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Hard Bargain in Brussels; Protests Against Vladimir Putin; Iran Airs Video of What it Claims is U.S. Drone; Voyager One Leaving Earth's Solar System After 34 Year Voyage; Protesters In Syria Defy Regime

Aired December 09, 2011 - 00:08   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.

And we begin in Brussels, where European leaders are tackling the debt crisis, but the European Union has proven itself anything but united.

Plus, preparing to protest. Demonstrations like these against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are scheduled for Saturday, being dubbed the country's "Snow Revolution."

And as U.S. troops pull out of Iraq, some Iraqi civilians are left feeling abandoned and ostracized.

Europe's big three clash in Brussels. At marathon talks that stretched to dawn, Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Nicolas Sarkozy pushed to rewrite parts of the European Union treaty to save the euro, but Britain's David Cameron backed away.


NICOLAS SARKOZY, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): In order to extract a reform of a 27-member treaty, David Cameron twice did something which we all considered was unacceptable. Namely, that there'd be a protocol written into the treaty which enables the U.K. to opt out of a certain number of rules applying to financial services. We were not able to accept that, because we consider, quite the contrary, that a very large and substantial amount of the problems we're facing around the world are the result of lack of regulation of financial services. And therefore, we cannot have a waiver for the United Kingdom.


STOUT: Now, Mr. Sarkozy and other European leaders are wrapping up their summit today after a working lunch. In a bid to contain the continent's grinding debt crisis, 23 of the 27 EU members did agree to pursue tighter fiscal rules.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Cameron says he did the right thing for Britain.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We're never going to join the euro. We're never going to give up the sort of sovereignty that these countries are having to give up in order to enter a fiscal union. So, in some ways, the fact they're going to do this in a separate treaty, without actually, you know, distorting the European Union treaty itself, in many ways, given we couldn't get those safeguards, perhaps it's a better outcome.


STOUT: So, can this crisis summit, the eighth one this year, be called a success?

Jim Boulden joins us now live from Brussels.

And Jim, 17 eurozone countries have agreed to a path, but there is no new EU-wide treaty. So what does that mean for the euro and the EU?

JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, no new EU-wide treaty. However, in the last hour, the commission and the council has actually amended what it put out overnight, and it adds the names of those other countries like Sweden and Hungary, and saying that the other countries are indicating the possibility that they will also agree to what was agreed to overnight and take that back to their parliaments.

What it means is that in the last hour or so, Britain has become ever slow -- more isolated here. So you could get to the point where we have 26 of the 27 countries agreeing.

It's a pretty weakly-worded comment from the commission. However, it is becoming clear, I think, that the other countries weren't happy to be lumped in, if you were, with the U.K.

And it was very interesting when you heard Mrs. Merkel this morning, when she arrived back here for the second day of talks, what she had to say about Britain. Take a listen.


ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): The British have never been in the euro. They've had an opt out from the beginning of the euro. Thus, we're very familiar with the status quo.

We started Schengen with many other countries, and yesterday the text that we adopted said very simply that, if the possibility is there to copy all of these to the treaties like we did with Schengen, we would do this as fast as possible. David Cameron sat with us at the table. We made a decision for this text. We do not have time for weak compromises regarding the euro.


BOULDEN: So, no weak compromises, which I think is very interesting. But a fiscal union agreed to. The details, of course, will have to be worked out in the coming weeks, until the next summit in March. So we will be back here again.

But there is money for the IMF, there is the new mechanism -- that would be the bailout fund. It will start hopefully in July, 2012, so that's earlier than expected. Tighter budget rules, some automatic penalties, if you will, sanctions for countries who sign up to this, who then would flout those rules.

So, a lot to go through. However, the big question really is, how much of the European Union would be distracted by the fact the U.K. is not involved? And that's the kind of thing that might worry markets a little bit -- Kristie.

STOUT: That's right. What is the real damage here? The veto by the British prime minister, David Cameron, now that Britain and the eurozone have effectively parted ways, what impact will that have on the EU?

