20/02/2012 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me Tim Willcox. Getting ready to


burn the midnight oil in Brussels. EU finance ministers wrestle with


bail out number two for Greece, but how much more pain can - or will -


Greeks take? More clashes between protestors and


police in Senegal, as demonstrators vent their anger at President Wade


going for a third term in office. What a difference a year makes. On


the anniversary of Misrata's rise against the Gaddafi regime in Libya,


people go to the polls in local elections.


Also coming up in the programme: One step closer to ridding the


world of polio. A special report on the immunisation programme that's


helped India become polio-free in the last year.


India used to have more polio cases than anywhere else, but political


will, resources and dedication have finally wiped it out. And meat, but


not as we know it. Test tube burgers could soon be on the menu.


How appetising a solution could it be to feeding the world's growing


Hello and welcome. It looks like it's going to be another long night


in Brussels. EU finance ministers focus once again on Greece's second


massive bail out. After weeks of increasingly fraught negotiations


it does now look as if the deal might go ahead. The stakes couldn't


be higher and among the big questions preoccupying finance


ministers tonight, will political leaders in Athens stick to their


promises and will it be enough to stave off default later in the


year? Here's Matthew Price in Brussels. The mood has changed in


Brussels, as thaeriefd Europe's finance ministers all made it clear


that they expect this deal to go through. The chairman of the


meeting saying it has to be concluded now. Greece saying


they've done enough. The EU's chief economics official indicated he did


expect the deal to go through. But that wouldn't be the end of the


eurozone's problems. I trust tonight we can then turn the page,


turn the corner and move from stabilisation to what's boosting


sustainable growth and job creation. Because that's what is really


needed in Europe now. The package, without which Athens will go


bankrupt in mid-March, is centred on a �110 billion bail out fund.


Much of it will go towards financing a deal that will see �83


billion of Greek debt written off. Private lenders will see a


reduction of 70% in the money that they've invested in Greece. In


Brussels there is a sense that this deal will finally go through. The


French Finance Minister has said if it doesn't, there is a risk of a


systemic crisis across the eurozone. So here, they will say that they


have rescued Greece, once again. Yet, at what cost to the people of


Greece? In Athens overnight, there was more violence, more protests


against what Greece is being asked to do. And on the streets this


morning, a sense that the public sector job cuts... Minimum wage,


simply won't work. TRANSLATION: No matter how many


loans we receive, if we don't start producing something to be able to


stand on our own two feet, we will never have recovery in Greece.


TRANSLATION: Even if they cut all pension, all benefits from the


unemployed, from disabled people etc, the problem will not be solved.


It's a dead end. Some believe this deal saves Greece, others fear the


cuts are so deep that its people will bear the cost for a generation.


Penny Marinou set up her own business after working at the Greek


Economics Ministry for many years and joins us now from Athens. And


Wolfram Schrettl, a Professor of Economics at the Free University of


Berlin, is also with us. In whose best interests, do you think, is


this second bail out package, the Greeks or Germany and the eurozone?


In neither's interest I would say. So what it does, it buys again time.


It avoids disorderly default. What it does not get for both Greece and


the rest of the eurozone massive growth in Greece that. Cannot be


achieved by this austerity programme. So Greece is entering


its fifth year of recession. Is the Greek economy still going to


contract further despite this bail out, this won't kickstart any


growth, is it? Certainly not. What it may do is stop the decline. That


is not enough for what we need right now. The only medication that


would really achieve the goal is that Greece steps outside the


eurozone for a transer to period, recovers quickly, following


devaluation and then re-enters. Just like Estonia entered


undramatically, Greece should exit. You know the Greek people extremely


well, how much more can they take of these austerity measures?


Describe what's happening to ordinary, middle-class Greeks and


the pain they're going through. Well, for middle-class and lower


income Greeks it's really very difficult. They've come to the


point where their income is just about enough to cover living costs.


Of course, I suppose that these austerity measures were necessary,


but they haven't been accompanied by some development measures.


That's the problem. Because even if the government tries to get income


from taxation, there's no income left to tax. So we're going round


in a vicious circle I would say. was covering the confidence vote


last year, and all the demonstrations and the mass public


General Strikes, then a lot of people said they wanted to stay in


the euro. Has that changed? I don't think so. I really believe that the


majority of Greeks want to stay in the eurozone. And in Europe.


