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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Greek Debt Talks End with No Deal; Suspect Arrested after Church Shooting; Greeks Support Efforts of Government; Papal Encyclical Strikes Out at Capitalism. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired June 18, 2015 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST (voice-over): The Dow Jones is up more than 180 points, a gain of 1 percent, which is remarkable when you think of the
worries, concerns and tensions that are in the world at the moment. And a nice strong gavel to bring trading to a close on Thursday, it's the 18th of
No deal for Greece. The only outcome of tonight's summit, plans for another summit.
Principles over profits: the pope strikes out at the capitalist system.
And speaking of the capitalist system, the technology stocks, they were on a tear and a roar as trading continued.
I'm Richard Quest. I mean business.
QUEST: Good evening. Before we turn to our business agenda, we are of course monitoring closely the events happening in the U.S. state of
South Carolina after the massacre that took place there, where nine members of an African American church were murdered on Wednesday night.
The suspect is now in police custody and we'll bring you a full report from South Carolina in about 10 minutes from now. We'll find out the
details and bring you up to date.
First, though, there's no deal and no chance of a delay and Greece is lurching ever closer to a default. The European finance ministers failed
to strike a deal on Greece's debt during talks that took place at the Ecofin meeting in Luxembourg. The talks broke up in acrimony a few hours
Europe's leaders themselves, that's government, heads of government level, will meet on Monday night for an emergency summit in Brussels.
Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, said she's giving Athens no leeway on its debt repayment due at the end of the month. The
managing director said if Greece fails to pay on June the 30th, that would be regarded as a default.
The Greek finance minister says Athens brought a comprehensive proposal to today's meeting. Yanis Varoufakis said that they were
dangerously close to an accident and he urged his Eurozone partners to accept this new proposal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YANIS VAROUFAKIS, GREEK FINANCE MINISTER: We are dangerously close to a state of mind that accepts an accident. And I urge my colleagues not to
fall prey to this state of mind. We can forge a good agreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Following the talks, Christine Lagarde took aim at Greek officials and she told Greek negotiators to act maturely.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE LAGARDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IMF: We can only arrive at a resolution if there is a dialogue. And for the moment, we are short of the
dialogue. So the key emergency in my view is to restore the dialogue with adults in the room.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The Belgian finance minister, Johan van Overtveldt, joins me on the line from Luxembourg.
We have heard -- good evening to you, Minister. Let's make sure, first of all, you can hear me.
Can you hear me, sir?
JOHAN VAN OVERTVELDT, BELGIAN FINANCE MINISTER: I can hear you well.
Thank you. Good evening to you. So the meeting broke up; clearly the ministers there, you didn't feel that this new Greek proposal, a
complicated proposal about hard debt breaks and the like, you didn't feel this was worth taking any further?
Well, I would not call it a comprehensive plan. I would call it a few ideas that were thrown around in the room. So to call it a comprehensive
proposal is not really (INAUDIBLE). Moreover, we've always taken the attitude and we will continue that (INAUDIBLE) that proposals or new
proposals in this kind of discussion always has to be analyzed first by the three institutions (INAUDIBLE) and the IMF.
QUEST: Everybody says time's running out; the time for a deal is now and the other phrase that everybody keeps using is the ball is in the --
If that's the case, then it doesn't bode well. Things are not looking good.
VAN OVERTVELDT: Well, let me be frank about it. Indeed, things are not looking that good. We expected some more specific proposals from the
Greek government and more specifically the hope that the Greek government would realign itself with the program that has been running between the
Greek government and the European authorities.
And for the Eurogroup of ministers of finance, that program that expires at June 30th, (INAUDIBLE) in all the discussions that we can
QUEST: So with the scenario now set for a meeting of heads of government on Monday, and this deadline at the end of pretty much in the
end of next week or within days thereafter, Minister, what is the way out here if Greece singularly refuses to accept the existing terms and the
VAN OVERTVELDT: Let me first of all point that nobody -- and I really stress nobody in the room of the Eurogroup of ministers of finance -- wants
a Grexit. There can no doubt about that. We all want a negotiated deal with Greece along the lines of the program that has been negotiated some
Now if the Greek government does not live up to that expectation, then we (INAUDIBLE) a situation in which we will have to look at a different
scenario and by different, I really mean different, either several ways you can look at this. But anyway it is --
VAN OVERTVELDT: -- to look at the alternatives to (INAUDIBLE).
