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CONNECT THE WORLD
China Ups Military Spending By 8.1 Percent to $175 Billion; From Xi To Putin: Holding On To Power; U.S. Aircraft Carrier On Historic Visit To Vietnam; Voters Back Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Establishment Parties; Me Too Activists Share The Oscars Stage; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Speaks At AIPAC Conference; North Korea's Path To Diplomacy With United States. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired March 6, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
(BEGIN VIDEO LIVE FEED)
[10:00:00] BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: And the first ambassador to have the honor of working from that embassy in Jerusalem is a
great American ambassador, David Friedman.
David thank you for that terrific job that you are doing. And you know who else is doing a terrific job? Israel's ambassador to Washington, Ron
Stand up Ron. Thank you for the terrific job you are doing.
I want to thank Mort Freidman, Lillian Pinkus -- Lillian, you don't have to remind them how far back we go together.
Howard Kohr, AIPAC's nuclear core, everyone at AIPAC. I want to thank all of you for the work you are doing to strengthen the remarkable alliance
between our two countries. Thank you.
I want to acknowledge the Israeli ministers, Israel's representatives here in the United States, in the United Nations, the Mayor of Jerusalem, the
many Members of Congress and the former leaders of countries who are here. In particular, I want to acknowledge my friend, a great champion of Israel,
the former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper. Stephen, stand up, please.
Stephen, we never forget our friends, and you were a tremendous friend and still are.
And finally, I want to thank the 4,000 students who are here with us today.
Four thousand students. Thank you for cutting class to be here.
So, if any of you needs a note, you can see me later. There's a line forming outside.
Now, what I can see is this. Well, it's dark, but I can see something. I can see that the audience in this hall each year is getting bigger and
bigger and bigger, 18,000 strong.
I want to see all of you, and I can't. I don't want to stand behind this podium. Is it ok?
What the heck-I'm the Prime Minister.
Thank you, yeah, great, good to see you. Thank you. I'll get there too. Don't worry. Great to see you. Thank you.
So today I want to ask you. You remember that great Clint Eastwood movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Well, I want to talk about the good, the
bad and beautiful.
The good are all the good things that we are doing in Israel that are helping make the world a better place.
The bad are all the bad things that malevolent forces are trying to do to Israel and to the world and specifically, I'm talking about Iran. And the
beautiful - well, that I'll leave to the last. So first the good news, Israel has never been stronger militarily. Tremendously strong.
That's an F35 fighter plane, the most advanced in the world. That's an Iron Dome interceptor, and many other systems that we developed with the
help of America. Thank you America, thank you successive American presidents, thank you Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike.
[10:05:00] Thank you AIPAC for helping bring this about.
You're terrific. And this incredible military is buttressed by superb intelligence, unmatched in the world. Can you see me? I can hardly see
you. I have to get closer. Yes, I see you. That's good. Superb intelligence. You know, in the last few years, Israel's incredible
intelligence services have foiled dozens, dozens of terrorist attacks across the world in dozens of countries. That plane, a plane like that
could have been blown out of the sky if it weren't for Israeli intelligence, a plane heading from Australia to the Persian Gulf. You're
boarding planes when you leave this place. You are safer because of Israeli intelligence. It not only protects Israeli lives, it protects
innocent lives around the world.
And we're able to do all this because of the extraordinary soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, men and women just look at them, men and women,
black and white, religious and secular, gay and straight, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, Circassia's.
They come from different backgrounds, but they're united with a common mission, to protect the State of Israel. They keep us safe. They make us
Thank you. Now, I know there are quite a few veterans of the Israeli army here. So I want you to stand up. I want you to be recognized. Stand up
But the good news doesn't stop merely with Israel's strong military. It continues with Israel's strong economy. It's a tremendously strong
economy, and I'll tell you, we made it stronger by moving Israel to free market principles, which unleashed the spark of genius embedded in our
people, into innovation, entrepreneurship. And there is a revolution taking place. This couldn't happen at the better time. Look at the ten
leading companies in 2006, five energy companies, one I.T. company, Microsoft. And a mere 10 years later, 2016, a blink of an eye in
historical terms, it's completely reversed. Five I.T. companies, one energy company left. The true wealth is in innovation. You know these
companies, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook. Guess what? They all have research centers in Israel. All of them, major research
centers. And they're not alone. There are hundreds more. And there's a reason, something is going on. It's a great change. It's, you want to
hear jargon? It's one sentence. This is a terrible sentence, but I have no other way to say it. It's the confluence of big data, connectivity and
artificial intelligence, ok? Do you get that? You know what that does? It revolutionizes old industries and it creates entirely new industries.
