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tv   [untitled]    February 10, 2014 11:30am-12:01pm EST

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hello and welcome to cross talk where all things are considered on peter lavelle the european union likes to think of itself as one of the brighter and fairer parts of the world but european commission report on corruption the first of its kind betrays a very different picture in every single member country there is corruption in some cases on a massive scale and businesses complain but to do business government connections are often necessary so what can the e.u. teach the world about corruption. to cross-talk corruption in the e.u. i'm joined by my guest broken are in berlin he is a political analyst and a professor for european studies in london we have david coburn he is a u.k. independence party regional chairman and here in moscow we cross to john hello big he is a managing partner at the group all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it david if i go
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to you first in london let me just read some of the high points eight out of ten believe the close links between business and politics lead to corruption almost all firms in greece spain italy believe corruption is widespread four out of ten firms surveyed describe corruption as an obstacle to doing business sixty four percent of british respondents said they believe that corruption is widespread in the u.k. and the top it off the cost of corruption it is estimated to the e.u. economy is equivalent to the blocks entire annual budget i think the term was breathtaking what's your reaction. well yes i mean the european union itself is a corrupt institution from beginning to end but they haven't added to their books for some one thousand years so they're not exactly a good example to set fire to business or to politics it is quite a dreadful organization every failed politician in any european country when he's
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finished making a mess of his own country then he was you often get a job with the european union or the european commission only in berlin how do you reflect upon this report it's quite damning it's really quite extraordinary the extent of corruption particularly in some countries of the e.u. . but first of all the report is not presenting the picture of what actually is corruption but how corruption is perceived and that shows that there is a much greater sensitivity for things that are going wrong which is a clear sign that our democracy is working well because this is about checks and balances all right john how do you react to the report so democracy is working in the e.u. . well i was very surprised that the finally wanting to come out and meet that they have corruption on their home ground because they wanted to portray russia as to corrupt the country for all these. years so it's
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a good opening although i don't think that that the report shows that all the real level of corruption which is much much higher. you must remember that in the you there is. a great deal of the corruption is institutionalized it's such a kind of corruption that you don't see here it's like lobbying it's like tailor made directives to support certain businesses and so on ok david i know that the report does talk about perceptions but it seems the perception is that business and politicians it is they've institutionalized their cozy relationship at the cost of and summation again of one hundred twenty billion euros a year that's quite a staggering number. well there are under twenty billion a year i think is sort of disappeared into the you get somewhere there's a heck of a lot i think the the budget is three hundred fifty three million so something in
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the. something like a third of the budget is called walkies that's really not good enough and the european union itself as i said before is a corrupt institution every failed politician or businessman ends up in the european commission or whatever and that's they're setting the example for the rest of europe one can only be surprised. i don't see why we should continue to put money at least a great britain should put money into this corrupt system isn't deadly corrupt system let me go ahead john you want to jump in go ahead yeah for fairness sake where the report is done by the commission but the figure one hundred twenty is what they did and they did try to suppress into countries it did know they think it is to corruption into you countries while they suppress their that's not the direction and deliberate you know it's a corruption in europe itself that's misdirection like any any good magician you
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don't watch the hand that he's presenting to you you should be watching the other hand you don't see and that's what you're trying to do the moment they're trying to give a certain amount of dismissed direction so you don't see the corruption at the heart of europe itself correct ok i think you guys are agreeing here only that a lot of the commentary about this report says that there is a culture of corruption of this cozy relationship between businesses and governments and politicians how do you react to that because again this is an estimation and if it's you know a lot of people commenting on the reports it's a tip of the iceberg are you that critical of it. well that don't think it makes any sense to discuss numbers because we all seem to have a very different point of view on what the definition of corruption actually implies when we speak of lobbying this is another important component of a functioning western democracy because over
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a percentage deaves need to communicate with stakeholders in society and they try to convince politicians that the way they look at a problem should be part of their decisions this is important and it's different from corruption the fact that we now have a number is part of the say it strategy of the european commission to motivate people like us to sit in studios and to reflect how we can deal with an urgent problem of corruption that certainly exist but it's not out of the nature of the european union it has been existed for centuries in countries where you simply didn't have a functioning administration so what the european union is trying to do is to address this problem and to improve it by best practice and not to be blamed by an artificial starship that is more corrupt than systems in the member states there's definitely a big difference in the culture of corruption in each and every member state you can even localize it by the distribution of the problem or at least in its
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perception in the member states that scandinavian countries obviously have a different culture and the further south you go or in some distant country may i say financial much bigger problem of it go ahead john you know if it's not a question of scandinavian countries having a. different culture of them being in any way better it's just more totalitarian they have a police state and it may sure get near east now corruption. on the lower level there is not going to be very little that is expected to describe the scandinavian countries police states go ahead david i don't think that's the case i think they have a different i think they have a different cultural approach and scandinavian countries and great i come from there. we have a different. i come from one end up in the southern european countries. all this sort of stuff is indeed making the whole thing ok you only have to look at the range all right john john let me give you a good let me clear this up john let me clear this up ok are you more virtuous
