tv BBC World News America PBS May 7, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
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>> this is bbc world news america. reporting from washington, i am katty kay. say no to austerity. french voters choose change. they have had enough cuts. and in greece, the ballots tell a similar tale. the crisis is back on their doorstep. >> they have to find a solution. otherwise, we will be facing exit from the euro. >> the polls are also open in syria, where the opposition claims it is all a sham. and moves over disneyland. the newest tourist attraction around with a theme you just will not find anywhere around.
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and elsewhere around the globe. changes across europe tonight, with french president nicolas sarkozy the biggest casualty. after winning the sunday vote, the socialist françois hollande has enjoyed his first full day as the president-elect. having promised more growth and less spending cuts, he now has to deliver. we have this report. >> the president elect, and arriving at socialist headquarters this morning to begin the transition to power. the work has begun it for a new government, and time is short. >> i have to prepare. i told you we were ready. now, i have to prove it. >> it is a new style of leadership, more accessible, but suddenly, mr. hollande is a torchbearer for a new europe.
it makes the financial markets nervous. in paris, broadly speaking, there is a renewed sense of optimism. >> i think he raises a lot of hope, yes. >> together for so long. and we think it should be all right. >> maybe go to london and leave france, because this program is not really what i expect for france. >> françois hollande put young, french people at the heart of his campaign. they have rejected austerity. a challenge to the german leadership of europe. >> it is a result that gives hope to other people, he said, this change. but there is fear that this
could persuade other european governments to deviate from cuts and reform. overnight, the europe slumped to its lowest in months. the german chancellor was swift to react. "it is a matter of course that mr. hollande be welcomed in germany, and we are looking forward to essential cooperation." it should be added very soon, she added. may 15, and then soon after, the key, anticipated meeting with the german chancellor. the language is positive. but this will not go down well in berlin. after all, it implies that angela merkel has failed. bbc news, paris. >> for more, i spoke to gavin hewitt in paris just a short time ago. gavin, to a certain extent, given that this was a vote
against nicolas sarkozy, how much did they vote against the policies of austerity? >> well, i think undoubtedly many french voters have grown weary of the policy of nicolas sarkozy. many of us have said they did not like him. some found him rather aggressive. some found him pandering to the right over immigration. yet, without that, this is an economy that has been stagnating. unemployment is at 10%, and there are many people who believe that the policy of cutting the deficit, of budget cuts, was simply not working, and françois hollande presented himself as mr. normal, someone you could feel comfortable with, and in the end, he offered that. >> looking forward, how much can mr. hollande really change the
policies, given that he has to work with the germans and with in the european restrictions. >> there are huge difficulties for him. he has promised to balance the budget within five years. at the same time, he said he would boost certain amounts of spending. how, precisely, will he do that? he wants to renegotiate this within the euro zone, and yet, today, angela merkel, the german chancellor, she made it quite clear there would be no renegotiation. he wants to set himself up as a leader of a new europe, be opposed to austerity first but being in favor of growth. how can he do that when so many countries still have large debts? on the other hand, eight out of 17 countries in the euro zone are in recession, and françois hollande as a message that many
could find compelling when he says that this is cutting deficits and forcing more and more of these countries into decline. >> it will be interesting to watch. gavin hewitt, thank you. french voters were not the only ones rejecting austerity this weekend, after elections in greece. it is not clear who is going to govern the country, but it is clear that the greeks do not want more spending cuts. the biggest losers with the political extremist picking up major gains. however, since no one seems to be able to do this, there could be fresh elections as soon as next month. matthew price has that story. >> there was no sense of victory in this weary nation today. the national stockmarket plunge, as the news sank in that greece had voted against the bailout that is keeping this country afloat. the winners here, those who say
no more, those who want to tear up the bailout agreement with the european union. more sinister, the protest vote for the neo-nazi party. 7% chose them as unemployment and poverty soar. >> out, out of my country, out of my home. >> here, many argue this was brussels' doing. they say they simply pushed people too far. for two years now, the people of this country have lived with a government that has opposed -- impose austerity on them. now, with almost revolutionary fervor, they have said they will no longer accept the cuts. there is a big challenge coming from this country directly to brussels.
