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What Will Merkel Do?; Technical Glitches Hit NYSE and United Airlines; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired July 8, 2015 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: as U.S. authorities continue to investigate suspicious computer glitches that have closed the
New York Stock Exchange and I.T. troubles that grounded some United Airlines flights, here across the pond we monitor the glitches that Greece
could cause the Eurozone. Athens hands in its homework to the E.U. one day late but promising credible reform in return for another bailout.
Will creditors give this demand a passing grade?
German foreign policy spokesman Philipp Missfelder joins me live in the studio.
Also ahead while world powers must clinch that Iran nuclear deal, the former British foreign secretary Jack Straw makes his case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK STRAW, FORMER U.K. FOREIGN SECRETARY: My hope and belief is that there will be a deal, because far too much has been invested in this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour.
At the 11th hour signs that Greece may be changing its tune as the Spanish prime minister said today. Just last night, European leaders issued their
most dire warnings yet after Greece again delayed delivery of its reform proposals.
But this morning Greece formally did submit its request for a third bailout, a step at least towards the concrete agreement that has been so
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXIS TSIPRAS, GREEK PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We all understand that this debate is not exclusively about one country. It's
about the future of our common construction, the Eurozone and Europe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So how will this financial fiasco end?
Nobody can say for sure but much of it does depend on the decisions of this woman and she is the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. Tonight an
opportunity to hear from her camp.
With me now is the foreign policy spokesman for Germany's ruling coalition, Philipp Missfelder.
Welcome to the program.
PHILIPP MISSFELDER, GERMAN POLITICIAN: Thank you so much.
AMANPOUR: Things are getting dire for Greece but very dire for Angela Merkel.
Is that not true?
Absolutely. We are on the situation because we as Germans always wanted to have the euro and we want to keep it like it is. But Greece may give us a
hard time and it becomes more and more difficult by every hour.
AMANPOUR: Let's just stick with the problems that Chancellor Merkel is facing. She's in a tough spot, the public is very, very anti-Greece, more
than ever. The "Bild" cover, the magazine, "What now, chancellor?" it asks.
And "Der Spiegel," with Merkel sitting atop the ruins in Greece, if the euro fails, Merkel's chancellorship fails.
Is it that bad?
MISSFELDER: No, the euro will not fail but we will do everything and that it is not happening. The problem with Greece is separated from the
problems we are facing in Italy or in other countries in the periphery; also the economic weakness of France is nothing which is related to Greece
but in fact it is a big challenge right now and again, we want to keep the euro like it is today and therefore Greece has to come back to the table.
AMANPOUR: I know; we've been hearing this; more and more officials have become sterner and sterner, particularly now with this new deadline this
week. But you say the euro won't fail.
Well, Greece might leave the euro.
Is that a failure?
MISSFELDER: It is not a failure of the whole currency but we don't want to have it happen. Because I think there will be a lot of collateral damage
also for the German economy. So everybody will pay at the end, not only the Greeks, so also the rest of the Eurogroup, maybe the whole continent.
And therefore we are convinced that everything keeping together is still the best option.
AMANPOUR: Do you think there's going to be a deal -- and let me just say this; Reuters' poll of economists, this latest one, now says the
probability of Greece leaving the Eurozone is at 55 percent.
MISSFELDER: That's extremely high. But it's never too late in politics. So they have the chance also after this bad referendum to come back to the
table and to negotiate with us.
AMANPOUR: It's never too late but there's been a lot of bad blood.
Now do you agree with what the Spanish prime minister said, that there seems to be a change in tone; obviously the new finance minister has a
different tone. But in substance, is Greece changing its tune?
MISSFELDER: I think we will know that in 24 hours because then it's a time when Greece has to present concrete and specific ideas. So the tone is
good but the tone is not important. At the end of the day, the facts count. And this is when they have to present much more.
AMANPOUR: So the facts are presumably on the Greece side what the Greek prime minister says. And here is what he said today about the situation he
finds himself in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TSIPRAS (through translator): It is not -- it's no exaggeration to say that my country has, over the past five years, been transformed into an
austerity laboratory. However, this experiment, I think, all of us have to accept, has not been a success.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So he doesn't seem to be giving much ground and he says that no country under austerity is being treated as harshly by its creditors as
Greece has been treated.
Has your government, has your party, has your chancellor treated Greece unfairly and too harshly? Many people think so.
MISSFELDER: I know that many people think so, but and Tsipras should go back to the people from Estonia, for example, or Slovakia, Slovenia. Many
Eastern and Central European countries suffered much more than Greece did and they did their homework.