QUEST: That's the point now, Minister. Everybody, yourself included, you -- I mean the way these things go, you know, you all start off saying
nobody wants a Grexit; nobody wants Greek default. But if that's the way it's going, then that's what you'll have to live with. Sir, tonight, are
you prepared to say you're getting closer to having to live with it?
VAN OVERTVELDT: (INAUDIBLE) situation we have to do things that we none of us want to do and that if, I repeat, the (INAUDIBLE), the president
of the European Union has called for a Eurozone summit of heads of government on Monday (INAUDIBLE) that is on the table now and the normal
way of things is that for (INAUDIBLE) --
QUEST: Right. We're --
VAN OVERTVELDT: -- a Eurogroup of ministers of finance meeting and will then most probably be somewhere earlier during Monday.
QUEST: Right. Minister, thank you for joining us. We appreciate it, the Belgian finance minister. And I realize it may have been a little bit
hard to hear what the minister was saying; the line was a little bit crackly. But it's obviously so important that we do hear what these
ministers are saying.
And if you listen to what he just said, clearly the proposals that the Greeks put forward as being comprehensive, he said, Varoufakis describes a
comprehensive plan, he says were nothing more than perhaps just a few ideas being batted around and that now people are starting to wonder what comes
The European markets were closed before the end of the talks and the major markets were mostly flat. Interestingly, the Athens market actually
broke a four-day losing streak. It put on a third of a percent. There were no signs of panic outside Greek cash machines but $34 billion of
savings have been withdrawn -- $34 billion -- between last October and April of this year.
You'll have heard over the past few days Mohamed El-Erian or any of our other guests expressing this is how this crisis sort of -- this is what
we call the accident, the Greek accident that eventually leads to a default and leads to capital controls and leads to a Grexit.
As the clock ticks closer to midnight with no deal in sight, the Greeks are fearing the worst. And savers are likely to start pulling more
money out of their accounts, $400 million have come out in the last hours. That could spark a full-scale run on the banks, full-scale run. With that
would come capital controls because you need to prevent the money from going out of the banking system.
Those capital controls, as we saw with Cyprus, they deepen the financial crisis. And then as reserves run out, the ECB will withdraw
approval for ELA, emergency liquidity assistance. Put all this together and the government could be forced to adopt a new currency. It could be
forced out of the euro and before long you have a full-blown Eurozone crisis.
I spoke to the journalist Fanis Papathanasiou and asked him about the mood in Greece. And bearing in mind, people are taking money out the
banks, are they preparing for what would be the worst?
FANIS PAPATHANASIOU, JOURNALIST: Well, most of the people, it's like a really tough working game. So people are calm yet there is anxiety. Of
course there is fear. That's why they're going to the banks amid fears for all capital controls. There is anxiety, anticipation, but still supporting
the efforts of the Greek government. They think that during those five months and still today that the fact that we don't have a deal yet lies to
the international creditors. That's -- this is according to the polls. So they think that Tsipras is doing a great job negotiating with the
creditors. And if they think that Tsipras is doing a good job negotiating to change the tough austerity measures, they say that this medicine is
wrong, it's proved wrong during all these years. So the mandate that they gave him during the elections is go ahead and negotiate and change these
tough austerity policies with the creditors.
Where -- when the creditors and the Europeans say the ball is in the Greek court -- and this is the phrase we hear again and again, it's up to
the Greeks to now produce some sort of plan, is it your feeling that eventually the Greeks will go along with the Europeans?
PAPATHANASIOU: Yes, but I think this is catastrophe for both. Mutually we'll be in a catastrophic way, the default, Greek accident is not
going to happen, I think, because it's going to be catastrophic for both sides. The international creditors will lose; it's going to be turmoil in
the international markets. Geopolitically European -- the European Union will lose and many people internationally like President Obama, Central
America, they pay attention and give attention to the geopolitical facts.
Today, I will give you a picture of the future. Today that all these deals happening in Luxembourg, Prime Minister Tsipras is in Russia and
tomorrow will meet with president -- Russian President Vladimir Putin. They will discuss economic cooperation. They will discuss cooperation in
the energy sector.
So nobody wants a destabilized Greece in the crossroad between Europe and Middle East in an area that is already destabilized.
QUEST: How much are people taking out of the banks? We see reports that 400 million was removed from the banking sector. From your knowledge,
your family, your friends, your acquaintances, are people saying I'm going to play safe, take the money out of the bank?