So here's an old industry that Israel was always great in, agriculture. We were always good in agriculture. But now we have precision agriculture.
You know what that is? See that drone in the sky? He's connected to a big database. And there are sensors in the field, and in the field there's
drip irrigation and drip fertilization. And now we can target, with this technology, the water that we give, the fertilizer that we give down to the
individual plant that needs it. That's precision agriculture.
[10:10:00] That's Israel.
Unbelievable. You know, we were always good in water. I want you to see how good we are. So, we recycle almost 90 percent of our wastewater. The
next country, with less than 20 percent is Spain. You can see how Israel, what it does for water, what it does for the environment. So when you take
these two things, agriculture and water, and the other technologies that we apply in both, we can change the world. We are. I just heard about an
African woman in Africa, has to walk eight hours a day to give water to her children - four hours one way to a well, four hours back. And a young
Israeli company brought in this technology that improves on Moses. You remember Moses? He brought water from a rock? They bring water from thin
air. They bring water to Africa, to millions of people in Africa - Israeli technology!
And I was just recently in India. That's my friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, great friend.
(END VIDEO LIVE FEED)
BECKY ANDERSON, CONNECT THE WORLD, CNN: You had been listening Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been speaking to the Pro-Israel to
AIPAC in Washington he began by thanking President Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli Capital. He went on two Israel's Military, he
loaded Israeli's intelligence agency and as we speak he is talking up the positive in what he calls a free-market freewheeling economy and lots to
take in he continues this is quite the presentation, he owns that stage and he has been much applauded by an audience which is clearly to be
sympathetic to the Prime Minister.
Let us bring in Oren Liebermann who is out of Jerusalem, we listen to what is 12 minutes he continues to move when we feel it's that I appropriate are
and from which you heard today.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORESPONDENT: Becky nothing is surprising here in terms of what Prime Minister has said, you said it perfectly, he owned this
stage, as friendly crowd is it gets to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this is AIPAC especially right after his meeting with President Donald
Trump and right after the U.S. recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, just a couple months away from the embassy move, so this is about
as friendly atmosphere as it can get and fro me it is right on topic, this is a placed to announce new major policy, initiatives or changes in policy
or any big changes like.
For him staying on topic, talking about the Israel-U.S. relation which is exactly what he started as you pointed out that he touted the military
cooperation when it was iron Dome missile-defense or the latest American fighters the F35 and now he is touting Israeli's technology whether it is
water or I.T., but it is exactly on message for the crowd using for who he is, the Prime Minister touting Israel and fun for the pro-Israel crowd so
no surprises there.
What I am curious to see does he pivot to Iran, one of AIPAC's reasons to be, lobby against Iran nuclear deal or lobby against Iran's aggression in
the Middle East. It will be interesting to see if he hits that topic and it's a hard as he did in his meeting with Trump just yesterday.
ANDERSON: Yes and we will absolutely get back to this as we monitoring the thing to come out of that I wanted this presentation this means that he is
really owning that stage it looks like a sea overnight. The global IT company that we would recognize these days treating the stage as his own
back home and the situation quite different and when you when you hear this room applauding you say this is a very sympathetic audience back home, this
are troubled times for the Prime Minister.
LIEBERMANN: A very different story back here and that is story followed him over there, the cloud of five separate roughened investigations
targeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his inner circle, this trip would have been a welcome break from all of that in front of Trump, in
front of a very AIPAC crowd and bit a trip to Washington, but the investigations followed him over there, just hours before his meeting with
Trump a third Netanyahu confidant turn state witness, agreeing to cooperate with investigators in a case what is known as case4000 here in which
Netanyahu himself was question under caution, making him a suspect in three separate corruption investigation, now his wife simultaneously question
under caution being she is a part of that investigation as well so this trip to the U.S. was a chance to get away from that, we certainly knew the
investigation would be a cloud over the trip especially with developments breaking while he is over there.
