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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  July 8, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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governors association annual meeting, they will have talks and presentations, including featuring former senator alan simpson. check for our coverage plans. oil continues to flow from the broken pipeline in the gulf of mexico. .
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clucks and boston radio talk- show host, michael kurram, defends the tea party movement. that is all this week on c- span2. >> earlier today, president obama delivered remarks on the economy. he had just finished touring the smith a electra vehicle plant in kansas city, missouri. later on today he will attend fund-raisers for missouri state senate candidates robert canrahan. this is about 15 minutes. [applause] >> thank you so much. everybody have a seat. usually they announced me with some fancy tithing and i think i just messed up. i just walked are here.
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[laughter] i hope you do not mind. on the way are we can play the ruffles and flourishes and all of that. before i start to a knowledge -- before i start, i want to of knowledge some people who have done a wonderful job for this area, but also a wonderful job for the country. the first, one of the best governors we have had in the united states of america, gov. jay nixon. [applause] not just one of my favorite senators, but one of my favorite people and a great friend of mine, center clare mccaskill. -- senator claire mccaskill. [applause] you have two outstanding members of congress, one from the side and one from that side. congressman emanuel cleaver. [applause]
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and congressman dennis more. -- dennis moore. [applause] and finally, i want to acknowledge all of the people at smith electric vehicles and their independent an outstanding staff. it is outstanding to be here and i will not take a long time. i just want to spend some time shaking hands and thanking you for the record that you have done. i just saw some of the battery powered trucks and your manufacturing. i had a chance to talk to some of the folks that build them. but the reason i am here today is because at this plant you are doing more than just building new vehicles. you are helping to fight our way through a vicious recession and you are building the economy of america's future. it is not easy. we have gone through as bad an
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economic situation, as we've had since the great depression. this recession was the culmination of a decade of your responsibility. a decade that felt like a sledgehammer hitting middle class families. for the better part of 10 years, people have faced stagnant incomes, skyrocketing health care costs, skyrocketing tuition costs, and declining economic security. this all came to a head in a massive financial crisis that sent our economy into a free- fall and cost 8 million american jobs, including many in this community. it was in the middle of this crisis that might infer -- my administration walked through the door. we had to make decisions at a moment of maximum peril to avoid a great depression, to make sure we did not have a complete meltdown in our financial system. it was a moment when the markets
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were in turmoil and we were losing 750,000 jobs every month. some of the decisions we made were not popular at the time and some of them may be unpopular today. but we made those decisions because we had to stop the freefall. and because we made those hard choices, our economy was in -- is in a different place than it was just a year ago. one of those decisions was to provide critical funding to promising, innovative businesses like smith electric vehicles. and because we did, there is a thriving enterprise here instead of a -- instead of an empty, darkened warehouse. because of this company we can hear this sounds of machines humming and people doing their work instead of just the ghostly silence of an anti-outbuilding -- of and emptied out building and the memory of workers that were laid off a long time ago.
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we made that kind of decision all across america last year and we were guided by a simple idea. the government does not have all the answers. appa ultimately, the government does not create all the jobs. -- ultimately, the government does not create all the jobs. but what government can do is to lay the foundation for businesses to expand and thrive, for entrepreneurs to open up shop and test out products, for workers to get the training that they need and for families to get some megyn -- a measure of economic security. that is an especially important in economic times. that is why when my administration began, we immediately cut taxes. we cut taxes for working families and small businesses all across america to help weather the storm.
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our investment in high-tech fast-growing sectors like clean energy is helping to speed our recovery by harnessing the talent and drive and innovation of the american people. our goal has not been to create another program. our goal has been to spur growth in the private sector. and for example, right here at smith, you recently passed a milestone hiring a 50th employee and i know you are on the way to hire 50 more. we are seeing similar things all across america with incentives and investments that are creating wind turbines and solar panels. we are seeing investment in energy efficient appliances, home building materials, and in the advanced battery technologies and clean energy vehicles. just last week, a manufacturing
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company in colorado received backing to grade solar panels. it will create 2000 construction jobs and 1500 permanent jobs. one of the plant is actually taking over what is now an empty chrysler supplier factory. another company is now planning to build one of the world's largest solar plants right here in the united states and when it is finished, it will be the first large-scale solar plant in the united states that can actually store energy that it creates for later use, even at night. all told, we expect energy investments alone to generate 700,000 jobs over the next few years. this is not just going to boost our economy in the short term. this will lay a platform for the future. it will create opportunities year after year after year, decade after decade after
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decade. as companies like smith that start small begin to expand. i was talking to your ceo and he says he wants to open of 20 of these all across the country. so in each region you are able to service your customers and have a sense that this myth is always going to be there for them, making sure of that -- customer satisfaction and the performance as high. just a few years ago, america had the capacity to build only about 2% of the world's advanced batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles blacksmiths. 2%, that was it -- like smith's. 2 percent, that was it. but thanks to our new focus on clean energy and the work that is taking place in plants like this one, we could have as much as 40% of the world market by
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2015, five years. that means jobs. iwiit also means we will have expertise in a sector that is going to keep on growing for years to come. asoka all of these efforts taken together are making a difference. -- so, all of these efforts taken together are making a difference. a year-and-a-half ago the economy was bleeding jobs. we have now created private sector jobs, added private sector jusjobs for six straight months. obviously, i have not been quite enough to undo what was done. there are still too many empty storefronts on main street held across america. -- all across america. i have said since i took office and my administration will not rest until every american who is
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able and ready and willing to work can find a job and a job that pays a gift -- a decent wage and supports our benefits. we're not there yet, we've got a long way to go. but what is absolutely clear is we are moving in the right direction. that is the surest way out of the storm, to go forward, not backwards. there are some people who argue that we should abandon some of these efforts. some people make the political calculation that it is better to say no to everything then to lend a hand to clean up -- than to lend a hand to clean of everything that we have been in. my advice to those who want to stop, my answer is, come right in to kansas city. come see what is going on at
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smith electric. i think it will be hard pressed to tell you that you are not better off than you would be if you had not made the investment in this plan. the naysayers all across america it should read the kibo i have met the -- all across america should meet the people i have met. there is a battery technology company in north carolina that hired more than 50 people because of the investments we made. or right here in missouri, a company putting people to the other to do homegrown harvesting. this includes tens of millions of dollars for loans for
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companies right here in kansas city. where they ought to talk to the cruise -- or they ought to talk to the crews who are laying real lines. they ought to talk to the scientists who are toiling day and night to develop the technologies and the cures to improve our economy and our health and well-being. and they might want to talk to the teachers who did not get laid off because of the budget help we gave the state of missouri, and who are then going to be teaching our kids and will be incentivized so that we have the best education system in the world and we have folks going to community college and universities more than any place in the world. that is how we ensure that america does not just limp along, may be recovered to where we were before.
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but instead, we will prosper. this nation lead to the interest -- the industry's of the future. -- this nation leads the industries of the future. this is a difficult time right now. a decade of economic insecurity. and there will be some hard days ahead. that is the truth. but what you are approving here, each and everyone of you at smith electric, is the promise of a brighter future. what you are proving is that if we hold fast to the spirit of the onta portion of an innovation that -- and innovation that has already -- if we hold fast to the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that has always defined the american identity, you are proving that if we keep moving forward no one can stop us. and for that, i want to thank
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you. you are setting a model for what we?ç?ç need to do across the country. congratulations. thank you very much. [applause] ♪ {"hail to the chief"] ♪ >> prime time book tv continues tonight with a look at politics. newsweek -- "newsweek" and senior editor and former speaker newt gingrich. also, attended a party for bill press. his new release is "toxic talk," housley radical right -- how the radical right has
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poisoned america's airwaves. " british prime minister david cameron announced tuesday an independent inquiry into allegations of british involvement of the torture of terror suspects. he also announced the payments would be made to former terrorist suspects who served -- who suffered in the british civil courts. this is 50 minutes. >> statement, the prime minister. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i am sure the house will wish to join me in paying tribute to the royal marine who died on thursday, a soldier from the royal dragoon guards who died yesterday, and a soldier from the first battalion who died from wounds sustained in afghanistan in burlington -- in birmingham yesterday. and we should constantly remember the sacrifices made on
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our behalf by our armed forces and their families and keep them in our thoughts and prayers and thank them for what they do on our behalf. with permission, mr. speaker, i would like to make a statement on our intelligence services and allegations made about the treatment of detainees. the past few years, the reputation of our security services has been overshadowed by allegations about their involvement in the treatment of detainees held by other countries. some of these detainee's alleged they were mistreated by this -- by these countries. other allegations have also been made about the uk's involvement in the rendition of detainees in the aftermath of 9/11. these allegations are not proven, but today, we do face a totally unacceptable situation. our services are paralyzed by bureaucratpaperwork as they tryd themselves in lengthy court
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cases. for much of what the services exist to protect and risks being tarnished. public confidence is being eroded with people doubting the ability of our services to protect us and question in the world under which they operate. and terrorists and extremists are able to exploit these allegations for their own propaganda. mr. speaker, my self, the deputy prime minister and the rest of the government, we all believe it is time to clear this up once and for all. today, i want to set out how to deal with the problems of the past. and crucially, how we can make sure the security services can get on and do their job to keep us safe. but first, let us be clear about the work they do. i believe we have the finest intelligence services in the world. in the past, it was the intelligence services to crack the secrets of enigma and helped
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deliver victory in world war ii. they recruited russian spies and they kept britain safe during the cold war. and they helped disrupt in the 1980's and 1990's. today, these tremendous acts of bravery continue. every day, these tremendous officers disrupt terrorist threats and promote thoughts. and they give our forces in afghanistan the information they need make key decisions. and they do this without any public, or a new -- or often any private recognition. and despite the massive personal risks they take to their safety, we should never forget that some officers have died for this country. their names are not known. their loved ones must mourn in secret. the service they have given to our country is not publicly recognized. we owe every intelligence
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officer in our country and enormous debt of gratitude. and as minister of the intelligence services i'm determined to do everything possible to help them get on with the job they have been trained to do. however, to do that we need to resolve the issues of the past. while there is no evidence that any british officer was directly engaged in torture in the aftermath of 9/11, there are questions over the degree to which british officers were working with foreign security services who were treating detainee's in ways they should not have done. about a dozen cases have been brought in court about the actions of uk personnel, including, for example, that since 9/11 they had witnessed his treatment, such as the use of hoods and shackles. -- miss treatment, such as the use of and hoods and shackles. therefore, britain's role is believed to be implicit.
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that is why i am determined to get to the bottom of what happened. intelligence services are also a key publicly to publish their principles and integrity. we will have a thorough examination of all of these issues. we cannot starve the inquiry while criminal investigations -- we cannot start to the inquiry what criminal investigations are ongoing. we want to do everything we can to help the process along. that is why we are committed to mediation with those who brought civil claims and where appropriate, we will offer confrontation. as soon as we have made enough progress, an independent inquiry led by a judge will be held. it will look at what is indicated in the improper treatment of detainees that may have occurred after 9/11.
