12/04/2013 Newsnight


Presented by Kirsty Wark. David Cameron and Angela Merkel talk about Europe, the song that gave the BBC a headache over taste and justice for the rape victims of Congo?

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$:/STARTFEED. A weekend in the German countryside for David


Cameron and Angela Merkel. It look like happy families for the cameras.


But behind closed doors, can he sweet talk her into supporting a


new European relationship for Britain. We have gathered a troop


of economists to try to guess who is saying what to whom?


Is your house just over 120ms from the proposed high-speed rail route,


you might have a very big problem. At the moment they won't even


compensate us full stop, or give us the value of the property, let


alone all the extra needs that I would need to enable me to move.


It's a good job Top Of The Pops was scrapped, as the chart rise of this


song, offensive to the memory of Margaret Thatcher, a headache for


the BBC, or just plain daft. Good evening, Angela Merkel is


playing mine hostess to the Camerons tonight. The German


Chancellor has already said that she personally wants Britain to be


an important part and active member of the EU. The talks will be over


EU reforms and how close or far apart they are over change. At the


same time as if to highlight the economic difficulty at the heart of


the European product, in Dublin finance ministers have extended


Ireland and Portugal's loan over ten years, and a bail out has been


agreed for Cyprus, ready to be agreed by member states.


Wish you were here? For the Prime Minister and his wife it is a long


weekend in an 18th century cast. Think Chequers German style. A


country retreat in outside Berlin, with not just other halves invited,


but the Cameron children on their way too. The gist of it is this,


"we like you Dave and there are at least some things we can agree on".


Swap a German castle for Dublin Castle and another EU meeting about


the latest country, Cyprus, to provoke a blast of the jitters


about the future of the single currency. Finance ministers agreed


a 10 billion euro rescue package to stop Cyprus sliding into bankruptcy.


But the island and the savers will have to stump up a lot more than


originally thought. 13 billion euros. The Cypriot problem is not


even near to be solved. There are huge questions around the bail out,


no-one actually knows by how much the Cypriot economy will contract


by, will shrink by, therefore it is very difficult to work out a bail


out package, a support package, when everything is so uncertain.


This Cyprus story will run for a very long time. It is not just


Cyprus causing grief either. Next stop Slovenia, where a new


Government is dealing with an old problem, the banks. Everyone is now


looking for the next Cyprus, who is next in line for a eurozone bail


out. The strongest contender is probably Slovenia. That is stuck


with a braanking sector that -- banking sector that hold as lot of


toxic debt that it can't get off its books. The Government there is


not rich enough to bail out its own banking system. We are looking at


another bail out at some point for Slovenia. Probably a limited one.


Beyond the eurozones stumbles from one crisis to the another remains


the UK's question about the EU. For so long it is seen by the EU as the


embarrassing uncle at the Christmas party, plonked on the sofa,


grumbling away and irritating others in the European family. On


top of a generation's worth of scepticism amongst its European


opposite numbers, we can Adam I don't know's veto wielded in


Brussels a then that speech in January spelling out his plans to


renegotiate the UK's terms of membership of the EU, and put it to


a referendum by 2017. What is on the table for discussion this


weekend? David Cameron wants to persuade his partners that Europe


needs to be reformed and treaty change is the way to do this. For


Angela Merkel, she wants to keep Britain engaged and to try ensure


Britain doesn't leave. But the German Government isn't at all keen


on having treaty change in the short-term. It is unpalpable to the


German Government because they think we will have problems


ratfying it, and several member states might lose that. And they


realise if they open up the treaty the Brits will try it blackmail


everyone to get the concessions they want. But, some point out, the


gap between the German and British perspective on all things European


Union isn't that wide and is bridgeable. Once that is all those


hellos and guttentags are out of the way. When the British and


German politicians sit down and talk, they spend 30, 40 minutes to


look at the language to use and how to communicate with each other past


the ideology. When it comes to the policy discussion they tend to


agree. For example, on the need to strengthen national parliaments,


make the EU more democratic, on the need to cut down and reform the


European Union budget. So, the music's jolly, the scenery is


pretty, but do you still wish you were here? This Englishman's home


this weekend is a German castle, but Europe's direction is no walk


in the park. Just how significant is the


weekend's visit, to help me unpick I'm joined by my guests.