[10:15:07] So I dint expect him to address it in AIPAC, it is simply the wrong crowd, the crowd that I don't know, is all that concern about the
investigation over here that the moment he touches back down here in Israel that will be a problem he faces. Investigations are not going, they may
not be moving quickly but they are certainly grinding forward here Becky.
ANDERSON: It is 10:15 a.m. in Washington the room lit up there at AIPAC by the Israeli Prime Minister who begun by thanking Donald Trump today at the
beginning of what is the presentation for recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital back to that as it went.
Still to come tonight, North Korea lays out a possible path to diplomacy with the United States, but before giving up its nuclear missile, Pyongyang
has condition, what those are is after this.
ANDERSON: Well you are back with CNN, this is "Connect the World," with me Becky Anderson, 18 minutes pass 7:00 in the UAE we are broadcasting due
from Middle East hub. I am going to move away from this region for a look at the stunning show of diplomacy by North Korea. South Korea says
Pyongyang is willing to hold its nuclear and missile testing while meetings between the two nations continue. This announcement comes after North
Korean leader Kim Jong-un's first face-to-face talk to the South Korean delegation. The South special envoy says the North is willing to talk with
the U.S. about giving up its nuclear weapons although altogether will come to need two Korea's to hold their first summit in more than a decade. Let
us get this significance on what we are hearing. From CNN Andrew Stevens joining us now from Seoul, how big a deal is this? When you consider that
just before the Olympics things were going at pretty badly between the North and South and inquiry in the Korea's and between North Korea and the
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN NEWSTREAM ANCHOR: Probably going even worst between North Korea and the U.S. You took the words right out of my mouth Becky.
[10:20:00] If you look at just a few short months ago the level of tension on the Korean peninsula the talk of war, the talk of military strikes on
the Korean peninsula and now we are talking diplomacy very clearly talking to diplomacy and the North Koreans are on the surface at least making
concessions, I mean to talk to the U.S. about the denuclearization to two days ago North Korea said that it was a preposterous idea that you should
place denuclearization as a condition in any talks with the U.S. now they are saying they All right prepared to do that, and while they are doing
that, they say they are prepared to freeze all there and what they describe is provoked strategic for provocative action which is explicitly talking
about missile test and talk about the nuclear weaponry test. They are going to suspend that while the talks are with U.S. and also while the
talks are on with South Korea and that there were obviously caveats here that North Korea is not going to just give always t nuclear arsenal for
years and years and years in fact the whole raise on debt of nuclear and nuclear cardinals crib Becky is regime survival.
So it has said and also said in these in the slightest messages coming from the north that it will give up nuclear power and nucleus nuclear weapons
program only when it's, its safety and security can be guaranteed, but didn't elaborate on what that success security guarantee would be. I said
that a military threat would have to be resolved if you think about it just across the border in South Korea there are tens of thousands of U.S. troops
was stationed here that I didn't set up specifically, but certainly North Korea is not going to move until it says it is perfectly secure and that
security is guaranteed, but we do have this stiff oldest big step forward considering what is going on before and it is now all about to close the
lease in the short term and that has got to be a better way forward.
ANDERSON: Andrew, why should anybody believe what the North Korean leader is positive at this point?
STEVENS: It was a good question and you can't take it on face value and I don't think anybody is, but there has been if you consider again if you
compare where he was going last year with what he's going this year it does seem to signal that he does have the beliefs now in diplomacy and remember
Becky he said at the beginning of the year this news, days speech that he wants to close relationships with the with the South of those quickly
picked up by the south by the presidents who invited the north down to the ceiling of the Winter Olympic Games, they marched together under one flag
of the opening there was a joint female ice hockey team North and South Korea and then of course there was this meeting the Kim Jong-un actually
turn-up to a methodic from South Korea a handwritten letter was delivered to Mr. Kim from the South Korean president. We don't know what was in
that, but obviously it talked about getting a summit together and actually trying more dialogue. So can we believe it also know we can't, but at this
stage it's difficult to say why he would be doing this is a ruse, given the facts as to he has got a lot of economic pressure on him.
