the european union are in brussels this evening for their first summit of the year. topping the agenda -- creating jobs and containing the world you're a crisis. world leaders campaign for tighter budgets and less spending. there are stumbling blocks in the way. >> eu leaders arrived in belgium. and the run-up to the meeting, it was clear difficulties lie ahead. and then, of course, there is grease. >> we will discuss increase in detail, because the inspectors are still there. and we have nothing concrete for the next program. that is why greece is not on the agenda today. >> not all leaders in brussels share the views of the chancellor. >> we did not expect greece to
be the focus of today's talks, but without a doubt, we will have to talk about the. >> the eu and britain have been discussing the final steps of the budget discipline path. leaders were also discussing ways of rekindling growth and job creation. >> it is too high across all of your. -- europe. we will consider how we can better use e measures to help. >> and help is what the european union needs to prevent the slide into recession. >> our correspondent is in brussels following the developments from the summit four us. nina, talks are going on late into the night. any idea why leaders have not reached an agreement yet? >> it is dragging on another couple of hours. we can only assume they are still talking about details
which concern, for instance, the question who is going to attend the eurozone meetings? poland it looked likely at the start of the summit. they wanted 10 such meetings. france is against it. other countries are against it as well. the question remains -- who is going to be there? because the euro, as we have all seen, it is concerning the entire world and in fact. >> is angela merkel correct that world leaders would not discuss greece today? >> absolutely not. officially, we cannot say because they have not emerged from the meeting. germany wants to monitor whether or not decrease is -- whether or not greece is honoring all its plans to create austerity
measures efficiently. yes, greece remain on the agenda and in the weeks to come will probably be a special summit, because leaders are wanting to record -- which the troika that is currently in greece -- want to wait for this to be published to decide what will that happen to greece. >> thank you for that update from brussels'. steeple have more on the potential watchdog over creek -- steve will have more on the potential watchdog over greece's finances. >> germany has rejected calls for eurozone governments to do more to help countries defaulting on its debt, saying further public aid in the former writedowns is not on the negotiating table at the moment.
the stalled amid efforts to renegotiate debt held by private debtors. the european budget commissioner for athens would have the powers over greek spending. >> germany is not very popular in increase these days, and these headlines prove it. one paper depicted chancellor angela merkel as a puppet master keeping athens in chains. some greeks are angry at german interference in greek fiscal policy. >> the situation is such that i do not think the prime minister can do anything about it. i think these things have already been decided elsewhere. but i do not think backwards looking will help pierre. -- will help here. >> it does not depend on the
prime minister. if depends on your. >> for now, the country's fate hinges on its private creditors began negotiations on the debt right down our on going. athens needs to reach an agreement with private investors before it will secure the next round of private bailout money. >> the markets and the private blue chips started out the week on a negative. >> of the euro crisis came back in focus and greece and portugal put pressure on the dax. greece was not able to reach an agreement with private lenders over the hair cut. at the same time, concerns are rising that portugal will face similar problems as greece. belgium could sell easily 5-year
and 10-year bonds at a lower interest-rate and slowly confidence is coming back. >> in frankfurt, we will have a closer look at monday's numbers. the dax fares 1% lower. the dow jones industrial fell by one 1.25%. across the atlantic on wall street, the dow has rebounded, and still not in positive territory, but looking much better. 0.5%. vero trading at the value of $1.25. the french government's has half -- has half its economic growth forecast -- halved its economic growth forecast. the revision means -- the
announcement one day after president nicolas sarkozy announced plan to implement a controversial transactions tax. french debt was recently downgraded from aaa to aa +. italy held a successful bond auction on monday that brought a sigh of relief to rome. that just at over 6% of the lowest level since october. the option was seen as a key test of market confidence. this after italy's credit rating was slashed by two notches. >> let's go back. we turn our attention to syria. there has been an upsurge of violence since the arab league pulled out its observer mission.
