>> this is the "journal" coming to you from dwi in berlin. >> welcome to the show. >> coming up -- >> shuffled the spot -- diplomacy on the serious crisis. talks with angela merkel in berlin. >> a big eu-china summit in beijing. lifetime achievement award at the berlin film festival. ♪ >> what can the world to to end
the violence in syria? the latest plan from the arab league calls for a joint peacekeeping mission with the u.n. >> but the chances of that being a reality look slim. u.s. officials said it will consider the idea, but they doubt it would get through the u.n. security council. >> that is the problem, according to the u.n. human rights chief. she says the council's failure to take any action against syria is giving it time to attack its own people. >> the assad regime pressing ahead with its bombardment of the rebel stronghold of homs. footage making it onto the internet. the head of the year of league has been in berlin for talks with angela merkel on the way ahead. general secretary of the arab league are in broad agreement about the way ahead on syria.
the league is adopting a tough stance against the assad regime and has proposed sending a peacekeeping mission, including u.n. troops come to syria. >> what happens in a syrian now is something that we in the arab world now believe should stop, killings should stop. >> germany and the european union are reacting with caution. merkel did not refer to u.n. peacekeepers, saying only that germany would support the arab league's firm stance in a position to human rights violations in syria. >> the european union supports this stance, and we will beckett with further sanctions. >> the eu plans to impose a new round of sanctions in late february, including a freeze on central bank assets. martin. this idea of sending a joint
peacekeeping force with the u.n. seems to be fizzling out a little bit. what kind of support is the arab league looking for now from its eu partners and germany? >> the arab league is looking basically for two things from germany. it wants support from germany for arab league and it -- a initiatives, and once germany and europe to get on the same page in terms of sanctions on syria. germany is raising the prospect of further sanctions. chancellor merkel mentioned that today in her press conference with the general secretary. so we can expect germany to go along with the rest of europe and probably oppose further sanctions on syrian banks operating in eu and possibly on syrian commercial flights to and from the he you. the arab league is clearly looking for germany's support on at the diplomatic front. >> syria was not the only item on the agenda today between the
two. there were also talking about one or two other things. >> we do not know exactly what was talked about in the meeting today. we have to keep in mind that the arab league is a rather mixed bag diplomatically, representing 22 different member states there. arab league representing the palestinians importantly and germany having close ties with both the israelis and palestinians to some degree. so we can at least hope that the two were talking today about prospects for middle east peace, how to revive installed for so long. we hope that is what they were talking about today. >> ok, thank you very much for that update. >> we stay in the middle east where security forces in bahrain have used tear gas and stun grenades on demonstrators marking the first anniversary of pro-democracy protests in the country. this amateur footage is said to have been taken at the capitol manama where police dispersed
the crowds marching to pearl square. one year ago, mainly shi'ite demonstrators occupied the square for about a month. since then, at least 60 people have died in the unrest. it is one of the world's biggest trading relationships between the eu indochina. but in these times of crisis, it is changing in profound ways. >> the two sides are holding a summit in beijing. it is no longer a case of europe being the rich ones and china the developing country. >> the eu has come asking for a big favor, hoping that china will dip into its massive foreign reserves to help end the eurozone debt crisis. >> so far, china has been playing pretty hard to get. >> in times of trouble, the eu is hoping for a helping hand from china. the european union's top officials want to reassure china that the necessary steps are being taken to safeguard the currency. and point out how important to
europe is for china. >> mr. prime minister, we became so interdependent that change in the growth rates in one of the two strategic partners as a direct and palpable impact on the other one. our economic destinies are linked. >> europe needs money, and china has a lot of it available. beijing has reserves of around 2.5 trillion euros. the eu hopes it can move china to invest some of that in the euro stability fund. the commission's chief says he hopes the summit will result in concrete measures. china says it is ready to help but has not specified how. >> we need to send the message that we will do everything to increase cooperation between china and the eu. >> the eu is hoping for more than vague promises.
