tv Ali Velshi on Target Al Jazeera May 11, 2015 10:30pm-11:01pm EDT
i'm ali velshi. on target tonight good sense or censorship the provocative ads that. that. >> good sense if the greek economy collapses. greasegreece is on the brink of financial ruin. after decades of terribly mismanaged funds i'll take you to athens, for people who living in a country who today narrowly
diverted financial default a country almost out of options. recent violent reactions have reignited a debate in the country about how to handle images and opinions some say are images are inflammatory, expressing those intolerant views, no one could condemn inflammatory speech but it is inflammatory for a reason and america protects expression that is designed to bring out the worst of those who are offended. homophobic expressions, in most cases simply ignoringful speech is an option that many americans choose. but what on a crowded subway platform? talk about a captive subway platform millions of americans
spend hours a day commuting. selling everything from beer to plastic surgery and until recently, ads like this. in any war between the civilized man, support israel, defeat jihad. or this one certainly designed to prompt heated debate while many are dealing with enough stress just to get to work declaring, stolen, israel has built over 150 settlements on land stolen from palestinians. does israel want peace or land? as a result of controversial addsadslike these and subsequent lawsuits that forced the metropolitan transit authority to repost ads that they had moved, the mta has banned any ads. a diversion from its core business of transporting people. but is this captain capitulating?
to free speech that many find offensive? these are some of the political ads that about 8.5 million new york city commuters were exposed to every weekday. but not nymph. new york's transportation authority has joined cities like chicago and philadelphia in banning political advertising. the palestine advocacy project posted these ads in close to 50 subway stations. they were some of the lastr kind to be seen in the city. >> it's a blow to free speech. in america the political debate tends to be fairly narrow. and our purpose is to broaden the conversation. and you know, i think that people want to hear about the great issues of their day. >> the mta board voted 9 to 2 in favor of the ban. mitchell palley is part of that
majority. >> i thought we would be better, the mta contradicting all of the ads i don't care what side you're on political ads where we don't end up in a situation where the safety and security of our employees and our ride eshes from which i haveriders forwhich i have a fiduciary responsibility to both groups, are compromised. >> riding the new york city subways, what do the public want. >> i think people nowadays are too quick to be emotional and get upset. >> banning the ads on the is up way is not going to change the reality. there are people manipulating events and people unfortunately are very willing to be manipulated. >> money is not as big a part of this as you imagined. the mta says that advertising accounts for 1% of its operating budget and political ads make up
less than 1% of that. and though political ads have been removed from all m tforta property some say the policy's wording has cracks like words for disputed leave room for interpretation. >> there's no question that the entire issue is a slippery slope, okay? and people can and i assume some people will, try and fashion advertising language that they believe will meet the new starts. so to be able to put together language that meets every possible objection is impossible. >> up next, we'll talk to one of the board members who voted against the ban. i'll ask him where free speech ends and safety begins. "on target" back in two minutes.
intense debate among those outraged, you about board member allen capelli he joins us now. allen good to see you. >> thank you for having me. >> thomas pernd pender grast has said, at some point the mta is about transporting people. why do you care what's advertised on it? >> because the mta is the heart and soul of the region. it is where most people interact with their fellow new yorkers. the political ads have been partly of that culture since the inception of the system 100 years and to now turn around because you disagree with a couple of ads that you ban everybody's right to have access to that vehicle in my view is just plain wrong. >> you know michigan mitchell palley,
your fellow board member. you say it's not a public square it is a safety concern. and if people get into heated discussions in a subway platform. >> my colleague mitchell paley agree on about 99% of the issues including restoring system ads most people see the ads for what they are. you are not going to stop public discourse simply because you ban political advertising. >> let's put up one of the ads. i understanding you think it's a slippery slope if we go down this road. one of the ads says killing jews is worship that draws us closer toto allah. that's his jihad what's yours?