dozens have been killed within the last 24 hours. moscow has offered a plan for talks between the two sides, and at the u.n., there is growing support for a resolution condemning the crackdown. >> syrian forces will push back the army defectors from the suburbs of damascus. pressure is growing on the diplomatic front as well. at the u.n., the united states has opened up a plan for political transition in syria. >> we think this resolution is timely. we do not see a great deal of reason for extended negotiation. >> the syrian ambassador to the u.n. criticized the international community. >> we are talking about my country without consulting us,
without sharing with us their concerns. they think that syria does not exist. >> russia says it is attempting to get the syrian regime to negotiate with the opposition. the government of bashar al- assad -- the demonstrators have refused to do so. "we are ready to sacrifice ourselves." they cry. russia would likely veto a security council resolution on syria. said negotiations continue. >> calls on egypt to protect coptic christians from religious persecution. you did was the second stop on a middle east toward. and in jordan, he called for a resumption of peace talks between israel and palestinians. he says the two-state solution is the only way to resolve the violence.
you will be visiting palestinian territories. -- he will be visiting palestinian territories. >> we have had trouble. the european electronics giant philips reported a larger than expected fourth quarter loss. the dutch firm was hit by lower government health care spending as well as a slowdown in european construction activity. as for this year's forecast, phillips remains uncertain because of the slowing global economy and in their -- and internal restructuring efforts. a german construction firm has also announced higher than expected losses for 2011. the company said it lost 131 million euros, possibly due to the net loss of the australian subsidiary. there were large payoffs.
the company expects to return to profits in the current year. the bankruptcy administrators say there is a chance the insolvent family-owned drug store empire could restructure based on its cash flow. its suppliers, including giants like procter and gamble, have confirmed they are eager to keep things going. until declaring the company bankrupt last week, there were one of the richest families in germany. now they say all they have left is fighting spirit. >> she faced the media to and media speculation about her family's finances. her father was rumored to put money aside. she rejects those claims and says there's nothing left of the family fortune. >> there are no significant assets left.
not enough to let the restructuring continue. otherwise, i would not be sitting here. >> they have been unable to compete with the lower prices of more modern stores offer by its rivals. the company has a glimmer of hope for is 32,000 employees. >> the majority of the more than 6000 stores are profitable. verity were losing money. they will be closed in the coming -- very few are losing money. they will be closed in the coming weeks. they will be profitable in the future. >> the company is looking for profitable investor. the liquidity is something the drugstore chain does not have. >> it sounds like a pirate stories. smuggling on the high seas. >> more than 60% of ships
involved in illegal maritime trafficking activities such as arms and drug smuggling are owned by companies based in the eu or companies -- or countries that belong to nato. the report was issued from the national research institute in stockholm. >> this report shows that germany fell container fleet, the world's largest, -- germany's's container fleet, the world's largest, plays a strong role in drugs and arms struggling. >> containers help product move faster and cost less and give company more products. they also make it next to impossible to see what is actually inside the containers. >> customs agents only inspect about 2% of all the containers in the harbors. the rest received a superficial
check of the cargo manifest. when officials to find something, like here, it is often a coincidence. many ships abandon their national flags in favor of flags of convenience. >> the biggest problem i see our flags of convenience. the most responsible flags are transferring responsibilities to other countries. and that is promoting this illegal trade. >> more exchange of information and inspections among customs authorities are needed to fight drugs and weapons smuggling. >> winter in many parts of northern europe has been relatively mild this year, the temperatures have plunged across most of the continent. many parts of the country are struggling with major snowfalls. >> the picture of a winter wonderland for some, but the severe cold snap has brought
misery to many here in serbia. 3 people have died due to arctic temperatures. emergency services have had a tough battle on their hands. >> the people need medical help and need to get to the hospital. it is very hard. but we try. the wind has stopped blowing now and the weather should stabilize. in ontario, -- sunspots' reported the coldest temperatures in 80 years. and western europe has not been spare either. as much as 50 meters of snow have fallen on the french