it wants firm commitments from china to buy european debt. >> ties with china were top of the agenda in washington. president barack obama met with chinese vice president xi jinping at the white house on tuesday. xi jinping is the heir apparent in china, expected to be head of the communist party in the autumn. obama says cooperation between the two countries was good for global stability. xi jinping also met with u.s. vice president joe biden. yet another bump in the road to gris''s second bailout. eu finance ministers said the creek -- again delayed a final decision on releasing the funds. the meeting due on wednesday has been scaled down to a conference call on what they're calling outstanding issues. greece needs that bailout to avoid going bankrupt, and a new figures show how dire its economy has become. gross domestic product plunged 7% in the last quarter of 2011
compared to a year earlier. greece is facing its fifth straight year of recession. in greece may be the worst case, but it is certainly not the only country suffering in europe right now. >> the ratings agencies were on the prowl again last night. this time it was midi's with downgrades. it had some big targets. >> britain saw its outlook lowered to negative. that is not the same as a downgrade, but it is a blow to a country outside the eurozone that so far escaped the ire of the ratings agencies. >> it is not a downgrade, but it is a warning. moody's placed britain on negative outlook, meaning it could face a downgrade in the coming months. the british government called it a reality check. >> if we do not deal with our debt in britain, then there'll be no growth, no jobs. people will not invest in our country. britain has to confront its problems. that is the clear message from
the rating agency today. >> spain was especially hard hit by the downgrades. the country's credit rating was cut two notches. mitty's justified the move, saying there's no guarantee the structural reforms will bear fruit. in madrid, defended the government's costs. >> i think the government is making an apparent effort to try to fix the situation, which is very bad. and credit agencies are lowering the ratings, but that is unrelated. >> ratings agency standard and poor's took a tougher line last month. it cut the credit ratings of nine european countries, stripping both france and austria of their prized aaa status. the third largest ratings agency, fitch, followed suit, cutting ratings for five european economies. >> of course, those downgrades have been given the market's plenty to think about. but trading in did pretty flat
on tuesday in frankfurt. here is more. i am sorry, we seemed to have lost and -- no, we have got him after all. >> the ratings agency moody's downgraded several eurozone countries or it put a negative outlook on the ratings of these countries. the overall reaction to all this was very relaxed compared to what might have been a couple months ago. one reason for this is the very generous and uninventive monetary policy in the eurozone. the ecb keeps the interest rates low, and it lands lots of money at very generous conditions to the market participants. this is also the reason why the demand for a sovereign debt remains relatively solid in the eurozone. italy, spain, belgium, and greece managed to tap the markets for fresh money by issuing new government bonds or bills. >> we got him after all.
let's have a look of some of the market numbers. the dax in germany ended the day slightly down, 6720. euro stoxx 50 was pretty flat, 2488. across the atlantic, the dow is currently trading about 4% down. the euro is a little bit lower, 0 $1.317. >> merrill sleep continues her sweep through awards season, picking up an honorary golden bear at the berlin film festival -- meryl streep. it is for work in more than 40 movies. she is in berlin to present the "the iron lady," a biopic about margaret thatcher. 62-year-old meryl streep has garnered a golden globe and an oscar nomination for her role in the movie already. >> she must learn to calm down. >> the resemblance is quite
striking. let's go down to the red carpet and our correspondent there. margaret thatcher was not exactly the most popular figure in british politics. kent "the iron lady" change that? >> well, the film has had a mixed reception in britain 10. that is where margaret thatcher, in 1979, when she became prime minister, also had a mixed reception, but i think for everybody seems to agree that meryl streep's performance is quite extraordinary. she has done a number of impersonations of historical figures, and she does them extremely well. there is -- the way this film is disappointing is that it does not really tackle political issues. the film is not interested really in politics. it is more interested in margaret thatcher as an old woman suffering from senile
dementia and, looking back on her life. it is a very personal take on her. and it is very controversial from that point of view. but meryl streep is usually popular. she is in town. and the streepers, as their fans call themselves, are delirious that she is here. >> let's talk about a film that is competing for the golden bear. that is from switzerland. >> that is right. there is a very interesting film which i saw this morning by a swiss director. only her second full-length feature. it is called "sister" in english. it is a modest them. one of the lovely things about film festivals is to get to see films he would not normally see. this is one of them. perhaps it could easily escape your attention. it is a modest film about a young lad who grows up in poor circumstances in switzerland
and goes up to a ski resort where he pinches food from the rich and even their skis. and very touching film. very interesting. i think, a very good one. >> ok, thank you very much. >> ok, we just have time to go from the movies to some sports. the striker is back in the northern english city of the three months of the unauthorized leave in his native argentina. the argentinian's future of the club is still uncertain. he hinton -- he hinted recently that he could return, but the striker caused more controversy as he was leaving his country, he had been treated like a dog. the unauthorized breaks has caused him be here, and the bill is coming in at about 12 million euros in fines.
