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As the Greek voters go to the polls, we've come to the European
Parliament in Strasbourg to see if the East of England can weather a
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1619 seconds
euro-zone storm. And how we're Welcome to Sunday Politics for the
East. This is the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Coming up,
prayers were friends and families as the Greek community in the East
comes together to offer support and help to their compatriots.
So we have come to Europe, where with Greece holding fresh elections,
the future of the euro-zone hangs in the balance. The question is,
what will this mean for us? We can ask their guests. We have a
conservative MEP and the Labour MP. You were the Conservative Nicolas
80 on a package of EU banking reforms. -- Conservative negotiator.
What does this mean? This is bringing strong roles for banks,
globally and internationally, so that banks should have enough
liquidity not to go bust. We won strong international rules, because
we know that bank failure in one place can be important for the UK's.
And we want to make sure the UK can go further. We want stronger rules
for our banks. We do not want rules to prevent that. And coming up now,
with the euro-zone talking about banking union, we do not want banks
supervised by Brussels, that is like handing the keys to the Bank
of England to Brussels. Can we prevent bail-outs in the future?
are in a probably worst recession since the 1930s. -- than the 1930s.
None of us can be absolutely certain about things. George
Osborne is blaming the British recession on the euro-zone when we
all know that imports, exports rather, have gone up. That has
diminished the time that Britain has gone into recession. This is a
recession made in Downing Street, not Europe, an important message.
Thank you for now. You are not alone in contributing to the debate.
Many of our MPs have penned publications of every kind with
opinions on what is the best way forward now.
The euro-zone, the European Union, the wider European Community, where
should we be? The future of the relationship with Europe is the
subject of much debate and many parliamentarians are having their
say. We should be negotiating to repatriate much of the structural
fund money that currently Britain pays over to the EU, 9 billion of
which over seven years the EU then decides to give back to Britain,
which is completely bonkers. 4 billion of which gets recycled
around wealthier EU member cities. Reforming the relationship with
Europe is the fresh that this woman hopes will be the basis of a White
Paper adopted by the Government by Christmas. The Nikkei was using
effectively out of the EU -- moving out of the EU is something else.
you look at the balance of payments situation, the deficit with EU, 16
billion surplus with the rest of the wild. Bearing in mind all her
mac attention has been drawn towards Europe, we really have a
great opportunity out there to return to global trading routes.
the euro-zone did collapse, one MPs argues for some upsides.
project we kept clear of, quite rightly, the euro, is imploding in
front of us. We have to be prepared for the fall-out. There could be a
lot more dodgy water for the UK, but an opportunity, money fleeing
the Continent to us. We can put it in stuff that builds up for the UK.
And the structure for broadband, roads and so on. There are those
who have maintained a federal Europe with us filly in the circle
is the only way forward. The last few months have proven that. If we
are not able to take decisive steps to a more federal, more integrated
structure, then the whole thing will fall apart. Wife -- we are
familiar with a happy medium. But what the future of the European
project in doubt, this could be a defining moment when serious
decisions have to be made about exactly where we want to be in the
future. Let us start with where you see us
in the future. The euro-zone, the European Union or the wider
European Committee? Where will we stand? Clearly, there is a lot
changing within the euro-zone because of this crisis. What used
to be just the European Union, they are now talking about this though
union, banking union, and in the UK, we cannot get involved with that.
We are not in the euro. We cannot be finding a bail-out of that. The
question is, how do you hold on to the common single market? And keep
the UK and our businesses and jobs that rely on that European trade
involved in the single market. That is the discussion that I think is
growing all the time. That is when we look at proposals like this we
have to have some very clear out lines. The same question to you?
sorry for the Conservative member - - the conservative MEP, trying to
make this work, when they are completely undermined by colleagues.
The idea that Britain should leave the European Union, which is in
essence what they are wanting, would be hugely damaging to
business and jobs. And the fact that is the deficit, that means the
best of Europe is subsidising high standards in Britain. -- the rest
of Europe. We decide, British MEP, British can ministers -- British
commissioners and ministers decide this. I am proud of the money
coming to the East of England, two women projects, Disabled People's
Project, and young people getting back into work. That is a good
thing. What about the argument that we could benefit from money
flooding out of Europe? Should there be a collapse in the euro-
zone? The UK already is benefiting from investment. Investment has
increased as the euro-zone has become more troubled. How long that
stays, and there is an issue with a lot of jobs related to trade in
Europe. I think you are over simplifying it. The vast majority
of people in the UK think the European federalising Asian has
gone too far. They would like to hold on to single market links. --
European federal project has gone too far. People do not want things
to go any farther. Whilst I agree there has been some good projects
in the East of England, it is an expensive way to spend taxpayers'
money. What about the fact that this new money could find new
infrastructure for the East? Badly needed better broadband, one
example? What about railway links. We know the links across the region
at a polling compared with those in London. And environmental projects,
including the coastline, birdlife and others restored and enhanced.
Look at the money that goes into small businesses and to new
business -- sups through enterprise funds. -- Business starting through
enterprise buns. That is us at the table coming to the decisions.