PAPATHANASIOU: Yes like 300 -- 100 a day during all these three days. There are reports, unofficial reports, that out of the banks are 1 billion,
close to 1 billion, that there were a lot of needs. But the people are still supporting the government. And this is strange. Even if we have a
capital control I'll bet you that the government -- still support the government of Alexis Tsipras.
QUEST: We'll talk more about Greece as the program moves on. After the break, an historic African American church in South Carolina is the
site of the most gruesome massacre. There are nine people dead and the U.S. Justice Department is investigating it as a hate crime. We'll be there
after the break.
QUEST: Across the American South there are prayers, vigils and a search for answers tonight as in Charleston, South Carolina, hate crime
investigation has begun after a white man opened fire at an historic African American church and murdered nine people. Twenty-one year old
Dylann Roof has been identified as the suspect and Roof's now in custody. Police arrested him at a traffic stop in North Carolina, three hours north
of Charleston. He was found armed with a handgun. Witnesses say he sat next to a century-old church for more than an hour and stood up and
declared he was there to shoot black people.
Martin Savidge is in Charleston, South Carolina.
So absolutely appalling, I mean, the word, it defies description. But now what happens?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It does. Well, now begins the prosecutorial phase. I mean, I have to say there is tremendous grief in
this community, naturally given the horrific crime that's happened. There also relief on the part of law enforcement because their belief firmly was
that anybody who'd be going to a church and murdered nine people who are studying the Bible and welcomed that person to study with them, that person
could do just about anything. And they were fearful that there could be more violence to come. That was not the case; as you point out, the
suspect was captured about three hours away in North Carolina, thanks to a tip from the public. Apparently there was no altercation. He was taken
without any fight. He did have a weapon on him. Authorities will not say if that is the weapon that was used to carry out this crime. And as you
also point out it's a hate crime investigation, both on the local level and on the federal level.
QUEST: Martin Savidge, who's in Charleston, we'll talk more about this, Martin, as we move forward in the program. Thank you, Martin.
The pope says the Earth is looking more and more like "an immense pile of filth" -- strong language from the pontiff -- businesses that are
obsessed with profits among those responsible. Who is responsible for putting it right?
QUEST: Pope Francis delivered a harsh message to big business on Thursday -- excuse me. While executives focus on making money, the planet
is suffering. The pope's newly released encyclical on climate change states that businesses are, in the pope's words, "obsessed with maximizing
profits, not on reflecting environmental damage."
And but Francis says the power of the financial system has no future. He criticizes governments who save banks at any cost while denouncing
obsession with consumerism can lead to violence and mutual destruction.
This is all strong stuff indeed. CNN's Richard Greene has more.
RICHARD GREENE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here are some words you might not expect to hear a pope say. Carpooling, melting polar ice
caps, mercury poisoning. But Pope Francis hit them all in his highly anticipated paper, his encyclical on the environment, a sweeping document
that draws from science as well as the Bible and which makes the pope's position unmistakably clear.
"The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth."
"Our house is going to ruin and that harms everyone, especially the poorest. Mine, therefore, is an appeal for responsibility," the pope had
said on the eve of the document's release.
Francis is not anti-technology.
"Who can deny the beauty of an aircraft or a skyscraper?" he asks. But he does reject the idea that technology can solve the environmental
crisis the world is facing, a crisis which he says is manmade or at least largely mankind's fault.
"We are presently witnessing a disturbing warming mainly as a result of human activity," he says.
This pope is acutely aware that the world watches him and he's taking advantage of it. He says his letter is addressed to every living person on
this planet. Will they all listen to him? Even when he preaches things as simple as turning down the heat in your house? The United Nations welcomed
it, praising what it called his clarion call.
But other voices are less impressed.
JEB BUSH, FORMER GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: I hope I'm not like going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home but I don't get
economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or from my pope.
GREENE (voice-over): Francis, though, will likely be unbowed. One thing humanity cannot keep doing, he says, delaying the important decisions
and pretending that nothing will happen -- Richard Greene, CNN, London.
QUEST: Naomi Klein is author of "This Changes Everything: Capitalism versus the Climate" and joins me from Toronto in Canada.
Ms. Klein, thank you. Now obviously you're part of this process in a way and to that extent, what good do you think this papal encyclical does,
bearing in mind all the scientific documents we've had.
Why does this add a jot more of anything?