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because you come from one of those countries then a country from the south no that's not the reason why i'm more birchers there are other reason for that but let me give an example i'm doing well the reason. i meet i'm doing twenty years accounting and tax compliance service is the russian. we have a lot of finnish clients of course because i come from finland and it used to be the time not anymore because they know we don't give that kind of advice but everything that makes one hundred percent honest tax the poor ration in a tin and used to come to us and asked how do we have order taxes in russia that's been because they thought that in russia they can get our way with the ok well they certainly can't here why did the commission do this because so there are some estimates there are one hundred twenty million people in the european union itself that are in cyclical probably poverty right now and this is partly one of the major
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regions because of the financial crisis of two thousand and eight two thousand and nine i mean what does it take a crisis like this for the european union to look at its own standards legal standards and in the end how do you address even define corruption. of course it doesn't need a crisis to come up with a report like this if you carefully watch what the european union is and what it does it has always lived up to its standards and it has always done things like establishing an institution to fight for all the mismanagement but if you look at the at the core understanding of what that is that's also to whom it is not only to open borders and to increase competition and to accept the rules of the market in a single market but if it also insists on concepts like solidarity and cohesion we transfer money from the core to the periphery and the larger the amount of money the higher the incentives to use it for dubious businesses or to use it for
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corruption so if they wouldn't be something like reduce pollution then you go to the problem to christenings ira in science in space then it undermines should understanding of solidarity and support ok david jump in go ahead. well i would be insulted the tradition of great britain to redistribute wealth it's not it that's a socialist concept that we don't we don't particularly agree with we believe in creating a level playing field yes but we don't believe in transferring vast amounts of money from one place to another we think that other countries which are not doing particularly well should be encouraged to do better we are a capitalist country this notion of all of transferring money about in terms of social solidarity is very much as french socialist concept and something to which we don't agree and one of the reasons why britain doesn't fit in very well with the european and european concept in general because the european concept in general as a as a socialist concept ok john how do you reflect upon that because again you are right
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you have got to date of britain you know you as the state of britain perfectly agreed with this what you called socialist concept because every member state agreed to the forms of reach no quality agricultural policy and structural policy and you greatly benefited with the under development policy most certainly does not work as everybody else too. all right all right gentlemen i'm going to jump in here gentlemen i'm going to jump in here we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on corruption in the e.u. stay with us.
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please. welcome back to cross talk we're all things are considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing corruption in the european union. ok john i'd like to go back to you you know the redistribution of wealth here it's really quite interesting is that after all these years of the european economic community all the way to the e.u. today there's been a redistribution of wealth and the people that got most of the money are still the most corrupt i mean is this working or not working as. well of course it's not working the problem is that. you really. are socialist concept and it's not really an exaggeration to say that
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it's moving closer and soviet union model where day they have told drawing to a. model you know let me let me just let me just very latest vanishing point first finish your point they have destroyed to. market economy and competition and what they distribute in the so-called solidarity they ruin and we call them curious euro ok only in berlin you want to react to that go ahead yes the region bankrupt so this is really doing since totally nonsense because it is a market economy and the total budget of the european union what we are talking about is not more than one percent of the cheapie of the european union the total budget is about the size of the pot. finland and if this is called a socialist concept then look at the size of well first aid on the national level
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this is totally ridiculous in comparison ok david ignore what's ridiculous about the them that are so ridiculous about the the e.u. marching in more or less to greece and to cyprus and starting talking about reading people's private bank accounts i mean these people and what what what could possibly be be be positive about that to study tiddly socialist a most elite communist i would say to talk about reading people's private bank accounts to support the european union and this is what we're talking about the euro group as well as bunker. opposing stadiums and you can see in comparison you would agree because doing very well people of falling over themselves immigrants are falling over themselves to get into great britain because they know the rest of europe is bust portugal's bust spain's bust greece's bust france's the brink of being bust and the whole thing's being financed by germany and great britain and
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quite frankly it doesn't work and they're keeping it afloat because they're too embarrassed to admit the mess they have made ok only in berlin please while the whole thing is not financed perjurer money in great britain because once again the size of the budget is one percent and we are talking about peanuts in comparison to what well first dates inside of each and every member state so we should just keep things in order and if it's a buy i don't think it sort of an audition but i want you to label you. early finish plays an important role when we speak of categories like socialism and if you criticize what the troika does in so-called program countries then the end of turnitin of to us taxpayers to pay for it would sound much more socialist so whatever model you prefer there's always something to criticize which in fact has nothing to do with corruption ok john let me go to you i mean one of the i want to
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talk about where we move forward here and how to fix this problem first of all there hasn't been an in-depth study on how the european commission operates and how it expands money maybe that will come with us soon but i mean is this a report i mean some could use it to say ah this is a way for brussels to tighten the screws even more and to take more and more solvent to you away from the member countries could you see it being used that way well of course it's. one of the tools tools for that because the real problem with the e.u. is that they are taking away the sovereignty from what they have taken away the sovereignty from the member countries and that's why the point of the e.u. being socialist is not their the size of the e.u. budget. it's the size it's the way how they direct their the budgets and finances of all the car other countries ok david do you worry about the tightening of some not only go to david here in london do you worry about the tightening of screws here when it to react to this. report on corruption.