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should we have realized sooner that these actions were an inequitable and that we should not have anything to do with it? did we give enough clear guidance to officers in the field? what information flowing quickly enough from officers on the ground to the intelligence services and then on to ministers of that we knew what our reaction should be? there was a real danger that terrorists could get their hands on a dirty bomb, chemical or biological weapons, or even worse. threat levels had been transformed. the urgency with which we needed to protect our citizens was pressing. but let me state clearly, we need to know the answers. if things went wrong, why? and what we must do to uphold the standards of what people
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expect. i ask peter gibson, a former senior court of appeal judge and currently leader of the intelligence services to lead the inquiry. i then ask jenna para stabenow and peter grendell, -- peter kordell. i've written a letter setting out with the inquiry will cover. -- setting out what the inquiry will cover. we hope it will start within -- before the end of the year and report within a year. this cannot be a totally private inquiry, but neither can it be a full public inquiry. we must realistic. inquiries into our intelligence services are not let a of their inquiries. -- not like other inquiries.
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there is some information that must be kept secret. let us be frank, it is not possible to have a full public inquiry into something that is meant to be secret. any intelligence material provided to the inquiry panel will not be provided to the public and nor will the intelligence officers be asked to give evidence in public. but that does not mean that we cannot get to the bottom of what happened. the inquiry will look at both to the information and it will be able to take evidence in public, including from those who brought accusations against the government and representatives of interest groups, and importantly, the head of the civil services and intelligence services have assured full cooperation. i am comfortable the inquiry will reach a thorough review on the actions of the state and
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make proper recommendations for the future. just as we are determined to resolve the issues of the past, so are we determined to have greater clarity about what is and what is not acceptable for the future. that is why today we are also publishing a guidance for military personnel on how to deal with detainees held by other countries. it makes clear the following. one, my son -- or services must never take action where they know or believe torture will occur. two, if in of abuses by other countries, they should reported to the u.k. government so we can try to stop it. and 3, in the cases of services work information a crucial to save lives, but where there should also be a serious risk of mistreatment, it is for ministers to read the determine what action should be taken.
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there is something else that we have to address and that is high court cases dealing -- how court cases deal with intelligence information. the services cannot disclose anything secret in order to defend themselves in court with confidence that inflation will be protected. there are also doubts about our ability to protect the secrets from our allies. this is -- this has trained some of our oldest and most important security partnerships in the world, particularly with that of america. we need to deal with these problems. we hope that the supreme court will provide for their clarity on the underlying law within the next few months, and next year we will publish a green paper which will set out our proposals with our intelligence -- with how intelligent is treated, including addressing the concerns of our allies.
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we will seek the views of the cross party intelligence and security committee, and i announced today that i appoint my right hon. friend from kensington as the chair of that committee. it as we meet in the relative safety of this house today, let us not forget this, as we speak, al qaeda operatives in yemen are meeting in secret to plot against us, terrorists are prepared -- preparing to attack our forces in afghanistan, the real ira are preparing to strike other regimes are still trying to acquire nuclear weapons. at the same time, i men, young and old -- the same time, men young and old are meeting to try to protect us. all they do is to keep us safe from terrorist threats.
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we need to restore britain's moral leadership in the world. that is why we are determined to clear things up. >> harriet harman. >> mr. speaker, can i join the prime minister in paying tribute to the royal marine who died on thursday? though a soldier from the world dragoon guards who died yesterday and the soldier from the first battalion who died in afghanistan yesterday. the use of torture is morally abhorrent and has no place in this country or any civilized society. it is against our law in the country -- in this country and is one of the small number of offenses that can be brought to court in this country no matter where in the world of the offense was committed. it is a grave crime against humanity. there must be no hiding place
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for those who practice it, and no excuse for those who turn a blind eye on it. to play our part in leading the world, we must lead by example. can i reiterate our condemnation of the u.s. guantanamo detention center? it is clearly in breach of the law, of which is why it is not on the u.s. mainland. the only countries successfully brought back our citizens, having secured the release of all our -- all of our citizens and the release of one of our residents, can i ask whether he is continuing the efforts that we made to bring back the final british resident who is still detained? can i agree with him that it is right that anyone who takes part in, or who aids or abets torture
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is criminally liable and must be held accountable for their actions. there is, of course, a criminal investigation under way, which was referred to police by the attorney general. will he ensure that it will -- the thick will succeed to its conclusion -- that it will succeed to its conclusion? and can i reaffirm our support for the work of the intelligence and security committee? and can i welcome his appointment of the new right hon. member from kensington to chair the committee? he will undertake this post with integrity and commitment. this includes accountability to ministers, to the heads of the
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agencies, to the two commissioners who are both retired high court judges, and independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, lord chyron -- lord carlyle. and can i welcome the publication today of intelligence on the questioning of suspects overseas. we are pleased that process has been completed with publication today. i hope that the administrative inquiry led by sir peter gibson, was one of the interventions services commissioners -- who was one of the intelligence services commissioners, can tell the house a bit more about the terms under which the inquiry will be conducted. can you tell the house what the
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inquiry will be able to do? that the security committee is not able to do. i will it require extra powers that the isc does not, and if so, what? has -- he has told the house that the inquiry will have to have some of its hearings in public. and he has told the house that they will be allowed to cut the information -- allowed to look at the information. he says it will have access to all relevant government papers, including those held by the intelligence services. and he has also said he would be able to take evidence in public, including those of a broad accusations against the government. that is, of course, the case with the isc, too.
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he has concluded saying that we will have the full cooperation of intelligence services. he has confirmed that criminal responsibility will take precedence and criminal inquiry will be undertaken only after investigation is concluded. in the case were former detainees are taking action against members of the security services, can he clarify more specifically the effect of the administration? can he confirm that these cases will not be superseded by the inquiry? and can he clarify in what circumstances compensation might be awarded if ultimately the
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courts were a -- [no audio] will reaffirm to the house today his support for the human rights act, which ensures that were very breach of human rights, including the right not to be tortured, the victim can take action in our courts, rather than spending up to seven years of taking the case to the european court in strasbourg? can't hear from that is never right to -- can he confirm that is their right to report this in another country? can hear from that today?
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the 2002 optional protocol establishes inspection places of detention. -- inspection for places of detention. can he confirm how long he expects the inquiry to take? he said it will take no longer than a year. but can he confirm how he believes it will be able to start? which we hope it will start as soon as possible before the end of the year. finally, can i endorse support for the difficult and often dangerous work of officers of a our security? >> kiron thank the right hon. lady for -- i thank the right hon. lady for her questions and
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comments. she is absolutely right to be a better view. and really, it is because we revere what the intelligence services for what they do that we want to get on with this inquiry and have it done. it will be limited to a year and i hope it get started before the end of this year. i very much agree about torture. we have sound callous provisions against torture. we do not condone it anywhere in the world -- we have signed countless provisions against torture. we do not condone it anywhere in the world. we should redouble our efforts to make sure that we can have guarantees from other countries so that we can deport people to those countries in knowing that they will not be tortured. on guantanamo we are making efforts on behalf of the case she mentioned. as she probably knows, that is a u.k. residents, rather than a u.k. national. on the question about whether criminal cases can continue
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unimpeded, i guess, of course. that is a matter for the police and prosecuting authorities. -- yes, of course. that is a matter for the police and prosecuting authorities. in answer to our questions about why having this inquiry rather than just asking the intelligence and security committee to do the job, i would say this. this inquiry is going to be led by a judge. it is going to be fully independent from parliament, from policy, from government, and i think that is what we need to get to the bottom of this case. and i think the very fact that it is led by a judge will help to make sure that we get this done properly. and i would say that while i have ultimate respect for the intelligence and security committees, the last time there was such a run around between the government and intelligence over the issue of just publishing this guidance.
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i do worry about whether she is taking the red line on this. -- taking the right line on this. in terms of the civil cases, she asked the question about why try to mediate. the point is, we want to clear the decks. it we want to solve this problem. why not try the existing civil cases -- why not try mediating the existing civil cases? the set out for the future so that we will have removed the stain of -- on britain's reputation and get on with the work. i think the government has gripped it quickly, rep of the, comprehensively, and i think is the right answers to that we can move on. >> mr. campbell. >> we wish to join in the tribute to all three service
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members who pass. may i say that he has struck a very delicate balance in what is competing and what is going to have to be examined is the private -- is the primary need of the public and the need that everything has been satisfied and done in a full and impartial manner to get to the bottom of these allegations. >> i am grateful to my friend for the way he put that. public comment is the central. we do want a judge-led inquiry, but at the same time we do need to have regard for the important of these -- and the importance of the security services and that what they do is -- much of what they do is done in secret.
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>> mike gates. >> would this -- the establishment of this committee by the end of the year, isn't that naive unless they are going to be given very large amounts of money? and at this time with the public concern about finances, can he clarify how much money will be available and what happens at the end of the year if the people do not accept a mediation process? >> i have to say to the hon. member, would be naive is trying to mediate in public and i think that is what he is inviting me to do. i can try to answer is -- answer these questions as directly as i can. i think there are two outcomes of these cases and one might
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very well be compensation. the second point that the inquiry goes to is the recognition that something went wrong and what are we going to do about it? after this process, can we do anything about it? >> in the last parliament, intelligence and security committee did two reports, neither of which were published. the first refers to the rendition and interrogation of a suspect, and the second was in the guidance and treatment of detainees. can he confirm that these reports will be made available to the inquiry? and second, the guidance that he is publishing today, is it the guidance that was in force for the last decade, or the advisers guidance?
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>> to answer his questions, the reports that he refers to will be made available to the inquiry. in terms of the guidance we are publishing today, it is and neither the past guidance and we are not publishing the intelligence and security report into the last parliament. i think this is the right approach and i would ask him to look at the guidance and see what he thinks. >> i welcome the prime minister's statement, and in particular, his support and the affirmation of security services. the prime minister is all too well aware of the likely impact and i would ask him that as the
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inquiry progresses to be very conscious of the need to explain and be ekstrand -- transparent as possible. >> i think the hon. lady makes an extremely good point, and one that we can play some part in. there needs to be an effort to get to the truth, to find out what happened, to be sure that it cannot happen again. i'm sure she will be able to play a part in that. >> on the statement that the prime minister has just made, which was a courageous and thoughtful statement and is a huge step forward, which is this area. can the prime minister clarify that the remit given to the
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inquiry will be broad enough to encompass all allegations of complicity in rendition, including rendition flights and the use of diego garcia and to transfer prisoners into the future? >> i will be happy to look at all of those issues around extraordinary rendition and the case of diego garcia. >> as a member of the intelligence and security committee -- committee, can i welcome the prime is your statements today? i believe he is correct on what he proposes for dealing with the future. however, i do have some concerns about the present. there will be some cases that arise before the inquiry is the established whereby there may be some doubt about an issue that
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has arisen and the dangers involved. can you [unintelligible] in those sorts of cases it will be dealt with speedily. >> all of the published guidance in the world cannot deal with all of incredibly difficult circumstances that our intelligence services officers find themselves in. it is as clear as it can be, but i think it is right. there are guidance to make these decisions. but his point is a very good one, if this happens it may need to happen very speedily. >> david davis.