BOULDEN: Well, very clearly, he said he did this because he needed to protect Britain and he needed to protect Britain's interest. And there's definitely a difference of opinion over what happened overnight between what the French are saying and what the British are saying. And we'll find out more about that hopefully in the coming hours.

But, basically, we knew going into this that Mr. Cameron was not going to agree to EU treaty changes about losing sovereignty, if you will, over some parts of the budget. He was not going to ever agree to any kind of transaction tax that he thought would hurt the financial district in London, which, of course, is the biggest in Europe.

So, going into this, we knew that wasn't going to take place. But does this make Britain more isolated? Some people in Britain will cheer that.

Let's be clear, there's the euro skeptics in Mr. Cameron's party who do not want to see him coming here and agreeing to give up some sovereignty, in their words. So it will be interesting to see though. If you do get all 26 of 27 countries agreeing to everything, and Britain becomes more isolated, we'll have to see what that does to the whole working of the EU - - Kristie.

STOUT: All right.

Jim Boulden, joining us live from Brussels.

Thank you very much for that.

And we are waiting for a press conference to take place there from the site of this EU crisis summit. Once it happens, we'll bring it to you, right here on NEWS STREAM.

Now, let's check an instant barometer of what's happening there in Brussels.


Now, southern Lebanon has barely escaped from its war-ravaged history. And today came yet another reminder of that turbulent past.

A bomb exploded near a U.N. patrol vehicle, wounding five French U.N. troops. It's the latest in a string of deadly attacks to hit the region in the last year.

Now, the troops were part of UNIFIL. That's the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. And the group has been monitoring the area since 1978.

And in Syria, anti-government demonstrators are continuing to defy President al-Assad's regime and his bloody security crackdown. Let's bring up some pictures from inside Homs. It's one of the epicenters of the long- running Syrian revolt, and protesters are once again out in force, streaming through the city's streets with flags and banners.

Some think a change of tactics could be on the horizon. Protesters are set to stage a dignity strike. The aim, persuading businesses to close and children to stay away from schools.

Protesters in Moscow are getting ready for what could be one of the biggest anti-government rallies the Russian capital has seen in years. More than 30,000 people have gone on Facebook to sign up for Saturday's protest. They accuse Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his United Russia Party of committing electoral fraud in Sunday's parliamentary election. Now, similar weekend rallies were also being found (ph) elsewhere in Russia and in other cities around the world.

And for more on this story, let's bring in CNN's Phil Black. He joins us now live from Moscow.

And Phil, Putin is blaming the U.S. for encouraging the protests. Why is he saying that? And is this a sign of worsening relations?

PHIL BLACK, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kristie. What is Vladimir Putin really thinking?

It is difficult to know for certain, because some of the language that he has used is thinly veiled and carefully chosen, and not necessarily direct. I can only tell you though, I put that same question to some of the opposition leaders who have been planning and continue to plan protests in this city at the moment. They have a number of theories.

One idea says that this former KGB spy comes from a culture that will always believe the United States is a meddling adversary. And then there is also the possibility that for the man who is currently Russian prime minister, but hopes to become Russian president again, the ability to blame the United States in this way is convenient politics. Some people believe that it could be a combination of both.

Either way, he has made the claim that he believes the United States has had a hand in this, and the U.S. has refuted those allegations -- Kristie.

STOUT: Now, more protests are planned for this weekend. Just how much discontent will likely spill out on to the streets?

BLACK: Well, protest leaders are hoping that what we're going to see on the streets of Moscow tomorrow will be something that this city has never really seen before, a protest with tens of thousands of people all gathered together in one place voicing their discontent over the way that those recent parliamentary elections were conducted, the belief that they were unfair and involved some cheating. And also just general anger towards Vladimir Putin and his United Russia Party.

They are predicting as many as 30,000 people will attend. They have the necessary permissions. They're allowed to assemble in a designated square that will hold that many people.

