to this. It is, frankly, just a mess at the moment. As long

:24:53.:24:57.

as the international community can't agree on this, then we have

:24:57.:25:01.

trouble moving forward. William Hague did meet the Deputy Foreign

:25:01.:25:04.

Minister for Russia today, he's meeting the Foreign Minister next

:25:04.:25:07.

week, he will continue to put the pressure on. It is quite possible

:25:07.:25:12.

that Assad may run out of money, sooner or later, there may be other

:25:12.:25:15.

forces there who may topple him. What is going to step into the

:25:15.:25:17.

vacuum is far from clear at the moment.

:25:17.:25:23.

Thank you both very much. Fundamental problems, irresponsible

:25:23.:25:27.

lending, widespread breaches of the law and regulations, causing misery

:25:27.:25:30.

and hardship. That is the Office of Fair Trading's verdict on the

:25:30.:25:34.

payday loan industry. After researching the methods used by the

:25:34.:25:39.

50 biggest lenders in the country, Wo nark ga and the like. The loan

:25:39.:25:44.

companies have been given an ultimatum, clear up the �2 billion

:25:44.:25:53.

industry or else. Liz Matthews is not your average

:25:53.:25:56.

payday loan customer. While most have jobs, she doesn't. But in

:25:56.:26:00.

other ways she is typical. Someone in need of a short-term cash

:26:00.:26:04.

injection. Drawn in by the ease with which she could get it,

:26:04.:26:07.

undeterred by the spiralling interest payments that kicked in

:26:07.:26:12.

the moment she couldn't pay it back. Looking back now, I think how

:26:12.:26:16.

stupid I was. I got into a vicious cycle, where I borrowed all

:26:16.:26:19.

together four loan, and in the end I couldn't pay any of them back.

:26:20.:26:24.

How much was the original loan, how much do you owe now? The original

:26:24.:26:29.

loan was �300, and I owe now clearly �2,000. I was very worried,

:26:29.:26:34.

I thought how can I pay it back. You can't sleep. You can't sleep at

:26:34.:26:38.

night. Newsnight featured other payday

:26:38.:26:42.

loan customers last year. Just before the �2 billion industry was

:26:42.:26:48.

warned it had to serve them better. These borrowers arranged almost

:26:48.:26:53.

instant loans from the comfort of their smartphones. My first loan I

:26:54.:26:58.

took out a month ago, I oozed it to go out and see my friends. Without

:26:58.:27:04.

that I couldn't see them. Aided by technology and abetted by the

:27:04.:27:07.

banks' reluctance to lend, the payday loan industry has doubled in

:27:07.:27:11.

size in the last three years. The Government said today it was

:27:11.:27:16.

concerned customers were being lured into taking out unsuitable

:27:16.:27:26.
:27:26.:27:31.

loans. With advertising offering A number of payday lenders have

:27:31.:27:34.

been laifing in a completely irresponse -- behaving in a

:27:34.:27:38.

completely irresponsible way. The OFT are putting 50% on notice over

:27:38.:27:41.

their behaviour. They are requiring them to take specific actions.

:27:41.:27:45.

Office of Fair Trading's main concerns are failure to check a

:27:45.:27:49.

customer's ability to repay a loan. Failure to explain adequately how

:27:49.:27:54.

payments will be collected. Aggressive debt collection

:27:54.:27:57.

practices, including not showing enough understanding for customers

:27:57.:28:01.

struggling to pay. Payday lenders are required to assess the

:28:01.:28:04.

affordability of every loan they make, to make sure that people can

:28:04.:28:08.

repay those loans. And yet that seems to be in conflict with the

:28:08.:28:12.

fact that they earn up to half of their revenues from customers who

:28:12.:28:16.

fail to repay their loan first time round. That suggests to us this

:28:16.:28:20.

market really isn't working the way it should, for that reason we are

:28:20.:28:23.

proposing to refer this market to the Competition Commission, it will

:28:23.:28:28.

be able to put in more radical changes if it thinks it is

:28:28.:28:32.

necessary These companies are rewarded through customers'

:28:32.:28:35.

difficulty? It would looks a though these firms are winning significant

:28:35.:28:38.

revenues, yes, from the fact that their customers are unable to pay

:28:38.:28:43.

things on time. In 12 months, the financial regulator, the FCA, will

:28:43.:28:47.

take over responsibility for the payday loan industry. It will have

:28:47.:28:53.

powers to impose a cap on the run away interest rates, which can,

:28:53.:28:57.

when loans are rolled over, snowball to several thousand per

:28:57.:29:03.

cent. When the FCA takes over the Office of Fair Trading will cease

:29:03.:29:08.

to exist. This strike against the loans' companies could be seen as a

:29:08.:29:12.

dying gasp. But the OFT prefers to call it an enforcement priority,

:29:12.:29:16.

warning that if the industry doesn't shape up within 12 short

:29:16.:29:20.

week, the worst offenders might lose their license to trade.