Professor, does that surprise you, because from what you're saying it


looks as if default is inevitable at some stage. No, it doesn't


surprise me at all. I mean, in all countries, where there was a


devaluation of the currency, the avoidance of the devaluation was


made a matter of national pride and dignity. This was so in the Asian


crisis. It was so in the Russia crisis. Then President Yeltsin said


there wouldn't be devaluation. But this is a mistaken understanding of


dignity and pride. It harms the country, though. We have the


private write down for private investors as well. How much of a


schism is there between Angela Merkel and her Finance Minister


about the best way forward, because there's a row at the moment about


the ECB not wanting to write down its Greek holdings at 70%, which


all the others are having to do. don't want to comment on the schism


between Chancellor Merkel and the Finance Minister, but they both...


Why not? Just let me complete that. They were united in the original


sin of saying under no circumstances will Greece exit the


eurozone. That was the original mistake and we're suffering from


the consequences of this. Whether or not they are now divided is


unknown to me. I see. Thank you. Just a final thought, what do you


think the ultimate long-term impact of this is going to be? Do you


think there will be a change, perhaps, in Greek public opinion


and they'll say yes, we will take these cuts, take this austerity,


rather like the Irish have done, but they don't have the same


export-led economy like the Irish, or do you think there will be mass


demonstrations and none of this will ever get through? I think


there will be mass demonstrations but things are getting through at a


slow pace, I would say. And many Greeks believe that the only way to


change things in this country, where there are so many things


wrong so to apply a really strict programme and change the way the


Government functions. You can't imagine what problems we have in


this country. Everything is wrong. All the public services don't work


properly. Nothing works properly. It's you know, a mess. OK. Well,


thank you both very much. Let's look at the day's other news:


Experts in the UN atomic energy agency are visiting Iran to find


out more about the country's nuclear programme. Their arrival


coincided with an announcement from Tehran. Its military has launched a


four-day exercise to test the defences of its nuclear sites.


Security forces in Nigeria say they have killed eight militants in the


north-east. They say they were part of an Islamist sect. Explosions


were heard coming from a market in the centre of the city. Three


government soliers were injured in the shootout.


Reports from Syria suggest government troops are preparing for


another assault on Homs. There already been rocket attacks. China


has warned that any Western support for the opposition could lead to


Civil War. Senegal's President, Abdoulaye Wade,


has accused opposition parties of planning violence to disrupt next


Sunday's presidential election. Opposition candidates called for


further protests against the President's decision to run for a


third term. He says he wants to finish what he kaulds hills grand


projects. At least six people have been killed since demonstrations


began late last month. Mike Wooldridge reports. Religion


entering into the volatile situation in Senegal. People


gathered at this mosque in the capital Dakar, angry that during a


demonstration on Friday, the security forces had fired a tear


gas grenade into the building. A new confrontation develops. The


original incident has drawn in members of Senegal's largest Sufi


brotherhood. "We're very upset because the police desecrated the


mosque. This act is hurting us a lot. It's a spiritual place. Even


our colonisers have never dared resort to such profannity", this


man says. As rocks were hurled and tear gas fired once more, for the


fifth consecutive day, the government sought to limit the


damagelet the interior minister offered sincere apologies for a


tear gas canister going off inside the mosque and urged politicians


not to hold protests in the vicinity of mosques. Feelings are


running high. "We speak in the name of religion, not only in the name


of Muslims or the brotherhood. We live together perfectly with


Christians. Once you start attacking the church and now it's


the turn of our brotherhood, what's it going to be tomorrow?"


The clashes on the streets of Dakar and other towns began last month.