First of all, is this going to be really more of a public consumption,


or will there be any move on whether or not Angela Merkel is


even considering acceding to David Cameron's notion that he should


have a referendum on treaty change? It is a horse that has bolted. The


referendum has been promised. if he doesn't get what he wants on


treaty change? The Germans are not going to push for treaty change,


they won't push for it because they have realised that other than them


and David Cameron nobody wants treaty change. They won't push 25


other European countries in a direction that they don't want to


go. It is a risky strategy. Even if they started going down that road,


it would take years and years to reach an agreement. Do you agree


with the analysis in the film that if Britain went for that referendum


other countries may well follow. That is a problem for Angela


Merkel? I think that's absolutely the case. It is the domino effect,


and whether or not we can sustain that sort of cohesive view in


Europe, I don't think so. Megan, is this really just for public


consumption this weekend, to show that on a personal level at least


they can do business, they like each other? Yeah, I think so, I


don't expect anything to come out of this weekend's talks, especially


given a German election in September. There won't be any


movement on this whatsoever. David Cameron wants repatriation of power


towards the nations, Merkel doesn't want that at all. She want a much


bigger role for the European Commission in helping to bail out


all the weaker countries. On the whole question about the general


elections, is that the big issue in town this year, do you think?


certainly a much bigger issue than what David Cameron wants at the


moment. At the moment all eyes are on German, what's going to happen


there, to some extent there is unrealistic expectations, how much


does the German election matter for Europe. Whoever is in charge after


September will follow the line that Merkel is on now. Where is Merkel's


biggest problems, is it the right in the CD? She herself doesn't have


the problem, her approval ratings are stellar. Her party is slightly


less popular. Her opponent from the social democrats is nowhere to be


seen. She has no coalition party and she won't have a majority, she


needs another partner to form a pact. We are in situation where the


finance ministers in Dublin have approved the lengthening of the


loan to Ireland and Portugal, and the bail out for Cyprus. With


Slovenia coming up the back. This is exacerbating the whole problem,


the politic between north and south in the euro isn't it? Absolutely,


to some degree this whole trip this weekend is a bit a distraction of


what is going on. Merkel wants to focus, at the end of the day, on


the crisis in Europe. I don't really think David Cameron coming


along is her priority at the moment. I think. What about, I mean the


Cyprus bail out is not popular in Germany, we can talk about Slovenia


in a minute. It is not, but Merkel's approval ratings have shot


up off the back of it. The CDP and the Greens were demanding Germany


didn't bail out Russian oligarchs, that wasn't the case but that was a


bail out. She demanded a depositer pay out. And her approval has


improved. Because she was able to that. What about the Slovenia


situation, there is a different approach to this than Cyprus?


is a different approach to all other European countries than to


Cyprus. Cyprus is not a very popular case, not only in Germany


but many other European countries. Even before the banking trouble,


they weren't particularly good at making friends in Europe. Now they


manage to have a business model that is obviously unsustainable.