♪ ♪ >> welcome back. as we heard earlier, the eu is busy courting china and the hope of getting support for the single currency. >> china is not the only fastest-growing economy that europe has its eye on. latin america holds the prospect of massive growth and trade. >> germany's foreign minister is in brazil right now to nurture a relationship with what is already the world's sixth largest economy. >> this is the second time guido westerwelle has visited brazil as foreign minister. trading has increased significantly over the past yer. at a meeting with his counterpart in the capital brasilia, westerwelle praised brazil's recent economic
development of the german foreign minister also said there's no way past brazil one facing global issues. >> brazil is much more than an economically successful state. it is new power center, a new power that is shaping the world. and if we want to achieve something globally from environmental protection to security and peace, then a regular exchange with brazil is advisable and appropriate. >> brazil's economy has been going through a boom for years. it is the sixth largest in the world. that has been made possible by rich oil reserves and industrial growth. over 1200 german companies currently operate in the country. but brazilian firms are also looking for fresh markets. >> today, brazil has companies that have a global character and what to serve the european market. >> westerwelle will spend three days in the country. but trade is not the only thing on the agenda. germany is staging a series of
cultural events in brazil next year, aimed at fostering closer bilateral ties. >> when america correspondent caught up with guido westerwelle on his visit to talk about the changing role of a south american countries. >> we began by asking him about efforts to reform international organizations so that they reflect the new world order. >> as to the question of reforming the united nations, we, along with brazil, india, and japan, believe that the united nations in its present form reflects the geopolitical situation at the end of the second world war and not the situation today. that is why we want the content of latin america to be a permanent member of the security council. the fact that that has not yet happened just shows how much the world underestimates that continent.
>> when we see the head of the imf, christine lagarde, traveling to south american country, brazil and mexico, you should at least talk about loans to tackle the european debt crisis. that is a role reversal. doesn't that as down the sometimes, the way the situation has developed? -- a dozen that astound you sometimes? >> i have just turned 50, and if i think back to my time as a student in the late 1970's and early 1980's when i was finishing high school and then at university, i remember those countries were called developing countries. what we now call the bric's states, brazil, russia, india, china, and the new ones including south africa. those were basically seen as developing countries. now they are overtaking many nations. china has caught up with germany, for example, in a list of the world's largest economies.