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>> can i commend the prime minister for coming to this decision so very fast? can i ask him to reiterate what i think was underpinning what he was saying. number one, that this inquiry will be able to follow the evidence wherever it goes. number two, that it will have access to public records, but also court camera is like this. and never 3 -- no. 3, that was published will be in the national interest. >> i do think it was important to reach a speedy conclusion because this is, as i say, been hanging over us for too long. these go back some to just after 9/11.
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first, can the inquiry look at court records? i'm sure the answer to that is yes. in terms of what is made public. he is welcome to draw up his report. he can follow the evidence that stuff and where it leads him. he can look at all of the intelligence information. the report will be to me, and as the friend victor -- and as the prime minister, it is my intention to publish them, but i have to consider public interest. >> david will take. mukhrovani eve of the anniversary -- >> on the eve of the anniversary it was said
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that "officials appeared to have a dubious record when it comes to human rights when it comes to techniques." this is an example of where time and time again torture only helps to serve terrorism and not fight against it. >> let me say again, there is no suspicion that any british officials were servicemen were directly involved in torture themselves. but the general point that we do not keep ourselves safe and secure, we do not promote the things we believe in if we drop our standards. but of course, he is right, him and i both -- he and i both served on that committee and i'm sure he remembers, as i do too,
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the pressure about their inability to compete. fahey >> -- >> will the prime minister concede that this is the classic mold dilemma, when having taken every possible step to ensure that in no way britain has assisted in torture, britain has had to relate to the services of regimes whose conduct we do not trust, but may hold information vital to the people of -- vital to the safety of the people of this country? >> the denman is right, the previous i s c findings -- the gentleman is right, the previous isc will be important to the
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inquiry. it is not that ministers will be consulted in the cases of torture. torture is ruled out completely. there is no definition of mistreatment. it could range from things that we consider to be torture, like waterboarding, but it could also be things like leaving someone to sit in their cell by themselves. that is the moment that we have to try to get right and not be over bureaucratic about it. >> the prime minister is right to praise the work of the security services. given that he has exhibited as a former distinguished member of the home affairs select committee, one recommendation of
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the committee, the is published and of the national security council, would he look at the secours recommendation in this area, which is -- at the second recommendation in this area, which is if the government were to allow open records. >> in terms of intercession, we all want to see that happen. -- in terms of intercept, we all want to see that happen. we want them to go through that port process, to be tried, and to be convicted and to go to prison. but i have to say that one of the greatest enthusiast of of the intercept is michael howard. he has not yet found a way to make this happen. let's not overestimate how easy this is to be done.
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>> i strongly welcome the prime minister's approach. does he read -- agree with me that targets surveillance is much more successful in defending a free society and a greater extension of guards, guns, and gates? this is why this is so important. we need intelligence services that come out of universal respect and get to the truth as quickly as possible. >> i think my right hon. friend is right. what we need is to have the hard-nosed defense are stability. what we do not need is what i would call ineffective authoritarianism. i think we did have a bit too much of that under the previous regime. >> holding executives in power accountable is supposed to be the role of parliament, not of judges or inquiries.
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>> i am very happy, as heavily been doing this job for a few weeks, to look at this issue. i know it has been discussed before -- can we change the nature of the intelligence and security committee? i'm very happy to look at that. but i do norah believe that -- i do not believe that it is the isc that should be doing this work. i think is right to have a judge-led inquiry. these events relate to a time of 2002, 2003. if the isc was the right answer, then why did they not come up with it in the previous years? >> been wallace. >> intelligence is not the same of gathering of evidence.
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after this inquiry is over, could the prime minister give assurance to the house that he will think carefully before introducing expert guidelines and relations on our intelligence services? >> i know my friend has these issues and experiences and thinks about them a lot. all i'm saying is that these are serious allegations into what happened in the past. i do not want to preempt the report, but one of the things that the report want soup -- needs to ask is how can we keep these things from happening in the future? one way is to have better guidance and have a clearer understanding of what is acceptable and what is not. it is not easy, and some people will say that the guidance is quiet bureaucratic. -- is quite a bureaucratic. but we have to restore some way to prevent what happened from happening again.
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>> i would like to ask if he knows how many civil cases there are and if he knows what the position would be if the claimants do not wish to go to arbitration? >> there are a dozen cases, as i understand it, and it would be better to roll out the inquiry. clearly, the police have a better view and the inquiry should not start until the criminal cases are completed. i hope they can be dealtith through mediation. if they are not, that will have to get what is appropriate. >> may i commend the prime minister for his excellent statement, which are sure will be -- which are surely that
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intelligence lend to us should not be leaked or least through the courts. will he give assurance that when it becomes necessary to amend the operation of the human right side that he will not shrink from doing that in order to protect relationships with our eyes? >> on the point about the intelligence services, -- with our allies? >> on the point about the intelligence services, from their perspective, this is not without difficulties. this is not without some painful examination that is going to take place. but it does get you into a better situation, one where we can deal with this stain on britain's reputation. he is right about the control principle. it is a very simple point. if other countries do not feel they will -- that we will protect the intelligence of a
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nation that they give to us, they will not give it to us anymore. and figure on give it to us anymore, we will not be able to keep people as safe -- and if they will not give it to us anymore, we will not be able to keep people as safe. it is not easy to find a way to work of how to protect secret information in an open and liberal democracy, but we have to do it. >> ian paisley. the cru>> could i ask the prime minister, is it possible for him to ensure that the inquiry is short and sharp and not like -- and is n allowed to sap the morale of our security services, who can be put down by inquiries that are largely used for propaganda and by their enemies.
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can i ask whether he will consult with the privy council members from northern ireland on security and intelligence matters to ensure that their voices are heard on these points? >> i'm sure my right hon. friend from kensington will have heard what the hon. gentleman said. in terms of the assurances that he seeks from me, yes, it will be limited to a year. the purpose for getting on with this within the first couple of months of a new government is to try to clear this issue away. it will take some time, but better to start now with the norgard process, mediation, guidelines for the future.
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>> can the prime minister confirm if he believes that intelligence material should be put into the public domain for the credibility of the inquiry and it is safe to do so? will he allow this to happen? >> is this safe to do so? yes, of course. this is not a political witch hunt. likewise, this is not about trying to cover about things that might have happened. it is trying to get to the bottom of what happened, to get this out there. but i have to have regard -- i have to regard what the minister of intelligence services believes is a bridge for safety. >> can you confirm that the 46
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documents with the cia will be made available -- of course, to the inquiry itself, but also more wildlwidely? >> let me be clear, this is not an inquiry into what the u.s. authorities have done. this is an inquiry into what the uk personnel may or may not have done. i think it is important that we get that straight. the stain, if you like to monitor situation are these -- on the british situation of the stains on complicity. we're not trying to have some great inquiry into the practices and procedures of other intelligence services. that is not with the inquiry is about. . .
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>> can part of that to be to
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encourage these gentleman not to go around the country not to support islamist practices -- it's a real problem because if they are free in our country, it's better they don't encourage people to do things that are not very helpful. >> the member and i agree about the need to confront and if he doesn't put extremist islamists arguments -- that is something we have to do for the good of our country and the good of the world. he asked whether an inquiry can draw the line. i do not think there has yet been a proper attempt to look systematically at this the second allegation about whether british personnel were in any way composite because of the things they witnessed or were involved in. that has not been done. it needs to be done. i ask people to disagree, what is the alternative? do we want to let civil cases roll on and have people year after year our security services jammed up with paperwork. it's better to clear the way and
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get to the bottom of it and make sure they can get on with the jobs they do so well. >> i think many hon. members on all sides understand the first remediation into the civil cases. will the prime minister accepted as more controversial when it comes to the compensation? especially -- will you therefore have some level of transparency after these processes are done, publishing the amount of compensation or at the very least not exempting from the freedom of information act that information? >> the hon. member is right that this is a difficult process and nobody wants to pay compensation that is not warranted. but there are two things i would say -- it is getting increasingly difficult for the security services to defend themselves in these civil actions because the information they would use to defend themselves is made public, which they do not want to happen.
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they did not bring the information forward and cannot win the case. the second thing i would say is that the point about mediation is that it is a private process. if you advertise your mediation strategy, or your be -- what would be remiation outcome even if you describe your outcome, that does not make mediation very easy in the future. >> after the labor years, the prime minister says he does not want to be political, but maybe i can encourage him a lead. given the labour party and government's refusal to accept claims of torture and the various attempts to try to make this all the way, does he not believe ministers and speech should appear before this inquiry? >> it will be a matter for the inquiry as to who they want to see for witnesses and they will be able to summon who they want. let me stress that this is not
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some attempt to draw former ministers and to some great argument. that is not what this is about. if the inquiry wants to talk to ministers and ask what information made it to partners and what did not, they can. this is a clear attempt to get to the bottom of what happened in those very difficult years where allegations had been made that need to be addressed. i'm pleased the new government has found the right process for doing that. >> thank you, mr. speaker. can i think the prime minister for acknowledging the issues the previous commentator tonight. but can he not accept all of us cannot join in the canonization of the security services. many of us believe the security services were composite -- work implicit in carrying out some of these things in northern ireland. but can you address the peculiar circumstances that are
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in front of us now from mediation and compensation in front of the acquiree and presumably -- inquiry -- >> we have spent some time looking at this issue, trying to find the right way to deal with the issue and we think mediation followed by this judgment inquiry is the right way to get to the bottom of it. i would just ask to take a wide view and look across the years, across the history and across with the security services do today, not just in northern ireland, but across our world to keep people in this country and in this house say. we should end of the dead to paying tribute to brave men and women who are never known about, some of whom died in this cause and cannot be more properly by their families and thank them for what they do on our behalf.
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>> sunday on "prime minister's questions" british prime minister david cameron remembers the victims of the july 7th, 2005 attacks in london. he also takes questions on domestic violence sentencing and funding for local police departments. that is sunday at 9:00 eastern on c-span. >> "prime time book tv" continues tonight with a look at politics. jonathan alter on the promise -- the former house speaker, newt gingrich, and a book party for bill press. his release is "toxic talk -- how the radical right has poisoned america's airwaves." microgram defends the tea party amusement. -- michael gramm defends the t party movement. >> now a look at the financial
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regulation bill working its way through congress. a member of the "national review" discusses his opposition to the legislation. let me introduce you to our next guest. from new york city, stephen çspruiell, a staff writer for e "new york times." good morning to you. thank you for being with us. ças we begin, let's talk about the legislativeç head counting. what is scott brown so important in the process? >guest: as he said he might be, he is the 41st vote. depending on what happens in çwest virginia, with respect to
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the seats filled by the late robert byrd. the latest cloture vote was as closeç as these things can be. democrats were barely able to get 60 votes. when the bill itself came up for a vote, it passed with four republican votes. chuck grassley, theç two senats from maine, and scott brown. two democrats voted againstç i, recant well and russ feingold. cantwell has said she will support the bill this time around. susan collins and olympia snowe has also -- have also said they wouldç support it. chuck grassley will likely vote for it again. feingold çhas decided he will e sticking with his opposition. it does not do enough for the liberal priorities, does not do
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enough to limit the size of big banks, does not do enough to prevent a future crisis. çif you are keeping score at home, that makes scott brown the 41stç vote. of course, that could change, if a person sent to washington than to fill byrd's seat is a democrat, as well as someone willing to vote for the bill. çhost: we have confirmed with s office that senator brown is not yet ready to make a decision. çyour magazine's editorial says this is a bad bill. would you make the case, based on your reporting, about someçf the concerns that some of your colleagues have?