:29:20.:29:26.

Liz is repaying her now large loan at the rate of �3 a week. She

:29:26.:29:31.

thinks today's measures don't go far enough the When you see them

:29:31.:29:34.

advertise, it is just so easy to get, a few minutes on-line, you

:29:34.:29:37.

state how much you want. You don't really notice how much interest you

:29:37.:29:41.

are paying back. I think the interest rate should definitely be

:29:41.:29:45.

capped. It is an awful lot of money they ask you.

:29:45.:29:50.

The payday loan market says it is already put improvements in place,

:29:50.:29:54.

but will consider going further. Access to credit remains a

:29:54.:29:58.

necessary service. But they will have to show that in answering that

:29:58.:30:03.

need, they are not making a bad situation for their customers even

:30:03.:30:07.

worse. We called more than a dozen payday

:30:07.:30:14.

lenders who declined to appear tonight, but Jason Gardiner runs

:30:14.:30:21.

Friday Friday, who calls itself an ethical company. How do we dress it

:30:21.:30:26.

up asset kal, it is a pretty scumy business? There is a lot of

:30:26.:30:29.

nastiness going on about the business and rightly so. The

:30:29.:30:32.

industry has a bad reputation at the moment, that is because of the

:30:32.:30:36.

things highlighted today. The way we say they are ethical, we want to

:30:36.:30:39.

do things differently, we want regulation in the industry, we want

:30:39.:30:44.

to be seen to be different, we ant to act differently -- act

:30:44.:30:51.

differently and put the consumer first. We know the top ones are

:30:51.:30:56.

being investigated. The FT has said it is right across the sector,

:30:56.:31:00.

clawing back debts and earning up to half their revenue from rolled

:31:00.:31:07.

over deals. You do that? We limit roll overs to three. Three?

:31:07.:31:14.

three roll overs, then we convert any capital they owe into a 6-12-

:31:14.:31:17.

month loans. The you are not as bad as others, but that is seriously

:31:17.:31:20.

bad? We have to give people the option, if they can't pay after the

:31:20.:31:24.

first month, they have to have an option to do something, or what is

:31:24.:31:27.

the alternative. Most companies do what you are talking about. Why do

:31:27.:31:30.

you advertise on your website that you don't do credit check, if you

:31:30.:31:35.

do them, you don't do them the way in which banks do. That is shoddy

:31:35.:31:38.

practice this report has shown is widespread. I have just checked

:31:38.:31:44.

your website this evening? It is not on our website. I hate to go to

:31:44.:31:48.

your website, it is on there now, it says you don't do credit check,

:31:48.:31:54.

what the OFT has said it shoddy. clearly do credit checks. You say

:31:54.:31:59.

it is not on your website, but you do the same practices? We credit

:31:59.:32:04.

check every single application, we validate the bank account, address,

:32:04.:32:07.

credit history, how many payday loans and loans they have, how many

:32:07.:32:12.

credit cards they have. We do full affordability. If he didn't exist,

:32:12.:32:16.

wouldn't people go to unlicensed back street loan sharks? I don't

:32:16.:32:20.

want payday lending to end, I want it like other counts, the rates are

:32:20.:32:25.

capped and we don't see the problems. We see lower levels of

:32:25.:32:30.

personal borrowing and illegal lending. You would be OK with

:32:30.:32:33.

capped interest rates? Capped interest rates as long as we can

:32:33.:32:37.

sit down and do to properly, as long as we sit down and it has to

:32:37.:32:43.

be sensible caps. Because the cost to fund payday loans is the costing

:32:43.:32:49.

a lot. 1,000% would be OK, not 500%? That is based on a lon over

:32:49.:32:54.

three months, these are short-term loans. Your APR is 17,000 per cent.

:32:54.:33:02.

It is not an annual loan it is a month loan. (all speak at once) In

:33:02.:33:07.

Japan they have worked to go from a 79% cap, to a 20% total cost cap?

:33:07.:33:13.