Vladimir Putin has said that these protests should be allowed to continue as long as they are peaceful and legal, and I guess that's what will determine whether or not this is peaceful or how successful this goes ahead. We're expecting that big crowd, but also big numbers of police as well. And so the protest organizers are pleading with those people who are going to be attending not to provoke the people, not to give them any reason to shut the protest down -- Kristie.

STOUT: You know, this protest movement isn't going away. And just how big a threat is this so-called Snow Revolution to the Kremlin and to Vladimir Putin, who's planning that second bid for the presidency?

BLACK: Well, opposition leaders believe that he is scared of what has happened and what is continuing to happen. Tomorrow's protest, even if it is as big as predicted, as is hoped by those protest leaders, it in itself is not going to deliver their goals.

It is not going to necessarily revoke the results of that particular protest. It is not going to prevent Vladimir Putin from running for the presidency next year. But they say it will be one step in an ongoing movement to try and bring about that sort of change. And I think that depending upon just how successful they are in developing that sort of momentum will ultimately depend on to what extent it is any sort of real threat to the leadership of this country -- Kristie.

STOUT: All right.

Phil Black, joining us live from Moscow.

Thank you very much indeed for that.

You're watching NEWS STREAM. And still ahead, another twist in the U.S. drone mystery. The U.S. says it's a pile of tangled wreckage, but Iran is showing up new footage of what it says is a spy drone. And we'll have more on the controversy.

And in southern Iraq, they called it home, but this U.S. military hub is now nothing but a ghost town. We'll take you there.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now, tensions between Pakistan and the West have been heating up since a NATO strike killed 24 Pakistan soldiers late last month. And relations may be reaching a boiling point.

Two Pakistani lawmakers say the air strikes appear to have been deliberate. The lawmakers made those comments after they attended a military briefing with a senior Pakistani general. And here you can see the aftermath of the NATO strike.

Now, senator Tahir Mashadi says NATO knew very well that they were Pakistani checkpoints. The U.S. has expressed regret over the soldiers' deaths and says the attack was not deliberate.

Iran has aired video of what it claims is a downed U.S. drone. And as you can see here, it is propped on a pedestal without a hint of major damage. And now there appears to be confusion at the Pentagon over whether that drone is a real thing or just a propaganda ploy.

Chris Lawrence takes a look.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New video on Iranian TV shows what Iran says is a U.S. drone that crashed within its borders. But by putting it out on state TV for all to see, Iran has sparked a CSI-type investigation into its prized capture.

Within the Pentagon, uncertainty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We haven't recovered the drone that we believe is missing.

LAWRENCE: One U.S. official says they can't be 100 percent it's real, but it would be hard to fake. A second official says flat out, the drone was not designed to survive a crash like that intact from high altitude.

BILL SWEETMAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, DEFENSE TECHNOLOGY: You can almost see it here. You can see some dents along the leading edge, and probably the undersurface might well be pretty banged up.

LAWRENCE: Analysts disagree, too. Bill Sweetman thinks it's real. The drone wasn't shot down and could have collided to earth in what Sweetman calls a falling leaf descent.

SWEETMAN: And so you'd see, in that case, fairly limited damage.

LAWRENCE: analyst John Pike calls what Iran showed off nothing more than a parade float. He says the wings here droop down, whereas in most pictures of the Sentinel, the wings are positioned higher for better stability.

The bigger question, what was the drone doing when it crashed? A U.S. official says it was a CIA mission strictly to search for insurgents in Afghanistan near the border. But several sources point out the Sentinel is a stealth drone designed to penetrate areas with air defenses. They say it's hard to believe the drone was strictly operating over Afghanistan, which has none.

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON, U.S. AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE OFFICER (RET.): So, it could have been used in Iran. It could have been deliberately used in Iran. And it's very likely, in fact, that it was a reconnaissance platform of choice to do precisely that.

LAWRENCE (on camera): A U.S. official says satellite footage shows the drone's wreckage to be a pile of rubble. So, Iran does have what's left of the drone, but in what condition is the issue.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, the Pentagon.