They are a very special case. Slovenia is a stable, nice-looking


country, for the banking sector it failed to privatise it fully, they


have a lot of work to do. But there is very different political


attitudes towards Slovenia than Cyprus. Do you think Cyprus should


have gone? That is one ogs, I think it is still an option for Cyprus to


try to negotiate its way out of the eurozone. It would be painful,


certainly, but it might be less painful than the bail out they


signed up to. Your view on that? Absolutely, at the moment the best


option for Cyprus is to basically exit the eurozone, issue its own


currency and hopefully find a little bit of stability. If you


look at the extension of Portugal, obviously and Ireland, you have


Slovenia, problems in it low and Spain, ultimately, this is the --


Italy and Spain, but ultimately in 10-15 years, will there be a


separate north-south, with the south dropping out of the euro, and


it being a northern currency? could have a, it is totally viable


that you end up issuing a sort of second tier euro for the periphery


states. But I don't think it is the ideal option. I think we are now


committed to this project, and the ideal solution is one where we


stick together. However, Cyprus is a special case. If any eurozone


country has the possibility to leave it is Cyprus. I would also


point out that eurozone membership is a political decision, and the


europroject is, to a large degree, a political project. If the weaker


countries do decide to abandon the euro, I'm not sure if the political


will will be there for them to band together in a separate state but


they will go back to their currencies. These currencies would


have zero credibility. Reintroduced central banks would find it hard to


maintain price stability, to keep the currencies from plunging, they


would have to massively default on their debt. It would be mayhem and


painful. It would be mayhem for Germany? It would be, because they


are for political reasons committed to this thing, it needs a stable


neighbourhood to export to, and they need these countries to stop a


reintroduced damp mark from becoming strong. There are those


saying it is Germany that has to leave the euro? Cyprus has a chance


and it is not the case that you would have complete chaos, because


Cyprus, of all the countries, it does actually have a viable economy


on its own. Yes, you would have. has a lot of gas. It has a lot of


gas and tourism. Even if it issued its own currency and we saw it fall


in value, that would be very attractive to tourists. It would be


volatile, don't get me wrong. We would recover much more quickly.


what we are talking about, for the next three or four years yet utter


volatility throughout the European states, no settling down of any


country? We will jump from crisis to crisis as we have for the past


couple of years. As far as the idea of eurozone exits is concerned,


choreography is key. A unilateral default and exit worst option


possible for any of these weaker countries. But a negotiated exit,


with bridge financing and balance of payments support from the IMF


and other troika members, that is a better option. Thank you very much.


I have to stop you there. On Wednesday's Newsnight we


reported from Minova in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where


on one night of November last year Government soldiers committed mass


rape and other terrible violent Well today 12 senior officers in


the military were suspended. The film maker Fiona Lloyd-Davies who


secured confessions from that soldier and others is here. What is


the significance of the suspensions? It is very significant


that it was senior officers this time. It sends a very strong


message to all the army that it is not just the foot soldiers who may


be punished. In your film the foot soldiers all said that the command


to rape came from the senior officers that makes it very


important? That's right. The BBC film, the film you made went out on


Newsnight on Wednesday, it then went out on BBC World on Thursday,


that is not the only pressure that is been put on, but it is part of


the pressure? There is a sense that the Congalese authorities don't


want to be criticised publicly, and there is also a gathering momentum


at the moment about what is going on in Congo, about sexual violence,


politically diplomatically, even in celebrity services, the UN Special


Representative on Sexual Violence has returned from Congo and met


with the President. The G8 meeting this week have been talking about


stopping sexual violence. William Hague has presented his unit


preventing sexual violence as well. You have also been following the


rapes for the last ten years. And do you think the women have any


expectation that it is really going to change? It has been very low in


the past. They have risked their lives to testify in the few trials


that have taken place, only to see perpetrators walk free. This time


there is such a real commitment for this trial to go forward, I know


women on the ground have already agreed to be witnesses.


Thank you very much. The Government says that when the high-speed two


rail line is built, those living next to the 250 mile an hour train


will actually welcome their fast new neighbour and worry what they


were so worried about. In the meantime residents complain their


houses are only sellable at a huge discount. The Government already in


trouble over the Compensation Scheme, after a judge ruled last


month its consultation was so unfair as to be illegal. There are


thousands of stories on the HS2 line, we could look anywhere for


people with something to say. The building of the first stage of the


line, between London and Birmingham, won't start until 2017, and isn't


due to finish until 2026, its impact is already keenly felt. Take


the village of Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire, this pub has


closed, it is exactly where the line will run through. If you have


to live in an area where HS2 is coming, this could be the best


situation to be in. The compensation in these circumstances


is most generous. I have come to meet the organisers of the HS2


Action Alliance, they took the Government to judicial review and


won. The judge agreed the consultation on compensation had


been so unfair as to be unlawful. The property market is completely


stymied, it has just frozen, what you will see is lots of houses for


sale and nobody wants to buy them. You have extreme problems in that


people want to get on, they want to move on with their lives, and yet


for two decades they are going to be frozen out. How much


compensation you get depends on how far you live from the centre of the


line, within 60ms, you are compulsory purchased, you get the


value of what the property would have been before HS2 plus a 10%


bonus that can't exceed �47,000, you get your moving costs as well.