We need to sit down and lock at it. We are pushing it, I asked you four

:33:13.:33:19.

months ago to sit down and discuss it. On Twitter you called me niave

:33:20.:33:25.

and ignorant of the industry. accused you of looking a blanket

:33:25.:33:29.

over the industry, and accusing us to be like Wonga, when I put it to

:33:30.:33:33.

you, you said you are like Wonga and I won't sit down with you. We

:33:33.:33:37.

want a cap, limit rollovers. didn't say that, I asked for the

:33:37.:33:41.

data. What I said to all the companies I don't want nice dinners

:33:41.:33:48.

I want date ta. Fantastic you want a cap? Do you want the cap like

:33:48.:33:51.

Japan. Do you want a total cross cap, they have worked with the

:33:51.:33:54.

industry and moved it down to 20%? We need to look at what is best in

:33:54.:33:57.

this country for the people of this country. In terms of some of the

:33:57.:34:02.

other options, should they just be banned from advertising all

:34:02.:34:05.

together, we banned tobacco advertising on TV? I find the

:34:05.:34:08.

puppets and all the adverts as annoying as everybody else, the

:34:09.:34:12.

damage is done by the rates the companies charge. What the OFT

:34:12.:34:15.

report shows today is these companies are pushing people into

:34:15.:34:19.

debt because they make most of their money about the people who

:34:19.:34:22.

repeat borrow and roll over and then the charges start. I have been

:34:22.:34:25.

told your website says, right now, without any paperwork or credit

:34:25.:34:31.

checks you can get a loan, I have just been told that? The without

:34:31.:34:36.

paperwork is correct. Without credit checks, I'm being told

:34:36.:34:39.

exactly that? This is exactly why the Government needs to step in.

:34:40.:34:42.

This industry it is like asking turkeys to organise Christmas.

:34:42.:34:45.

There are people in communities like mine who are really struggling

:34:45.:34:48.

as a result of this. It is inexcusable having seen the

:34:48.:34:54.

evidence today that this Government has failed to back the cap on

:34:54.:34:58.

credit, I'm proud Labour has done? I think the FSA needs to get

:34:58.:35:02.

involved when it is in place to do so. We are pushing for regulation,

:35:02.:35:06.

we want it. We introduce debt management to individuals who

:35:06.:35:11.

default on loans, we want to help them out of debt problems not into

:35:11.:35:15.

it. She's saying the key problem is interest rates, and they have to be

:35:15.:35:23.

capped? It is not just that, all the additional charges, the default

:35:23.:35:27.

charges, the �25 to not pay on time. We are also the only financial

:35:27.:35:32.

institution in the country, anyone who defaults we freeze interest at

:35:32.:35:36.

that point. Most lenders do that. Including Wonga even. Not at the

:35:36.:35:41.

point of default, they don't. If somebody comes to payday, their due

:35:41.:35:46.

date, and we don't recoup the funds then, we freeze the interests.

:35:46.:35:51.

17 though per cent. At the point in the original contract. Thank you

:35:51.:35:56.

very much. 30 years ago Britain sent a task

:35:56.:36:03.

force to liberate the Falklands from Argentina. And Argentina has

:36:03.:36:07.

regularly asked for the return of the la Malin, and Britain has said

:36:07.:36:11.

it is up to the islanders themselves. Just ahead of a

:36:11.:36:15.

referendum, Sue Lloyd-Roberts reports from Buenos Aires about a

:36:16.:36:20.

vote of a couple of thousand islanders, who definitely see

:36:20.:36:30.

themselves as British, is viewed in Argentine na.

:36:30.:36:35.

-- Argentina. This is one of Argentina's favourite rock bands

:36:35.:36:45.
:36:45.:36:45.

belting out the song they call, April 2nd. The day on which

:36:45.:36:49.

Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands many years ago. It goes

:36:49.:36:54.

down well with the young, many of them not born when the islands were

:36:54.:37:02.

invaded. I met them in a park the next day to ask them why they care?

:37:02.:37:09.

At school, we are taught that Malvenas are Argentinian, and

:37:10.:37:13.

Argentina should claim them. That is our feeling. It is only natural

:37:13.:37:17.

that the whole population will say that if you are taught that way

:37:17.:37:21.

since a little kid. It is a little bit of brainwashing. I have never

:37:21.:37:26.

begin brainwashed about any ideas. I have always -- been brainwash

:37:26.:37:32.

about any ideas. I have always thought the islands were Argentina,

:37:32.:37:36.

heiror kal and geographical, that is why. What about the referendum,

:37:36.:37:39.

is it significant? It is the general will of the people, they

:37:39.:37:44.

are actually electing the way of Government and which Government

:37:44.:37:51.

will represent them. It is absolutely right. What happened in

:37:51.:37:57.