will the leadership of the european union decide enough is enough and change tack? >> the big losers, the two parties who dominated greek politics for decades. they signed up for the bailout and were punished for it. still, one of them, and conservatives, led by antonis samaras, just held on. they need to find billions more in government savings. if not, the funding could be withheld. matthew price, athens. >> as you heard, the turmoil in france has sent jitters through world markets today and raises questions about the future of austerity. i am joined now from new york by the chairman and editor-in-chief of forbes. thank you very much for joining us. it does seem that voters in france and greece seemed to be
saying that the model of austerity -- they have got a point, have they not? >> they do, indeed. the policies that europe have been pursuing, and japan, have been pursuing for 20 years is the wrong prescription. it is a good thing to throttle back on the state sectors. that needs to be done. this will enable the economy to grow. i.e., tax cuts and tax rates, liberalizing the market, and it makes it easy in greece to set up new business, the private sector can emerge. you have to do both, cut back in the private sector but also make it possible for the private sector to flourish rather than crushing it. >> but the implications at the start of this crisis a few years ago would be that the market, the financial markets would hammer any country that was not
seem to make big budget cuts, because that implied a loss of confidence in that country. the government had no choice. they felt they had to go ahead, and now the voters are saying, "we do not want that anymore." they have to be coupled by reducing taxes so that people have a chance to breed. the joke and agrees is why they do not pay taxes, because they do not get government services. the greek neighbors, including albania, they put in 10% flat taxes. russia did the same thing one decade ago, and they are experiencing growth while greece contracts. higher vat taxes. they did this in the 30's, and that did not have a happy ending. >> connectability in this. we look at what the french are
about to do now, taxing people 75% if they earn over 1 million euros, but without it, you cannot demand the kind of suffering the country is going through without asking for cuts, as well. >> the suffering comes when you do not have a vibrant sector. we should have learned that from the soviet union and other countries. the key is, you can have that like the flat tax. this would make the private sector to flourish. in japan, it is set proportionally higher than in greece. this stuff does not work. >> when you went to bed last night, you had seen that there had been a big change in france. we do not know what we are going to end up with in greece. what was your reaction in terms
of the economy and for the businessmen and women in this country? >> well, i hope it is not to do what those countries have done. we went on a spending binge a couple of years ago. our debt has ballooned. last year, our economy has grown $600 billion. >> is there and knock on effect for the people in this country? >> in the u.s., yes. what it means is we will have a little bit of slower growth, because france will go into recession. we are a global economy, so if one part of the world gets in trouble, we all feel the effects of it. >> ok, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> and look at other news from around the world, the afghan president hamid karzai with a report of several civilian deaths in the nato raids.
he said is the nato allies were not protected, the pact that was signed would become meaningless. the head of an italian nuclear energy company has been shot and wounded in the city of genoa. she was hit in the leg by a man, writing on the back of a motorcycle. there were attacks in the 1970's, and secretary of state hillary clinton looking to buy less oil from iran. meeting with the indian minister in delhi. this was an order to maintain international pressure on tehran. and prince harry is in washington to receive a humanitarian award in recognition of his charitable work supporting servicemen and women. he will be making a speech when he accepts the reward.
he will also be meeting others and participating in what is being called "the warrior games." and it is a controversial ballot. the government claims a politician elections are proof that reform is underway, but with bias continuing, activists say the entire process is a sham. we got where access inside syria, and we have just gotten this report from the capital damascus. >> today's elections are meant to be proof that syria is changing. the ruling party says it is willing to share power. one of the young faces. but most of the new are connected to the old. >> [speaking foreign language]
>> he says no one can win without popular support. he is not the only one who thinks that. it matters. "the people are expressing their views," this person says. "we are optimistic they are going great." another dropped out of this race. it became clear that no real change would happen. in some parts of damascus, they never thought it would. it was eerily quiet. security forces were not far away. this man told us, "i am an old
man. if you want to know what is happening, go talk to the young ." you see all of the shops are closed. there is the young people. when we came, people spoke of victors. how it has changed. they take us on a tour of the back street, pointing to polls and graffiti. in this group, they are too young to vote. they're thinking voting will not change what is happening here. we are told this house was destroyed by government forces three days ago, killing four members of the free syrian army and four people lived here. -- who lived here.
