29/06/2011 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Kirsty Lang.


Riots in Athens as the Greek parliament approves another


austerity plan. But how will they implement it in the teeth of such


opposition? But Greece's prime minister says


the only other option is bankruptcy. Without the austerity plan there


will be no EU bail-out. They're protesting and that is


their democratic right. But the crucial thing is that no-one, not


one of us, lives through the consequences of collapse.


Austerity unrest is set to hit the UK. Hundreds of thousands of


teachers and civil servants are threatening to strike tomorrow


against pension reforms. A warning to the Burmese democracy


leader to keep quiet, just a day after the BBC broadcasts her views


And a classical repertoire with pop star showmanship. We hear how Lang


Lang strikes the right note between Hello and welcome.


It wasn't unexpected, but there has been huge anger, nonetheless, over


the Greek parliament's approval of a controversial austerity plan to


save the country from bankruptcy. It includes pay cuts of up to 30%


for some public sector workers and tax hikes for everyone. 155 MPs out


of 300 voted for the plan which aims to slash 28 billion Euros from


the country's budget. But, outside, protestors made their feelings


known, as our Europe editor, Gavin Hewitt, reports.


Greek MPs debated and voted behind shattered windows well outside


there were fierce clashes on the streets. In Parliament Square,


protesters had arrived early, hoping to interrupt a vote which


would bring in a hard line austerity measures. Clashes with


police quickly broke out as thousands of protesters lined up


outside parliament. Even before the vote has started, there are volleys


of tear gas been aimed at the crowd and the crowd here certainly has a


sense of tension, knowing that within an hour, the MPs are so


close to vote. The violence was far more serious than yesterday. Dozens


of police and protesters were injured. There were running battles


with the protesters charging police lines. The police used tear gas and


stun grenades. Some of the protesters flu blast bombs and the


fighting spread to nearby neighbourhoods. Inside, the Prime


Minister said it was time to face up to a challenge. He said that


they did not want their government to fail, because if the measures


fail, Greece will fail. In the event, the austerity measures


passed by just a handful of votes. The way is now clear for �10


billion of emergency loans. The response on the streets was one of


fury. This woman said, "Let the Prime Minister come down here and


see if he can live on it 300 euros a month.". These budget cuts have


very little popular support and there is real but and this here.


Tonight, crowds were herded into a Metro station. Yes, the government


won, but there are serious doubts were that the austerity measures


can be fully implemented. We can speak on the phone now from


the centre of Athens to the Greek journalist, Matina Stevis.


What has the atmosphere been like? It has been so tense. I was born


and raised in the city, I was here for the 2008 riots and I have never


felt so at peril. I have never seen this kind of intensity on the


streets and the violence erupting what right and centre.


I understand that there was even an MP attacked outside the parliament.


The EU know anything about that? am afraid I do not know what about


that. I had been in transit all day. I have only been informed by


Twitter and what I have seen on the ground. How representative D think


these people are of the Greek public? The peaceful demonstrators,


not the small agitated and groups - - agitating groups, they had been


protesting for weeks now and they are quite a representative of the


majority of the Greek population. 70 to 80% of Greeks reject the


austerity measures. What is their response when the Prime Minister


says that bankruptcy would be a lot worse? I am not saying that these


people are accusing in favour of bankruptcy, what I am saying is


that these cuts are hitting the working and middle classes hardest


in a way that is unsustainable. They are not convinced and nobody


has bothered to convince them that this is the mid- way forward.


you think these demonstrations will carry on? To be honest, I have been


shocked and I believe they protests will carry on. I think there will


all in all this will see these picking up again. -- I think in


August, this poppycock again. -- this will pick up again.


Joining me now is Vicky Pryce, senior managing director and chief


macro-economic commentator at FTI Consulting.


Isn't this austerity programme going to be hard to implement when


the Greek people are not behind it? Yes, I think there has been a real


problem in terms of explaining, or rather not explaining to the


population what it is all about. There were only really a handful of


anarchists involved and the vast majority of the protests have been


peaceful. I think where someone to explain why the situation was, they


would look at it slightly differently. There has been a huge


gap in the political development over the last few months. Greeks


are basically do not know why they have to suffer. We'd just heard


that something like 70% of them opposed the austerity plan. One of


the reasons is that they have already had 18 months of austerity


and things have only got worse. The economy has shrunk and there is a


fear that - going to depression, they will be even less able to pay


off their debts. I think what Greece needs is something of a path


to growth. We need to have the vault of today and the vote --


tomorrow's College at lot of the vault to release the funds. -- like


it was lit -- legislative of fault. The need to make sure they can get


the next package, the bail-out package which has been set at 100


billion euros. That is absolutely essential, so they can look at what


has to be done to get back to some kind of sustainable growth path.