NAOMI KLEIN, AUTHOR: Well, I think it adds a huge amount because it injects the language of morality into the discussion of climate change. We
know that this is a pope who is extremely concerned about inequality and poverty. He's spoken before about the immorality of that relentless quest
for maximal profit. So here he's bringing together the climate crisis with his prior critique of capitalism and saying, indeed, these twin crises have
their roots in the same flawed logic.
QUEST: And isn't that exactly why largely what he will say will either be discounted, as you heard with Jeb Bush, or ignored? Because he
hasn't just grounded himself. He has chosen to go anti-capitalist. He's chosen to take route, if you like, of morality.
KLEIN: Well, I think that having that language of morality is extraordinarily important. I think --
KLEIN: -- already seeing human -- because it is a moral question when lives are lost because humans are taking action which we understand is
causing the planet to warm, which has destabilizing impacts and the impact of that is measured in lives. It's measured in thousands of lives lost in
heat waves, in storms and we talk about this.
I've attended a lot of U.N. climate conferences and this is all discussed in very technocratic terms. And every once in a while, you know,
you'll have a negotiator from the Philippines break down in tears because, of course, this is not just about temperature targets. This is about
lives. And that's what this pope is injecting into this discussion.
And you know, Jeb Bush, I wouldn't -- you know, I think that he's quite worried. That's why he's talking about this on the campaign trail.
This is a candidate who wants to attract Latino voters. That's a big part of his campaign. That's a very Catholic consistency. The Republican Party
has been denying climate change and here the pope is saying it's real. That puts Jeb Bush in an awkward position.
QUEST: Well, I'm sure, and he'll have to answer to his own higher calling and electorate on that.
With the pope, though, he's a bit -- what I -- what I saw the encyclical and I haven't read all 180-odd pages of it in the original, at
least -- but he's a bit late to the party. We've had numerous climate change -- and I've had cop this, cop that, cop the other. We've had the
U.N. specifically saying climate change is real and virtually at the tipping point. His Holiness is late.
KLEIN: Well, if all this encyclical is doing was saying climate change is real, absolutely. But it's doing much, much more than that. I
mean, there are very powerful truths in this document that frankly large parts of the environmental movement, large parts of the green groups shies
away from. He is saying fundamentally this is about a culture of wastefulness. It is about frenetic consumption, the fact that we're filling
voids in our lives by shopping for things that we don't need and can do without, that we have to treat the Earth with care.
So in addition to that language of morality, it also inserts the language of love. It's very, very important also within religious circles
because there is a part of the Catholic community that interprets the Bible to say that humans have the right to subjugate, to dominate the --
QUEST: All right.
KLEIN: -- and the pope comes in and says we are not gods and the Earth is a gift, creation is a gift. So this is going to have a big impact
on the more than 1 billion Catholics around the world.
QUEST: Well, I mean, I shall take your guidance on that. Obviously you have a point of view here. But I come back to the point I started
with. The fact he has chosen to cloak himself in this message of anti- capitalism, surely ultimately weakens the scientific argument.
KLEIN: I think it strengthens it. He's following the science where it leads us. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Manchester says
that we need to be cutting our emissions by 8-10 percent a year in wealthy countries, like in North America, in Europe, and that is not compatible
with an economic system that tells us to pursue economic growth at all costs.
You won't be able to find an economist on Earth who will tell you how to reconcile emission reductions of 8-10 percent a year with our economic
model. So we've got lots of advocates for green growth and so on who say, no, no, no, there are no hard choices in front of us. And frankly, I think
people understand that that can't possibly be true. We can't get ourselves off fossil fuels and have it not impact our economic system.
QUEST: And we'll talk more about it. Thank you for coming on, important subject. And we're very grateful you put it with the capitalist
and sort of put it into the context of a good business program. Thank you, ma'am.
Now here are some pictures, some video just in to CNN. It's the perpetrator walk or the perp walk, as it's known, of Dylann Roof, as he --
the man who has, boy, teenager, who has been arrested in connection with the mass massacre, the massacre in -- he's 21 years old. You can see he's
wearing a bulletproof vest. We'll talk more about exactly what the pictures show and what happens next. It's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
QUEST: I'm Richard Quest. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment. We'll tell you how the Greek prime minister's going to St.
Petersburg for talks with some of Russia's biggest chief executives. Is raising money on the agenda?
And we're on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange with the chief executive of a company that makes this - it is the Fitbit. The company's
Fitbit itself. The company wows the market on the day of its IPO.
Before all of that, this is CNN and on this network the news always comes first.
