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tv   News  Al Jazeera  April 17, 2015 12:30pm-1:01pm EDT

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do reforms. this is important first of all for italy. we are absolutely committed to realize reform to our citizens not european institution, to our citizens, and then we can finally open a discussion about the relation between austerity and growth in the european economy, but now it's time to respect the new framework of agreement, and we will work in this direction. >> translator: mr. president, some of your promises have already brought investors from the u.s. to italy. now these investors would like to know when all these reforms are going to take place? could you give us a better idea. you spoke about austerity and
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growth the markets are very preoccupied. we have public finances that are in a difficult situation. how can you reconcileate this austerity when our finances are in such bad shape. and i would like to know what you think about -- >> time and again about gurney gurney -- germany holding europe hostage. and is that enough? have europe and italy done enough? is your complaint over germany over? and did you agree or did you discuss the sale of drones to italy? thank you. >> translator: three questions
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in one. you just asked three questions in one. first of all, the time line for reforms think that i can safely say that the american investors who wish to invest in italy, but italian investors as well finally have a labor market which is more flexible. this has been achieved. let's say that we have done this. then they have an institutional system the taxation system public instruction, in the next six months everything -- all of this reform will be done. so what needs to be made absolutely clear is that even if in italy, everybody wants to start -- or many people would like to start from scratch again, reforms have begun. they are on their way, and
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there's no way anyone is going to block them. people who wish to invest at this time find a labor market which is simplified. they also find the quality of the engineers, the people who work people in italy in general, very high quality of people, but i think what will be necessary in the next few months is education, education, education, investment in this field, because in the global world in order to be a leader in italy isn't the number of inhabitants, we're not that many and perhaps it's not just simply the position even though we are in a strategic position, what will really count is whether italians can offer human capital, ideas, development, and future. in terms of the austerity policies i think it's important to bare in mind something that is quite simple. i know we have to be very clear
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in our accounts but we have to bet on growth. the united states are our model in the past meeting of the european board of directors, president [ inaudible ] and dragi showed us some slides of the united states and europe in the last seven years. obviously this attests to the respect for the united states but it also proves that just based on austerity in europe this is not going anywhere. we spoke about this in brisbane and we have discussed this with president obama. we cannot just look at our budget as of course an important limit, italy is fulfilling all of its obligations and it is the country in europe that is fulfilling all of its obligations and all of the
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rules. now in terms of titip, it's a very important objection. we believe that 2015 has to be the turnen point. the year of the turning point as the italian government we are pushing with great determination, because we know that with the tip, italy has everything to gain from the training and economic stance but also because we believe that when the united states and justly so established trade agreements with china, asia and other areas of the world, i think it would be fundamental as a key principal having the same relationship in this the logic of our historic friendship between europe and the united states. now going back to our own party, we represent the party in italy, which i would like to call the democratic party one day at a
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european level. our party is convinced, and it also maintains the position even though there are many resistances from the german social democrats, i am fully determined to find the agreements and we will talk about this during our lunch hour as well. >> first of all, let me make sure that i correct the impression that i have consistently criticized germany. chancellor merkel is a great friend and a great ally. from the time i came into office when we were in the midst of the great recession, there have been competing economic theories in terms of what is the best way to pull us out of a financially induced crisis of this scale, and it was our strong belief that it was important for us to
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make the investments to boost demand, to put money in the pockets of consumers, to strengthen and fortify the banking system so that we wouldn't see a repeat of the kinds of bailout practices and irresponsible practices on wall street and that the best way to bring down the deficit was not just to cut spending but to grow the economy. as well as initiate the structural reforms around education, and research and development that will be important for the long term. and i think we have largely succeeded in stabilizing the economy and then putting it on a growth trajectory.