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guest:çlh2f sure, and it is not me and my colleagues, but senator brown has stated himself, things that were not addressed in the conference committee. first of all, thereç is the ise of cost. that is the original reason scott brown said he would not be voting for the bill thatç camen a conference committee. house and senate negotiators, when they met to reconcile the senate version of the bill, had a problem in order to meet the democrat pinko restrictionsç -- in order to meet the democrat's pay go çrestrictions, the cbo told them that the bill would cost around $19 billion, which they decided to fund the by placing a tax on large banks. scott brown opposed this tax in
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his campaignç for senate. he was asked about it in a press conference near to his electionsç. in the estate as blue as massachusetts, he said taxes tend to be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher fees, so i will not support a higher fee on banks. hav[ng staked her out that position in his campaign, he could not be consistent and vote oor a bill that placed a $19 billion tax on banks, regardless of what you think about the merits of the tax. so democrats have to go back to the drawing board and reconvene the conference committee, which is rare, and figure outç what they will do to get that one senator's kofvote. çthey replaced the mechanism wh something that is nothing short
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of fraudulent. we are going to cancel the one the three months of authority under the troubled asset relief program. remember, this was the bailout that passed in the fall of 2008. çthat would "say the $11 million." --ç save $11 billion." that money was not meant to be spent. as far as we know, they were not planning to make future loans. those were losses that would be made in theç remaining three months of the programs authority, but they were not going to make any loans. çso that is pure deficit spending. because of an accounting trick, they will be able to say that it is spending cut. they will make up the deficit through the fdic investments. çthey've raised the money for that activity by imposing a
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premium on banks. çthis legislation would raise e premium. the problem with this is small and large banks alike pay the premiums, but the cost associated with the bill is attached to this new power that the fdic has beenç given to wid down a large, non-financial banks. one of the problems in the last çcrisis that battle regulators said they had was they did not have an fdic-like process where winding down insolvent investment banks would occur. this would only apply to commercial banks. ifç they had that power, they could have prevented the lehman brothers bankruptcy andç all of the messiness associated with that, and they would have had better tools to take part a.i.g. but those new powers only cover
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large financial institutions. now we are going to raiseç fdic assessments on small banks to pay for future assessments on large banks. çwe made that point in the editorial, that if you want to be consistent to not adding to the deficit and not raising taxes on banks, this bill still does have that. it adds to theç deficit, wheres the previous bill, which wasç consisted of taxes, does not. there are also a host of other reasons. host: your editorial does have a multi-part position here. it is available atç
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çlet me tell you how you can gt involved. democrats, 202-737-0002. republicans, 202-737-0001. independents, 202-628-0205. çalso, as always, you can reach us by e-mailç or send us a message through twitter. our guest is a writer for the "national review." he has been discussing financial regulation. we begin with a call from tampa, florida. óá on the democrat's line. çcaller: i just wanted to comment, why is this person playing games with us? we are working class people.
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çthese people have millions of dollars and they can finance what ever they want to. we are working people. we?7ç live check by check. host: the concerns of working class people not being met by legislation, compared to those with money. guest: this is a separct issue. i believe he is talking about the unemployment extension that the senate democratic leadership hasç been unable to find the votes for. this would be
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for all types of official, regulatory uses, it is necessary for pension funds and other types of investors to hold assets that are rated aaa or achieve a certain rating by nationally recognized credit rating agencies. this gives them a government- backed oligopoly and protect them from competition which is one of the reasons why we saw the laziness and non-cautioned rampant in those companies when they were rubberstamp thing what
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turned out to be toxic subprime mortgage-backed securities with aaa ratings. there are reforms that could chief what we would like to see -- that could achieve what we would like to see, which is to take away the reliance of a government-backed rating oligopoly and let there be a marketplace for risk assessment or, better yet, let banks perform their own risk assessment. i feel one of the things that contributed to the severity of the crisis is these large banks did not have the proper incentives to investigate the quality of the mortgage-backed securities they were investing in. they sought was rated aaa and added it to their portfolio. that is why a lot of them came before congress and said this was not our fault. all of these mortgages were aaa, how could you say we were engaged in reckless risk-taking when these mortgage-backed securities were rated aaa by the
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rating agencies? we need to break up the oligopoly, the government-backed oligopoly, concentrates the market for risk assessment in a handful of firms and let other firms compete to provide credit ratings or, better yet, encourage bankers and investors to do their own risk assessment. their own risk assessment. host: as we get involved more in the senate debate, we will bring on other bourses toç have opinions in this. next phone call from new jersey. ritaç on the democrat's line. caller: good morning, everyone. i just want someone to explain to me, how can you get anything done when you have toç compromise on everything you do
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in washington? it does not make sense!do me. you need the republican's help to do anything and they are refusing to help the president push anything through. you know you are not goingç to get the bill if you cannot get any assistance from republicans. can anyone explain this to me- how can america be so confused to not see that these republicans are doing everything they can to destroy the president? guest: i understandç your point of view, and it is one that the president and other democrats have expressed. çrepublicans, deep down, do not have strenuous and printable objections to this legislation,
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but are opposing it simply to hand the president a political çdefeat, and i think that is wrong. i have talked to a lot of republicans who have worked on this issueç, people like scott garrett of new jersey, bob corker of tennessee. they want to get to a bill that is a good bill, that will avoid some of the mistakes that led to the crisis in 2008, and that will put inç place new and stronger financial regulations that do with the problems that still exist in our financial sector. çthey are trying to find a solution. but they still have legitimate concerns, as do we. we wrote in the editorial, as susan has been talking about, 10 reasons for scott brown to oppose this then enter regulation bill. çthere is probably a good bill somewhere in there.
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there are some thingsç that moe us in the right direction, but there are too many parts that would encourage the same kind of reckless risk-taking that led us to the crisis in 2008. otherç things that absolutely must be addressed, such as problems with any mae and freddie mac. çthe way we framed it for scott brown is your continued opposition to this bill could lead not just to improvement in the cost area where you have raised concerns, the improvements across the bill. there is no reason this needs to çbe done right now. the democrats put an artificial timeline on this and rush it throughç congress. by contrast, the last two former financial regulation bills took 97 and 74 calendar days. we have rushed to this process.
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the financial crisis in agree çcommission, the panel forced o look into the crisis, has not even issued a report(ydt. so we do not have an official word from the government on what went wrong, and we are already trying to fix it? there is no urgent need to pass this right now. we have other problems to worry about, such asç continued sluggishness in the economy, that this bill does not address. host: what is yourç response to people who say that it will be two years since we have the financial crisis? guest: the government took a similarly wamp amount of time to pass financial regulation reformç after the stock-market crash of 1929. it was years before the legislation that craáed the sec and other kinds of reforms that
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were passed -- in the 1930's, and they did some investigations. but they spent a lot ofç time gathering information and figuring out what went wrong. r theing out what went wrong. slowness here, first of all, democrats had other priorities. they wanted to move health care. they wanted to do the stimulus at the beginning of last year. they had other priorities that they wanted to make sure they got doneç while they had favorable numbers in congress. we expect some of that to change in november. çthey certainly would not have been able to do health care. that does not necessarily mean that they have been spending that time perfecting this legislation. take for instance the new çresolution authority given to the fdic to seize and on one
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large, non-banking financial çinstitutions. a lot of which looks like it was copied and pasted from the legislation that created the fdic. but non-banking financial institutions are not like commercial banks. when the fdic takes down a %1 bank, it is designed to bail on one class of creditors for that bank, @íd that is the depositors. as a society, we have decided that depositors deserve a bailout. it is a good thing to have that in place to prevent panic and bank runs, but you cannot justç cut and paste that language and applied it to investment banks whose creditors are not çdepositors, there are sophisticated investors who know very well what they're doing with their money. the way the legislation was originally written, it would have allowed the sec -- fdic to
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build these predators, which meansç that they would take an even bigger risk. thanks to oppositionç from richard shelby, the ranking member on the senate banking committee, there were some changes to that legislation that improved it. . . ç that is emblematic of the haste in which this legislation was thrown to get there. if they took more time on the legislation, it could see further improvement. host: next call on the republican line. >> i was wondering what effect is of fairness and housing act have on the financial meltdown. guest: what you are referring to
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is something called the community reinvestment act. is it similar to that? host: i did that his point. guest: -- i think that is his point. guest: this law strongly encourage banks to make loans to increase loans to low-income communities to maintain as a percentage of their portfolio such loans. the question is whether or not that encouraged banks to lower their lending standards and make home loans, for instance, to people who might not have been the best credit risks. i think the cra was a contributing factor but not a primary factor. it worked in consort with a number of other regulations and
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government efforts to subsidize home ownership that fueled the deterioration of lending standards that led to sell many bad loans being made. almost more important than the community reinvestment act is it you go back and look at some of the things the clinton administration was doing with respect to fannie mae and freddie mac, pushing them to make homeownership, particularly low-income home ownership a bigger part of their portfolio, pushing them to lower their standards so more low- income people could qualify for loans, this continued -- the bush administration was also guilty of this -- the bush administration fell under the same sway of thinking homeownership was good everywhere and we need to do a lot of things to encourage it. even among people who might not be financially responsible or ready to take on a mortgage.
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across the board, politicians in both parties encourage homeownership among communities and economic groups that -- for whom home ownership might not have been the best option. host: this option -- this in the paper -- fannie mae and freddie mac will begin trading after they were delisted by the new york stock exchange. we are talking about coverage of and the editorial opposing the dodd-frank proposal. we have someone on the republican line. caller: i am 72 years old. not one thing have they done for
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the working man. they have done medicare. they can say they have done a lot, but they have not. they have tried to destroy this president. if we say no to everything, we can destroy you as president. that is what they have done. come on, a young boy. you are smart enough and educated enough to know that the republicans are for the rich. that is why you don't want regulation on banks or businesses. you don't want to take any tax breaks from the businesses. you want to take the money from the working man and they don't have it. host: thank you, paul.