The suspect in the killing of nine people at an historic church in Charleston, South Carolina has been arrested. Police apprehended Dylan
Rooff in North Carolina, 400 kilometers from Charleston where the attack took place.
Mourners gathered at the nearby church in Charleston to pray and remember those who were killed. Hundreds more people who couldn't fit into
the church gathered outside the place of worship.
QUEST: Speaking afterward, the state's governor Nikki Haley became emotional when she described how the people of South Carolina had
NIKKI HALEY, GOVERNOR, SOUTH CAROLINA: We woke up today and the heart and soul of South Carolina was broken (CRYING). And so we have some
grieving to do and we've got some pain we have to go through. Parents are having to explain to their kids how they can go to church and feel safe and
that it's not something we ever thought we'd deal with.
Having said that, we are a strong and faithful state. We love our state, we love our country and most importantly we love each other.
QUEST: Greece has failed to reach a deal with its international creditors who (ph) are releasing more money from the various bailout
programs. Greece's finance minister said his European counterparts were dangerously close to accepting a scenario where Greece accidently left the
The head of the Eurogroup and finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said there was no sign of any breakthrough on a deal.
JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, EUROGROUP PRESIDENT: The Eurogroup today took stock of the situation regarding the program of Greece. Regrettable to say
that too little progress has been made in the talks between the institutions and Greece. And that's no agreement as yet is in sight.
QUEST: Pope Francis is calling for immediate action to address climate change. In an open letter, he describes climate changes are mostly
a man-made problem that affects the poor of the world. He urges the world to address to address the issue before the earth is irreparably damaged.
We're learning more about Dylan Rooff, the man suspected of shooting dead nine people at that historic black church in Charleston, South
Carolina. Before he began shooting, Rooff reportedly told his victims he was there to shoot black people.
He is reported to have said, and I'm quoting now, "You rape our women and you're taking over our country, you have to go."
Rooff left three people in the church alive saying, reportedly, "I'm not going to kill you. I'm going to spare you so you can tell them what
U.S. authorities have now opened a hate crime investigation. CNN's justice correspondent Evan Perez is with me from Washington. Evan, bearing
in mind that the Rooff's going to be charged with multiple murders in the form of some time (ph), what's the significance of a hate crime
investigation? I mean it is as it seems.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right, exactly, Richard. But one of the things that - you're right - and the first charges here that,
the first place he'll face any kind of justice is probably in the state court system where he'll face nine counts of murder. And this is a state,
by the way, that has the death penalty.
The hate crime charges are perhaps a little bit more symbolic. This is a time in the United States where we're facing the rise of these right-
wing extremists, white supremacist groups. According to the FBI, there's been a rise in the number of these groups and there's been a lot of concern
about that and that's one reason to bring charges like this, to send a message to those groups that the FBI and the Justice Department is
We have an African-American woman who's now the attorney general of the United States. It's very important to her. Midway through this press
conference she was doing today unrelated to this, she was passed a note and she was able to tell journalists that he had been put under arrest. It
gives you an idea of how closely -
PEREZ: -- she was watching this and how important this is to her.
QUEST: Evan Perez with the Justice Department. Evan, thank you now.
[16:35:00] Just as he did after the shootings involving Trevon Martin, the elementary school in Utah and the movie theater in Aurora, President
Obama delivered an impassioned statement to the country.
The U.S. President says he's made these kinds of statements, in his words, "too many times" and said the U.S. needs to face up to debate on gun
BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: At some point we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in
other advance countries. It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency.
And it is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town, foreclose a lot of those avenues
QUEST: John King joins us from Washington. John, we need your assistance here, sir, to guide us. Because listening to President Obama,
he effectively took my question that I was going to ask you.
How - I mean, if you can't get gun control after Newton, and you can't get it after the movie theater in Aurora, and others. So talk - tell our
viewers, tell the international viewer the politics here.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF U.S. CORRESPONDENT: There simply is no consensus to get this done, Richard. You heard the President's frustration. Rare is
the politician who says this is something that's critically important to me, but even as I say it, let me be honest and say I know I lose. I know I
cannot win this argument.