ANDERSON: Fascinating and Andrew thank you. Andrew is on Seoul for you and Joan Lee is a journalist and global fellow at the Wilson center joining
us now by Skype from Seoul and you heard my discussion with Andrew, I want to ask you quite simply why you think North Korea is making these overtures
JOAN LEE, JOURNALIST, GLOBAL FELLOW AT THE WILSON CENTER: One thing is that we are certainly getting a much better stand for who Kim Jong-un is,
his ambition and he is clearly impatient. You know, North Korea one thing that I heard him say there is particular thing that his father and his
grandfather died without accomplishing and that was signing a peace treaty with the United States. I don't know if that was under discussion at this
talks in Pyongyang, but one thing I can point out is 2018 this September marks the second year anniversary of the founding of North Korea. He wants
to accomplish something big, something monumental and something that would cement his place in history books.
And I am not at all surprised by this turn of events to be absolutely honest. The North Koreans are incredibly aware (inaudible) and she has
run the region two point frankly in a very skillful strategy to the point where he brought the South Koreans to the table and eventually will get
more Americans to the table as well to perhaps discuss a peace treaty to end the Korean War formally.
[10:25:00] ANDERSON: Wow. Well you are a lot more optimistic than the leaders of the U.S. defense intelligence department who are specifically
not confident nor optimistic about at North Korea's recent overtures, are they wrong?
LEE: You know I am not particularly optimistic, I am just telling you what I heard the North Koreans state there ultimate end goal is. I think we
need to be very, very careful and cautious here and it looks like that we have been down this path before. We had been talking to the North Koreans
for 25 years and it only ended in broken path, frankly it has resulted in the summarization of this nuclear program to the plead were poses a global
threat to the savvy negotiators and it really will take some skillful negotiations by the South Korean and the American ad their partners in
region to make sure that this talks really takes us to the end goal which is peace and security in this very intense region.
ANDERSON: We are talking about the fact that South Korea has said that Pyongyang is willing to halt its nuclear and missile testing while meetings
between the two nations continue and we are hearing the North Koreans say they are willing and to get into a dialogue with the U.S. that caveat Jean
is that Kim Jong-un has said that he wants security guarantees, one has to assume this is from the U.S. before he does any of this. Can you explain,
given your experience and your background knowledge on this, what does the North Korean leader mean by wanting security guarantees and from whom?
LEE: That is the big ask and that is going to be the challenge in talks ahead. We are talking as soon as before the 2018 -- the 2500 U.S. troops
here on South Koreans soil that has always bring the North Koreans see that as occupation of Korean territory, they will be certainly asking for those
U.S. troops to leave the South Korean territory and as I mentioned earlier an peace treaty, this are big ask from the North Koreans so I think that
talking about removing the military threat from the United States is going to be a very freaking negotiating points.
ANDERSON: Pleasure having you on Joan Lee as a journalist in Global Fellow at the Wilson Center joining us out of Seoul by Skype today. Thank you
very much indeed for your insight and analysis that we will be back right after this short break, busy day.
[10:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Foreign military aircraft. This is Chinese Navy. You are approaching our military alert zone. Leave immediately.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: high above the South China Sea, there radio crackles with a stern warning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Exclusive that you can only see right here on CNN, China there telling America to stay out of its backyard, and away from
areas hidden to be fair that many others claim is right here in the South China Sea.
And it is here that we turn to now to help to connect what is really a changing shift in how our world is run between them. You can see Beijing
just hours ago, super charging what it spends on its military, and setting itself to spend more than eight percent more, but it is still way behind
what America spends in terms of cold hard dollars.
Our regular viewers will remember this graphic, the U.S. is fat wedge, and China, well, just as sliver as you can see translating that into raw
military hardware is just one example -- Washington commanding 10 large modern craft carriers on the high seas, Beijing, just one.
While China moves the abacus on its military spending by the billions, it is making it easier to amplify political power by focusing on one -- one
president that is.