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guest: i think what paul is voicing is a common frustration among democrats. i find it interesting that, you know, a lot of these calls have not had much to do with financial regulation. i just -- the only reason i say that is because i feel like this bill is very misunderstood. paul said that republicans don't want regulations on banks because the party -- we are the party of the rich. a lot of the problems i have with this bill and that other conservatives have with it is it would continue to subsidize wall street. russ feingold is as liberal as they come. he is from neighboring wisconsin. paul is in minnesota. he said the bill does not do enough to prevent the kind of bank problems we saw before. i think there is a lot of
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misunderstanding about what this bill does. i think the democrats have been very effective at labeling it wall street reform. when people are asked in surveys do you support wall street reform, do you support a bill that would crack down on wall street? they tend to be in favor of that, they say, yes, of course. that is why does bill into is broad support. but there is a lot in the bill that really entrenches the status quo. as i said, the fdic resolution authority really would allow for some of these large financial institutions that failed to get a better deal than they would have gotten in bankruptcy. the bill also entrenches the federal reserve authority to make credit available to firms experiencing liquidity crises. as we saw in 2008, the federal
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reserve has been willing in the past to make this credit -- these lines of credit available to not just illiquid firms but insolvent firms, firms that would fail if it were not for the fdic willing to -- if not for the fed's willingness to accept garbage loans as collateral and make loans to keep them afloat. there are a lot of provisions in this bill that subsidize wall street. that is one reason a lot of conservatives oppose it. contrary to paul's impression. host: there's this front page main story in usa today. rohrb h
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one of our viewers has tweeted this question, what are five or six proposals that would present as financial reform? give us an idea of what your editors believe would be effective for what ails the markets. guest: one idea would be to -- as i said, there are some things in the bill that we support and there are steps toward things that we support that are in the bill but that do not go far enough. we discussed in our editorial leverage limits. the use of leverage was key to making the crisis as large and severe as it was.
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in the time since the crisis hit, there have been a number of interesting ideas floated for what to do about leverage. leverage is just debt. it is when investment banks, for instance, borrow a lot of money in order to magnify their returns on their investment. as it has been reported many times, at the height of the crisis, some investment banks were operating with leverage ratios of 25 or 30 to one. for every $1 of equity they had, they were boring $25 or $30. when things start to go wrong and you cannot repay all that money, that is when you run into the kinds of problems that took down their stearns and lehman brothers. a big question has been what to do about leverage. well, one person has come up with a really interesting proposal to limit leverage.
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a libertarian economist suggested simply taking a trust- busting approach to the largest banks and breaking them up. that would limit their ability to use leverage to get so big. the idea that i personally thought was the most interesting was to have a hard caps on leveraged that worked in tiers so that the larger of baguettes, the more tightly it is constrained on its leverage. -- the larger a bank gets. this allows small banks to use leverage to grow and take risks and if they fail, it will not bring down the financial system. if they fail, it puts hard caps on the largest banks. and none of those approaches are represented by this bill. this bill is read it -- this bill leaves leverage requirements to the regulators. that situation existed before
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and was allowed the lae investment banks to convince the fdic to let them operate under leverage requirements of 25 to 1. one or two decades from now after memories of the crisis have faded, the banks will come back to regulators and say we are big boys and we know what we are doing and it's ok to let us operate with these big leverage ratios. a lot of the time the regulators will be convinced because either they want jobs on wall street or if they are understaffed, they don't have the capability to keep up with the investment banks. this legislation really does nothing about leverage. it is one reason why russ feingold opposes it and i think it could be improved. host: victor on twitter sends this: we have one call left from north
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carolina, clifford on the addendum line. good morning. caller: good morning. will there be taxation without representation in the future? guest: the financial reform bill -- so, i think, to address your point, which is where is the revenue coming from to fund some of the things this bill does? that gets back to the problem that scott brown had in the first place, if the democrats are unwilling to cut spending elsewhere in the government to find the reforms they want in this bill, they only have two ways to do it. they can raise taxes, presumably on financial institutions or they can increase the size of the deficit with the with thein tarp. that does not solve the concerns
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that brown has raised. if i were brown, i would have to look at that and say i cannot support the bill. host: thanks for being with us. i want to tell our viewers if they are interested in additional opinions of the editors of the national review on the bill, it is available at >> friday on "washington journal" -- protecting oil spill victims in the gulf with a director of the national institute for occupational safety and health. then the proposal to increase taxes on top earners to increase the national -- to decrease the act -- to decrease the national debt. then the health reporter from
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the "washington post" gives an update. washington journal airs every morning starting at 7:00 eastern on c-span. >> "prime-time book to the" continues tonight with a look of politics -- jonathan alter on "the promise" and former speaker, newt gingrich. also, attend a book party for bill press. his new release is "toxic talk." and a boston radio talk show host defends the t party movement. that is all this week on c- span2. >> starting on friday, it is the national governors' association annual meeting from boston. state executives will gather for three days of talks and presentations, including its
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session on sunday featuring former senator alan simpson and former white house chief of staff erskine bowles. >> the most important mission of the journalist, the most important mission in journalism is to confront those who are in power, to question those who are in power so we can prevent abuse of power. >> since 1986, he has anchored the nightly news on univision, the largest spanish-language television network in the united states. we will spend an hour with him on sunday night on c-span. >> earlier this year, concerns of the greek national debt and potential loan defaults led the european union and international monetary fund to provide emergency capital for that nation. next, the greek foreign minister, spyros kouvelis, talks about the status of his nation's economy and how they're using
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green technology as part of the recovery effort. from the woodrow wilson center for scholars, this is just over one hour. >> the morning. welcome to the woodrow wilson center for scholars. this project is especially pleased to welcome back to the woodrow wilson center, spyros kouvelis, who is -- who was here in march of 2009 as a member of the greek parliament. he was in charge of the environmental policy coordination and was here to address the topic of protection of the mediterranean the ecosystem. today, we are even more honored and pleased to welcome him back as the deputy foreign minister of greece to discuss greening the mediterranean, greek foreign policy against the backdrop of the financial crisis. as many of you know, the government of the prime minister of greece has turned toward the
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development of energy efficiency and the application of innovative systems in the field of alternative and renewable energy through the liberalization and privatization of the country's energy sector. new and serious incentives to attract foreign investment are under way to capitalize in renewable energy, especially when than solar among the energy types which are most abundant in greece. and promote the co-friendly tourism as part of the overall strategy to increase growth and productivity in greece. the prime minister also recently declared that imposing difficult the austerity measures, and the process is continuing today, those conditions that have been dictated by an international monetary fund and emergency $150 billion loan to pull greece out of this unprecedented debt crisis will in positive ways give greece necessary time to
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implement these challenging structural reforms. if successful, the implications for future energy and environmental policy development throughout the mediterranean region that is readily the southern tier of the european union but also along the northern african coast would be significant. our speaker today is so committed to implementing this strategy on a regional level but he has called in a recent address for turning the black sea green. but today, we will ask him to focus on the mediterranean. spyros kouvelis received his master of science and environmental economics from the university of writing in the united kingdom. he served -- university of writing in the united kingdom. including serving as president of the wwf mediterranean team and was coordinator for the
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mediterranean wetlands convention established in 1971. he was responsible for the sustainable development plan of the united nations environmental programs mediterranean action plan and was elected to the greek parliament for the first time in september of 2007. in the intervening years, he specialized in environmental physical planning and public works policies in athens. he took office as a deputy foreign minister of greece in october, 2009. it is a genuine puzzle -- genuine pleasure to welcome back the debt before and minister of greece, spyros kouvelis. >> thank you very much. this is the second time i've had the pleasure of the welcoming here to the wilson center. it's always a great pleasure. it's an honor to be here again one year later and to talk under a different hat and a different situation. both for my role and where greece's in this whole picture
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of the world. i would like to thank all of you for your attendance here. i know that it is a week that washington d.c. is not very full of people. but you are proved to be contrasts and i want to thank you for this. i would like to thank you, john, for instance -- for your insistence of turning the matter toward green batters. how we try to promote the green development through the actions of the greek government and to underline the point, i would like to inform all of you that here, in my visit to washington d.c. this time, with the greek delegation, i have the president -- have the pleasure to have with me the deputy minister for energy who is here with us in the room. as you say, very correctly, we mean business with the green development and green energy. we want to make things happen and we try to do this in a coordinated way. before i come to this and speak about our work, let me start
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from where we are today and how we find ourselves, and ourselves to increase, and the time of crisis -- ourselves meaning that greece, in a time of crisis. we try to look at how we found ourselves in this mess. the one component is the global crisis that started from the other side of the land, this side of the atlantic. we all remember the stories of lehman brothers and it flew over to europe and we have a global crisis. that came at a time where the world did not need weakened growth of the financial sector and that's when it it got. for greece, that did not make it any easier. at the same time, we had the home brewed recipe for the crisis itself. this is what we as the government was elected in the
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middle of this crisis of october to dozen 9, addressed and recognize the main source of the problem. -- october 2009. this problem had a name -- greece was the only european country combining to very difficult characteristics. one was we had a very high public deficits. the other is we had a very high public debt. you would find countries in europe that have higher or lower if you want marks for one or the other, but not the combination of the two. greece had the combination that made it much more vulnerable to attacks for speculation and attacks against the eurozone and greece was the entry point. that's how we came to be in the spotlight of everyone. the greek government tried mediately to address this situation. what we did was have the stability and growth program, a
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program that focuses on both. i will tell you a couple of words about stability and growth -- the memorandum with the european commission, the imf and the central bank, for a loan of 130 billion euros that is necessary to help greece of the next five years to overcome the situation and readdress its economy. the objectives are to reduce public spending and contain the deficit and the other is to boost development and growth. on the first objective, reducing public spending, we have been gauged and put implementations on reforms, the tax reform which is very important because it is more equitable and fair way of collecting taxes and making sure taxes are paid. second this pension reform discussed in parliament yesterday and today. the good news is yesterday we had a majority vote on that and
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we expect the same tomorrow which is not a small thing for a country like greece. we also have a number of reforms under way in public health, medicine, privatization schemes for public companies and so on. the good news is all of this work is bringing some results. we had an interim review by the troika that i said -- it confirms greece is attaining its targets and is on track and speaks of significant progress in fiscal structural reforms. that is important because those measures when taken, they hurt. when you see you have a result, it makes all the difference because everybody understands there's a reason why this is happening. that leads to a much more calm situation in greece. the public is accepting the necessity of the measures and people are understanding it. i was interested to read
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yesterday in the "economist" which has not written that many positive things about greece, yesterday i read a very interesting quote -- greek unionist have responded to television -- [unintelligible] yet, the new look cannot disguise the shrinking numbers of demonstrators turning out to resist the of 30 measures. from may until today we have less than half of the people who used to participate. now you have scarce participation in some of these things and a much more calm situation which is important. it shows the whole plan is being accepted. having said that, are we out of the woods yet? we are not. it's not so easy. it does not happen. we have just taken the austerity measures. they're good to control spending and transparency and good to
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make taxpayers pay. but without the development and growth that it has to come with, there is no long-term solution. to effort we're making is boost development, attract foreign direct investment, and start entrepreneurship and start up small and medium enterprises and use the sleeping capital. unless we put the value and what greece can do, we don't expect much to happen. this is where the green development comes in we have engaged in legislation reform. one of the first things the ministry of energy did was to pass into law for renewable energy legislation. that was meant to make sure investments in renewable energy can happen with out the very important bureaucracy and red tape making an investment, having to go to a process of five or six years until it could
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be given the authorization to be implemented and start producing. that was dragging away a lot of investment. we have a new law that is changing a lot. prior to that, we're doing more things for boosting the growth program and that comes through the liberalization of services like ship cruises. we had a discussion about that and the new fast-track law for the business startup which means people who want to start their business don't have to go through the traditional 35 steps of processes of getting signatures to start their business. it is a one-stop shop. the new investment support law is very important force -- for providing support investment. also, a plan for aggressive economic plan to produce foreign trade deficits because we have all of that. targeted efforts to attract foreign investment to greece. the green development part is
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very important because as i said before, we need to use the competitive advantage. one of the biggest advantages is the geographic position on which it stands. if you take a mental picture in your mind, greece is sitting just between the balkans, southeast europe, the east mediterranean, which is less developed and interconnected than the west part, and the black sea. it is a crossroads between three continents, a crossroads between people looking forward to a lot of development in the region and in doing that, it can be a key player in some sectors that are important. renewable energy is the biggest. we think renewable energy, it's not something we want to develop only increase, but we are doing it in the balkans and the north african region, libya, egypt and so on. it is not just renewable energy. greece is planning and working
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actively to become the energy crossroads of oil and gas pipelines and electricity channelling between the south and the north. i will tell you a couple of examples -- airports, real- estate -- tourism is very important for greece. and one thing we should never forget is produce. the cultural products of greece because the mediterranean diet is known all over the world. all of these, we put under the hat of green development. we see that energy, whichever way we do it has to be the energy at takes us to the next step of technology. breen energy, where nobles, and so on. tourism, putting a value on the landscape and values of greece. we are doing this not only in our country, though we have to have the first success stories and begin to emerge under
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foreign direct investment. we signed an agreement with qatar and we have the agreement with china, the logistics center and so on and more things to come. it's more than just what happens in greece for this green energy and green development. we have set the target for the western balkans to become part of the european union by 2014. this is a target set by the prime minister and it coincides with the greek presidency of the european union. we have set the targets to drive green development into the black sea. we call it black sea turns green because we recognize it is an area that can have a lot of positive developments going toward green energy, and so on.