STOUT: Newly-aired security camera footage shows the day back in May that former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of rape. The French broadcaster BFMTV obtained this video, though it's unclear how. And you can see Dominique Strauss-Kahn. He's right here in a dark coat.

He's checking out from the Sofitel hotel in New York. He appears unhurried, not fleeing the scene, as authorities said at the time.

Now, the hotel maid in the center of the case, Nafissatou Diallo, she is seen several times in this footage. She's the woman sitting here in the hallway. And her lawyers say that you can see her describing the alleged sexual assault to her supervisor and security staff. And the police arrive later.

But take a look at this scene. It's showing two other Sofitel employees. This one is raising a lot of questions.

Now, the two men, they are seen talking. And then, apparently dancing and hugging. Now, this lasts for about eight seconds. The Sofitel's parent company says the men deny this moment had anything to do with Strauss-Kahn, and the (INAUDIBLE) says allegations it was involved in a conspiracy to frame the French politician are nonsense.

Diallo still has a civil lawsuit pending against Strauss-Kahn. The criminal charges against him were dismissed in August.

Coming up next on NEWS STREAM, we'll check the standings at the Dubai world championship. Two men have teed off in the battle for the best, and find out who is in the lead.


STOUT: Now, let's return to our top story now.

It has been a difficult couple of days for Europe's leaders as they struggle to save the single currency. A press conference of some of the key players is under way right now in Brussels. Let's listen in.


HERMAN VAN ROMPUY, PRESIDENT, EU COUNCIL: -- eurozone countries. Except for one, all are considering participation.

Of course the European parliament will be associated in this process. The objective remains to incorporate these provisions into the EU treaties as soon as possible.

As with regard to the calendar, I see two steps. Rather rapidly, following consultations with national parliaments, we should know the number of participating states. I'm optimistic because I know that it's going to be very close to 27. In fact, 26 leaders are in favor of joining these efforts, but we will see. They recognize the euro is a common good.

Then, early March, at the latest, this fiscal compact treaty will be signed. It could be earlier, also.

The ESM treaty, for its part, will be finalized in the coming days. It will integrate yesterday's important decision that we change the approach to the private sector involvement, bring it fully in line with the IMF principles and practices. The aim is for the ESM treaty to be ratified by mid-2012.

We also discussed other important issues this morning, and we had a good debate on enlargement (ph). And as you know, we officially started the day by signing the Accession treaty with Croatia.

In this context, I should like to congratulate Prime Minister Tusk and the Polish presidency for their excellent steering (ph). You have paved a way for a day of celebration for Croatia and for the union as a whole.

We reconfirmed also the European perspective of the Western markets (ph). Not only we officially opened the door for Croatians, but we also made clear that this door will not close behind them.

Serbia has made considerable progress. It has taken bold steps to bring Europe's most wanted war criminals into international justice. The Belgrade-Pristina dialogue has brought about -- have brought about first results, and implementation of those agreements is moving forward.

We encourage Serbia to build on that dialogue and to improve relations with Pristina for the sake of regional stability and Serbia's own interest. We will continue to assess the situation and Serbia's commitment to shared objectives with the clear aim to grant Serbia the status of candidate country. In February, 2012, by the council to be -- can decide in February, 2012 by the council -- to be confirmed by the European Council in the beginning of March.

As with regard to Montenegro, it received candidate status a year ago. It has undertaken many domestic reforms which now need to be fully implemented. And we'll continue to assess Montenegro's progress, especially in the area of the rule of law. We are aiming to opening to the accession negotiations in June 2012.

A quick word on some of the other issues we discussed. And you'll find, of course, the details in the conclusions. In order to stimulate growth we stress the need to swiftly adopt those measures that do most to promote growth and jobs.

As regards to Iran, we reaffirm our concern. We call on the foreign ministers to complete work on new sanctions next month. And following the recent events in Tehran, we declare our full solidarity with the United Kingdom. Not only is the euro is a common good, so are the interests and the values of the union's member states in the world.

And before finish my short statement, I want again to thank the Polish presidency and Prime Minister Tusk especially for the excellent cooperation during the last six months. It was difficult -- a difficult period. Most of the presidencies are difficult, but this was especially a very difficult period.