So at the same time, saying this to Greek officials since quite a while, we don't -- we have to make one point to the international audience: Germany
does not believe that you can create economic growth just by austerity. Austerity is not the solution for every problem but it is exactly not the
same with spending. Spending and quantitative easing is a solution. So you need both. You need the QE measures of the ECB. You need substance
and in the reforms, in the infrastructure sector, in the whole institution sector of Greece. You need reforms and then you can also talk about a
potential haircut also, but not a haircut in the only quantitative easing that's definitely not the solution for Greece.
AMANPOUR: Let's go back about 70 years to 1953, because people are finding all sorts of parallels and pictures. Let's just put up this picture of the
German official who basically cut at that time, back Hermann Josef Abs, signing an agreement that effectively cut West Germany's post-World War II
debt in half.
So what's good for the goose is good for the gander surely. People are saying, hey, Germany was let off at a crucial time.
Why not us at this similarly crucial time?
MISSFELDER: I think you are absolutely right. And Germany benefits a lot from the solidarity from the Allies at that time. And this is exactly how
we want to see Greece. But as a partner and not as an enemy.
And if you're listening to the language from the past six months on both sides, I have to admit, it sounds not like partners; it sounds more like
AMANPOUR: So what would you say on your side you wish had been done differently? What language specifically?
MISSFELDER: I don't want to blame the Greeks all the time because they elected; they got a strong vote also from the people by the referendum. So
at the end of the day, they still are our partner. We have to deal with. But it is not good that if Germans try to lecture them and if they come
back and say don't -- we don't negotiate; we just inform you about our ideology on a Communist platform.
AMANPOUR: You know, I have been struck by the very heated language that's been thrown around. On the one hand, you know, from the Greek government
or Greek officials, you've heard the word "terrorists" and other such things thrown at European leaders.
From the IMF and other -- you've heard childlike, not adults are at the table.
Is this any way to actually negotiate on something that is so crucial?
Does it -- I mean, you may say no, but it's there. It's out there, this temperature.
Does it spoil the broth?
Does it make it impossible?
MISSFELDER: It definitely. The use of the language was the problem. You're referring to the quote of Christine Lagarde. I was wondering why
she said this, because if you want to achieve a deal, you should have to treat your partner with respect. And this is exactly what our chancellor
is still doing.
Even she was very -- she -- even she was very disappointed by the behavior of Tsipras; she treats him still with respect and the door is still open
for him to come back to the table.
AMANPOUR: Do you think he treats her with respect?
MISSFELDER: In the meetings, I'm sure that he does. But if he standing in front of a big crowd in essence I'm not so sure if he's really behaving as
responsible as he has to behave as a European leader.
AMANPOUR: Last night we had the Maltese finance minister on this program, who basically said, similar to you, we want to keep the Eurozone together
but the trust has simply seeped away because of the statements, because of the, for instance, lack of seriousness; because yesterday they came to the
table, the Greeks, without the new demands and a whole load of these accumulated grievances.
Is there trust there? Let's say they come up with a bailout proposal.
MISSFELDER: If the bailout proposal has also conditions inside and a new reform agenda, and it is --
AMANPOUR: Do you expect it to?
MISSFELDER: -- I expect it. So with probability by 60 percent, if they come up with something serious --
MISSFELDER: -- tomorrow and that we can -- that we can prove it also in their parliament and afterwards, several times in the German parliament
because also the German Bundestag has to say what they want. And it's not like they -- like our chancellor has -- is -- be able to do the decisions
on her own.
AMANPOUR: Do you think the mood in the parliament is to accept -- will their proposal be good enough, do you think?
MISSFELDER: I hope so but now if you would ask me this second, a lot of parliamentarians put a lot of criticism on Greece because they were really
disappointed by the referendum and the way the referendum was communicated.
If we would have had it six weeks earlier, no problem. But to have it in the last, in the very last moment of the negotiations was really
ridiculous. But in politics, we have to focus on pragmatism and this is exactly the way our chancellor is working. And I hope that the proposal
will be reliable and that we can make a deal in the next few days because I -- at the same time, I don't want to see the Greek people suffering or
AMANPOUR: Which they are --
MISSFELDER: Yes, there's a lot of people are starving. That cannot be our common goal in Europe.
AMANPOUR: There's a deadline for this Friday. There is another -- yet another emergency summit called for Sunday to discuss this.
And Monday, we could see one way or the other, obviously.
What will happen if they don't come up with the proposal, the conditions, the reforms that you all say have to be there to incur another bailout?
What is the process?
What happens on the Monday morning?
MISSFELDER: Most likely two things will happen. They will not be able to open the banks again. They told their own electorate that they would be
able to open the banks after the referendum. So we see they just announced a few minutes ago that they're not able to open the banks soon.
So they will not do it in the next week. They can't do it without the ELA from the ECB. At the end of the day, this is going to happen and then most
likely, if they fail with the negotiations with us, they're not able to pay back the ECB on the 20th of July, which is a crucial date because the ECB
then has to declare their default as a country.