After 85-year-old President Abdoulaye Wade won the backing of


Senegal's top legal body for his intention of seeking a third term


in the presidential election which takes place next Sunday. There's a


two-term limit for leaders, but Mr Wade argued that his first term


doesn't count. In a country with a reputation for stability and for


pioneering democracy, Mr Wade's spokesman accused an opposition


candidate of recruiting a militia to provoke chaos and make Senegal


ungovernable. Today France, the former colonial power expressed


deep concern over the rising tensions. It was exactly one year


ago today that the Libyan city of Misrata rose up against Colonel


Gaddafi, coinciding with that anniversary, it's been voting to


elect a local council, the first major city in Libya to hold


democratic poll since the fall of Colonel Gaddafi. He banned


elections as an invention of the West. A new 28 member council will


help rebuild the city. Dr Fawaz Gerges joins us live now. These are


local elections, aren't they, but maybe a dress rehearsal for the


ones in the summer, what does it say about the unity of the country


do you think? Not much, Tim. It's too early yet. It's an important


milestone on the road to establish a legitimate government, legitimate


institutions. This is the first free poll in more than 30 years.


There's a great deal of excitement. It's a rehearsal, a trial, before


national elections take place later this year. But the turnout hasn't


been as great as many people had hoped. Between 30 and 40 or 50%.


There's not much excite as -- excitement as there was in Tunisia


and even Egypt. In this sense, it's the first step. As you also


suggested Misrata was one of the cities that was besieged by


Gaddafi's forces for several months. Heavy fighting left deep scars in


Misrata, so in this sense, the elections to choose 28 members,


local council members, is a very important event. But there are many


challenges. Among those the path to democracies. The challenges


surround the NTC itself. I wonder what your thoughts are about the


process they are making. They are now talking about having their own


party and seem to be doing things by decree rather than overt


democratic process. You're absolutely correct. You put your


finger really on some severe challenges facing Libya. First of


all, there's a great deal of tensions and cleevages. Not much


has taken place in the sense of building a centralised government.


Local militias, ironically, Misrata militias are some of the most


notorious in the country. They have refused to leave Tripoli. Several


of the Misrata militias. Human rights organisations, American and


Western organisations have accused the militias in particular, Misrata,


of torturing hundreds if not thousands of the former regime


suspects. Some of the suspects also have been killed. But the biggest


question, the biggest challenge facing Libya is to basically


establish a unified government, to create unity out of the multiple


local identities. You have Misrata, Ben gauze yay, Tripoli, this is --


Benghazi, Tripoli, this is, they have a long way to go. Will that


happen? It will take a long time. This is the first step in a one-


A sudden thaw has sent blocks of ice down the Danube river,


destroying boats and floating restaurants in Belgrade. Debris was


scattered through the ice for more than a mile. Many boats were sunk


while others were left stranded on the river bank. At least 20 people


have died in Serbia during the recent cold snap.


Movement on the Danube at last. After over a week off a big freeze


on much of the river, a rise in temperatures over the weekend has


caused at the thaw. But it was so sudden that it brought large chunks


of ice, some of them 30 centimetres thick, crashing into hundreds of


boats. Temperatures in Serbia rose from minus 20 Celsius last week to


10 degrees on Sunday. TRANSLATION: Nobody expected that


this could happen. It started suddenly and this is it.


We had not seen weather like this in a long time. People were relaxed.


The boats stayed there. The icebreakers did not remove the ice


on time. The floating ice also snapped and


broke her ankle lines. Several restaurants and bodes settled on


the riverbanks. There was concern that the melting


snow and ice could overflow. But the river's water levels are lower


than normal because of a drought last year. This has made flooding


unlikely. Polio is one of the world's oldest


and most crippling diseases. Scientists now think they could be


close to eradicating it. The virus, causing paralysis, affects mainly


children under five. India has been free of polio for over a year


thanks to a programme. A correspondent has been in Delhi.


Just two drops his all it takes to prevent polio. Now imagine


repeating that 170 million tines, tracking down every young child


across India. Then you begin to get an idea of what it has taken to get


rid of polio here. The mark on the finger shows they have received the


vaccine. What has been achieved is


remarkable. In the used to have more polio cases than anywhere else.


But political will, resources and dedication have finally wiped it


out. The volunteers here are from


Britain, members of Rotary, a network of professionals. Rotary


has been at the forefront of the fight against polio for a


generation. They have raised money and awareness.


My dream is to have a polio free world. We have done it with


smallpox. We are very close now. We are on the last days, I hope.


nurse and I bet to make babies daily. Coming here and doing this


is just an extension of that. I love people and I want to seek help


the children. This hospital still has a backlog


of patients paralysed by the virus. He will have four operations...