That could do away with term limits for that job, and now both of those huge changes happening in Beijing at the big yearly meeting of the one and
only political party, the Communist Party. CNN's Will Ripley is watching closely for you. Let's bring him up.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the coming days China's top legislative body, the National People's Congress here in Beijing with almost 3,000
delegates is expected to easily approve a dramatic change to this country's constitution.
And doing away with the presidential term limits, essentially laying the foundation for the current President Xi Jinping to remain president for
life, if he so chooses.
Now the spin in the Chinese state media is that virtually, isn't that big of a deal, but the military and the party already don't have term limits,
so it only make sense for the head of state, also not to have term limits.
They say it allows for continuity in leadership during tumultuous times, that include the on-going challenge of keeping China's economic growth
rate, going, dealing with the volatile situation on the Korean Peninsula, and of course, the trade relations with the United States.
[10:35:02] And the always looming threat of friction and even a potential trade war given some of the moves made recently by the U.S. President
So party leaders here in Beijing firmly expected to put their full support behind Xi Jinping for the foreseeable future, instead of solidifying
peaceful transfer of power at the end of his second term, now he potentially remains indefinitely, the leader of this country.
The most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, the dictator who oversaw the cultural revolution and after which term limits were set-up in 1982 to try
to prevent somebody from having so much power that they can make decisions uncheck, that they could clench their fist on this country and enforce the
kind of brutal dictatorship that the Chinese people lived through in the past.
And any criticism here in Beijing, censored, cut-off the social media and emits news coverage, blackout by Chinese sensors, certainly CNN and other
networks have witnessed that in moving forward and it is Xi Jinping at the very top for the foreseeable future. Will Ripley, CNN, Beijing.
ANDERSON: Even so Xi Jinping got into power and as, Will, was explaining, he wants hold onto it. He would not be though the first leader to find the
allure of ruling over millions of people to incredible prize to give up. For them though, history has a warning and as CNN's Nic Robertson now shows
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Xi Jinping is not the first to come to power and hold on. Putin has done it, and Turkey's Erdogan just done it,
autocrats all have done it, and Trump jokes that Xi is right.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don't forget, China is great and Xi is a great gentlemen. He's now president for life.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: President for life! No, he's great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it's great. Maybe we'll have to give that a shot some day.
ROBERTSON: Democracy is still alive in the U.S., the world superpower is not transitioning to a dictatorship -- that is China. Xi with its term
limits lifted gets power for life over the world's second largest economy, an emerging superpower, who is demanding territorial expansion.
Like Xi, Putin had trouble with term limits. He is continuing grasp on Russia, less wealthy, less powerful than China came by controlling the
media and gaining the electoral system, switching in 2008 with his weaker compliant P.M. Medvedev for one term.
Putin is now in the verge of beginning a fourth term of president. Erdogan's path past was messier, elections due in 2015 cost his party and
his majority. Kurdish secretary got broad support. Erdogan restarted the war with Turkey's Kurds, poured in elections and got the majority.
He cracked down on critical media, used a complaint in parliament to consolidate power in his own hands as president, whatever the path to total
power the outcome for autocrats can be costly.
Saddam Hussein in Iraq, for decades of bloody dictator, died at the end of a hang man's rope. Libya's Gadhafi came to power in 1967, the summer of
love, partied hard, ruled like a dictator, died on Iran, dragged him a storm drain and shot with his own gun.
The list of living autocrats stretches on -- (Inaudible), Duterte in the Philippines, and Kim Jong-un in North Korea, each with their own reputation
for control and refraction.
At the other end of the scale, former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, an old school autocrat recently walked away from his bloody past without
paying his butcher's bill.
Xi has a lot of autocratic precedents to pick from. The one path he won't be deviating from is leading China to global dominance. Nic Robertson,
ANDERSON: All right. Let me just bring up our map again. As you can see, China and Vietnam have a competing claims in the South China Sea, it is
hardly new. China has long and complex history with Vietnam stretching over some 2,000 years.
And America closing linked to the country after the Vietnam War right now for the first time since we saw scenes like this, and Washington now has an
aircraft carrier, and could off the Vietnam's coast.