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more important are things happening with the mediterranean. greece is part of the union for the mediterranean, not just part we have put a lot of emphasis on making sure we have the secretariat for energy. for those not familiar with that, it's a union between the european countries and the north african and east mediterranean countries to promote a number of sectors including transport, institutional development and so on. the reason is we want to play our cards and be the one to drive green development in the region and make sure greece has a role to play in the interconnection between products like desert technology and is looking for renewable energy in north africa and connect that to europe. we are actively looking for signing the agreements for these -- for the transfer of
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energy from the south toward the north. greece has engaged in a recall the mediterranean initiative, an initiative to drive the mediterranean toward the new development era, the green development that will be the regional response to climate change and the challenge of that. this comes through green energy. . initiative. and, with this, i believe that greece is turning the page, for its development. and greece is a country that came a long way, and we found ourselves in the position where we had a lot of accumulated financial problems and a lot of unrelated functional problems but, also, a lack of development forces, producing good things, and this is what we are trying to do. this is why, i think greece is now on a new course of attracti foreign direct investment and entrepreneurship and collaboration between countries and thisis, for
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example, the recent obama visit this time, because we want to boost our cooperation with the u.s., and to have business cooperation with both u.s. and also any american businesspeople. and if that, because i said that i want to underline, also, the importance of the greek diaspora and recognize quite a lot of people here that are both -- greek-americans and it is well-known that for us that is a very important thing. we want to mostly get in touch with the people, the greek americans, that have the inventiveness and the creativity that want to be part of this coordination and cooperation, between the forces in the country, and in greece, and, we are looking for corporations -- not for help, that is important to note. because, it is the long term plan we should be looking at. we need to tap on the bright minds that are here, that are tomorrow's lawyers, tomorrow's
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engineers and inventors, artists, whatever, who can bring greece to the next page and i thinthat if i said that in a nutshell, what we want to -- the million greeks that exist around the world, with the diaspora is to carry three messages and one is greek is changing with a plan, that it is going through bold reforms, and, and the second is greece is turning the page and using its comparative advantages to become a regional development hub for energy, for green energy, transport, tourism and its region covering the east mediteanean and the balkans and the black sea and finally it is a safe and friendly country and a destination for tourism, actually this year, because prices are getting better and because of the... in europe and with these words i would like to close with one mention, specifically for what we are doing here in the u.s., as you remember, after the visit of prime minister papandreou and his meeting with president obama, we considered as we have
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engaged in a new era for the cooperation between greece and the u.s. and we have had the agreement for the visa waiver program which is important so we can have more exchange with in the two countries and, have the supported of the obama administration for the... stability and development and that is important because it underlines other things that have happened during the time, that this country, greece is a partner for cooperation and the dynamic in greece is turning the page, as i said before, so i hope i covered some of your points, that you are wondering and i am open to any questions or debate about that. >> mr. deputy minister, what i would like to do is open up the discussion, with a question or two, and then welcome questions or very precise comments from our many colleagues here, today. two things, one, in the context of foreign policy, can you tell us a bill lit about the discussions that you or your
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counterparts in athens have had with government leaders in the southern countries of the european union or the countries along the northern african coast about any of the specifics of the kind of ambitious plan and exciting plan that youre describing here? you mentioned some of the deals already covered, the governments of china and qatar and i'm looking specifically at the mediterranean rim and then, as it pertains to particular plans in renewable energy a said in my comments, my understanding is that greece has an abundance of wind and solar energy that is perhaps matchless. among at lst the european union countries. are there any specific plans to develop something along the lines of a solar-powered grid where greece serves as a hub and not a transit country as it has in recent years for oil and natural gas? >> okay. let me start by those two points. first of all, the discussions we have had with the mediterranean,
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mostly, with two cases, they are egypt and libya. you probably know or may not know that prime minister papandreou paid a visit to tripoli in libya, had a meeting with theresident of libya, gadhafi. and among the things that were discussed, one of the highest priorities is the development of joint efforts for green energy. green energy, meaning not only the energy creation, by solar and concentrated solar power but most of what is very important and actually planning to have a visit to libya, quite soon, is to have interconnection between libya, via crete towards central greece and allows transfer from the north african coast to europe to greece and then europe and the same thing holds, and this has been discussed already, at the business table by
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counterparts in both countries between greece and egypt. we also discussed in -- and are looking towards interconnection between egypt and crete and greece and that is to tap into the vast potential for solar energy on the north african side. now that is for me, the most important part of the work for the mediterranean, because, the point here is that you can have as much generation of internally from green sources as you want, unless you have the right interconnections it is like having nothing. you cannot actually use the energy so you have to be able to transfer it to where the need is and sometimes it is even further north than greece but has to get into the european union and that is where greece comes in, as a hub in the one sense. the second as you say, renewable energy itself. you said it is very... i was told when i was visiting the nrl here in denver, last year, they told me that greece along with the island of hawaii are probably the two richest places
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in the world for renewables, if you take into accounts solar, wind and geothermal. greece has a huge capacity but most of it comes from the islands or some of the coastlines and unless, as you put it, have some kind of a... that allows you to tap into the energy, then you cannot use it again, it is in priorities of our government, to work into the development market and it is the direction of our government to team up with strategic partners that will work as partners, not just funds but partners in the development work and definitely will be a change of pace for the greek side. >> thank you. why don't we open it up for questions. and, i see hands one and two here, if we can get the microphone please up to the front of the room and we'd ask you, especially for our television audience to please introduce yourselves clearly by name by affiliation. microphone, please. the thank you.
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>> thank you. i'm international consultants on environmental issues and environmental agenda issues in sustainable development. from press reports, i understand that the prime minister of bulgaria made an announcement that bulgaria will withdraw from the agreement with the pipeline... and will happen after the... could you comment on that, please, as it pertains to greece? >> sure. it is a project that has been designed with the participation of greece and it has been a strategic target for greece for many years. greece has taken it very seriously and will have actually -- we have committed ourselves to going through with the project, we have the agreements
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with the bulgarian side and the russian sidend for the proje and we consider it very important, both in internally and strategic importance. and, actually, a few days before those announcements by the prime minister of bulgaria, we, the ministry of environment had called a meeting with our bulgarian counterparts to discuss and move as fast as we could within the environmental assessment for the project, and sadly, a few days later the prime minister of bulgaria announced exactly that, and, in a way, put it as withdrawing from the project which is a very negative development. still, from our side, we keep still pushing for the project. we actually, the ministry of environment is planning to continue on presenting also the greek side for the permit for such a project eventually that will happen if there was a change of minds in bulgaria, and, we still consider it very
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important. now, the problem is, that we cannot take the decision for bulgaria. they have to decide it themselves and we hope that it will go through. we maintain our course for it, for such a project. >> if i might, mr. minister, in the context of regional internally linkages, there is still a very important development of linkage only natural gas between turkey and greece that will then follow onto italy as well, if you want to just elaborate on that. >> thank you, yes. thank you for the reminder. it is the -- the project, the itj project for the transfer of natural gas from azerbaijan via turkey and greece to italy is a very, very important project. i cannot -- definitely that is an equally or en more important project because the natural gas is as one put it the petrol of the future. and, i think that on this one we are moving on a very good track and we have already had the tripartite agreement from the three countries, italy, greece
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and turkey participating in the project a we have had meeting with our azerbaijani counterparts and azerbaijan is committing to the quantities of natural gas that has to be transmitted through that and i believe is a project that will push and, actually is starting to move now, and we can move to the construction of it. >> thank you. our next question? >> i wrote my question while you are speaking. now, as we all know the world... there are many communications, energy, natural economics, business, government, home building and design and many, many more. the heart of business review, whh everybody should believe... in the june issue last month reported about three smart steps the government...
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sustainable products tied to goin green. green growth is at the top of men leaders' agendas but the way forward is rarely clear. just because we have a successful presidecedent doesn' mean it is green. green development needs a unique culture, operational, executional challenges to make them really green. my question is, what executive consultant told in a management... what good ideas... a plan to implement the idea is worth millions or maybe billions. now what is your specific green plan to accomplish that? you said a lot, but, all of it
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may not be grind. you may be successful but it may not be green. >> thank you. i think you take another speech of 20 minutes, which i'm sure you are not prepared to have here. to answer your question, but, in a nutshell... [inaudible]. >> the whole idea for green development, the green growth and development for greece, started from ideas, obviously. and we have said that greece is a country that cannot compete in the traditional economic sector, say of industrial development, or of mass production with central europe or other countries, with much more coastal production but it has some add vandals and the advantages are, as we said before, the renewable energy, has the richest supply of the renewable energy because we have sun and wind and geothermal.