in terms of economic power, brazil has overtaken britain. 20 or 30 years ago, that would have been inconceivable. that just goes to show how quickly the world can change. and we in europe should not be afraid of that. >> also here in europe, ethnic serbs in the north of cause a vote at a referendum aimed at highlighting their desire to return to being part of serbia. >> the first since the split from belgrade. analysts expect an overwhelming vote against recognizing the government of cause of open officials in belgrade have warned that the vote risks undermining serbia's chances to join the european union. for more, we're joined by a member of the school ago that the double-governance to talk about that referendum in kosovo. this referendum will actually
have no legal force at all, because it will not be recognized by the international community. >> i have a feeling it has more to do with internal serbian politics than because of a local serbs have organized a referendum. they belong to opposition parties. >> can this referendum resolve this situation? four years after the war, there's still a lot of ethnic tension, even violence? >> no, i do not think so. i think the referendum has no legal basis. most of the people in northern cause of all are much more worried about whether they are eating today than with their voting or not. they feel that they have to vote because it has been placed upon them, but i have a feeling that is not what they would really like to do today. >> serbia is working towards joining the european union. it is worried about the effects of this referendum. could these ongoing problems with cause of a provide a serious hurdle to that? >> i think so. we saw that serbia got an unexpected flat in december.
serbia could do more to improve its chances of joining the european union. we will have to wait and see what brussels decides. >> thank you for joining us. >> while china might be reticent on buying eurozone bonds, it is very happy doing business here in europe. >> we have a report from madrid to lookism investments that chinese firms are making there. >> this industrial straight -- stayed near madrid dates back to the 1970's but almost all the companies operating here are chinese. chinese wholesalers started moving in to around 10 years ago. now, more than 400 businesses to sell clothes, domestic products, and electronic goods to retailers. he is one of the few who are prepared to let us look behind the scenes. he says business is healthy at the moment, even if there is no growth in spanish sales. >> the market has become more
and more saturated, but the demand for these kind of an expensive goods is growing in germany and holland. customers come in once in awhile. they shop, and of the take entire truckloads' back with them. >> the chinese wholesalers do not get all their products from china. they also use spanish importers and manufacturers. he is grateful for his chinese customers. >> they are becoming more and more important. the crisis means customers are looking for cheaper goods. and places that supplied those are 95% chinese-run. >> the chinese wholesalers do not just supply the lower end of the market. and boutique owners are also sourcing high-quality clothes here. the chinese used to stand for bad quality, badly cut close,
the have improved so much. they can compete more. >> or the competing with? with the ready-to-wear sector. >> and while the rest of spain groans under the weight of economic problems, it seems there's no holding back the chinese business community. but why is that? >> if we have only 100 years, then we make something for 100 years and not something we would need 300 euros to make. we know our limits, and we try to stick to them. that attitude is good for society, and it is good for business. >> that is not to say the chinese did not make mistakes. two chinese businessmen invested 40 million euros in this small. the supervisor admits it is not doing well. >> a it is a very ambitious project, and it is not doing as
well as expected because the crisis. >> only half of the 80 shop units are occupied. others closed after just a year. but most chinese businesses are taking over nicely, and the traders are conquering new markets from their base. >> and some sports news. the national team of serbia has arrived home to a hero's welcome after winning the african cup of nations. fans came from all over the country to welcome the national team. their arrival on monday was delayed by about four hours after ecstatic fans broke through barriers at the landing site. they favored ivory coast on penalties in a nail biting final on sunday. well, it is february 14, and that can mean only one thing, a st. valentine's day, the day marked by couples all over the world. >> it is a day for romantic gestures. that also makes it a good day
for business. flowers are one of the biggest things, as you would expect. here is more. >> say it with flowers, a single red rose or a magnificent a day. flowers are big business, and valentine's day is one of the busiest of the year for florists. >> my wife likes flowers, so i feel i have to get her some. but, personally, adding it is ok. chocolate is something that everybody loves, but flowers are particularly good for women. >> and this is what is known as the wall street of roses. the world's biggest flower auction in the netherlands. over 100 million flowers change hands here during valentine's week, many of them destined to warm lover's heart. >> we do 50% to 60% more than a normal week, and, for example, the rose, the most popular
flower during this week, of course, the flower of romance. and there is a turnover in the last week of 100 million euros. >> europe may be mired in economic crisis, but in the flour industry, business is a blooming. >> i hope you got some flowers for valentine's day. that is all of our international news at this hour. >> we will see you soon. ♪ captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- ♪
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