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tv   BBC Newsnight  WHUT  February 16, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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>> this is "bbc newsnight." >> funding for this presentation is made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through business
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strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global network to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> is the largest democracy in the world, but why do so many politicians stand accused of serious crimes? >> it is an astonishing fact that half of the ministers and the government are charged with crimes, ranging from rape and murder to robbery. an example of what is a nationwide problem. >> he came to become the european union's first marxist prime minister. he tells newsnight why he thinks democracy itself could be in danger. and at a time when the britains
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are debating whether to leave the european union, they are still poised to become a full member. hello. british prime minister david cameron will be visiting india in the coming days. he is still traumatized by the gang rape of a student just before christmas, who later died of her injuries. it is about indian attitudes towards women, but they also look at how it runs itself. many are accused of rape, murder, and other serious crimes. andrew north reports. >> it was an eruption that many believe was waiting to happen. the new delhi rape case has unleashed a torrent of anger at the old order, bringing a darker
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side of that democracy to light. the government is promising speedier trials and tougher laws. the suspected criminals this activist is investigating, he says the politicians are evading justice. >> our judicial system, it takes such a long time. they have been in the seat of power, where they can delay cases not just for years, but for decades. >> we have come to the indian heartland. it is one of the engines of indian politics, controlling the most number of seats in
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parliament. down the line from delhi, there is this small town. the name means "jewel," and here, this man is king. he is a minister in the state government. but he has also been charged with a gang rape. six years later, there has been no prosecution or movement in his case. we find him at his home with his constituents, hearing pleas for help. he says the rape charge has been fabricated by his rivals. >> this charge is a conspiracy against me. it was slapped on me during the last government.
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it is ridiculous. but before the election, people knew about it. that is why i won by 30,000 votes. >> a lot of people find it hard to understand how ministers, such as yourself, and other politicians can a whole lot if they are facing serious charges themselves. >> just charging someone is not enough. you have to wait until you are convicted. anyone can be charged for any number of reasons. >> but in many other countries, many other democracies, if we could carry on -- >> please, stop the camera. >> why do you want to stop the
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camera? >> the minister is gone. his supporters made their feelings clear. for many, this is a harsh place. millions live in extreme poverty. their lives governed by religion and caste. many women never even report an assault, due to the social stigma. we are looking for the woman that the minister is accused of raping. "how do i know" says a neighbor. against a wall of silence.
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they seem almost too scared to tell us where she is. one person asks who will save them if they go against the establishment. >> these charges. an attempt to murder. >> this man says he tried to go against the establishment. he accused his local minister of trying to kill him after he challenged him in an election. he says this shows this. >> i am a conman. he was a politician. the police never would have had a case against him. >> but there has been no movement in the case so far,
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like so many in the overloaded indian justice system. we are on our way now to the minister accused of trying to kill his rival. it is not just attempted murder he is charged with, but many other crimes, too, including robbery and kidnapping. this man has won four elections here, and he has been in power 15 years. we pay him a surprise visit and five him surrounded by supporters. they are celebrating, because he has just been promoted to transport minister. the police are here to guard him, not arrest him. and he disputes whether he has even been charged with attempted
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murder. >> in my political career, 150 people have been in elections against me. you can say anything about anyone if you want to. >> but this is now an official charge. the police have registered this. they have accepted this as an official charge, so it should go to court. should you not stand down until you are able to clear your name? how can people trust you to uphold the law if you are wanted by the law? >> maybe there is a complaint in a court or a police station. everyone has the right to make a charge. maybe after investigation, it could be found to be untrue.
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religion is one clue to understanding how things work here. the minister is muslim, and he delivered muslim votes for the ruling party. whatever the charge, politicians can stay in operas as long as they are not convicted. this is a start of a new session of the assembly. both ministers are in the chamber and in their element. they are far from the only minister is here with pending cases, and many wonder who is benefiting from policies they are making. it is an astonishing fact that half the ministers in this government are charged with crimes ranging from rape and murder to robbery, and this is just an example of what is a nationwide problem. one-third of all of the elected
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indian officials are facing some kind of criminal charge. the shadow over the indian democracy goes all of the way to delhi. all of the main parties have promised change, but all of criminals in their ranks, and the numbers keep rising. at this new delhi based watchdog, they have been campaigning against what they call decriminalization of indian politics for years. they keep databanks of accused politicians, based on declarations that all have to make before an election. if the indian justice system cannot bring them to account, the director mourns the damage will spread. >> if you want to give somebody poison, it does not matter if you are giving a bottle of poison or 8 tablespoon of poison. poison is poison. this is poison to democracy.
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we are talking a full bottle of these guys. >> a commission appointed by the indian government recently recommended all politicians facing these charges should resign. but with the general election in india next year, many of these suspected criminals are preparing to return to power. >> andrew north reporting. still to come on this program, at a time when britain is debating whether to lead the eu, why does turkey want to become a full member of the club? and a man who came close to the european union's first marxist prime minister has increased the political and d in athens. he was nicknamed sexting slc -- secy alexi.
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we went to see if there really is this problem in greece. please be warned, there is some flash photography. >> greece is a place where economic crisis has given way to social crisis. strikes paralyzing the capital, and now, political violence. somebody fired a kalashnikov. now, the left wing has increase the ante, making accusations about the secret service in the 1970's. in 1969, a bomb in the -- in milan left several dead.