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it has products of high quality that actually do not need any advertisement. i don't need to try to explain to anybody, to -- about the mediterranean diet. it has probably one of this most beautiful coastlines and landscapes in the world. these things, if you want to develop and you can do two things, one is, to cut down all of those american values and try and make them compete because of local cultures and all of that, and, the plan is there. that this is plan, the plan is pla and as i said we have a new law for renewable energy and that is a plan, how you actually invite and get the investors interested. and it is how you turn towards the production of goods that will n compete on the high quantities, and low quality but have high quality products, greewine for, for example, they are world renowned and, by this
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you prince edward island the values embodied in it by greece and tourism is not just a case of produng more and more hotels of medium to low qualit but you go to the high end, and, the high end does not just mean a big hotel with very big swimming pools it means something that brings up the value of the country. for example, if you want to do something to show the beauties of an island like crete for example you have to show that this is happening in a specific area with specific environmental purposes and environmental values, and, specific traditional historical, ac textural values and all of that. this is why we have the plan and this what is we are implementing and for example when we say we are trying to attract investors for developing the assets, real estate assets for tourism, we put the -- we put the conditions under which we want the things to happen. it has to be energy efficient and has to be in full unison
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with the quality of the environment around the place. >> and if i might, again, mr. minister i want to underscore the point you raised about bringing in investments t promote this particular agenda. i think one of the instructive lessons is the experience of spain. which engaged in massive public subsidies, of a quote-unquote green program and it turns out now, that for every green job that was created two traditional jobs were lost. that is not a sustainable path for the transformation into quote-unquote green or renewable energy development. >> if you allow me to add one thing to that, john, i believe that more than investors understand it is a much more viable way to go and investment towards green growth than to go through the traditional things that could actually hamper the development. i'll give you an example which is not only the case of greece but how we had the robs from people when we presented those
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-- the green agenda for the black sea. when i presented that, we had actually the ambassador over japan who flew in for this and it was the first time that we had somebody stepping up and saying we want to be part of that, we want to be part of that and provide development, support and all of that and the same holds exactly for what we are doing in greece, we see we have e increase interest by -- for individual investment because there is a plan, this is modern and it has viability for the future. >> thank you. okay. i have a hand up over here. i have a few hands, mark. mar mario, can we get the microphone, please? thank you. >> good morning, i'm mario... scholar with the southeast euro project here at the wilson center and my question is relevant to the actual development. you spoke about the development on green policy.
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now, i want to know, do you have any plan on energy security? any planning according to the investment, i think there should be a plan on energy security and i want to know more about that. >> thank you, of course, there is a plan on internally security because you cannot design your energy plan nor the countfor th without two things, pro pre-conditions, one, that you will have enough energy for the development of the country and the second, it will be afford al to people, if you provide it but it is too expensive you hamper your development, and the plan is just in a nutshell is a complicated thing to explain, has to do with the -- actually it was presented by -- to the minister, by the minister of energy the other day, is how we foresee the energy needs from here until 2020, in order to be
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in line with the european union and you have 1 personacentage, has to come from renewable energy resources, which has to be in line with the kyoto protocol, and the climate change protocols. and, then we have a very... how will i call it... a set target for what we want to do, also through the energy hubs and the energy input from the the pipelines for natural gas and from the pretrol sector and the gradual phasing out of the mo polluting segments, and we also have to phase it out, and at the same time make sure that the people that get their employment from that sector are trained and transferred to the new sectors for energy. so, in a nutshell that is where it is but i can tell you more.
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>> two hands up, okay. one and nick and we'll come up here, and we'll move over. >> i'm barry... poly trade international corporation and i want to ask with the green energy, who can we contact? do you have a contact person or organization that we need to contact to do business with? and, also, are y planning on having any businesspeople coming in from greece to meet here with u.s. businesspeople? >> thank you. i told you, there is interest! >> there is one of two ways one can do it and i encourage you to try to do both. one is to -- directly with the ministry of energy and that is why as i said we have delegation from the ministry of energy not only the deputy minister but also, his staff who is here with us. and, the second is, there is an organization, we have the honor
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to have the president of "invest in greece", with us and it their job to actually get in touch with potential investors for such projects in greece and help them get through the process so that investments can happen without having the -- hampering the processes that would go too slow. actually on the web site of "invest in greece" note the word, it is yes to rib, you can find electronic books that show all the opportunities for your involvement or your plans, inlvement in such development cases. >> and what we can do also, is there is additional interest forward any e-mails to our offices here at the southeast euro project and we'll be happy to forward them. >> excellent. thank you. >> we can do that. next? >> i'm a business environment expert with u.s. agency tor international development and a greek-american as well. we are talking about greece's
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competitiveness and, of course, what is relied on is research and development an greece produced many brilliant experts and scientists and, you know, certainly many of them are here working at the national institutes of health and, i serve with many brilliant peoe and the greek educational system has challenges and the greek state has a monopoly on higher education, and i came across a letter, yesterday, which remarked that becausef the monopoly there are not good research and development centers, university system does not collaborateith industry, as it does here in the u.s., or even as it does in turkey and i wonder what the government is proposing to do in terms of liberalizing higheeducation so that private universities could be established and, you know, further cultivate and nourish the minds of the greeks, thank you. >> for educational, we all realize education in greece has to go through a very important
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review and a very important change. it is not just the point of the monopoly, and opening up to other university institutions. i think that this would be a beneficial thing to have a more open university system, but, i think that t key to the -- to your question is in what you said, u need to develop more cooperation with those that can help advance the research work in greece and those -- this is why i mentioned also there are people that are here as you said, very well, that will have greek-americans working in different institutions and try to bring them to work together, so, we kind of need both. i believe that the reform in education, will have to set the target, not on whether it is the... whether we address the end result which is to have research that is connected with what we want to have at the end of the day in the productive sector and that comes from both, actually. >> the gentlem up here.
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>> mr. minister, thanks for your remark. my question is more related, i have two questions. >> can you identify yourself. >> raphael ferrare from umd in washington. my first question, related to foreign policy, you expressed that greece's target to see the countries in the balkans integrating the european union for 2014, how confident are you to see that happen and maybe if you could comment on the situation with the recent negotiations going with macedonia and the greek government and question more related to minorities in greece, whether it is turkish, albanian or macedonian, just to know what greece's plan is for -- for the country to help their situation, sometimes, where some are in difficulties. if there is a plan for the government there, just... >> i want get the last point you
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alluded to. >> only... since the state department, united nations, sometimes, has expressed that there were certain lack of rights for minorities and certain minorities in greece, if the government had a plan for that, or just to help their situation, and, certain parts of the country where it is more difficult for them. >> right. >> thank you. >> thank you. let me first say for the 2014 agenda for the integration of the balkans and the european union, of course we know it is a pretty ambitious agenda, we know it is an ambitious agenda that is not easily obtained and it depends on two things, one the european union and greece is a country that wants to be a driver of the process to provide its support towards the countries. and the other comes from countries themselves. the european union comes through a process that means -- that tells those countries will have to prove, practically that the conditions are set for that. now, what we want to do is to
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try to promote not only politically but in practice those countries to try to obtain the necessary targets so that they can become members of the european union and in that, we need the countries to cooperate in good faith and now, specifically for the case you mentioned, with regards to macedonia, it is well-known greece made important steps in trying to provide a provision for that and have accepted to discuss the case for the name that would include the term macedonia and provided that it is also a ce of the geographic identification, whereas we are talking aut a name that would be used for any -- every and any purpose, the principle as we said and unfortunately, that is, we didn't find the response we wanted, we actually had a rather stiff and negative response but we are maintaining the discussion, we are maintaining
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the dialogue, because we think thathis is a problem that can and needs to be solved. as far as people with other identities in greece, it is the commitment of the prime minister himself, and he said that during the press conference that he gave jointlyith prime minister eldoran, that we are committed as a greek government and we are bound as a greek government to provide equal opportunities and equal rights to every greek citizen and doesn't matter whether and how -- their creed or what the other case would be. so we don't have any discrimination between people that are greek citizens and stay in greece and for that purpose, i believe that we try very hard to provide what is needed for e crete and everything else that has to do with the everyday
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life in greece. >> thank you. >> okay, this gentleman back here. >> thank you. ... is my name and i was until recently acting president of the american university of afghanistan. minister, you spoke about some of the bad press that greece has gotten, some of which is perhaps understandable, because obviously, people wonder why should, you know, the german or the french public be paying for the profligating of past governments and, the other thing is the candor in which the current regim and government faced the cries, my question is, in terms of changing -- in terms of leadership, in terms of changing the discoue, the public discourse, the international publ discourse, in terms of pointing out the virtue of making a clean face of it, of actually coming up with
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real number and, therefore, eliciting the moral and material support of our friends, in this period of showing we are real and not messing around. >>hank you. let me start by the first point, that you said, we've had the negative press in some cases and we've had the skeicism as well from some cases, whether this assistance, this support and loan, will have to be given to greece or not. if i invert the case, i'd like to remind to everyone that we saw the global crisis starting from one case from, i mentioned the lehman brothers case, in my speech. and then it spilled over to the rest of the world. now a case like that happening with greece, becau greece was in a very difficult situation, when we have the discussions
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about the ability -- stability agreements, stability and development plan was very difficult and it was not just greece in the case, it was grce and the eurozone and european union and then anyone can imagine what that would have meant for a second helping, if i may say so of a global crisis which nobody needed. so i think that the world, by the -- world, when i say the world i mean the european union and the european central bank, by deciding to agree with the support for greece was in many ways helping themselves, too, and i think that is important. otherwise, you end up sometimes shooting yourself in the foot as they say. now, for what we could have done or should do more for providing this, i believe the most important case is that the greek government, that is what we are doing, has to stay the course and has to maintain a very straight line saying that, you know, we agreed that we will go into tax reform and we're doing it and i rember when we had
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the, especially the cabinet, the ministers, before it went to parliament, that the colleagues expressed some concern about the people and how the society would face up to that, and the minister of finance said, one very important thing, if you have one thread hanging from your sweater, and you start pulling it, at the end of the day you don't have any sweater at all. so you have to make sure that you keep it together. anhis is what we are doing. and i think the numbers are starting to come up. as i said we have the report by the troika and the imf and the central bank and it starts to bear fruit and were already only on the first quarter of 2010 and this is the biggest response we can give to anyone who is expressing skepticism, you know, we do it, we agree wel do it and we are recall ahead having some results. a crisis like that cant be faced in one or two or five months or 8 months, that we have
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been in government but just the fact that from the nose-dive that we were going we are starting now to go upwards, and i believe if we play it right and we maintain our course for the development side of the equation, greece is not only on safe ground but is becoming an important country for the development. thank you. >> i'd like to continue in that line of thought if i might. minister kouvelis and talk about w it plays out in democratic politics. the greek people have been asked to endure very difficult you a ta -- austerity measures, and there is an ambitious environmental program your government is now looking to implement. is this a program that is being supported by a broad swath of the greek populace? do they understand or has this been part of a program to -- to
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have the conversation in greek society about the long-term benefi that could accrueo the greek nation, if this is successfully implemented or is it operating mostly at a governmental level, within the interagency in athens and with governments in the region? >> i think, there is an indicator, at the time the government, over the last 8 months, has imposed very tough measures, and, they are measures that hurt. we know they hurt. and, especially done from a socialist government, you know it makes even us feel skeptical in a difficult position, because, you try to make the measures worko that you can save your economy but at the same time impose a heavy burden on people. i think there is an agreement there, in everybody's mind that this is understood from both sides. the government understandshat this is not -- it doesn't take any pleasure at putting the difficult measures on people. of course and on the other hand, as i said bore i see the
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reanegative reaction by people -- rection, negative reaction by people, and they see we need to go the hard way to do things and one indicator of that, i think, is even after having passed the measures and the riots you have seen and all of that, still, the politicians with the highest regular recognition in greece, and most recognized by the public is george papandreou and people may not react happily when you cut 10, 20, 25% of their next, and no one would expect them to do so, but, this is a -- you can say the country can provide a new development for the country, and, as far as the development side is concerne i believe, and i see it when i speak with people, that they fully endorse the idea of going to a new development deal and the green
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development, turning the development press that puts the value and protects the resources and inherent wealth of the country rather than just putting it up fosale: ultimate goal to have all these sustainable villages throughout the country or is the more feasible and make economically important goal to provide athens with this energy
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from a smart grid that uld be expanded more easily into the balkans i'm assuming. what do you think? of course, both would be best but what do you think is feasible in the short term and in the long term? >> i think that you cannot have a green development program that works on only one part of the country and the rest goes business as usual. because that kind of turns over the whole process. however, there are two things one has to focus on. one is the energy efficiency work that they have to do. and most of the energy efficiencies need -- and i think it has to start from the big city because that's where you have most of the waste of energy. so if you and the ministry of environment has already undertaken measures for increasing energy efficiency d gives incentives for people to better heat their homes so they have greater efficiency and the oductive units and that necessarily would have to come from the big cities. so it has to do with athens and the other cities.