This is the 14th time, Richard, the 14th time in the six and a half years of the Obama presidency, this president of the United States has had
to deliver a statement to the nation after a mass shooting. Some of those shootings were in movie theaters, some of them in this case were race
But the President knows the consensus in this town. He has tried in the past. Now some Democrats say he hasn't pushed hard enough, he hasn't
traveled the country, he hasn't made it a daily mission of his to push gun control. But the President would tell you the votes simply aren't there
and he knows that and there's no reason to believe, Richard, on this day or two days from now or even as we learn more about this suspect and this
heinous, horrible crime, --
KING: -- that the politics will change. Maybe - maybe - it will be a topic of discussion now in the presidential election, but don't count on
QUEST: And I notice in the presidential election, all our - all the candidates decided to do, various ones - was to suspend their campaigning
for a day or so. Quite (properly/probably) (ph) out of respect. But Hillary Clinton makes it clear that this is the moment when the debate has
to take place.
KING: She did say in an event today that she wants to help lead the country through its healing and she says it's time to have the conversation
about gun violence. She did not specifically endorse any gun controls - whether it be background checks, whether it be smaller magazines on larger
weapons. This was a handgun we believe used in this case. She was not specific but she did say it was time again to have a conversation about gun
The Republicans who ae running for president who have commented on this, most of them have just said it's time for thoughts and prayers for
the victims and to bring the community together. Rand Paul, the senator from Kentucky did say this country has a sickness. He was talking about a
mental health issue.
But if you go state to state, remember, Richard, where the - it's hard for sometimes people overseas to understand this - it's the culture of the
United States gun rights, number one.
And remember the first three states in presidential politics - Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. All have a rich tradition of hunting, gun
use, gun rights and the attitude that the federal government especially should not tell people what to do.
QUEST: So, pulling that strand together, John, and I don't want to leave on too much of a - let's face it, the story is pessimistic and
depressing enough - you're basically telling us that nothing really happens.
KING: Nothing will happen, sadly, -- and I' m not endorsing one view or the other. That's not my job. My job is to cover the politicians -
KING: -- not to tell them what to do. But we can't even - the dysfunction part, Richard, the frustrating part is, -- whether it's gun
control, whether it's immigration or whether it's this trade debate the United States is going through right now - the one thing you cannot get,
there's such a trust deficit between the different parties in our political system. They won't even get into the room and have a conversation.
The Virginia Tech massacre happened on George W. Bush's watch - a Republican president. And at that point, the National Rifle Association
said it was open to expanded background checks . With a Republican president there was a conversation about maybe doing something in the gun
Then the political will (ph) disappeared as the event was in the rearview mirror. A Democratic president was elected, now the NRA says
nothing. We won't change anything. So we are at least going to have to go through a presidential election before you can start to have the
But the frustrating part, Richard, is - without taking any sides - the opposing parties in this conversation, they don't like each other, they
don't trust each other. They won't even sit down together to see if they could agree on this hard decision or that hard decision, sit down and see
if they can reach some consensus on something in the middle. They won't even meet.
QUEST: And I was looking on this trade question just to completely turn the subject. It looks as if there may be some sort of consensus or
something that may actually happen on the trade issue, John.
[16:40:06] KING: The House of representatives has passed its second attempt to try to give the president fast-track authority today, but let's
see where it goes in the United States Senate. And Richard, the gun control debate will end up in the presidential election, the trade debate
is already involved in the presidential election.
People at the Obama White House are quite disappointed in their former secretary of state Hillary Clinton who has said she agrees with the
liberals who thinks the President needs to go back and try to get a better deal.
QUEST: John, how good of you to come and to put it into perspective for us tonight. Much appreciate it. Thank you, sir.
KING: My pleasure.
QUEST: Thank you. As the clock ticks down for a deal in Greece, the prime minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras spent the day in Russia. And
what's he doing there? Where is he trying to raise some money? (RINGS BELL). After the break.
QUEST: "No deal at the Eurogroup." That was the tweet that broke the news today. "No deal at Eurogroup; strong signal for "#greece to engage
seriously in negotiations" Eurogroup stands ready to reconvene at any moment." That's the tweet.
Greece and its creditors failed to resolve their differences. The tweets behind me came Valdis Dombrovskis, the vice president of the
European Commission and one of the key players at the negotiations. He told Paula Newton a short time ago they've not yet had a credible proposal
from the Greek side.
VALDIS DOMBROVSKIS, EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR THE EURO AND SOCIAL DIALOGUE: The mood in the room more or less reflected a complicated
situation we are in. We are approaching the deadline of 30th of June by which the current program is extended. It's only a few days left and
currently there is no agreement.