If you live between 60-100ms from the line in a rural area you


qualify for the voluntary purchase scheme. You ask the Government to


pay the unblighted market value of your home. But you are not eligible


for any of the other extra payments. However, if you live more than


120ms from the centre of the track, you will have to prove extreme


hardship, like divorce or loss of your job, that means you have to


move but you can't sell because of HS2, prove that and you will get


the unblighted market value. Hello. Hello. If, like Derek and


Margo, you want to downsize or upsize, or just relocate, there is


nothing on offer. They are just two yards outside the voluntary


compensation zone. What is the consequence of those two yards for


you and your lives? There is a thing called "blight" if you come


to sell the house. At the moment I would say that whatever the price


the house would have been, had they not put the line up, you will lose


between 20-30% of the price of the house, if you can sell it. If you


can sell it. Who will be interested in a thundering great train coming


along. Every so many minutes. People might buy it if the price


was right? We want to move to a place where the price is right for


us, we are not going to be able to. Estate agents have told the couple


they would want �1,500 even to market the home, which they have


also been told is unsellable. Their only other option wait until the


line has been operating for a year, and then put in a claim for the


impact caused, by then Derek will be nearly 90.


We have come to the Cock and Rabbit club, very close to where the line


will go. This is where they film Mid-Summer Murders. One of the


interesting features of high-speed rail means the cost to communities


like this is far greater than what other infrastructure projects. That


has an impact on compensation. Let me show you what I mean. If we


imagine a normal infrastructure project, like a road or railway. It


goes like that. There is your end point and there is your start point.


But what will happen is you have junctions or stations along the way.


So, the people who live in this sort of area, like that, will have


the cost of being near the line or the road, but they will also have


the benefit of having access to this fantastic new infrastructure.


So the cost on them, or the impact on their house prices, for example,


will be some what mitigated. But, with high-speed rail, don't forget,


none of these exist. It goes from London to Birmingham, bypassing


this place about here, and it has absolutely no benefit to the people


who live here. Meanwhile, a short stroll from the derelict pub I met


Adam. Hello Adam. He spent years adapting this barn to provide the


perfect home for him and his family. This kind of adaptation doesn't


come cheap. You are close, because the pub is going. How much closer


does the line come to the pub? line goes right through the middle


of that pub, and comes closer to us at an angle across into this wood


over here. Add dumb only has one fully functioning lung and says his


sometimes fragile health wouldn't allow him to live close to the


building work. As soon as the diggers arrive, he says he has to


leave. If my neighbours have to leave, they might not want to, if


they got the value of their property they might not want to


move. In my case there is extra issues, I couldn't just buy another


property tomorrow and move into it. I would have to find a place, I


would have to find builders and get doors widened, new bathrooms put in,


accessible bathrooms and kitchens. Probably ramps and raising ground


level, all this costs a phenomenal amount of money. We have put our


life savings into this property to make it the only place in the world


where I'm 100% independent. There is nowhere else on this earth where


I can be like that. You wouldn't get the money back if you did


qualify for compensation here? The final stop on my journey is


back at London, in the Department of Transport, where I have an


appointment to see the minister in charge of HS2. Hello. We have seen


from the evidence of high-speed 1, that has gone through the heart of


Kent up to London that despite all the rhetoric and the campaigning


and the complaining back in the late 1980s, when the project was


beginning to be developed, that actually when the project is and


running, those problems have not materialised. But the first phase


of the railway won't even be built until 2026, that is 13 years away,


that is a long time to wait and not sell your house for what you think


is the market value. Even if the problems that you fear don't


materialise? There will be some people who may feel nervous, I


think unjustifiably, about the impact. But if there is a need for


them to have to sell their house, under the conditions of the


hardship scheme, then they will be provided with that help, at an


unblighted property price. And what about Adam Thomas and his family,


even if they do qualify for the hardship scheme, they fear they


won't get the money they would need it adapt another property. The


minister says he can't comment on individual cases, but. That


situation would also afly to any other individual who lived miles


and miles away from a major project like high-speed 2. Given that a lot


of people invest a lot of money in their properties in different ways


and they don't necessarily then Israelise the money they have


invested in the im-- realise the money they have invested in the


improvements of the property whether for health or aesthetic


reasons, that is part of the market and buying and selling a house.