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we have now seen five straight years of job growth. and we have done this while reducing the deficit by two thirds primarily because the economy grew much faster. and it has been my view with respect to europe that it's not an either/or situation, but it's a both and situation. my attitude has been yes, you need structural reforms of the sort that matteo is initiating. if the labor markets are too stuck, then it's very hard to hire particularly for young people. if there's too much bureaucracy to start a new business then businesses will go elsewhere, or entrepreneurs will start businesses somewhere else. so i think prime minister's
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government is on the right track in terms of initiating the kind of reforms that angela merkel and other economists have called on for such a long time. but boosting demand is also important. having some flexibility in meeting fiscal targets is also important. that the sustainability of structural reforms depends on people feeling some sense of hope and progress. and if all it is is just getting squeezed but there's no growth then over time the political consensus breaks down and not only do you not get structural reforms, but you also end up
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reverting to some of the old patterns that didn't work. and -- and so i -- i -- i think that the approach that matteo is describing is the right one. move forward on the structural reforms, but have flexibility and a strategy for increasing demand increasing investments if -- and by the way, here in the united states we're not done. i would like to see us rebuild our infrastructure across this country. that's a smart investment to make right now. it would put people back to work boosted a my shunnal demand. more workers would be employed. they would then spend money, and it's also something we need to do to stay competitive. so it's a smart combination. so this is not just a criticism of europe. i think globally all of us have to recognize global aggregate
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demand is still very weak and china is making some necessary transitions towards a more consumer based economy, but that means they won't be growing as fast. and suppliers of raw materials to china are seeing their growth soften. and don't expect that the united states is going to be the engine for everybody. don't -- don't expect that you can just keep on selling to the united states but we can't sell anything to you, because your economy is so weak. that won't benefit anybody. and those are concerns that i have expressed across the board. and this finally, the last point i would make. this applies to greece as well. i think matteo is right, greece needs to initiate reforms. they have to collect taxes. they have to reduce their bureaucracy. they have to have more flexible
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labor practices, and when the new prime minister came in i called him and i said we recognize you need to show your people that there's hope and that you can grow and we will be supportive of some flexibilities in how you move forward, so that you can make investments and it's not just squeezing blood from a stone. but, you have to show those who are extending credit those who are supporting your financial system that you are trying to help yourself. and that requires making the kind of tough decisions that i think matteo is beginning to make. i -- we did not discuss drones. we did not. last question from this side is margaret teller. >> reporter: thank you mr. president, prime minister renzi.
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mr. president i would like to ask you about iran but i'm hoping at the end of your answer you might also bring us up to speed a little bit on loretta lynch's prospects. have you done enough? where is this thing going? on iran so much as happened so this is going to be one of my three-part questions -- >> just a general. [ laughter ] >> reporter: no. do you believe you have now weathered anymore congressional bids to rerail? or are you concerned that there will be more to fend off. and you have suggested but not said explicitly that there must be a phase-out rather than the immediate lifting of sanctions. can you be definitive on that in exchange -- might you be willing to release part of all of that
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100 billion or so in frozen oil assets that iran has in offshore accounts and you seem to be floating the idea that you might want to say something about russia lifting its ban on the sale of missiles to iran. prime minister renzi, i wanted to ask you about drone, but since that shockingly didn't come up there -- there's been some deeply troubling news about some of the migrants trying to come from libya to italy, violence reports of violence by muslims and christian -- you know pushing the christians off of the boats, and what i wanted to ask you, is how are you managing this? are you confident that italy is able to control the risk of extremists coming into europe through italy? thank you. >> all right. i wrote them down. [ laughter ] >> on iran i thought bob corker
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and ben came to a reasonable compromise. i had two concerns from the start with respect to any steps taken by congress. the first was to make sure that their actions did not derail or prevent us being able to get the best deal possible. and john kerry when he is in those negotiations not being hobbled or his life being made more complicated by congressional actions until we actually have a deal done. my basic argument was, let us show you if there is a deal or not. if there is you'll have ample opportunity to review it and opine on it but right now we're still negotiating, so have some
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patience. and i think the final product that emerged out of the corker carden negotiations we believe will not derail the negotiations so that checked off one box. the second concern i had was just an issue of presidential prerogatives. there were a number of people who were supporting corker's legislation suggesting that as a routine matter a president needs to get signoff from congress to negotiate political agreements. that is not the case. in that has never been the case. this is not a formal treaty that is being envisioned and the president of the united states whether democrat or republican traditionally has been able to enter into political agreements
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that are binding with other countries without congressional approval. and i still have some concerns about the suggestion that that tradition was in some ways changing, but there was language in the legislation that spoke to this being directly related to congressional sanctions, and that i think, at least allows me to interpret the legislation in such a way that it is not sending a signal to future presidents that each and every time they are negotiating an agreement that they have to get congressional authorization. so the final thing i'll say about the corker legislation is that both senator corker and
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senator carden at least in my understanding agreed that there's not going to be a whole bunch of poison pills or additional amendments added to it and they will be protective of this being a straightforward, fair process for congress to be able to evaluate any deal that we may come up with and -- and then register its views, but that it's not going to be tilted in think direction of trying to kill the deal. i take them on their word on that. but assuming that what lands on my desk is what the senators agreed to i will sign it. and -- and that will then give congress an opportunity to see, do we have a deal that reflects the political agreement that i talked about earlier? i expect it will. with respect to the issue of sanctions coming down. i -- i -- i don't want to get