Even though from institution's point of view, we have been quite flexible towards Greek's side, reducing very substantially primary surplus
targets, being able to replace some of the program measures so - with - others of equal fiscal value if Greek side has difficulties with the
But so far we have not heard credible proposals from the Greek side which would provide from a strategy how Greece is going to exit from
financial instability and how it's going to return to the economic growth.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now the Greek finance minister just wrapped up a very lengthy press conference. He said exactly
the opposite. He said that look, we have presented a concrete path to reform, he says that those proposals are sound and he is asking the
Eurogroup to listen to them and to at least meet them halfway. Is that true? Did you see anything in there that gave you any hope?
[16:45:03] DOMBROVSKIS: Well, once again, as there are still quite substantial differences between what was a proposal of - joint proposal -
of three institutions should have been Commission, European Central Bank and IMF and what has been in Greek counterproposals and according to our
assessment, this doesn't amount to the credible strategy how to exit the crisis, how to restore financial stability and to return to the economic
So it's not only about discussing figures or meeting some (hall) halfways, it's really a need for clear strategy for financial stability and
NEWTON: He was also asked if he could discuss Grexit. He said he won't even contemplate it. Is Europe contemplating Greece getting out of
the Euro right now?
DOMBROVSKIS: Well, the European Commission has been insisting since the very beginning that by far the best scenarios for both Greece and Euro
area is that Greece successfully completes a current (AUDIO GAP) program. And that is a scenario we're still concentrating on, but now it's really
very important that Greece engages seriously in negotiations and that there is a clear political will also from the Greek side to successfully complete
the program. Because time is running extremely short.
QUEST: Now while his finance minister was failing to strike a deal, in Luxembourg, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was networking in
Russia. Mr. Tsipras met Greece businessmen in Saint Petersburg and later he had a meeting with the Gazprom chief executive.
A delegation from BRICS Banks said they had strong interest in cooperation with Greece.
It's coming up to five months now since Greece left when government took office and as the events of Luxembourg today confirmed, very little
seems to have been achieved. Talks have started and stops, relations with Europe have soured and now both time and money have run out. CNN's Claire
Sebastian looks at how we got here.
CLAIRE SEBASTIAN, CNN PRODUCER: On January 25th, Greece's anti- austerity government steps into the spotlight.
ALEXIS TSIPRAS, GREEK PRIME MINISTER, VIA INTERPRETER: Greece is turning a page. Greece is leaving behind the catastrophic austerity.
SEBASTIAN: Just pause here for a second because remember at this point Greece has already been receiving bailout loans from the Eurozone and
the IMF for almost five years. They've committed $260 billion, $7.8 billion of which is currently being withheld because of disagreements over
certain reforms. And that defines what happens next.
JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, EUROGROUP PRESIDENT: So there's still major work to be done in which we will support the Greek government on the basis of
SEBASTIAN: On February 20th, the Eurozone agreed to extend the existing bailout deal for four months. Greece would get the $7.8 billion
outstanding if it agreed not to roll back the austerity measures tied to the existing bailout and if it promised to submit a list of reforms.
DIJSSELBLOEM: Tonight was a first step in this process of rebuilding trust.
SEBASTIAN: One step forward in February brought several steps back in March. Greece's promise to come up with reforms repeatedly failed to
On April 1st, Greece finally submitted a 26-page reform plan to Europe.
YANIS VAROUFAKIS, GREEK FINANCE MINISTER: We are intent upon reforming Greece deeply.
SEBASTIAN: Europe though still wasn't satisfied. As discontent played out on the streets of Athens, clashes were also brewing in Brussels.
DIJSSELBLOEM: It was a very critical discussion. We came to an agreement two months ago and today of course we had hoped to hear a
positive result. By May, doubts over Greece's finances were reaching a peak. After ordering local governments to give up spare cash, Athens just
managed to scrape together over a billion dollars in IMF repayments.
VAROUFAKIS: We've done remarkably well to keep repaying our creditors.
SEBASTIAN: In Brussels though the talks were still stuck. In early June, Europe rejected Greece's latest set of proposed reforms and even the
IMF took a pause, leaving the talks early.
Male: There are major differences between us in most key areas.
SEBASTIAN: The situation was escalating. Greece postponed over $1 and one half billion in IMF repayments until the end of June.
Male: Time is certainly getting very, very short.
SEBASTIAN: And on top of that, the original bailout is set to expire at the end of the month, and with it that $7.8 billion still outstanding.
Without a deal, they may end up right back where they started.
QUEST: Extraordinary. Now in the last few moments, reports both from the Reuters Financial News agency and the "Financial Times," are both
reporting that a senior ECB - European Central Bank - official has warned Thursday's meeting of the Eurozone Group he was unsure whether Greek banks
could open on Monday given the turmoil surrounding the country's finances.