Back in the Chiltons, the cheers ring a little hollow, there is a


creeping fear there is nothing they can do to stop the line. The best


they can hope for is improved compensation. We have to tell them


what we want and we want full and fair compensation. Since we


recorded our interview with the Transport Minister we have received


a statement from his department. "we know that people's personal


situations sometimes bring unique challenges that we can't fully


anticipate through the design of a property Compensation Scheme. We


aim to be flexible in responding to that small minority of cases.


HS2Ltd is ready and willing to talk to anyone in such a situation to


discuss how it might help." Historians may come to refer to it


all as a right ding dong about a song, the BBC won't play Ding Dong


The Witch Is Dead in full on the radio 1 Chart Show, they will show


a clip of a news reporter explaining a sudden popularity,


that a campaign had been launched to send it to number one after


Margaret Thatcher's death. It is thought to be number three. It has


provoked comment and controversy, and a rival song I'm In Love with


Margaret Thatcher. And changes in the way music is bought and


consumed mean does it matter any more.


As a long from The Wizard of Oz climbs the charities, friends of


Dorothy are hard to find at the BBC T will play the song in the chart


rundown, the controller of Radio One said, but only for five seconds


or so. The track will be put into context by a reporter. I believe


that you have got a situation where a group of people in society have


decided that they will campaign by using this track and trying to get


this track into the chart. I find it disrespectful. But I also I'm


very conscious if I ban it I will get myself into issues of freedom


of speech and censorship. Once upon time this was the record


the BBC didn't want to play. God Save The Queen by The Sex Pistols.


Some say it reached number one in the summer of 1977, unofficially.


If you believe the rumour around at the time, God Save The Queen was


said to have sold enough record to be number one in the week of the


Jubilee. But when the official charts came out Rod Stewart was


still number one. More recently unlikely Christmas dittties have


been propelled to the top of the charts in a bid to keep out


offerings from X Factor contestants. We have been here several times


before. From Simon koul's anger at the affrontry of -- Cowell's anger


from the affrontry of people who might not want to grant him his God


given right to have the Christmas number one, to Relax from Frankie


Goes To Hollywood, the outrage is at the very reliant agent for


getting something to number one. The decline of vinyl threatened to


leave the singles' market in a spin. I know, it's late. But apparently


all is well. The rise of iTunes and other download sites in the early


noughties has created a real boom for the singles' market. It rescued


the market and it is in a healthy state that last year was the most


singles sold in a single year on record. Because it is so easy?


the digital download era has created an ecosystem where you can


buy a symbol on impulse, but the rise of digital download has walked


hand in hand with the rise of social media. Not only can you buy


it on impulse but as a community as a statement en masse. That is what


we are seeing this week. It turns out that the top 40 isn't as old


hat as the Music Hall, but remains every bit as urgent as it was in


the dear departed days of Gary Davies. So says one gold-fingered


pop Svengali. This is all part of the excitement of the charts, when


people can just do their thing, and make a record that nobody wants to


get to number one. That is the excitement what technology has


allowed us to do is see people's choice better and quicker and


probably a little more accurate than it has been in the past. You


know for the last 30 years the record companies have been hyping


the charts, or accused of hyping the charts, you can't do that now


when you are down to millions of downloads. Not possible. These are


historical cultural documents, almost. Aren't you pushing it a bit


there. It's three-minute disposable pop, most of of it? It is three-


minute disposable pop. But these are cultural mile stones from the


1970s to last week. These are important cultural moments.


# Let's get Ready to Rumble. In other news Ant and Dec


unexpectedly went to number one with this cultural moment. As far


Presented by Kirsty Wark. David Cameron and Angela Merkel talk about Europe, the homes near high speed rail lines, the song that gave the BBC a headache over taste and is there justice for the rape victims of Congo?