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out ahead of john kerry in terms of how to craft this. i would just make a general observation, and that is that how sanctions are lessened how we snap back sanctions if there's a violation, there are a lot of different mechanisms and ways to do that. part of john's job, and part of the iranian anying -- negotiator's job is to sometimes find formulas that get to our main concerns while allowing the other side to make a presentation to their body politic, that is more acceptable. our main concern here is making
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sure that if iran doesn't abide by its agreement that we don't have to jump through a whole bunch of hoops in order to reinstate sanctions. that's our main concern. and i think that goal of having in reserve the possibility of putting back and applying forceful sanctions in the event of a violation, that goal can be met. and it will require some creative negotiations by john kerry and -- and others and i'm confident it will be successful. and i very much appreciate by the way, the support that has been provided by prime minister renzi as well as his former foreign minister who is now the e.u. representative in many of these discussions. and with respect to the russian sales. i will tell you this is a sale that was slated to happen in
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2009 when i first met with then prime minister putin, they actually stopped the sale paused or suspended the sale at our request. and i'm frankly surprised that it held this long given that they were not prohibited by sanctions from selling these defensive weapons. when i say i'm not surprised, given some of the deterioration in the relationship between russia and the united states and the fact that their economy is under strain and this was a substantial sale. i do think that it sends a message about how important it is for us to look like we are
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kreable in negotiations if in fact a deal fails and we are needing to maintain sanctions. because i have heard some in congress who are opposed to this deal say, either let's just slap on even more sanctions or we'll do sanctions unilaterally regardless of what other countries are willing to do. the reason that the sanctions have worked is because painstakingly we built an international coalition that has held this long. and if it is perceived, that we walked away from a fair deal that gives us assurances iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon those international sanctions will fray and it won't just be russia or china, it will be some of our close allies who will start questioning our capacity
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or the wisdom of maintaining these. we don't want to put ourselves in that position. we want to make sure that if there's no deal around the iran nuclear program, it is because the iranians were not willing to accept what the international community considered to be an appropriate and fair approach to this problem. okay? shhhhu. [ laughter ] >> all right. >> oh see, i'm still not finished. [ laughter ] >> let me just say this about loretta lynch, we have actually seen some outbreaks of bipartisanship and common sense in congress over the last couple of weeks. yesterday i signed the sgr fix that initiates not only some
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real reforms around how our healthcare system works, but expands insurance for children. we just talked about what i think was at least a constructive process to resolve the question of congressional involvement in iran. and yet, what we still have is this crazy situation where a woman who everybody agrees is qualified, who has gone after terrorists who has worked with police officers to get gangs off of the streets, who is trusted by the civil rights community, and by police unions as being somebody who is fair and effective and a good manager, nobody suggests otherwise, who has been confirmed twice before by the united states senate for one of the biggest law
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enforcement jobs in the country, has been now sitting there longer than the previous seven attorney general nominees combined. and there's no reason for it. nobody can describe a reason for it beyond political gamesmanship in the senate. on an issue that is completely unrelated to her. this is the top law enforcement job in the -- in the country. it's my attorney general who has to interact with his italian counterparts or her italian counterparts in dealing with counter terrorism issues in dealing with interpol in dealing with our national security, in coordinating with our fbi. what are we doing here? and -- and -- and i have to say that there are times where the
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dysfunction in the senate just goes too far. this is an example of it. it's gone too far. enough. enough. get her confirmed. let her do her job. this is embarrassing. a process like this. thank you. [ laughter ] >> the situation of migrants in the mediterranean sea, i think mediterranean is a sea, and not a cemetery. the problem in this moment is the situation on the ground in libya. we discussed about mr. president -- or the president. if you think about 91% of the
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people who came from africa to italy come from libya, so exactly as of three years ago, when the people come from tunisia, because the problem was the lack of stability in tunisia, today the only way is come back to the stability of the libyan institutions. obviously it is not easy. we work every day to find a solution with the united nations and then with the other partners and the friends and allies in the region but i think the only way is come back to stability in libya. in this period in this period of transition italy is ready to
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bring responsibility to make the leadership in every diplomatic and counter terrorism issues but the key point is stop human trafficking in the mediterranean sea is a priority for everybody in europe and for me it's absolutely crucial. the words of president obama is a priority also for the united states. stop human trafficking is the only way to give a perspective of justice and also security obviously of course for the risks of this area. i think there are enough clashes of religions. maybe there was one case.
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but the problem is is not the clash of religions. it's a problem of human dignity. we are absolutely committed to solve this problem, and i'm confident if this becomes a priority we will achieve a result. [ no audio ] >> translator: you just said that italy is ready to take on its responsibilities in terms of diplomacy, and anti-terrorist activities. i would like to ask you, who are the protagonists in this region the people that should be the interlocutories in order to reach a stability in libya, and what was anti-terrorist activity mean? are you ready to send the 5,000 men that you spoke about? and also will you have the
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support from president obama maybe using drones? >> reporter: can we expect any time soon specific anti-terrorism action in libya. and then concerning russia. president has been the [ inaudible ] leader in moscow. did you think it was useful? and did you ask and get any specific commitments for the renewal of the sanctions against russia in thank you. >> translator: -- obviously all of the countries interested in finding a solution barring none. we appreciate the work that certain countries are finally doing