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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