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now, this is only one part of the equation. the other is theenewable energy. these are not the same things and they meet very much and they are part of the same process. and the good news with renewable energy is that by its definition, by i nature is a very distributed production system. it's not the centralized production system so you have to have the generation from windmills, from photovoltaics or whatever. it keeps an extra -- it blows in new life if you want into the greek land scape and all the villages. we need to phase out gradually for the more polluting to less polluting ways to producing energy. the minister of energy visiting the area where we have the
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production and the idea is that we don't in those places to have a lot of production of renewable energy and renewable energy materials as well so that people can get new jobs in greener energy so they would not be out of a job as well because you have to think about it. thank you. >> the gentleman there. >> i'm with the wilson center. you talked about west vulcan membership by 2014. i i'm wondering if greenship could see turkish membership. >> greece has for a very long time supported the european way of turkey. what we say and we say always and we mean it is that we want to support turkey to become a member of the european union. and that is to the benefit of everyone, not only for turkey but also for the benefit of
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greece because we'll have a more -- if you want clean slate on which to our cooperation with turkey. we believe that the more we work with our neighbors of turkey with both sides. we will support turkey but for the other countries, turkey itself has to make sure that the succession is made. -- s to be met. we will not look the other way when they're not. and there are quite a few things that need to be resolved with turkey. we will insist on pushing for a proper succession but a prop one. >> i'm ira for client change in
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the european and the asia bureau. wh role do you see in that process for green energy, clean energy and what involvement in that process. and secondly, it was mentioned the interest in greening of the black sea. and i'm curious what kinds of activities greece has in mind in that area? thank you. >> thank you. definitely for the west balkans we consider that that the green agenda is a very important one. and the green agenda would come first of all through the green energy and that means on the green energy installation of green energy units. and you didn't mention it but i will.
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there is this joint project that'sncreased and u.s. aid between the u.s. aid and partners with green energy in this region d we very much believe in the necessity and the importance of this project. we've had a little bit of delay because of some operational matters but we' now in the process of solving them so that we can go on with this process. and that's a project that we value very much. we think that for the western balkans green energy can become a springboard for more cooperation. you know greece is present economically in many of those countries. greece has about 30% of the banking sector and some of those countries in is serbia, for example. moving in the next productive units is very important because that can bring more and me enhanced cooperation between the economies of the countries. and it's not just energy. it is transport. it is greetransport.
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we think that we need to work with those countries for transports, for example. and we consider this as a challenge and as an opportunity that we need to work on. because that would definitely help the european perspective of those countries. now for the black sea, the process that we foresee the same but a few years back. so we're not there yet. but what we said in our agenda we want to promote cooperaon for green energy but not only because the black sea is one region that lacks ver highly some environmental infrastructures. water management, water purification, green transport and all that. and for that purpose, we first of all want to use the greek presence of the black sea so we develop an agenda and an agenda
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that focus on the political factors and we want to make it a way to attract investment but also the businessector that will want to do that. and for that purpose of the 2nd of december that we have the meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the black sea counies, all the black sea countries we're organizing a back to back big forum, to bring together not only from the region but it could be from the united states, anywhere else, japan as i mentioned before. that will express their interest to work in unison, to work in cooperation with this plan for the development of that. also on part of the news for the black sea that i've heard already from our romanian colleagues who are the ones taking the presidency after greece on the first half of 2011. they are very interested on moving on with this enda. so we want to have the continuity of the work because it will not happen in just the first six months. >> when you referring to the greek presidency you mean
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specifically for the black sea economic cooperation. >> thank you. >> okay. i had a question here and i'm sorry and then the gentleman here. can we get the microphone up here, please. right up here. thank you. >> i'm a scholar at the project here at the wilson center. my question is very brief. could yoplease comment a little bit on your government's views on nuclear energy? i'm saying especially with regard to what is going on in the neighborhood? and we have seen a lot o agreements on nuclear energy plants and there are already nuclear plants but in the eastern mediterranean. thank you. >> go ahead, you can answer that question. >> our nuclear energy, our government has a very steady
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position, a very clear position. we do not consider nuclear energy an option for greece. and we do not have the use of nuclear ergyven more peaceful purposes in greece. we want greece to be using the other energy sources that it has because it has options without using nuclear energy. actually, we think that with the proper mix of that between renewables, natural gas, petro and so on, greece can come up with a vy cost-efficient way to produce the energy it needs. i think the policy of the developing region interconnections is very important. one of the reasons why we do not want to engage into the development of nuclear energy is the cost factor. it's not just environmental factor because the cost factor says that to properly develop especially in a country that has very often earthquakes, nuclear central, is a very costly
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process and a very long in time in terms of time process. so that would mean that unless you put the cost hidden in some way so that the government governors it, the cost per kilowatt hour would be kwiebt elevated. --uite elevated. as far as greece is concerned with the countries around it there's quite a lot of discussion. and we are no right to tell those countries what they can and cannot do in their energy needs. but nothe problem but what we would be to engage on is to use actually the argumen that greece is a country that does not want to have the use o nuclear energy and for that purpose we'll try to agree if possible those countries that such installation should not be placed close to the border with greece. obviously they have the right to choose what they do with their energy planning.
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but that's the way that greece wants to see. >> hi, i'm george. i'm a private citizen. i admire your comments about preserving the gems of the country, which is its natural beauty and its sea. i know that for years you've been exploiting oil in the northern part of the area. and there's been talk of other scomploi exploitation of the areas and creating exclusive economic zones in that area. if and when you decide to create an exploitation of these natural hydrocarbons, how do you see the government's role in preventing another gulf incident like we had in the mexican gulf area because if you were to have such a disaster, it would have great
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implications on your preserving the ecosystem of gree and its tourism. it would be absolutely disastrous. so if you could comment on that for me and whether there's -- whether the goverent is looking to hydrocarbons in that area. >> thank you very much. actually my colleague would be more fit to respond to that. and, of course, he has any comments he is more than welcome to comment on that. but actually if i can convey what he has already explained to me, the idea is that there is already some planning and a project for the law of establishing one national company for the research for the use of such hydrocarbons. i think it's pretty fair to say whether greece would have a series of drillings before we have even the two with which we could engage in such a case.
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but for the sheer management of cases like the ones you have, it is necessary to have the right tool, the right institutions that can do that. also for the purposes if you have a bus, if you have a company that runs that, then you can make sure though the terms are being put in place so that you avoid cases of what has happened in the gulf of mexico, u have to have the institutional place who can manage that and then having the tools that is possible to decide and to see what is the most valuable thingor the company, whether you want to go in further research for possible exploration of that. but i think it's a bit too early to discuss about the second point. thank you. >> prime minister kouvelis, i think we've covered all the ground here. one administrative note, please join us on july 13th, this
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coming tuesday for a presentation on nato's strategic plan and greece's role in developing that plan. that will feature our scholar and previous questioner dr. mario. please join me in a round of applause to thank minister kouvelis for a wonderful presentation. [applause] >> thank you all very much for joining us. we're looking forward to seeing you all very soon. thank you. >> thank you. always a pleasure to be here with you. [inaudible conversations] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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>> friday on "washington journal," protecting people and the gulf with dr. john howard with occupational safety and health. then, curtis dubay on a proposal to increase taxes for the national debt. and later, a look at the specific policies of the new health-care law that has been implemented. ceci connolly gives an update. every morning, starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> the the most important mission in journalism is to confront those who are in power, to question those who are in power so we can prevent abuse of power. >> since 1986, jorge ramos on univision, the largest hispanic
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-- spanish-speaking network in the united states. sunday, british prime minister david cameron remembers the victims of the july 7 attack in london. he also takes questions on domestic violence and spending for local police departments. that is sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. clean-up continues in the gulf of mexico after the bp oil's bill. next, a look at relief efforts for fishermen in louisiana. >> hello. [inaudible conversations]
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>> i am from grand bayou. >> what brings you here today? dr. to get a food voucher because i was denied food stamps and any other help. i am a commercial fisherman. >> what kind of fishing do you duke, and how long have you done this? >> all of my life. >> have you done this before? >> yes, sir. >> what is the process like? >> we have been here since 4:00 this morning. we are now no. 7.
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>> so it is first-come, first- served? >> if you are number 76, you don't get anything. we came last week, and with the year at 7:10. we were 85. >> today, we are distributing food carts and vouchers. these are $100 for smaller, local grocery stores. we also wanted to offer winn dixie because there are some food items that these stores do not have that the public wants. [inaudible] the jasmine rice, other stores don't have. we wanted to try to accommodate them. >> myrtle, here's your card.
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are there any children in the household that need diapers? >> no, sir. >> how many people are in the family? >> just me. >> [inaudible] not only is it our herit -- is our life gone, our heritage is gone with it. >> have received assistance from bp? >> not a dime. i have put in applications and i have not received a call yet. >> we have gone back, so we lost everything from katrina. it was -- [inaudible]
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[unintelligible] >> do you mind if i fell on this? >> not at all. >> we have been trending -- shrimping for 69 yeras. -- years. i got it from my daddy, and it is freedom. when your the boss, you can do whatever you want. -- when you are the boss, you can do what ever you want. >> what kind of help have the received? have you received anything from the peak? >> i have gotten a couple of checks from bp already. the second check -- i just got
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mine about a week ago. here, i will get food stamps. >> they are food cards, gift certificates, not food stamps. we will give them a $100 gift certificate. we will do this once a week. they will get a gift certificate, and we will pay a bill of $200 every month for them. at the end of this month, we will be enrolling management that will help them develop a plan for restructuring of lifestyle. >> i have been working all of my life, right here on the gulf coast. we can't work, we got one check from bp. we're waiting on the other one. with a lot of people, they never
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did receive it yet. everything is questioned about that. we will just wait it out and see what is going to happen. >> we only have a certain amount that we are allowed to distribute for the week. we are doing 75 today, and it is unfortunate -- [unintelligible] >> [unintelligible] >> from my understanding, it is from bp. we did have a grant from them that was 30 days.
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it is my understanding that a lot of this has been coming from bp. >> friday on "washington journal," protecting oil spill workers in the gulf coast with dr. john howard. then, curtis dubay on a proposal to increase taxes on top earners to address the national debt. and then a look at the specific policies of the health care law that has already been implemented. ceci connolly


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