Thank you for the moment. If Greece does exit the euro-zone,
what will it be like for the people? That is the concern from
many from our region with friends and family back home in Greece. We
have been looking at how the community at home is lending a
long-distance helping hand. The Greek community is praying very
hard at the moment. Nearly everyone here at this ceremony in Southend
has family backing police living through hard times. My sister is a
teacher. Her salary was cut by 40%. Her mortgage is similar. They have
to take emergency tax every month. We have heard stories of people
committing suicide because they do not have enough money. One relative
has had her telephone removed, then her electricity. She has no money,
waiting for money from relatives. There is also a sizable Greek
community in Northampton, where many of them listen to this local
radio station. The Greek crisis often is a topic of conversation.
think it is mainly the politicians of the beasts that have not done a
good job. The people voted them in, and the politicians did not live up
to the people's expectations. -- politicians of Greece. Rhys has
been at the centre of the storm, austerity Harting. -- Greece has
been. Many people have been laid off pending the results of the
elections. This woman is a lecturer at University of East Anglia. Her
parents have seen their pensions cut by 20%, her brother-in-law
retired early last year and are still waiting for his. The people
who are paying for this mess other people who have always paid their
taxes and worked very hard. This is the injustice. What particularly
worries fire is how well extreme right Golden Dawn party did in last
month's elections. She fears austerity is driving people to
support extremism. This is brightening. -- brightening. Greece
fought against fascism and dictatorship. To have this is very
disheartening. -- this is frightening. This woman stays in
regular touch with her family. This teacher from Athens Telstar like
this and nightmare, prices keep going up. -- says that this is a
nightmare. Feeling that you are the reason why the whole economic
system of the whole community, the European Germany, is -- the
European Committee, is down to you. It is heavy to Barden. I do not
think this has happened any time in history of Greeks being made feel
so responsible for so many other country's difficulties. You think
the Greeks are being unfairly picked on? Definitely. Back in
Southend, two elections. These That uncertain and worrying times. --
two collections. People are hoping for stability and the way forward.
We are joined by two more European MPs. -- European MPs. -- MEPs.
Thank you all for joining as that. Some of Greek descent. That puts
you in a unique position. Unique, but difficult, having to explain to
the Germans the Greek situation and to the Greeks why the Germans want
austerity. Not an easy job. How has that been? Having been born in
Germany, I never expected relations between Germany and Greece to go
very close to after Second World War. That is where we at at the
moment. It is difficult to build it up again. But that is my job.
heard in that report one lady saying that she believes the Greeks
are being unfairly picked on. Do you believe -- you agree? This is
the general feeling in and two. Greece had a very harsh your last
year. -- general feeling in Greece. There are fears about the future.
It is not just austerity, but a unique crisis of confidence, now
moving all around Europe. The Greek economy cannot move, it is dropping
like a rock, because no one knows what will happen next, so there is
no investment and no real a new economic activity. How concerned
are you by the rise of the right in these elections? The rise of the
extreme left and right is extremely concerning. What you have been
Greece is at governance problem. People proposing things that are
not close to reality, so far away from reality that it is like no
political discussion. And those that are keeping their senses are,
I am upgrade, not always in the majority. We will see what will
happen in the election. Out fire is the German electorate prepared to
go to support Greece? -- how far. It is not that the bail-out would
be paid. The reality is that no politician tells them that Germany
has made some 45 billion only because of interest rates. There is
a very good thing in the crisis for the Germans, politicians have to be
authentic, telling the electorate that the Greek politicians do not
always tell the truth. We have a big misunderstanding in Europe. We
should be more open and true to each other. What do you say to
politicians, the belief that politicians have failed? It is the
political system that has not succeeded. We have those elected
that have big responsibilities and those that have smaller
responsibilities. Voices in that report saying they feel responsible
for pulling down the whole European Community. Some Greek people saying
that. Is it their fault? The Greek Conservatives And New Democracy to
have some responsibility. I have some sympathy for the Greek
community in the East of England. It is great to see Europeans,
Greeks, in our universities, places of work, churchs. And the
contribution we all make to each other. But I feel for the Greek
community. Although there is some political blame, it is true the
suicide rate has gone up 40%. Wages have gone down 50%. Huge increases
in prostitution and sexually transmitted diseases. This is a
society which has been ultimately challenged. It has some
responsibility, but the idea that we should be somehow immune or
disinterested in the fate of an important country in Europe, and
one with a huge history and huge contribution to make, that would be
a mistake. Bringing this back to banking, we have learnt that
several local authorities in the East have money invested in the
euro-zone. For example, Essex County Council has more than �230
million denominated in euros as part of its pension funds. Some of
that in shares, some cash. With your banking background, would you
at the moment put money into European banks? Into the banks on
into the economy of Europe? I do what the economy is going to grow.
Still a lot of can -- there is still concern a lot of the backs up
a lot of problems. This has never have been a question about Greece,
but contagion into other countries, particularly Spain and a downgrade
in France. Thank goodness the UK, through its own programme, has
managed to maintain a strong credit going into the UK. There are still
a lot of problems and this has a long way to run. I think the Greek
people here, acute sympathy, but they have never been offered the
choice. -- huge sympathy. The choice has been to kick them out of
the euro or keep them in. Not to offer them rich rights. It is up to
the Greek people to have that and that is difficult when it is an
election in such a high frenzy. I wish that the electorate was last
year. Thank you, we leave it there. Now it is time for the round up in
60 minutes -- 60 seconds. When you are rushing from A2 B, do
not take the Midland Mainline says the MP campaigning for an upgrade.
Due to under investment, trains cannot walk but there top speed on
any stretch of the track. Moffat and Suffolk MP lobbying to the end
of a bottleneck. -- Norfolk. This will have a big boost to the East
Anglian economy and especially in places in my constituency.
Majesty the Queen continued her Diamond Jubilee tour in our region,
hosting at adding party at Sandringham. -- hosting a garden
party. Adrian Ramsay decided not to stand as leader of the Green Party.
And taking us by surprise, Anglian Water with the dog hosepipe ban
after what has been dubbed it the wettest drought on record. --