Now, both are very suspicious of China's moves in the South China Sea, saying make no mistake, this carrier is a giant, floating military and
political statement against it.
[10:40:06] CNN sent Matt Rivers aboard to find out more about Vietnam and America are getting closer and closer.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, we are just off the coast of Vietnam near in Denang, and we are on board this relatively small boat
heading to that very large ship, that is the USS Carl Vinson. It is an aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy, and has moved right now a couple of
miles off the coast.
This is first time that a U.S. aircraft carrier has made an official visit to Vietnam in more than 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War actually.
Other Navy ships have visited since 2003 but this is different. This is an aircraft carrier and it is emblematic of a changing relationship between
Trade for example has exploded between both sides, and of course both sides have been cooperating on security as well. It was just in 2016 that
President Obama lifted an arms sales embargo on lethal weapons to Vietnam and it was a major sign that the bilateral relationship had progressed a
friendlier terms, and does appear to be continuing under President Trump.
The president visited here last year. Secretary of Defense Mattis was just here in January and the ambassador to Vietnam says he hopes to keep tat
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that you are seeing the fruits of decades' worth of effort to build bilateral trust and overcome the legacies of a
RIVERS: Not too far from where we are right now, the Chinese military has been building and militarily developing artificial islands for years in
waters that they claim is their territory, but several other countries including Vietnam claim some of that territory as theirs.
And the U.S. doesn't recognize the Chinese claims either. Vietnam more than other countries in this region has shown a willingness to stand up to
Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea.
And in the government here, the United States likely sees an ally in this part of the world in regards to this particular topic, that is part the
reason why this aircraft carrier is docked here right now.
This is a projection of the U.S. military might able to go to all corners of the globe, analysts tell CNN that this is absolutely a message to China,
that message being the U.S. military is here to stay in this region, and that they are willing to team up even with old foes to combat what it sees
as growing threat from Beijing. Matt Rivers, CNN, board the USS Carl Vinson, off the Vietnamese coast.
ANDERSON: Right. How do you connect then an air craft carrier to a Big Mac? Well, this is how in total dollars, America planning to spend almost
$700 billion on its military, China almost $200 billion, but those big round numbers are not the whole story.
Enter the burger -- as in yes, from McDonald. The Economist magazine uses them to test how a currency is valued. And using that index, there is an
indication that China is money. And it is pretty heavy under valued by some forty percent. So is a dollar, a dollar? Yes, but also not really.
You get a lot more bite and bang for your buck if you take your cash to China. And that is why 200 billion is a lot closer to 700 billion than you
might think. Got it? I will repeat it after this. We will be back right after this short break. Stay with us.
[10:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: Well getting back to our top story, you are watching Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. In Italy, there is uncertainty and fear of
political deadlock after populist anti-establishment party swept the polls.
Projections indicate that the populist or the right wing parties won over 50 percent of voters. Now a center-right coalition under former Prime
Minister Silvio Berlusconi looks at to form the largest group in parliament on the other side of the world.
The outgoing center left Democratic government picking up the pieces, and asking what went wrong? It is expected to lose around 170 seats. Politics
in Italy never easy, often time messy.
Let's get to the expertise in all for this, and it is important, not just for Italy, but for Euro pre as a whole, from someone whose been in the tip
of Italian politics, former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, joining us live from Milan.
So you have been watching elections -- tens of elections in Italy over the past years, and watching the lead-up to this very, very closely.
Just describe what you are seeing at present. How do you expect -- what do you expect the outcome to be and how do you expect that to have an
influence on Italy?
MARIO MONTI, FORMER ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Well, certainly, this has been a very lively manifestation of Italian democracy to say the least.
I often characterize this as 50 percent of Italians shifting to the right because actually, the highest party now in terms of votes is the Five Star
Movement which is for sure populist, but very, very difficult to characterize as right or left.
As a matter of fact, there were some clearly extreme right part just like CasaPound, they didn't arrive to one percent, for example. So having said
that, there is a turmoil in the political landscape.
There is clearly an emergence of two populist parties, the Five Star and the League, and there is a big defeat of the two more moderate parties
around Mr. Berlusconi on the right Forza Italia and Mr. Renzi on the left, the Democratic Party.