But today was a very special day with the signing of the accession treaty with Croatia. We worked hard on it with the Hungarian presidency, with the Polish presidency. Always good that ends well. And thank you, again, for all that you did for our European Union in this very tough period the second half of 2011.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Barroso you have the floor.

JOSE MANUEL BARROSO, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER: Thank you very much. And I will start where the European Council has just concluded. So also paying tribute to the Polish presidency of the council. Indeed an impressive set of results. I'd like to thank Prime Minister Tusk and this whole team for their commitment, for the spirit they brought, and also for the way they've worked.

In fact, today's signature of Croatia and treaty was to a logic stand also possible. It is timing thanks to the commitment of the Polish presidency and other important issue that we were also present during today and yesterday's summit by for instance everything to enforce the (inaudible). We should not forget that it was during Polish presidency of the council that we worked the agreement between the parliament and the council regarding the famous (inaudible). So a very comprehensive set of proposals to reinforce our stability and (inaudible).

Regarding the issues that we started to discuss today I was also...

LU STOUT: OK. We've been watching that press event there in Brussels. On our screens Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission speaking. And earlier we heard from the president of EU council Herman Van Rompuy speaking. He gave a very key time table, some details here for you. In early March he said that there will be a new Eurozone fiscal compact treaty for the EU set to be signed. It will be ratified by May 2012.

So you can also see Angela Merkel is also speaking. Let's listen in to that video feed now.

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): The use of monetary economic unity are going to introduce new rules and commitments. And we can link up to the new ESM treaty, thus it will become a treaty that is an expression of the stability union we are building. This treaty will attribute a very important part to the institutions to the commission that is, but also to the European court of justice.

In preparing and drafting the treaty we, and we've made that clear, we will include and (inaudible) from the parliament in order to make it very clear that our intention is to have everyone involved. And we've also made it very clear that as soon as possible we want to include -- instrument into the European treaties. So it's quite clear where we're troubling, and I want to make that point, because I believe it to be important.

Let me remind you once again of the fact that it was on the 9th of December 1991, exactly 20 years ago, that the heads of state in government agreed on the (inaudible) treaty. It's interesting to note that 20 years later we have -- realize we have succeeded in creating a more stable foundation for that economic and monetary union. And in so doing, we've advanced critical union and have attended to weaknesses that were included in the system.

Let me also remind you of the fact that at the time 20 years ago when the monetary union was established Great Britain decided not to be part of it. We've always respected that. Nevertheless, it's fair to say that Great Britain has always played a constructive part over those 20 years.

The message going out from this council is clear. We want to benefit from the crisis as -- to use it as a new beginning, a fresh start. We want to build out a lasting stability union. We're willing through the debt break that will be developed in detail. And it will be introduced in national legislation of all the member countries, possibly -- if possible in the constitution of the respected member states.

And we will lay down at the European level the ambitious targets aimed at achieving a balanced budget, that is the annual structure deficit should not exceed 0.5 percent. Everything that we know from the classical stability and growth pact, the debt has to be reduced by one-twentieth per year. And the European court of justice will have jurisdiction to verify the transposition of this rule at national level. Preferably as I sat into the constitution, those who don't who properly taken to court, to the European court of justice.

The debt breaks will become a factor at a very early stage in time, thus we are contributing to the preventive effort. And I think that is what we have to focus on. We have to make sure that we act at an early stage before mistakes happen. We've also tightened the EDP, the excessive deficit procedure which requires a treaty change, because we are going to decide with a vast majority -- qualified majority in the future not as a down in the list with a qualified majority of the council, which is to say that those who participate in the process of defining the new treaty, that will be all the members of the euro area. They will commit to more ambitious -- and take to more ambitious commitments.

Member states in the excessive deficit procedure will have to commit themselves to a reform partnership when have to agree to commit themselves to detailed steps in and consolidating and reforming their system. These will have to be considered binding. I already mentioned the one-twentieth issue.