And that could create a domino effect where nobody can hold Greece any longer.
AMANPOUR: And then it's a slide out.
MISSFELDER: Unfortunately, that is the downside scenario.
AMANPOUR: Philipp Missfelder, spokesman for the CDU foreign policy, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
And as you just heard and news just in, the Greek banks will remain closed Thursday and Friday. Greece bringing a new proposal to the table as we've
discussed after their finance minister only brought a hotel notepad the day before, bearing, amongst other things, the words "no triumphalism" to the
first meeting. It was caught out by the cameras but he's not the only one.
Britain's former Labour leader, Ed Miliband, left out his pre-debate memo to self, reminding himself to be, quote, a "happy warrior" on stage.
In the United States, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was captured with, quote, "lift American spirits" scribbled on her hand as she
spoke to the Tea Party.
Of course that's a struggle faced not just by Ms. Palin then; ah, the insights into high politics.
And next I asked former British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, for his insights into the Iran nuclear deal -- coming up.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
So while we continue to wonder whether Greece will stay in the club or Europe or get left out in the cold -- and speaking of, we ask, is Iran
about to come in from the cold?
Having missed two deadlines this past week, world powers have now set Friday as the last chance for Iran to set up -- sign up for that nuclear
deal or see two years of painful negotiations go to waste. Negotiators on all sides say they are close but still not quite there.
My next guest, Jack Straw, is the former British foreign secretary. He's gone several rounds with Iran on this issue in his time and he supports a
deal. When he joined me earlier here in the studio, he told me he thinks it can only make the world a safer place.
AMANPOUR: Jack Straw, welcome to the program.
You have said that a failure to get a nuclear deal with Iran could be the most costly blunder of the last decade.
Why are you so sure that's the case?
JACK STRAW, FORMER U.K. FOREIGN SECRETARY: Because if that happens, and there is no good reason for it happening, then the international consensus
in favor of nonproliferation, and the international consensus which has actually brought Iran to the negotiating table, will start to fracture.
AMANPOUR: Obviously the West is thinking, well, they're not being as forthcoming as we would want them to be on thorough inspections, on various
things like going to the military sites, talking to the scientists.
STRAW: Yes, I mean, the caveat I add to this is that, plainly, if it is palpable that the talks have broken down because of complete intransigence
by the Iranians, then the consensus will continue.
But I suspect that will not be the case. The fact that you have Rouhani and Zarif in these negotiations, trying to strike a deal, suggests to me
that they're far from intransigent.
And, indeed, one of the great things about these negotiations is there's obviously been a lot of trade on both sides. So my hope and belief is that
there will be a deal, because far too much has been invested in this, particularly by John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state, and President
Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif as well.
AMANPOUR: What happens if there is a breakdown in real terms?
STRAW: Well, what happens is there will be a mess.
AMANPOUR: This deal is under attack from skeptics, let's say, generously,
hardliners, people who just don't want to see Iran brought back into the community of nations, as well as being afraid of their real nuclear
The fact that this is going on so long, do you think that it is going to happen?
Or that the length of these negotiations will give hardliners in the U.S. and Iran and elsewhere a chance to scuffer (sic) it?
STRAW: Well, I think the indications are that it will happen, but knowing Iranians as I do, I know that it will go to the wire. But I think it's
really important that Iranians understand that there are limits, literally time limits, to the authority of John Kerry and President Obama.
And the clock is against Obama and Kerry and therefore against the Iranians.
Of course there are vested interests who oppose a deal -- vested interests in Iran who've done actually very nicely out of sanctions and the isolation
that brings and whose own standard of living has not suffered at all.
And on the other side, there is the Netanyahu brigade in Israel, but also in the United States, who have transformed Iran into some kind of devil
position to blame for everything. I'm afraid I don't take that view.
AMANPOUR: What do you say to people for Israel or even the Gulf States, allies of the West, who say, well, we're really worried about the sanctions
being lifted because that's going to let Iran divert all that money into the kinds of activities that we don't like, whether it is Assad or
Hezbollah, et cetera.
STRAW: Those concerns I think can be exaggerated. What's much more likely to happen is that, if there is a deal, the demands, domestic demands, from
ordinary Iranians for improvements in their standard of living, for access to Western goods, for normal access to Western education and so on, will be
very, very substantial indeed. This is in many respects a relatively modern, Western-leaning country.
So the idea that the Iranian -- I don't think that the Iranians are going to be stupid enough to start exploiting that situation in the way you
There's a long-standing association, everybody knows that, between Iran and Hezbollah. I mean, there's nothing new in that.
AMANPOUR: Your parliament is once again being urged to reconsider action in Syria. It's changed now; it's no longer the chemical weapon red line.
It is about ISIS.
Would you favor that?
STRAW: Yes, I would. And I think the position of my party has taken is a sensible one.