the charlie hebdo things not to excuse you but on a public transport system. >> i think that -- >> people are irresponsible. >> yes, but in my opinion you don't ban advertising to do that. the way you combat hateful speech is by more public speech. okay? you condemn people who engage in that kind of rhetoric. to -- you know what is lost in this discussion is, these are a few ads in the context of 100 years. >> sure. >> if i want to run ads on the train now and say the mtata wants to cut the number four line or cut this bus line out call your legislator or call your city council member or call the mta i'm precluded from doing that and so i'm effectively -- >> you agree most people agree that yelling fire in a crowded speech is not protected -- in a crowder theater is not
protected, others are saying this is akin to that, crowded subway crowded bus is like a crowded theater. >> it's an offensive ad. i think new yorkers are smarter than that. there are a lot of offensive ads. a large breasted implant sales what i would call cookie and kookie and offensiveoffensive ads. people will run their own ads to disagree with the decision. >> you probably agree there have been lawyers who have looked at it and say the wording is quite vague, it may not hold up to scrutiny. the idea that things are of a disputer nature cannot be put -- that's how we're describing political. >> i would say every time thetatemented to go down
this road and craft this in a way to stop somebody being able to advertise something they have ultimately lost and i don't think this is going to be a session -- >> do you think it's okay for ads to use the n word or the ku klux klan taking out an ad? >> yeah and i think there are certain things that you've got to protect against but -- >> so these pam geller ads that was her exhibit in texas as well, you don't think that crosses the line into really inflammatory hateful against identifiable groups, that doesn't fall into that category of using the n word or the ku klux klan? >> not in the same way culturally i don't think so. >> we showed some ad in the story let's see if we can bring that one up where it refers to savages, does that get your attention. here we are comparing
palestinians as savages. you pick savages -- that's hate speech. >> that's not like yelling fire in a crowded theater, cause people to run out that's the analogy that's been drawn. you get something that's black and white up on the ceiling or the facade of buses or of trains, and it's with a million other ads. there aren't people having debates and fuming over it. somebody might see it, they might be offended and maybe they'll send a letter to the mta protesting it. they'll raise money and put up an ad which some group did to counter it.
to counteract what you don't like in free speech is more free speech. >> it's not worth the hassle for the million dollars that comes in every year? >> we wouldn't have to fight them in court. >> when they file a suit against the mta the mta has to respond. >> but if you needlessly restrict people's rights you invite lawsuits. if you don't you don't have those lawsuits to defend. >> allen capelli long time board member with the metropolitan transportation authority. thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having me. >> ever have a biddy with a loan he can't pay back? that's greece in a nutshell. i'm going to tell you why when "on target" rushes. returns.
programs somewhere in greece will get short changed in the process. to put it plainly greece has become the deadbeat roommate of the european union. now greece didn't join the eu with the best of references. after decades of terribly mismanaged funds and rampant corruption the ruin greece is best known for is its catastrophic economy. taxes? many greeks have paid that for years. no money for the 2004 greek olympics? no excuse for knot throwing a party but someone had to pay the bill for such extravagance. when the global financial crisis hit in 2008 faced with massive debt it couldn't pay greece found itself in that awkward position of begging its new european roommates to lend it some money. eyes rolled two years later when greece came back asking for a second bailout and yet more time
oget its finances in order. ever had a roommate who didn't like it when you didn't pay your share of the cable bill? multiply it by about a million and that's what germany feels about its new neighbor to the south. a government that promised to reverse the spending cuts like creditors like germans demand. if things feel bad now what would life on the streets bankrupt and alone actually be like for greece? for answers i went to athens to find out what a country was like in the brink of a financial disaster. it's just after midnight in the central district of ahe athens. >> we started feeling the down deal in 2011 and it was really on 12, 12 was the year of the very, very i would say the
bottom. the business has not been anything like it used to be. we're talking about 50 to 70% down. >> the first years it was very good but then a very you know, i don't know the word. slow. yes. >> but now it has begun to up. >> the greek government had been on a spending spree leading up to the 2004 summer olympic games. it spent close to $11 billion on stadiums, a new airport and an expanded metro system. within days of the closing ceremony the greek government disclosed that the deficit as a percentage of gdp would be double what was allowed by the euro zone. greece became the first eu country to be placed under monitoring by the european commission. but in 2009, greece's newly elected socialist prime
minister, george papandreu had climbed to close to triple the euro zone limit. the government was taking in far much less than it was spending and greece's public debt had climbed to $400 billion. six years later after major economic reforms and severe government spending cuts recession weary greeks voted for aself-described radical left syriza party which promised to end the austerity from which greeks were suffering. greece's austerity the tightening of government spending, the shrinking of the public services contributed to a drastic increase in poverty and reduction in the standard of living. greek household incomes have decreased by almost a quarter in four years. wages have been cut taxes have increased. one study says the tax burden on the poor increased by 337% while
the rich only saw an increase of 9%. the prime minister has vowed to wheand heend what he calls the pillaging of the middle class. some wonder if the government has been able to keep its promises. prime minister alexis tsipras promised to end the tax evasion problem. greeks owe their country $82 billion in back taxes. but according to the former head of greece's tax authority evasion won't end until greeks see their tax payments put to work for the public good. >> we also have chronic underperformance of the public sector agents of the public do not work and they do not provide the service level that people in a modern western country expect. that everyone everyone rationalizes not paying taxes.