There would be two targets after this revolt in the ballots. One will be against the Italian establishment and I must say, this is not necessarily a
bad news, because the Italian establishment of the economy, of politics has not been up to what is required of a modern establishment.
So if the pressure is felt there, that is not better, but of course there will be pressure also on the European Union, and I think onto -- in two
respects, one, some revolt against fiscal discipline and the other one on migrations. In a sense, surely becomes closer to the...
ANDERSON: Let me stop you there, sir. Because we have seen the rise of populist and far right movement across Europe, France, Germany, Latvia,
Poland to names just a few and we have seen the U.K. vote for Brexit of course.
And we have seen immigration as a key voting issue again and again, and again, is that ultimately what is fueling this populist fervor in Italy,
and if so, isn't it Europe to blame for its inadequate response?
MONTI: There are two European policies which have pushed to this, and they master to some extent, be changed.
[10:50:08] One is Immigration indeed, because Italy was left very much alone due to its geographical position. It couldn't help but taking in so
many immigrants but other countries, particularly Hungary, Slovakia, et cetera, have simply refused to implement a European agreement about the
redeployment of the immigrant.
So that fueled a lot of resentment of Europe. The other thing is more economic and is the budget constraints that the E.U. puts on all members of
states, particularly of the Eurozone.
There I must say that I am more on the side, and more on the side of the E.U. on this one, because Italy is a highly indebted countries which has
come out another way from the financial crisis of the Eurozone.
But we need for internal reasons. Not because of European constraints, to contain our deficit and try and reduce our stock of public debt.
ANDERSON: And they have actually dodged a bullet, didn't they, in the end? Because they were, you know, in quite some trouble, some years ago, and as
you rightly point out, may have very much benefited from its membership of the European Union, to a degree that many people in Europe will say,
perhaps it wasn't fair.
In an interview recently, the former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon hailed Italy's political shift saying this, the Italian people have
gone farther in a shorter period of time than the British did for Brexit, and the Americans did for Trump.
And Steve Bannon somewhat reveling in the sort of outcome that he will now be seeing in Italy. I mean, I need to put this to you, does this election
or will this election result in Italy pulling out of the Europe? Potentially pulling out of Europe as a whole all at what Britain is doing
at the present?
MONTI: The existence if Italy in the -- and in the Euro will become more difficult, more thorny, and there will be more confrontations between
Brussels and Rome.
But luckily, the influence of Mr. Bannon in Italy is slightly above or slightly below the Euro, and I believe that Italians will not be taking
Brexit or the election of President Trump as benchmarks.
But simply, it is important that we continue to be an active partner in the U.S., especially now that Germany has finally set in motion, this new grand
France has a strong pro-European president, there is a vacuum in Europe unless Italy takes on its own role there, but there will be lot of
pedagogical work to be done vis-a-vis Italians, which was not done by Mr. Berlusconi or Mr. Renzi, even though self-proclaim themselves, (Inaudible)
against populist, they were not really.
ANDERSON: And with that, we have spoken before and we will speak again and it is a pleasure having you on. Mario Monti, former Italian Prime
Minister, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today, on what is a big day in Italian politics.
MONTI: Thank you very much.
ANDERSON: Ahead on the show, the elephant in the room, the academy awards. Hollywood looks to blaze a path forward after months of sexual assault and
harassment allegations. That is up next.
[10:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: Your Parting Shots as we look at Hollywood's biggest night of the year was loaded with glitz, glamour and yes, political statements.
Sunday's academy awards, the Oscars, did not shy away from shining a spotlight on the months of scandal and controversy plaguing the
It is an industry that is there to celebrate, of course, the host Jimmy Kimmel encouraging those on stage to use their speech time to remind the
world about issues close to them like the Me Too Movement, which grew out of complaints of sexual harassment and assault against the once famed
producer Harvey Weinstein.
Well, three of his accusers, actually, Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra, and Salma Hayek appearing at the ceremony together, an important moment for all
of us then last night.
I'm Becky Anderson, that was Connect the World. From the team working with me here in the UAE, and those working with us around the world, it is a
very good evening. CNN continues after this short break with the International Desk with Robyn Curnow.