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tv   Journal  PBS  September 14, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT

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>> you are watching "the journal." >> welcome. >> could eurobonds be the answer
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to the debt crisis? >> china says they are willing to help europe confront their debt crisis but they demand concessions from the eu in return. >> southern pakistan is hit by massive flooding for the second time in a year. greece is an integral part of the eurozone, that is a message from german chancellor angela merkel following a conference with the leaders of france and greece. this is a message that is intended to dispel speculation that greece could default on its debt. the debt crisis has already split the government, now the european commission could be on a collision course as well. they have put the idea of eurobonds on the table. this is the idea of selling for
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europe as a whole not for individual state. this is something that germany vehemently opposes. >> instead of selling their own bonds, they will sell eurobonds. this would lower costs for some, raise costs for others. >> we will be working out the introduction of the eurobonds. >> the ecb cannot continue efforts to buy bonds of countries in difficulties. >> proponents say that countries like greece are likely to default without eurobonds. >> it is absolutely certain that they will defaults or they will exit the eurozone and this would carry problems not only for greece but for all of the member states and our global
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partners. >> such warnings are aimed at those like germany who rejected the idea of eurobonds. >> it is not advantageous to make these european debts. each country is responsible for their nests. >> if these are issued, germany would face much higher borrowing costs. in the end, it is eu member states that have the final say over eurobonds. >> as if the german chancellor did not have her hands full, she is struggling to make her own coalition stay on message. the vice chancellor added to the chorus of lawmakers daring to talk openly about greece going bankrupt. >> despite the smiles on wednesday morning, the german cabinet has been split.
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the coalition partners talking about greece defaulting on their debt, including her deputy chancellor, philipp rösler. >> what he has said is important to millions of people in this country. we have to answer the question of how to deal with countries in the eurozone that because of massive debts and weak economies are unable to finance their own spending. >> the opposition greens are calling philipp rösler a loose cannon and they say it is time that he steps down. >> in a situation where european institutions are negotiating whether creditors should write off part of their claims against greece, if they are responsible to talk about insolvency. >> the german public, too, is
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growing increasingly skeptical about the government's handling of the crisis. >> i am pro european, so my opinion is to keep their rescue fund going but i don't know what the effect would be, so it is very difficult. >> what the eu is doing is fraud. if the company did this in germany, they would be put in jail. >> merkel is intent on avoiding greek insolvency. the critics in her government are not making her job any easier. >> after the cabinet meeting in berlin, the economics minister headed to rome for talks with the italian government. italy is facing a mountain of debt. after meeting with his italian counterpart, philipp rösler warns that the introduction of
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eurobonds would ease the pressure on governments to get their spending under control. the parliament in rome approved the austerity package. it aims to cut the deficit by 54 billion euros over the next three years. even as parliament approved the austerity plan, demonstrations turned violent outside of the parliament building in rome. hundreds of demonstrators clashed with riot police, setting off firecrackers, setting off a smoke bombs, and setting trash cans on fire. the italians are not the only people angry about a europe that is moving quickly towards more austerity. on wednesday, greece took to the streets to protest the budget cuts that athens is pushing through. >> another day, another strike in the greek capital.
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civil servants and longshoremen took their turn in a vocal demonstration against the government's ever tighter austerity measures. this has become a daily occurrence over the past few at the same time, the european task force is in athens with the aim of supporting efforts to introduce vital economic reforms. >> to help the technical preparation and corp. and assistance, which is needed in order to implement the huge range of reforms which the greek authorities haven't worked on. >> the eu is concerned that greece will not be able to implement those reforms on their own. the prime minister's government doubts that the great institutions are up to the task. the country's spiralling debt is confounding all efforts to bring it in. >> someone was asking earlier if
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china was going to buy everything in europe, there might be some truth in that. >> i know. actually, a lot of them are foreign investors. china has said that they're willing to help europe but that europe must do more to prevent the crisis from growing. the premier would like europe to reciprocate which would grant china market a quality status. they hope that china will use their huge foreign exchange reserves to invest in european assets, especially in italy and greece. >> the chinese premier has offered europe a helping hand. in his opening comments at the world economic forum, he warned that the global economic recovery would be a long and difficult process. >> we need to boost confidence, strengthen cooperation, and live up to our responsibility. we should accelerate the
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building of a just as strong world economic order. governments should put their own house in order. major developed economies should properly handle debt issues. >> he is optimistic that european leaders will be able to live up to those requirements but this comes from warnings -- and it warnings from the chinese central bank that the chinese cannot be expected to step in and save entire nations from bankruptcy. >> we spoke to our correspondent on the frankfurt stock exchange. foreign investors support was the top of the day. >> a very good mood at the stock market's. the magic word for traders was eurobonds. the backing came from emerging countries as china, brazil, and russia are foreign investors and eurobonds could be more
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attractive. the downgrade of two french banks, banks have been suffering most from the escalation of the crisis. >> let's take a closer look at some of the market numbers. the benchmark dax closed up words at over 3%. the eurozone stocks 50 closed at 2 and 1/4 percent. -- the euro stocks 50 closed at 2 and 1/4 percent. the euro is trading for $1.37. the moody's rating agency has downgraded two top french banks by one notch. one of them has been downgraded to double-a-3, the other to double a-1. they are keeping another under review. shares of all three have plummeted in recent weeks but they remained relatively stable after the downgrade.