The need the money to do that and with a bit of luck, the banks will


agree to roll over some of the debt. Some kind of debt repayment will


make the situation easier. They might start to see light at the end


of the tunnel, but it will need to be explained to the population,


which has already suffered quite a lot. The needs to be explained to


them that the alternative is much worse. The pain that Greece would


have to go through if it left the D Udal, or if it was a lot to default,


probably has not been contemplated by anybody or understood by their


population. In fairness to the Prime Minister, I think he has been


tried to lay out what the alternative would be. When you look


at the austerity plan, the range of tax hikes, combined with cuts in


pay of up to 30%, people are feeling the pain and it is


difficult to see how there can be any growth in that situation,


because people are not going to spend. If income tax is not paid,


taxes need to be collected in a certain way. The tea or property


taxes might be the best way of doing it. - -- V A T. The real


problem is that if you tax people and cut spending is, any you might


get in a visual -- a vicious cycle of not being able to tax properly.


Basically, you would be in a worse situation. That is why it think


that there needs to be a voluntary restructuring that takes place. If


it is not done, down this government will fall.


Greek public sector workers are not the only ones on strike. Travellers


arriving at British ports and airports tomorrow have been warned


to expect delays as immigration and customs officers take industrial


action. They will join about 600,000 teachers and civil servants


due to walk out, over planned pension changes. Prime Minister


David Cameron has said the changes are fair and appealed for the


strike to be called off. Our business correspondent, John Moylan,


reports. Thousands of schools will be closed


and many Jobcentres will be shut. Air travellers will face long


queues at airports. That is to some of the likely impact tomorrow as


hundreds of thousands of public sector workers go on strike over


changes to their pensions. On the eve of the biggest industrial


action to be seen in years, the Prime Minister at again attacked


the planned walkout. I do not believe there is any case for


industrial action tomorrow, not least because talks are still


ongoing. It is only a minority of unions that have taken the decision


to goal lead and strike, but what I want to see tomorrow is as many


parents as possible being able to take their children to school.


the same time in London and elsewhere, unions were rallying the


troops. The reject the government claimed that the changes are affair.


We are striking because the government has been made it clear


that the intent to make or members work eight years longer and get


have the pension be sued. It is unfair and we're treating to try


and stop it. -- striking. There is a �9.7 billion funding black hole.


It wants walkers to contribute around 3% more, to work longer,


taking their pension at 66, and to move to less generous career


average schemes. It means that millions of public sector workers,


including these three in Birmingham, will have to rethink their


retirement plans. I am going on strike tomorrow because I care


about education and my pension and I feel it is the only way that we


will get her voices heard. Been to take a stand and say it is not


acceptable to keep on living in fear and wondering if you will keep


your job or be able to pay your mortgage. How much so that the is


there for the strike? Business groups warned that tomorrow's


action could damage hour already fragile recovery. It could have an


enormous destructive effect on our businesses. The fact that thousands


of schools will be closed means that parents will have to take time


off work to look after their children. It will hit businesses


and their pockets as well. In the coming hours, the walkouts will


begin. In a dispute that has so far been played out behind the scenes


France has confirmed its military has been dropping weapons to the


rebels fighting in Libya. The Defence Ministry says light arms


and ammunition were airdropped to the Berber, who are fighting in the


Western Mountains. France says food and medicine was also sent to the


rebels to help them resist Colonel Gaddafi's forces.


Egyptian authorities have ordered a probe into clashes between police


and protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square.


Running battles raged overnight between riot police and


demonstrators who pelted officers with stones and firebombs. Hundreds


of people were injured. The riots are the most serious violence in


Egypt in weeks. A BBC reporter being held in


Tajikistan is both physically and psychologically frail, according to


a colleague who was allowed to visit him in prison.


The Tajik authorities have charged Urunboy Usmonov with association


with the banned Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. The BBC says the


allegations against him are unfounded.


It took a five-hour gun fight and some help from NATO helicopters,


but Afghan security forces are now back in control at the


Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. The hotel was the target of a


surprise raid by militants, which began with a suicide bombing at the


main entrance. At least 21 people are now reported to have been


killed, including nine militants and two policemen. Bilal Sarwary


reports from Kabul.The authorities in Burma have warned the pro-


democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to stop all political activities.


Almost five ours after Afghan security forces fault and a vicious


attack launched by a group of suicide attackers, smoke was still


billowing from the 4th and 5th floors of the hotel. Thick attack


on the hotel took place throughout the 9th as several Afghan governors


and politicians had gathered in the hotel. There are enough Afghan


security forces on the scene, fighting the attackers floor by


floor. Support from the NATO forces blues decisive. Among those killed


where musicians playing at the hotel and waiters. The Kabul police


chief concern - - confirmed this morning the one attacker was still


under hotel after it had supposed to be cleared. He killed two police


officers and the Spanish civilian. The question people are asking now


is how did the insurgent managed to get themselves and their weapons


into one of the most heavily guarded international hotels.


believe there was a little and the security. The insurgents are using


every means to infiltrate into tight security areas. This attack


will draw attention to the capability of Afghan forces to


handle security once their international allies had over to


them. Afghan officials said that attacks can happen at any time and


they have shown that they can deal with them.