1833, when the English Government arrived to the La Malvenos islands,

:37:57.:38:01.

what happened to the people who lived there, and their self-

:38:01.:38:07.

determination rights. Who is right? At the national library this

:38:07.:38:12.

professor was eager to help. Bringing out an array of maps and

:38:12.:38:16.

documents which show that over some 400 years, the islands had been

:38:16.:38:22.

settled by the Dutch, the French, the Spanish, the Argentinians, and

:38:22.:38:27.

then in the 19th century, Britain staked a permanent claim, and at

:38:27.:38:32.

the time Argentina did not intervene. It is confusing, but the

:38:32.:38:42.
:38:42.:38:45.

professor put me right. The islands are Argentinian, she said.

:38:45.:38:50.

The claim to the islands didn't matter that much 100 years ago.

:38:50.:38:54.

When Britain was Argentina's most important trading partner.

:38:54.:39:01.

Reminders of the close relationship litter the country. Like the

:39:01.:39:04.

HurlinghamClub, built to kairt the huge British community that once

:39:05.:39:10.

lived in Argentina, and where the Middlesex county cricket club play

:39:10.:39:14.

against an Argentinian side of the You have like every part of the

:39:14.:39:24.
:39:24.:39:24.

world, people against and for, just mixed feelings.

:39:24.:39:29.

And Britain's place in Argentina? It is difficult to say. I have got

:39:29.:39:35.

both. My father is British, and I'm Argentine born. So I just find it

:39:35.:39:39.

awkward. Everyone here want to draw a

:39:39.:39:43.

distinction between people and politics. We have no problem with

:39:43.:39:50.

the British people. We all study English at schools here. I love the

:39:51.:39:54.

Rolling Stones, I love football, the Beatle, many things to love

:39:54.:40:00.

from England. If -- Beatles, many things to love from England. If I

:40:00.:40:05.

were to feel angry about somebody, I would feel angry about Margaret

:40:05.:40:10.

Thatcher on the English side, but also the leaders on the Argentinian

:40:10.:40:16.

side, both sides. The over 600 Argentinian war dead

:40:16.:40:20.

are remembered in Buenos Aires every day.

:40:20.:40:29.

One thing that everyone can agree on is a general -- General Gaultier

:40:29.:40:33.

decision to invade the Falkland, was to gain popular support for a

:40:33.:40:38.

military -- Tateorship, which by the 1980s was morally and

:40:38.:40:43.

economically bankrupt. It didn't -- dictatorship which by the 1980s was

:40:43.:40:48.

morally and economically bankrupt, it fell soon after. The Argentinian

:40:48.:40:52.

economy is in trouble again. The sight of the unemployed collecting

:40:52.:41:00.

rubbish, to sell on to recycling companies is a common one.

:41:00.:41:04.

Strikes are frequent. Here teachers are demanding pay rises to match an

:41:04.:41:08.

inflation rate which they say is nearly 30%.

:41:08.:41:12.

The Government won't give an official figure.

:41:12.:41:16.

Do they believe that this new row with Britain, over the Falkland,

:41:16.:41:22.

could be a deliberate diversionary tactic by the country's President.

:41:22.:41:27.

TRANSLATION: No, I can honestly say no. She has her own policy on the

:41:27.:41:35.

islands, and economic issues are a separate matter in Argentinian life.

:41:35.:41:39.

TRANSLATION: She's always talking about the island, it is an

:41:39.:41:41.

historical thing, whether British or Argentinian, there is no

:41:41.:41:45.

advantage for the working-classes. Nonetheless, the claim is might,

:41:45.:41:51.

the islands are Argentinian. While most would say that the

:41:51.:41:56.

referendum, being organised by the fouk land island Government this

:41:56.:42:01.

weekend is -- Falkland islands Government this weekend is

:42:01.:42:05.

irrelevant, political commentators think differently. The referendum

:42:05.:42:11.

is a very historical issue, there is a they are part in the

:42:11.:42:15.

historical conflict between argentinia and Great Britain. Not

:42:15.:42:19.

only London and Buenos Aires, there is a third actor in the Falkland

:42:19.:42:23.

Islands. That is the political authority of the Falkland Islands.

:42:23.:42:28.

But this is the stuff of editorial writers and the chattering classes.

:42:28.:42:38.

And doesn't interest the President. A few days ago, President Cristina

:42:38.:42:40.