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well they tried to suppress it because they're terrified of of political parties like ukip and various our other anti european parties springing up all across europe to dissatisfaction with the system spain is on the brink of collapse on the brink of collapse the whole thing is falling apart and they're desperately trying to stitch a deal is basically can and they're trying to look as if they are tackling corruption but they're not they have no interest in doing that every failed politician of or anywhere in europe ends up in the european commission in the end i'm sure we'll see mr clegg fail politician soon appearing as a european commissioner. finished helping keeping mr mr cameron afloat only worried where does the european union go from here based on this report what would you like to see happen what kind of productivity would you like to see. well first of all
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let me say that what we heard before is total nonsense if we look at what the european commission actually does in this field what they provide is information and they leave it perfectly up to each and every member state to address the problem according to the situation in each and every member state so in this particular case there's not a soul that's will truly interfere also because i was trying to listen to possibly people who are calling greece this is all about occupy greece this is a difference this is a different story what the condition that our government leaders are teaching how to refinance its budget when we talk about all of the revenue don't think that's only. democratically elected remember state that is what we need journalling we gentlemen gentlemen were playing it straight from best don't talk over each other don't talk over each other john you're not talking john do you do you think that they have the tools to be able to address i mean they released a report so what are they going to do now that they're not going to stand by and say well this is a dreadful situation they're going to somebody is going to use it for something go
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ahead well have. people in the country in countries such as spain italy and greece are getting very frustrated with the corruption and and the problems and i think really david said they wanted to come out with the report to show that they are. doing something which they are not ok so this is a public relations this is a public good no no let me go to italy in berlin that's a very good point this is a part of it yes it's very very bad but what are you going to do for the people in greece for example or cyprus or spain and southern italy and going on and on i mean i i'm not i'm not i'm an american you know i don't have to care of the european union collapses or not it's none of my business here but i do know that there is a loser there is growth there is growing poverty in the european union and people die tired to corruption as well. well the motto of european
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integration is unity in diversity if you would too much centralized competent system we have all the reasons to call it a socialist project and then we have all the reasons to criticize the commission for being ignorant about differences the idea of the problem of the report is to present developments that need to be addressed by each and every member state the what the commission does is to send letters to each and every member. something that you can improve that has important seventeen years for example in germany the financing of parties and this is part of our discourse at the moment where we can improve a particular process and only sure enough she learns from example from experience in finland and this is how we can improve her situation if we are a club of twenty eight very different member states ok david in london jump in go ahead. well it is very clear this is a pile of waffle quite frankly on a pile of piffle quite honestly the whole thing's nonsense this is the they have no
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intention of doing anything about it because they can't the whole thing is is so far gone so such a corrupt mass of the started properly investigate here there will be lots of people doing jail time so they're hardly likely to do that they'll do happily nothing about it they'll make appropriate noises then quietly ignore it the only thing to do with the european union is simply to get out of it you know we can have a good relationship with europe in terms of free trade that's what you can't want but we don't want people each other's pockets or each of the bank accounts the euro is a catastrophe and we all know that we can see what's happening there is employment in great britain a booming economy here and the rest of europe it's a mess so you know the proof of the pudding is in the ok john i mean one of the biggest problems when you deal with corruption particularly if there's very strong and dubious relations between business and politicians it's pretty hard to crack down on that you know you know that this is just you know you know buying
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a permit you know bribing somebody for something this is very high level here and it's institutionalized according to the report anyway and there is a perception of that is well how do you deal with that on a on a scale of the european union because we have so many different countries and the centralization in brussels is brussels prepared to take some a hard look at itself. well. go ahead john ross holds his son unelected bureaucracy so of course a they can never deal with it the only way to deal with such. corruption problems they have in your opinion is to restore democracy and the country's ok. how do you hear the point across league i mean there's i mean one of the key people what there's one of the major criticisms sorry one of the major criticisms is that there's a democracy deficit in the european union as john pointed out it's an unelected government bureaucracy and in brussels it's time and again that stone against the
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european union how do you react to that in light of this report. well there is certainly a democratic deficit but you find also democratic deficits in national systems and there's always room for improvement because we never get the real thing and that's why it's so important to have reports like that who maim and blame problems and then member states are put in the limelight to change this but it shouldn't be done in a socialist centralized manner where a powerful institution in brussels should also surround that's why the report is a great contribution and member states with the democratically elected governments and institutions should trust the problems according to the situation in each and every member state this is not exactly the responsibility of the european union but the european union can give a great helping hand and that's what the report is about ok jim i know that london has a lot more to say on this but generally we've run out of time we've run out of time
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many thanks to my guests today in berlin and in london and in moscow and thanks to our viewers for watching us here darkie see you next time and remember. little. easier. there is obviously more for the latest because it's pink. women wanted to avoid rape they really needed to buy guns environ how to use them i'm. sure this is the one that i want to go with them once again it's the fear factor for women definitely a target of the gun lobby one you don't kill them when the killing might even have
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