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>> moody's had put the french banks on review for a downgrade in mid june among concern over the exposure to greek debt. the greek sovereign debt is not the main threat, the french bank's only hold about 9.8 billion euros in their portfolio now. the danger lies in the corporate and private sectors where outstanding loans come to 30 billion euros. the greek subsidiaries have been leading lenders in the debt stricken nation. if there was a widespread defaults, they would have to book a huge losses which would hit the parent bank's parent of the french central bank is downplaying the move. >> french banks don't need any outside capital to face turned risks. like all banks, they have to continue accumulating capital to mount their own defense.
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>> that might be easier said than done. french bank shares have plummeted in recent weeks. one company lost 50% since july. society general has lost some 60%. >> only a few years ago, the frankfurt auto show would have been the bigger, better. that has all changed. now the focus is on lean, green, keen -- clean. some of these have a familiar air. >> an old favorite has had a facelift. fiat hope that is third- generation panda will prove as popular as its predecessors. it is rounder and longer than the one it has replaced. they hope that it will save jobs in italy. >> this has been a pillar of the
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brand success since 1980. that will continue to be the case with the new generation. production will return from poland to italy where we were be building 280,000 cars a year. that alone shows the significance this production series will have with the brand and -- in europe. >> another small model is the time are smart car. -- is the diamler smart car. even the wheels are molded from plastic. it will go on sale in 8 years. >> more international news, we turn back to france. >> in syria, the military is going house to house in the northwest of the country as part of a major crackdown. there are reports of hundreds of troops and armored vehicles firing at random villages.
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this video claims to show tanks blocking access to towns and government troops patrolling in damascus. activists say dozens of people have been killed and many more rested. other video material has appeared claiming to show people protesting against what they called the russian support for the syrian regime. we will be taking a look at syria's opposition. the aid organization oxfam says more than 5 million people in pakistan are in need of help after massive flooding. more than 220 people have been killed, hundreds of thousands are homeless. large tracts of homeland are under water. many of the provinces are still struggling to recover from last year's devastating flood. >> the floods have forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. some say the government has
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failed to respond. >> food comes but the latter's stock -- but the looters snatched it away. >> this camp has been set up in an educational institute are around 200 kilometers from karachi. this is one of the worst hit districts. more than 4 million acres of land have been flooded and millions of acres of crops have been destroyed. safe drinking water and medicine are both in short supply here. the flooding is compound in a precarious situation in this part of pakistan. last year's flooding made around 11 million people homeless in the worst ever natural disaster. >> it is called the palace of tears. before the wall came down, it was a border crossing in the heart of berlin that saw many a
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emotional farrell's between east and west germany. the german chancellor opened a permanent exhibition in the restored building. she remembered her own experience in life in the divided country. >> the station was a busy border crossing in east berlin during the cold war division of germany. west berliners visiting east berlin had to return to their part of the city which made it this team of many emotional goodbyes. >> the palace of tears got its name due to the fact that people had to bid farewell to friends and relatives from here. this was a humiliating situation, not only for those who came from the west but also for those who had to stay in the east. >> it was a situation that german chancellor angela merkel was familiar with. as an east german citizens, she lived nearby and frequently
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passed the building. she remembered the atmosphere of intimidation. >> we were always on the east side of the commuter train. behind it, was the west german platform. then you always hired -- heard the barking of dogs. you had your first experience with this in human division of germany. -- inhuman division of germany. >> now, more than 20 years later, the palace of tears has been turned into a museum. >> stay with us. i will be right back with our in-depth report.