Fernandez De Kirchner, arrived in parliament for her state-of-the-

:42:40.:42:45.

nation speech. And unveiled a flag which Argentinian troops had

:42:45.:42:49.

planted on the Falkland Islands. She then confirmed her claim to the

:42:49.:42:59.
:42:59.:43:03.

island, and made no mention of the referendum. The President rarely

:43:03.:43:07.

gives interviews. I asked a member of the Government committee for the

:43:07.:43:16.

island, what he thinks about it? TRANSLATION: I want to ask you a

:43:16.:43:22.

question, are those people living on the islands British? What's the

:43:22.:43:26.

point of asking these people if they want to be British, it is like

:43:26.:43:29.

asking an Argentinian if he wants to be Argentinian. They could do

:43:29.:43:33.

without this referendum. There is no point to it, we know what the

:43:33.:43:36.

outcome will be. Do you really expect us to believe that it is

:43:36.:43:40.

self-determination that you care about? Not the oil, the military

:43:40.:43:44.

importance of the south Atlantic and the territorial claims on

:43:44.:43:51.

Antarctica? The wealth found in the area surrounding the Falkland puts

:43:51.:43:59.

a new edge on the debate. Only 500 miles away, Argentina could benefit,

:43:59.:44:02.

by providing for the need of oil companies operating here. There

:44:02.:44:06.

were commercial links with the islanders before this present

:44:06.:44:12.

Government refused to deal with an authority they won't recognise.

:44:13.:44:18.

Isn't Argentina therefore in danger of missing out? That is a very

:44:18.:44:24.

intelligent economic logic. This is a political problem. We have a

:44:24.:44:31.

political conflict, and for Argentina the meaning of Malin os

:44:31.:44:40.

is not logical it is political. In a country with a troubled recent

:44:40.:44:43.

past it goes on. This week's referendum will change nothing. The

:44:43.:44:48.

British Government is firm that the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands

:44:48.:44:50.

is non-negotiable, without the agreement of the islanders

:44:51.:44:55.

themselves the here in Argentina, people will continue to maintain

:44:55.:44:59.

that the islands were, are and will be Argentinian.

:44:59.:45:04.

Do you think you will see the islands become Argentinian in your

:45:04.:45:10.

lifetime? No I don't think I will. Not become Argentina. I think it

:45:10.:45:13.

should happen, but I don't think I will see it.

:45:13.:45:17.

Yes, of course, I think they are Argentinian.

:45:17.:45:22.

No, and I don't want that to happen unless the population there

:45:22.:45:28.

actually decided they wanted to be Argentinian. I think that

:45:28.:45:32.

argentinia is taking the -- Argentina is taking the wrong

:45:32.:45:35.

approach, without harassing them, we should show them they have a lot

:45:35.:45:37.

of education and economic opportunity here, that is a better

:45:37.:45:41.

way to integrate them. Perhaps in 100 years they will decide they

:45:42.:45:46.

want to be Argentinian as well. Veterans of the war demonstrate

:45:46.:45:52.

daily in Buenos Aires for better pensions and recognition. For

:45:52.:45:56.

everyone in Argentina, the islands provoke painful emotions for which

:45:56.:45:59.

there is no immediate or practical solution.

:45:59.:46:09.
:46:09.:46:41.

Now a very quick look at the front That's all we have time for tonight,

:46:41.:46:51.
:46:51.:46:54.

Good evening. Wednesday, certainly brought a lot of cloud and through

:46:54.:46:58.

Thursday, it is going to be another cloudy one. And we are going to see

:46:58.:47:02.

outbreak of rain pushing support addically northwards, across the

:47:03.:47:11.

north of Scotland -- support radically, northwards.

:47:11.:47:14.

This cloud producing some outbreak of patchy rain. Most of it quite

:47:15.:47:17.

light. Won't be surprised if you see the heavier burst here and

:47:17.:47:27.
:47:27.:47:28.

there. We may see glimmers of brightness from time to time. Grey,

:47:28.:47:32.

cloudy conditions across Wales. Mist, muark and fog up over the

:47:32.:47:37.

hills, and for Northern Ireland, it is a grey story with outbreak of

:47:37.:47:42.

patchy rain. Wet weather for a good start of Scotland as well. Glimmers

:47:42.:47:45.

of brightness here. Across the far north of Scotland and Shetland,

:47:45.:47:49.

here we have a cold, strong Eastleigh wind. As I mentioned most

:47:49.:47:54.

of the rain will be quite light. In any of our northern cities, don't

:47:54.:47:58.

be surprised to see the heavier bursts on Thursday.

:47:58.:48:04.

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