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it is a state with in a state. a strategy of tension. today, there is the gospel of the present great government. the coalition government brought about last year has stabilized the fiscal situation, but it is politically fragile. this is becoming perhaps the first marxist prime minister. >> a secret strategy of creating violent attention. >> it is not exactly a secret strategy. i think it has been obvious that the government has been trying to do this, intensify conflict, which increases fere within the greek society. this is very dangerous for democracy itself. it is our government, and if he
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believes he can run the country using blackmail, terrorism, he is sadly mistaken. >> anarchists were caught trying to rob a bank. there were also alleging injuries received while being held in custody and being beaten. meanwhile, one party with 14% in the polls is regularly on the streets. for a man his party has more experience on the streets and government, they took questions. >> they looked at you as a party and said is this a party? what are you going to do about anarchist's? without the greek state falling apart and rebeling? >> we will implement and follow the letter of the law.
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there are gangs, breaking the law. there will be legal repercussions for all of the groups using violence who say they belong to the anarchist movement. i do not believe they are anarchists, because that is the most authoritarian act you can exercise. >> losing in the polls after there was a publicly backed tube strike, which crippled athens. >> it is a fact that the government is taking advantage. the government has its strategy. for the undecided voters, we do
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>> the greek government has not publicly responded to his claims. they say it is him who is on the ropes. the coalition has stabilized the fiscal situation. they did the deal with the imf and the eu, in your proposed deal would just crash. >> no serious person could admit something like this. look at the data. in greece in the last three years, in order to reduce the primary deficit of the government by 25 billion euros, we reduced the demand by 70 billion euros. the creaky economy shrunk by 70 billion euros. it is like seeing a snake in a tree and deciding to burn the entire forest to get rid of the snake. is an absurdity.
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>> he has been to buenos aires, rio, and washington. but the situation is fractious. some worry that he has too much power and that is only those in the black t-shirts left expressing. >> a man that is going to lead the tube strikers against the government. it is a serious question. >> by think that this is exactly our biggest advantage. -- i think that. at the same time, we can be down in the streets fighting in mobilizing the masses. in greece, we have people that are committing suicide, every day, beaten by an absolute despair. in order for those people to live, they need to defeat them
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and claim their rights. >> he lost the election, and the incoming government destabilized things economically. the cold war, destabilization, it will always polarized and split greek politics, and that is really what he is trying to do. >> and from greece to one of her neighbors. at a time when britain is debating whether to leave the european union, there has been one country that has been knocking on the door of the eu for a long time, turkey. britain is a big supporter of turkey joining the eu. there were negotiations within the eu, and first, here is what is at stake. over the past six decades, the eu has expanded from a handful of states to its current membership of 27. the union has evolved into the
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world's biggest trading bloc. turkey, as well as eight countries, are still hoping to join. it seems a long journey. an associate member since 1963, turkey applied for full membership in 1987 and has been negotiating the terms ever since. under eu law, aspiring member states must comply to ensure that they are politically, financially, and psychologically ready to join. the turkish prime minister has set a deadline of 2023 to invite them to the party. but there is his country's human rights record, the dispute over cyprus, and other obstacles. so why does turkey still want to join it? after a number of unhappy years? my colleague talks to the man
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responsible. >> minister, after some 25 years of trying to be a full member of the eu, in terms of the formalities of it, the 1980's, what are you still trying to become full members of the e you? >> because the eu is the grandest project for peace in the history of the planet. you guys live with the french despite waterloo. it shows it is a very important peace project, and is still a continental one. when turkey joins, we can transform it into a global one. >> in good faith. i have talked to a lot of people who believe you have been strung along for years. >> there are more people in the
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eu, more countries, who are sincerely in favor of turkey belonging, in contrast to those who have other ideas in the back of their heads, and i think in the long run, turkey and the you joining together is going to take place based on very concrete needs. it is a very important project. and it is based on win-win. >> but when you look at the eu, the euro growth has been higher. britain may be getting out of the eu at precisely the point you join it. and given that britain has been big supporters, how does that
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affect it? >> prime minister cameron, his messages are very clear. i think these messages are going to help europe put its house in order. put itself in shape. and i think we can all grow together towards creating a brighter future for all of us. >> the big worry in britain and elsewhere about immigration. many romanians and bulgarians are free to travel and come to this country. would turkey be there? >> there was this polish plumber concept for years, and i have not seen any polish plumbers in either the u.k. or france. there is the year that if there
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was freedom of travel for turkey -- according to german government statistics, -- there is this year -- the fear. i think things are changing. the prospect of living in romania and bulgaria and even turkey may be better than some of the country's you are concerned. >> we will look at the immigration of the future. >> this huge inflow, purchasing of british citizens in turkey, and the more, the merrier. some three in hundred days of the year. with a british pension salary, they can enjoy a much greater life with higher standards in turkey compared to what they can afford here in the u.k..
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>> ok. just a final thought, which is about turkey's role. you are playing a big role in syria and a big role in the middle east. do you regret the fact but the americans are not doing more and that perhaps the europeans have woken up to the fact that they will have to do more? >> in syria, on average, 100 people are being killed by their own government every single day. i do not think anyone has the right to look the other way. nobody is safe until everybody is safe. if we let this bloodshed continue, it will hurt all of us. therefore, we have to talk to our friends in russia and china, the two members, to put the necessary leverage on the assad dictator in syria to leave and
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let people go to their new democratic government. >> thank you very much. >> my colleagues speaking to the turkish minister. that is almost the end of the program. just a reminder, you can find lots more material from the program on line, with interviews, analysis. visits the website. that is it for us this week. from all of us, good night.
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>> makes sense of international news. it >> funding for this presentation is made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard
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