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>> will come back, everyone. the government crackdown against the pro-democracy movement in syria shows no sign of abating. in the northwest, the government is reportedly carrying out the
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door to door searches. no one knows how many have been detained, possibly tortured. it is not possible to get a reliable picture of what is going on in syria. there are tight controls on the media. the images that you see here and other news channels are generally shot with mobile phone and then smuggled out of the country. we met a group of dissidents in georgia. from there, they're trying to keep the protest movement alive. >> the demonstrations against the regime of president assad are in their sixth month. every friday after prayers, the protesters take to the streets. for the first time, the demonstrators have appealed to the international community for protection. we're on our way to visit syrian
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activists who fled into exile. some do not want their faces shown for fear of retribution. >> we get videos from syria on memory cards like these. people risk their lives to shoot this footage and then smuggled over the border. >> the activists do their best to verify the authenticity of the film's often through personal contacts back and syria. >> the syrian regime persistently lies and they manipulate the state media. that is why we are demanding that they let independent media into the country. >> this is a veteran activist. in 2006, he served time for defamation of the state. he was in deraa when the protests erupted in march and had to flee to jordan. despite pressure on his family in syria, he says he wants to make -- wants to remain active in the democracy movement. >> they kept accusing us of
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being armed, this is our weapon, cameras in our mobile phones. that is what we used to fight the regime. our revolution is peaceful. the picture quality is that the it is although we have. >> we meet other activists including two syrian soldiers who deserted. this man risked his life by documented atrocities by the syrian forces. >> i filmed a few massacres. 30 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded. [gunfire] >> the regime knows how dangerous these images are. that is why we are always in danger. some of us were assassinated.
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>> some deserted because they could not stand the brutality anymore. one of them was a tank driver. >> we were near homs, at least 75,000 people were demonstrated -- were demonstrating. we were given the orders to shoot with machine guns. there were snipers firing from the roof of the security building. we refused and pulled our tanks bank. -- pulled our tanks back. they locked me and some of my comrades up for 26 days. i saw members of the security forces stabbed three people to death right in front of my eyes. just one month after the demonstrations began, more than
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700 corpses were brought into the hospital morgue. i could not take it anymore. the military is supposed to protect demonstrators, not kill them. >> the activists are continuing their struggle from jordan. they collect practical necessities such as medications and bandages for the wounded back home. wounded demonstrators fear for their lives in the hospital. now, they go for treatment at secret dr. surgery's. there is proof that the regime has stolen people's organs. an estimated 2000 syrians have sought refuge in jordan since the protests began. this man says he fled with his four children, his sister, and her child. he said that the security forces broke into their homes, robbed them, and then destroyed their houses. he says that conditions there
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are terrible. his sister explains that they had to flee to save themselves and their children. they all shared the common desire to support the opposition forces in syria. they hope that the international community will take action to stop the regime hospitality. -- the regime's brutality. >> those in power could be tried by the international criminal court for crimes against humanity. the world has to do everything it can to protect the people. >> we are just a few kilometers away from syria. despite the high price many have paid, the activists are determined to keep up the struggle until they can return home. >> the european parliament has been debating the situation in syria and for more on that we
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are joined by our correspondent. what has come out of this debate? >> well, there is a very high level of crossed party support. there is much tougher action against the regime. there is an oil embargo in place. members would like it to be unacceptable to be seen doing business with damascus. the high representative was not here for the debate, her place was taken. the plans to suspend all future investments in the energy sector in syria. >> why doesn't do you impose strict sanctions right away? why wait? >> the you moves at the speed of the glacier, especially where national financial interests are concerned. -- do you -- the eu moves at the
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speed of a glacier. europe takes about 90% of the syrian oil. the problem is a lack of a u.n. resolution. the members were promised more action by the eu to try to persuade russia and china to drop their opposition to u.n. sanctions. >> i am wondering what leverage the eu has over syria. with sanctions put pressure on a sock at all? -- on assad at all? >> they have soft power. they do have influence. they have influence in the region. other countries were praised, such as turkey, for taking some kind of stand. it is difficult to see without a u.n. resolution, what could happen here. one thing that is coming is that members were told that the eu
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does keep some kind of contact going with civil society, with human rights groups in syria. they are helping in ways that he would not specify. he did not want to go into that because he said that would endanger lives in syria. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> that has been our "in- depth," report, syria's opposition standing firm alone. thank you for watching, thanks for the company, everyone.
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