The Burmese government has warned the pro-democracy leader Aung San


Suu Kyi to stop all political activities. The military-backed


government has said her National League for Democracy party is


breaking the law and has no right to maintain offices or issue


statements. This report from our Southeast Asia correspondent,


Rachel Harvey. This was the moment hope return to


Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi, free at last. Still a symbol of the


struggle for democracy, still a powerful voice of challenge to the


leaders in Burma. At first she was given the way, seen here shortly


after her release a dressing adoring crowds outside the


headquarters of her party, the National League for Democracy. That


Hardy, officially banned after failing to register for last year's


elections, and now told firmly to stop all political activity. Burma


is no longer under military rule. There is a new parliament and a new


civilian led government, a chance perhaps, some say, for tentative


steps towards change, but the old reflexes of suppression have not


been lost. Aung San Suu Kyi has been issued an official warning.


This may be partly to blame. The pro democracy leader is this year


delivering it that Reith lectures for the BBC, recorded secretly


inside Burma. The parallels she draws between her homeland and the


recent a people's in Egypt and Tunisia are perhaps uncomfortable


for the Burmese a parties. similarities between Tunisia and


Burma are the same as those all over the world who long for freedom.


There would be similarities, too, and it is because of these that the


outcome of the two revolutions have been so different. The first


dissimilarity is what the Tunisian army did not fire on their people,


the Burmese army did. Aung San Suu Kyi has said she plans to travel so


into the countryside to meet supporters outside her Rangoon home,


those close to her feel for her safety issue tries. The Burmese ad


authorities, it seems, have decided to clip Aung San Suu Kyi's wings.


Now to Spain, which hasn't had a lot of good news on the economic


front recently. However, the Spanish film industry is doing well,


particularly overseas. In fact, last year Spanish films performed


better outside Spain than inside. One example is Daniel Monzon's


prison thriller Cell 211. This is about a guard who on his first day


of work finds himself caught up in a prison riot and on the wrong side


The Spanish film CELL 211. I'm now joined in the studio by its


director, Daniel Monzon. Do you think... what do you think


it is about your film that has made a successful outside Spain as well?


This movie talks about human beings. When I was in a theatre with an


audience in Italy, Canada, America, here in England, the audience react


in the same way. Somehow the movie grabs the audience by the neck and


it doesn't let them free until the end. It is talking about human


beings. So what is a universal theme? Somehow. When I wrote it I


never thought it was going to be such a success. In Spain it was a


huge success, but now it has been released in the whole world's. On


15th July it is coming out in the UK. I love England and British


cinema, so to be here for me is a good, good, good prize. Why do you


think we're seeing this resurgence of Spanish cinema and the export of


Spanish films abroad? Where does that come from? Now in Spain we


have a lot of different visions. There is not I unique genre of


Spanish cinema. There are a lot of options and books. Spain has a


strong young generation doing new things, but working at the same


time as old people who are proposing interesting things.


American cinema is giving up a lot of directors as well. Your film


might be remade by Hollywood. Does that upset you? It is a compliment.


I really admire the director who is going to do it. He loved the film.


He is probably in his room now writing his adaptation! I will go


to the cinema, buy a ticket and see his version. Thank you very much.


Classical music can be a pretty conservative world where it's not


easy to attract young audiences. But 29-year-old Chinese pianist


Lang Lang has broken that mould with his pop-star showmanship. The


Chinese prodigy trained in the US as a teenager and now lives in New


York, but maintains close ties with his home country. He has been


telling BBC World News about the role music can play in connecting


people from different backgrounds MUSIC.


As a pianist, I really don't feel nervous or feel that there are so


much intensity. For me it is a great thing to do and I love to do


it, it is natural. The important thing is that I want to be bomb


macro to keep doing the things I always wanted to do, making music.


I want to connect as many people as possible. I think the music should


help to smooth things. It should build bridges between cultures.


Sometimes people don't understand cultures, but through music they


could find a beautiful connection. One of my mentors, Daniel Beragh


Bohm, so bomb macro took orchestras from Arabic countries and then at


least they got them to play together. Music should have the


ability to do that. I really don't think music should be used to


destroy world peace or separate I grew up there, and then went to


America. Coming back I can see that China is already much closer to the


Western world than it was before. Of course, China will never become


the United States or United Kingdom. It will not happen because the


culture is quite different in the end. But the globalisation will


help that to bomb macro will help to open us more and more. When I


A reminder of our main news: There have been violent clashes on the


streets of the Greek capital, Athens, after the parliament voted


in favour of a drastic package of austerity measures. The measures


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