the government wanted to prove they could make room for new voices, but its real opposition is out in the streets. bbc news, damascus. >> fighting continues, and the protests continue their in syria. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on the program, russia world out the red carpet for the third term of vladimir putin as president. hundreds of roman catholic priests have been meeting in dublin to call off to an end for compulsory -- to call an end for compulsory celebate.
they want an end to compulsory celibacy. >> possibly come in trying to avoid scandal in my church, we have been able to create the mother of all scandals. >> he has watched congregations dwindle and the supply of priests dry up, and since the abuse scandal, public support withers away. pressure to resign for failing to report abuse. >> this has lost authority and respect. this is in making their sweeping demands for fundamental reform. this meeting constitutes an unprecedented challenge to the
vatican. traditionalists accuse the association of catholic priests of usurping authority and betrayed the church, but they are defiant. >> and educated people have a right. they have a right to be heard. this is what we call progress. >> one-quarter of the irish active priests now support this new movement. >> vladimir putin returns to the top of russian politics. he will become the longest serving russian leader since josef stalin. this fact will not be lost on
those deciding to protest at his inauguration today. we have a report from moscow. >> 140 million people. the streets were deserted. no one was allowed to watch impasse as head to the kremlin for his third term. >> speed [king russian]]]]]]] -- [speaking russian] >> he arrived in the gold trimmed kremlin. >> [speaking russian] >> he said this is the meaning of his whole life. >> but all day, they were
rounding up some of the citizens, arresting them for daring to demonstrate against the president without permission. for those who were in opposition. a difficult day. >> he has been here for many, many years. he will be a year for many years more. >> yesterday evening, an opposition protest turned violent for the first time in recent months, as a greater rate group tried to march on the kremlin. -- as a breakaway group tried to march on the kremlin. this morning, music played as a vladimir putin left the ceremony. but he knows this could be a difficult six years. apart from the growing
opposition, the russian economy needs serious remedial work, and he needs to find money for his much heralded modernization. bbc news, moscow. >> summer is approaching, so it is time to start planning your holiday. the demilitarized zone between north and south korea has a reputation of being the most heavily fortified frontier on earth. but plans are underway to make it a prime destination for eco- tourists. we have a look. >> as tourists' sites go, offer more than the usual souvenir t- shirts. remnants of the cold war, guarded by 1 million soldiers and another 1 million land mines
along the cease-fire line. a divided country. >> i think the people who come here, they are here because this is as close in their heart that they can get. this is the closest you can get safely to an active militarized zone. they are curious. an adrenaline rush. >> but they want to re-brand syria as a piece of -- re-brand this area as peace. this has been restricted by more than 50 years. that, says environmentalists, has created an environmental zone. >> by turning this into an eco-
tourism zone, would change how people see this. in the future, we hope they will come here to see the wildlife. >> the motorway, some places the tour buses do not go. these are the graves of north korean and other soldiers, killed during the korean war 60 years ago, all part of the south korean pass, but also part of their present, because remains light these are being found here all of the time. -- remains likes these -- like these are the and found your all of the time. it is a reminder of the military past, being revised. built 40 years ago to keep out
north korean agents. it was taken down. the military tensions themselves are hard to erase. bbc news, korea. >> i am not sure where i am going to be spending my holidays this summer. quickly before we go, reaching new heights with music, literally. one with his piano have been hoisted into the air with a musical stunt performers in san paolo. -- performed in san paolo. this was suspended up above the ground. that brings to this show to a close. you can find more on our website. and if you would like to reach me, you can find us on twitter. i am at katty kay d.c. -- bbc.
>> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was 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 the business 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?