The second stances, two years ago, in August 2013, were completely different. I supported my front bench then because it was very unclear who
the enemy -- as it were, the enemy were.
STRAW: The metrics have changed. Circumstances on the ground have changed.
And the enemy, which is now ISIS, are very clearly identifiable. So I think it makes a lot of sense for the current restriction on the use of
U.K. military assets over Syria to be lifted.
AMANPOUR: How bad will it be for the for the rest of Europe, for Britain, if Greece does get ejected or exits the Eurozone?
STRAW: I don't -- there will be short-term turbulence, for sure, outside Greece, great difficulties in Greece for a period because of almost
certainly the near-collapse of the banks. I don't think it will be that serious over the medium term for the rest of Europe.
And we're getting to a point, aren't we, where it is plain that Greece's economy can't really act in a compatible way with membership of the euro.
And the Greeks themselves are unwilling to have their monetary and therefore their fiscal policy set by Frankfurt, by the European Central
Bank. So that's the problem.
Now, it may be that a deal can be struck towards the end of this week, but the signs are, I think, pretty small about that. The only alternative
then, however much the Greek Prime Minister says they don't want it, is for Greek -- Greece to exit.
It will then get its own currency. That will lead to great turbulence within Greece. It will lead to currency being, in practice, devalued
fairly significantly. But other countries have been through similar turmoil in similar circumstances. It's horrible for a period, but at least
then Greece has its future in its own hands.
And it may be that, psychologically as well as politically, that's the only answer.
AMANPOUR: And what is the answer then to the idea of Europe?
Is this the first, you know, chink in the wall?
Will it see a greater sort of dissolution of Europe?
STRAW: The European Union will survive. Part of the problem here is that it's almost hubristic that the idea of a closer union was pursued too far,
beyond practical reality.
Greece should not have been allowed into the European Union at the time when it was; it wasn't ready for it. It was something which was pushed by
Giscard d'Estaing at the time. It certainly shouldn't have been allowed into the euro: its numbers didn't stack up and we now know that its numbers
were broadly invented, not based on decent statistics.
And there was quite a lot of turning of a blind eye to Greece's problems, as for example to Bulgaria, Romania's, for a wider political purpose, which
was to try and get these companies to look West rather than East. It was a gamble.
I think broadly with Eastern European countries, it's worked, although there are still great difficulties. With Greece, maybe it hasn't worked.
I hope very much that even if Greece does leave the euro, it won't be ejected from the European Union, because people have short memories and
they need to remember how turbulent has Greece's post-war history been, almost Communist after the war, then fascist when I was a young man,
relatively democratic and stable since then, but highly corrupt.
And we need to try and keep it within the family of the European Union but allow it the space to reform its institutions itself.
AMANPOUR: Huge challenges ahead on all fronts. Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
STRAW: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: And as Jack Straw said, the remarkable political consensus has held so far on Iran between nations such as Russia and the United States.
But other issues, no such luck. Russia today vetoed a U.S.-backed British resolution at the United Nations that described the massacre of 8,000
Bosnian men and boys from the village of Srebrenica as a genocide. This just three days before the 20th anniversary of that slaughter, which was
the worst in Europe since World War II.
After a break, imagine a world where Russia won't back down to a superpower but feels threatened by one Ukrainian woman. The campaign against the
military pilot, Nadya Savchenko, goes up a notch. We catch up with her story next.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, with world attention turned firmly away and focused on all the other crises, the conflict in Eastern Ukraine continues
on a low boil. There's meant to be a cease-fire in place but Ukraine authorities have just released photos from a regiment recording, they say,
that shows Russian-backed rebels gathering heavy weapons near Mariupol while Chechen fighters are now said to be joining some Ukrainian brigades.
But imagine a world away from the front lines where another struggle between Russia and Ukraine has taken a dark turn.
Helicopter pilot Nadya Savchenko has been held in a Russian prison for almost a year now. Originally she was charged with illegally entering
Russian territory and for complicity in the deaths of two Russian reporters. Now the charges have been ramped up to murder as her show trial
is about to begin.
She and Kiev have all along said that the national hero was kidnapped and is being held as a prisoner of war. In March this year, deep into a hunger
strike, Nadya sent us a letter, detailing the injustice of her detention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADYA SAVCHENKO, HELICOPTER PILOT (through translator): I don't know what it will take to get me out of Russia but I lose neither hope nor faith. So
many people around the world wish me to be free that it's important for a miracle not to happen. If Putin wants to defeat Ukraine, let's try to
defeat me first. Either task is too big for him to bite.
But if he wants peace and friendship between our nations as he claims, I'm ready to make the first step towards it. My freedom will be that first
step towards peace and understanding in Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Words from a Russian jail.
That's it for our program tonight. And remember you can always see the whole show online at amanpour.com, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.