Now as concern to the crisis, and the crisis management at this point in time, I've got news on this subject matter, too. We are pleased to say that the European Central Bank and the person of its president Mario Draghi has made it clear that in the future the ECB will provide its expertise to support the ESSF. And I believe that this will make it easier for the ESSF to be more efficient and more effective.

The second point, our intention is to move forward with the ESM to the year 2012. We will agree on consolidated ceiling for ESSF and ESM of 500 billion euro.

As concerns the increase -- possible increase of the resources of the IMF, you may be aware of the fact that Christine Lagarde attended the session yesterday and made it very clear that if the members of the Eurozone up other members of the European Union were to make available bilateral credit lines with the IMF there will be possibilities to ask for support outside Europe. And in so doing, we will be able to strengthen the effectiveness and the firepower of the ESSF.

The participation of the private sector, now PSI event (ph), is here we intend to adhere to the established IMF principles and practices and the tax are to apply and become part of the euro -- of the EMS.

In future, we will make it possible to decide on financial aid with high qualified majority of 85 percent in line with the capital key. The condition is that -- which is to say that it can only actually take place in places where the financial stability of the Eurozone is in danger.

Ladies and gentleman I've always made the point that we've got to learn from our mistakes and the experiences in the crisis in order to manage the crisis. I think they stop and this summit has made us take an important step forward. We have taken the decision in favor of assuming -- handing over greater responsibility to institutions of the European Union the condition that European court of justice and to expect greater commitments on the member state's part in the interest of the euro.

This is what we mean when we talk about the stability union and a fiscal union.

In times of crisis in the next six months or so we will meet regularly at least once a month to talk about the issues on our plate. I believe that much remains to be done in order to leave focus on growth and employment. What we've done is a good -- it means we prepared the ground well, but we need to do more in order to ensure growth and safeguard our development.

It's a long -- it's a long path we have set out on. I'm available for any questions you might want to put to me now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Madam Chancellor, the treaty text is to be ready by March. Now what is Spain, Portugal, Greece need more money in the period up to that point in time? Will the ECB act as a kind of bridging function?

And a second question, can you give us an idea about the atmosphere yesterday? Was it quiet or calm? Was it very tense, very heated?

MERKEL (through translator): It's always been a very constructive atmosphere throughout. We talked and exchanged views in a very calm manner. We made very clear where we stand and how far we can go. But everyone was very much aware that this was indeed -- that we were talking and facing important decisions.

The fact that Great Britain wasn't able to join up with us was taken note of, but David Cameron has also made it very clear that he has an interest in a stable Europe.

So it was not a tense atmosphere at all. We acted and debated in a very constructive spirit. And I think it was good that we spent all night on this. We succeeded in covering the issue and wrapping it up before the end of the night.

We had a very important debate with the members of the European Central Bank, because they got very clear ideas about the debt break. The European Central Bank is quite aware of the fact that we have to take important decisions here, new ones. And the institutions of the European Union, the commission and the council I think were more than satisfied in seeing us be more specific about the debt break.

We did not talk about the ECB and how it responded. Mario Draghi informed us about the decisions taken by the ECB council also with respect to liquidity for banks. But generally speaking we respected the independence of both sides and had a very open exchange.

Mr. Weingartner (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Two questions if I may. The 200 billion you were talking about. Where are they to come from, especially with an eye to Germany?

And another question if I may on the ECB. The close cooperation you've agreed between the ESM and the ESSF you said at the outset that it is to apply to the ESSF and the ESM. Now what you understand by the closer cooperation?

MERKEL (through translator): It will take some time for the ESM to actually come about, come into being. But the ECB has experts, you know, very knowledgeable about the actions in the markets, the primary market. The ECB does not have any experience as far as the primary markets are concerned, but very much on secondary markets. When you talk about banks, capitalization it's the ECB that has the expertise and it is that expertise wants to make available to the ESSF, because that's a new institution while it's fully expecting the independence of the ECB.

And I know that that can be, indeed, very helpful. But this is not saying that there will be an overlap of the various areas of responsibility.