>> cut spending is still the order of the day when it comes to europe dealing with its debt crisis. in the latest round of talks, he leaders have been looking at ways to combine austerity with crows. available for stimulus, it is a tall order. european leaders are at odds as far as how to promote growth. there are several ideas on the table, such as loosening regulations, cutting red tape for business, but there is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
spend." including germany got used to funding current projects by borrowing for the future. we have to put a stop to this now. sees debt as a time bomb. and it is taking. -- ticking. that is why the 27-member countries keep meeting in brussels. and everyone has a different opinion. some are saying no to everything. that has annoyed angela merkel and nicolas sarkozy. they want to establish and new
eu treaty. -- they want to establish a new eu treaty. >> we have to produce a debt ceiling in their national constitutions. >> meaning an end to reckless spending, and how exactly? no one knows. things could get unpleasant for countries with excess debt. >> debts procedures against countries could be launched more easily, almost automatically. >> but who would take support? that is a sore point. some countries including germany wants the eu commission to have more power so it can act independently. the draft treaty says in the country can take another 2 court. >> that does not work. it has never been used in 60
years. so, it is already a firm indication it does not work. >> with the treaty help? >> the most important weakness of the national agreement is there is no solidarity. >> with each country fighting for its interests, there is no happy ending in site. >> well, there is some good news. italy and spain or appear to be emergency cases, but the great -- italy and spain no longer appear to be emergency changes -- emergency cases. one thing is for certain. if greek society is as troubled as ever because of the demands being put on the. -- on the. >> at the ends of reform plans represent a threat to its livelihood. he and other licensed cab
drivers have been striking for months in protest of the greek government plans. he is strongly opposed to more licenses being issued. >> is just anyone could get a license, athens and the rest of -- if just anyone to get a license, athens and the rest of greece would be full of taxi's. and no one would make money. >> wherever you go in athens, he will find someone angry about the reforms. many pharmacists have been shedding their shops in protest in recent weeks. he objects to extending his opening hours. up until now, the pharmacy has been closed two afternoons a week. >> with longer opening hours, our expenses would rise significantly. we would have additional costs for employees and for power and phones. at the moment, we just cannot afford that.
>> and there has been little progress on setting up state assets, although privatization could bring in billions of euros. the state's lottery, for example, could have been sorted already. we have made repeated requests for comment for the government or again passed with the organization process, but we did not receive comment. as political -- as this political analyst says, that does not mean they support them. >> here in greece, political battles are fought bitterly. people unconditionally defend their own interests, in contrast like countries like germany where people look for common ground. the two big parties have been
fighting tooth and nail until recently. >> if it's the eu continues to press for reform -- for reforms, those affected let the taxi drivers say they will protest. >> we will have no choice. strike. otherwise the sector will go under. >> the greeks know things need to change, but many people fear being the one who has to make the sacrifice. >> alright. for more analysis, i am joined by our brussels correspondent. would you say that eu leaders are able to reconcile austerity with growth? >> that is the battle they are having right now. when the senate finishes, it will show whether it is possible or not. -- when the summit finishes, it will show whether it is possible or not. germany particularly as leading to calls for us 30 measures, calls to not accept not to do
more. in the north of europe where things are not so bad or in the south of europe where they are struggling, particularly greece and spain and italy. >> many of the new ideas for stimulus are coming from britain, which has opted to go with a long. do you think other eu countries will follow suit? >> no, i think they are going to stay in the club. all these countries, except britain and denmark, joining the rope is sober -- turning -- joining the euro is a requirement. very few shared the concerns of the danes and the british. i think the pressure is on to keep them in the club. although mr. sarkozy is not so keen on everyone piling in. there are so many rubrics cuba -- rubik's cube-like
differences. >> we're seeing the first summit of 2012, certainly not the last. which say the european union is less open to solidarity then it was a year ago? >> right now, it is. there is not a one-size-fits-all policy. that is clear. yes, we will have many more summits. as soon as february 8. i would say eight, nine, 10 at summits this year to get that level of solidarity back. but it is going to be a hard. >> we will have to be up-to-date with you. thank you for that update from brussels. and you can stay up to date on our website, www.dw-world.de, for all new information. especially what is coming out of the brussels summit at this hour.