This by caught polio as a baby. He will need many surgeries before he


can walk. It is painful to see the suffering.


It is painful to see everybody so far around it. If the world can be


rid of polio, it will be the greatest thing I can dream up for


stud polio used to spread pm through raw sewage and water, but


the virus has disappeared because enough people are protected.


India has shown eradication is possible. But the war is not won


yet. India's polio Free staters is under


threat. Pakistan and Afghanistan and Nigeria all saw an increase in


cases last year. This virus respects no borders. That is why it


is vital that massive immunisation campaigns like this continue until


every child in every country is protected.


Poorly run immunisation programmes and families who refuse the vaccine


are what is preventing those countries from matching India's


success. It will take unswerving commitment of the sort seen here if


this disabling disease is to be consigned to history.


Now, we usually think of burgers as a cheap, fast food - but what is


the environmental cost? One Dutch scientist has spent thousands of


Euros on creating a burger in a test-tube, created entirely from


artificial meat grown from stem cells. Are signs correspondent has


more on this Petri dish of the day. This is a strip of muscle grown


from a stem cell taken from a cow. In a few months, it will be part of


the world's burst synthetic hamburger. The strip is one of


thousands grown in a laboratory in the Netherlands. Researchers plan


to make these strips with layers of fat to produce the most expensive


and high tech fast-food meal in the history of the world. For now,


though, the scientist behind the project will have to make do with


today's fast food. He is in Vancouver at a scientific meeting


to sell his vision of the future. My dream is to produce meat that


tastes and looks exactly like this. You will not be able to distinguish


it from the livestock meet. But you know now that it is produced in a


very animal friendly and whizz off friendly way.


Stem cells can be taken from -- and resource friendly wave.


Stem cells can be taken from the real thing.


So what do they think of the plan at this store in Vancouver? I don't


think it is a good idea. Why is that? It just does not make sense


to me. There's nothing better than natural meat. That is what we have


been raised on our whole lives. We know where the farming comes from,


who is processing it for us. But in the future, that natural


meat could become too expensive. Buying meat in supermarkets is


something that we take for granted nowadays. But not for much longer,


according to some economists. They believe that because of rising


demand from India and China, meat prices are set to soar. Most of us


will not be able to afford it. We have about 1 billion people who


are undernourished on the planet. As we push it towards 9 billion


people by 2050, we will need to produce more food. Right now, there


are a number of countries that are developing, and as their economic


situation improves, they demand for meat improves.


This professor hopes the technology will one day help to feed an ever


growing and increasingly hungry world.


Let's talk to Tim Lang, the best of Food Policy at City University in


London. -- Professor of Food Policy. Is the solution to the growing


world appellation here? I noticed that the doctor called it


his dream. You could call it a dream for some and a nightmare for


others. We need to undertake this. It is clearly very amazing


technology, but let's not get too excited. This is a mystery funder.


We don't know who it is who has put up a course of a million Euros, a


large amount of money. -- a quarter of a million Euros. It is going to


take months to turn this into something resembling a hamburger.


The doctor was saying that this is about feeding the population of the


future. Actually the problem in the world of food is about a quarter of


humanity over eating, not under eating. There's aim -- a mild


distribution of food. That is the question. But this raises questions


about ethics, environmental footprints and so on. The


fundamental issue is this this switch of power. This is a switch


away from nature and growing as that clip said. It is about cows


and animal growing in nature, fed by farmers being replaced by


factories. Aren't you painting a romantic


picture of modern farming and processed meat? This may sound an


appetising but much of factory farming is unappetising as well.


That is the point I'm making. This is a twist in the tale of Western


food. To sell it as the moral case for feeding the world is frankly


nonsense. I'm sorry, but current methods are


unsustainable, are they not? Current methods of meet growing,


yes. But it depends on how we do it. It is possible to have sustainable


use of land and animals. It is equally possible to have


unsustainable use of them. The key issue is a sustainable food system


requires a lower footprint. That means consumers eating different.


In this sense, this is a technical fix and a sideshow. But it raises


lots of interesting questions. Is it important? Not really.


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