And the second point, yes, you mentioned a figure, I think it was 150 billion. Though at the time we said they could come from the euro area by a bilateral credit lines the federal bank, the Bundesbank published a statement on this today that Bundesbank will make available funds.

I think it was in 2009 that the ballot to credit lines were increased in the IMF, that was at the G20 meeting in London, and will be something similar to that experience.

Mr. Gummedan (ph) -- Mrs. Gummedan (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): If I may come back to that point, when the ECB acts as an agent of the ESSF you start to say that people travel from Frankfurt to Brussels to be of aid, to be of assistance here in very practical terms.

And second point, we've heard voices saying today that Great Britain may not be on board here, but if a certain dynamic evolves in Hungary and in other -- in the Czech Republic, that perhaps then Great Britain at the end of the day will be willing to give in. Is that conceivable in your eyes?

MERKEL (through translator): Well, I haven't any indication of that fact here and now, but that was not up for discussion so to speak.

You know, it is a development that took place over yesterday -- yesterday evening. It became clear that there's a logical constructive (inaudible) here. The countries who want to become members of the Euro area will try very hard to, you know, take in those stability measures. And the others accompany the process in a positive spirit.

But what we felt on a general level was that the EU -- I mean those members of the European Union who are not members of the euro area intend to play constructive parts, constructive road because we're all aware that (inaudible) banks in the euro area are in difficulties, or are in trouble, that will affect those outside the euro area. And that awareness was very strong, very visible, very tangible.

Great Britain said that if treaty changes were to occur then they also want certain treaty changes in return. And that kind of conditionality is something that we could not support and accept. Other countries did not do, or demand the same things.

But I have not noticed any dynamic of yet -- as of yet.

But Mrs. Gunneman (ph), you know -- you'll have to turn to the ECB staff and ask them whether we're going from -- travel from Frankfurt to Luxembourg or how that kind of cooperation is to evolve.

It was yesterday that the ECB took the decision that they would be available for that kind of technical assistance and how it's going to be or take place in concrete terms is something that I'm not aware of, but I'll try to become more knowledgeable very quickly.

LU STOUT: There the German Chancellor Angela Merkel there giving additional comments on the EU crisis and a new eurozone compact treaty. We're also monitoring a speech by the EC president Barroso.

Now Mrs. Merkel said something very interesting just then. She said, quote, "we want to benefit from the crisis and use it as a new beginning, a fresh start to build a lasting, stable union."

Now we have our correspondent Jim Boulden closely watching this story. He joins us live from Brussels.

And Jim, those comments from Angela Merkel, fresh start, building a stable union, are her words enough to calm members of the euro area and especially the markets?

BOULDEN: Well, her words became very strong when she arrived here yesterday. In fact, when she said that the euro had lost credibility. She didn't say the euro area, she didn't say the process, she said the euro had lost credibility. So she came here looking for very strong decisions. And obviously she seems to be pleased with the decisions that were made overnight obviously with the exception of the UK.

And then we heard from Mr. Van Rompuy, the president of the council. And he was talking very much about -- sort of something that's evolved over this morning into this afternoon, Kristie. In the beginning it looked like there were a number of countries, four of so, who were not in agreement with what happened overnight with the fiscal compact. And then that has seemed to have changed, and we now seem to have the UK isolated.

Other countries, in eastern Europe particularly, who want to eventually join the euro. And then there was also Sweden who seemed to be outside and now seeming to be coming back inside the tent as it were. And so they're looking a bit strong here in their press conference, I think, by saying that Britain one of the things they simply couldn't agree to. But then the other countries will certain look at what's happened, take it back to their national parliaments.

And Mr. Van Rompuy says there two phases here now, one is to find out exactly how many countries will agree to this fiscal compact. And he made the point of using the term 26 countries. And then secondly, when we get here to March that there would be a lot of the details worked out between now and then, Kristie.

LU STOUT: That's right. And Mr. Van Rompuy, the EU council president, he said that a new fiscal compact treaty is to be ratified by May 2012. So Jim, a resolution to the EU crisis. It's not going to happen until the second quarter of next year.