>> a technocrat greeks had high hopes for what he set out to do. he quit his post a year and a half into his five year term. >> the government really didn't want to let go of the independent tax administration. >> theo harris is part of a new party called topotami that wants greece to remain a part of the euro zone. as greece makes its largest payment to date to the international monetary fund on tuesday, economists worry that greece's already unsustainable unemployment level 26% the highs in the euro zone will continue to rise. greece has a population of about 10 million people a little more when you count the recent influx.immigrants. about 1.3 million people are unemployment and the government wants to add about 3 million new jobs. greece is not short of labor it's short of consumer demand. because of that some of the
brightest officials have been leaving. ronnie antonopolous says greece needs to create jobs through a public administration program reminiscent to the works progress administration during the great depression. >> you have 50% of the population leaving under very, very under stress. some of them are in poverty already. some of them are at risk of poverty. and some of them are right -- right in between. >> antonopoulous says unemployment in greece is both an economic and a social problem and it's the government's responsibility to create jobs snore is social sector, a country full of self-employed
workers many of whom work in the so-called informal economy which means they don't pay taxes. >> we are about 25% of employment consists of self employed without employees. and this is a phenomenon very well-known in developing countries, in the developing world, when you cannot have formal sector jobs. then you have on the one hand an explosion of informality and on the other the you've nix of the entrepreneur. >> back in gazi, the owners of a family owned restaurant that has weathered the economic storm says they are willing to give alexis tsipras and hi new government some time. >> we don't know anything about the new government because it is too early to see some results. we have patience. but i think that the patience has start to ending, you know.
>> mohamed el erian is chief advisory chief of president obama's negotiable economic council, he joins me now from irvine california. mohamed, great to have you on the show. >> wonderful to be with you ali thank you. >> mohamed, you wrote in april there was a 45% chance of what you called a graccident, where greeks lose control possibly the exit of greece from the prowrpz is thateurozone is that still the worst case scenario? >> it is and i would increase that to 50%. i would say it's a high are probability, a 50% probability today. >> are the europeans and the international monetary fund being tougher than they should be on greece at the moment where
it comes to debt forgiveness and loosening austerity? >> the answer is yes and for good reason ali. there is a complete lack of trust, not only a complete lack of trust in the negotiation but also definite interpretations about the past and the present. if you can't agree on the past and the present and you don't trust each other it's very difficult to agree on the future. and therefore, no one wants to make a bold decision. and that bold of decision can be one of two. either let do what's needed to keep greece in the euro zone and let's restore economic viability and financial viability to greece, that is a bold decision that requires bold actions. alternatively let's stop this saga, we have a tremendous amount of austerity going on. no one ali wants to go down in the history books as making the second decision neither in greece nor outside and on the
first one no one wants to make that decision because they don't trust the other side. so the result of that is that the greek citizens suffer tremendously. >> what is the best way to explain -- i have trouble with this. whether i came back from greece and people said, what's new about this story? why does -- there are no more global implications if europe has the means to contain whatever happens why -- why should we care? >> so we should care for a number of reasons okay? the first is economic. if this is not handled well, and you get an accident, an accident tend to have unforeseen circumstances. you could have, you could have problems elsewhere. i don't think that's a huge probability but you keep an eye on that. there's also the geopolitical side. europe right now is being pulled in different directions. and part of the pulling in different direction is what's happening with russia. and russia has gotten more
interested in cypress russia is getting more interested in greece. and finally there's the national political element. one of the most interesting aspects of europe today and you reported about it in your segment about syriza, the segment of fringe parties. and what the emergence of fringe parties do is they make policy making at the center much more difficult. so we should keep an eye on this okay? we don't want this accident to have geopolitical and national political implications. >> do we in the west if we don't handle this properly risk pushing greece off into the hands of those we don't want them in the hands of? >> so there are two issues here. one is europe itself and the other one you're right to bring it up is the global system. the global system is constructed on the principle that the core is predictable. they constitute the core, the
public good or the currencies, the reserve currencies that other people use they provide the financial system that people are willing to hold financial treasuries and u.s. dollars. when the core becomes weaker which has happened in the u.s. and is happening particularly in europe, people in the periphery start wondering what should you do? and certain countries like china are finding an opportunity to build small pipes that go around that center. and it puts the u.s. and europe in a really difficult position. do you ignore it and risk these pipes getting bigger or do you try to incorporate these pipes into the system? that is a fundamental issue going on with the realignment of the global economy that goes way beyond europe. >> this discussion will continue mohamed because it appears that greece is making the payment it is due make to the imf on tuesday but as we discussed greece doesn't have the money for the final payments if they don't get the final tranche of
the payments it's due from europe. thank you mohamed. that is the program for today i'm ali velshi, thank you for joining us. a royal snub? a surprise move from some key american allies in the gulf. the saudi king and other leaders skip president obama's camp dazed summit seal of approval. the white house starts a plan to drill in the arctic. environmentalists say exact on the region could be devastating words of remorse. a well-known nun stakes