[16:50:24] Now that is financial dynamite. If there has been a warning and the Greek people get word of it, then there could be the
potential for a bank run or at least banks might not open on Monday.
Then of course all bets are off and you could be looking at a full- scale run on the Greek banking system which is exactly the scenario everybody has forecast would eventually lead to default and the exit of the
This is "Quest Means Business."
QUEST: Despite the events in Greece, U.S. markets had a strong rally if you take a look - ignoring the events of Europe. Up 1 percent, a gain
of 190 points. Nicely over one - over 18 - thousand.
And the NASDAQ hit an all-time high 15 years after the record was set then plunged in 2000 when the .com boom became a .com burst. And the
NASDAQ is now at an all-time high - a gain of 8 and 1/2 percent so far.
An appropriate day for feeling fit and strong, Fitbit - you know, you're familiar with the little Fitbit - the makers of Fitbit rang the
opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate their IPO - popped 50 percent higher as soon as it began. Trading closed at $30.
Maggie Lake spoke to the Fitbit chief exec at the New York Stock Exchange and asked him how he now plans to differentiate Fitbit since, for
example, Apple is making similar wearables.
JAMES PARK, FITBIT CEO: It's a huge market. Consumers are spending over $200 billion on health and fitness products and services. So for any
company in this category it's an incredible opportunity. But for us we have a wide range of products, different price points, we're across
platform compatible. So I feel really great and comfortable about our product positioning.
MAGGIE LAKE, BUSINESS ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN INTERNATIONAL: Now you also, for all the competition, have some legal issues with Jawbone,
another thing investors are looking at. Do you feel confident you're going to be able to resolve those?
PARK: Look, we have 85 percent market share. We're the clear leader and, you know, for these lawsuits I can't comment too specifically, but
obviously we're going to defend ourselves pretty vigorously.
LAKE: Now it's very different when you're a private company and successful - you are making a profit - than when you're a public company
having to live up to those expectations quarter after quarter. Jack Ma of Alibaba said 'I wish I never did it' -- half kidding but perhaps half
serious. Are you concerned about that sort of quarterly pressure?
PARK: No. we've always had a lot of financial discipline within the company - that's how we got here. And, look, obviously can't guarantee the
future, but that's a lot of my focus.
LAKE: So what are you going to do with the money that you just raised
PARK: There's a lot of things. You know, increase spending in ROI. Look, we want to stay competitive and lot of the dollars are going to go to
just creating incredible new products and services.
LAKE: And what do you see as a growth area or something you might expand into? In the beginning it was really fitness oriented. Where is
Fitbit going to go and evolve to when you talk about research and development? What are some of the markets you're looking at?
PARK: Look, the mission of the company is really broad. We're about using technology to help people get healthier, more active specifically by
giving them data, guidance and inspiration. So if you think about that mission, there's so many things that we can do, we just have to prioritize.
[16:55:09] LAKE: And you talk a lot about community and about staying in touch. How big of a part is that to the platform of Fitbit?
PARK: It's huge. We have incredible network effects. You can almost think of Fitbit as the world's largest paid social - fitness social
network - and so people buy Fitbits because they're friends and family are already passionate users and that's driven a lot of our growth.
LAKE: And talk to me a little more about the health aspect of it. We sort of know those hardcore fitness people are so into it, how do you see
this developing for health and would this be something that someone who maybe doesn't got to the gym all the time would think about using? How
would it help them with their health specifically?
PARK: Look, our primary user actually is somebody who's not very fit. You know, doesn't have to be young, they're slightly overweight, so we feel
that we really understand these users and as our devices and services get sophisticated over time, we'll be able to help them beyond fitness and to
possibly more health-related issues.
LAKE: And are there partners that you're thinking about working with in terms of healthcare providers?
PARK: Possible. I think there's a lot of people who are excited to work with us and we're excited to work with them. So that's what drives me
QUEST: Users who aren't particularly fit and are slightly older. "Profitable Moment" next.
QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment." We seem to have entered a new phase in the Greek crisis. When ECB officials are allegedly warning that
banks may not be able to open on Monday because of runs on banks, well then you know the situation has turned grave.
This is how currency crises turn into full-blown collapses of systems. It starts with a run on the banks. And that's "Quest Means Business" for
tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, (RINGS BELL) I hope it's profitable. We'll do it again