BOULDEN: Yeah, you know we stood here and said it was a resolution in March. We said the same in July. Then we said the same in October. Now, can we say it again in December?

Obviously, these things are extremely complicated. The European Union is extremely complicated. And on top of that, then you have the European parliament, which has a lot more powers. And then you have powers from the national government.

It's not easy, but what they're trying to prove here is that they did find, they think, a route to that solution. And the markets have, you know, this week have actually gone up and last week went up as well on the basis that Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy were putting together what they thought was a pretty decent package.

Now we have to see what the European Central Bank says. We now hear, of course, that the IMF will be getting money from eurozone and non- eurozone central banks. And that money can then be loaned back into Europe -- complicated, but that's what they're going to do.

So if -- if someone like Spain or Italy needed money, that money could come, for instance, from the IMF.

LU STOUT: All right. Jim Boulden joining us live from Brussels. Thank you very much indeed for that.

Now let's take a look at how the European markets are reacting to all those comments that we heard from Brussels just then. If we step over here you can see all green arrows across the board. In fact, right here the Paris CAC 40 up 1.3 percent.

You're watching News Stream. We'll be back right after the break.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Well, it has taken almost three-and-a-half decades to reach this point. NASA's Voyager One spacecraft left earth in 1977 and now it's entering interstellar space on the edges of our solar system.

Now our Pedram Javaheri joins us now with more from the CNN world weather center -- Pedram.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDNET: Kristie, it's a fascinating story. And you know it had taken almost three decades. And it's traveling at a rate roughly about 20 kilometers per one second. And it's taken over three decades to get out 18 billion kilometers away from the Earth there. And there it is, the Voyager One spacecraft.

And what you're looking at here really the outer edges of our solar system. You take a look. There is the sun and the solar winds associated with the sun. You've got to keep in mind the sun charges magnetic particles all the way around it. This kicks up very high wind. But finally as it's getting further and further away from the sun it is not beginning to enter an area that we never really have been before. First man-made object ever that is about to embark on outside the Heliosphere.

And again, these are the charged particles that surround the sun. And there it is, that's the spacecraft right there about to exit our solar system.

And it was sent out to study, actually, Saturn and also Jupiter about 30 years ago. And now it's going to enter an area between the stars. And for the first time in the next few weeks, possibly a few months are going to get some observations of what's going on out there.

But really the fascinating side of all of this is the capsule on baord the Voyager One. Capsule, and on the inside is this disc. This is the actual photograph of the disc that is on board. It's actually a 12 inch copper disc. It has greetings in 55 languages.

Now NASA put this on board there. It's got scenes of music from Europe. It's got sounds from the Earth -- the wind, the rain drops. It's got music from Beethoven, and Cervinski (ph). And again altogether basically this has greetings from popular languages around the world, even ancient languages going back thousands of years just in case this disc does fall into the hands of extraterrestrial life they can communicate with Earthlings and be able to tell us their story possibly out there.

But an interesting story nonetheless as we're about to embark out of our solar system for the first time in human history there, Kristie.

LU STOUT: You know, fascinating good intentions there with the disc. But I just wonder if ET's can actually, you know, decode what's on there.

JAVAHERI: This is a phonograph disc, too, from 1977. It's not even a CD or an MP3.

LU STOUT: Exactly, the technology is already obsolescent. We can just kvetch more and more on this. Pedram Javaheri, always good to see you. Take care, have a good weekend.

Now it's time now to go over and out there. And if you were stuck at sea in the run-up to the holidays what would you want for Christmas?


LU STOUT: Yep, that's the British Navy crew of the HMS Ocean and it seems all they want for Christmas is to lip synch to a Mariah Carey Christmas classic. Now the video, it was posted on YouTube by the Royal Navy. It has become a viral hit with more than a million views in the last week. Even Mariah Carey herself loves it, that's according to her Twitter account.

Now the crew are returning home from their deployment today.

And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.