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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  November 9, 2019 11:30am-12:00pm GMT

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since the fall of the berlin wall. but we'll leave a few minutes at the end, to distil week one of a british election campaign. my guests today, stephanie baker of bloomberg news. italian journalist, annalisa piras. author and long—time correspondent for die welt, thomas kielinger. political commentator alexander nekrassov. 9th november 1989. the day the berlin wall came down. those who poured across made history, others watched and wept. ‘europe whole and free‘ proclaimed the united states. some observers heralded the end of history, a conclusive victory for western liberal democracy. but three decades on, is europe still celebrating? that is the question we will consider but before we do that,
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thomas started off by giving your recollection of that day, because you were already halfway through your adult life and indeed the wall had been there for all of your life up had been there for all of your life up until that point. so when you sort come down, how did you feel?” felt throughout, a must see. i participated in the bbc newsnight programme the night after it fell, asking a east german dissident and myself what i thought of the uniting of the country. i was honest and saidi of the country. i was honest and said i did not know much of east germany. i lived on the western side and never visited east germany in my previous life, i had never had any notion. i could not believe it was happening because we had been brought up on the basis of thinking the unification of germany can only happen as part and parcel of the unification of all of europe. in fa ct, unification of all of europe. in fact, it was thought to be dangerous for germans to go it alone as it
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wear and unite for germans to go it alone as it wearand unite an for germans to go it alone as it wear and unite an unsolved division of europe. so i was apprehensive but the over joy meant of europe. so i was apprehensive but the overjoy meant that of europe. so i was apprehensive but the over joy meant that seized of europe. so i was apprehensive but the overjoy meant that seized all of us, after the show on the 10th of november, a taxi brought me to the bare line wall —— merlin all our optimism did not turn out as we thought. we were disabused of some of our top of what peace and everything would mean. we will come to that in a moment but first, recollections, alexander you wear a man in yourearly recollections, alexander you wear a man in your early 30s, grew up on the other side of the iron curtain did you dance when you saw the wall come down? first of all, i need to say something important. i think there is a misconception that the wind of change came from the west and even eastern europe, it came
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from the soviet union. because the change started in the soviet union. don't forget they started their... the attempt to liberalise? net yes. people were waiting for something, it was not a surprise for us like it was a surprise for thomas. this is the important part. people do not realise in the west that the people in the soviet union do not like communism. they were under oppression by communism. the reason josef stalin killed millions, they we re josef stalin killed millions, they were against millions. it was not like he wasjust in this chemically killing people. —— indiscriminately. his regime was despised and hated. that is why in russia and the soviet union generally, they were ready for something to start happening. that is why an important point, there was
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i'io is why an important point, there was no bloodshed. it was a peaceful revolution. and it was as celebrated, that moment in russia? not celebrated like in germany, but it was expected. nobody was shocked. annalisa you were a young woman. i was a young journalist starting my studies in political science and to the moment of the fall of berlin wall was the key moment where ideologies came down from my generation. it was the end of the mirage of communism and ideas about, they were already not really powerful. something else came to fill that empty space. i remember vividly the playwright who became the leader of a revolution who was proposing an idea of europe which
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was based on a new humanism, called a moral idealism. sol was based on a new humanism, called a moral idealism. so i became passionate about the power of europe to become a kind of solution to the illusions of ideologies. and europe was about magnetism, but ideals. so for me i started to believe in a europe as a kind of solution of most of the continents problem. and it came true with a succession of... we we re came true with a succession of... we were all disabused of this because two years after the fall of the war, the war in the balkans began in europe did not appear to be the place where peace would... we will come to that, but stephanie, young generation, same as annalisa, it brought you to europe?” generation, same as annalisa, it brought you to europe? i was one of 100 or so americans who got on a plane and moved to prague right after the revolution and the berlin
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wall came down and spent four years there and went on to moscow and lived there for several years as well. for me, coming access, the berlin wall is such a strong image but there was so much else going on in the region at the time which overs ha d ows in the region at the time which overshadows that. it all began in poland around a table that led to elections there. hungary played a huge role, when they turned off the barbed wire fence which allowed some east germans to escape and then the velvet revolution in what was czechoslovakia followed by the violent overthrow of ceausescu and rumania. so there are so many changes that happened and we are focusing on who —— was at ronald reagan who gave the famous speech, i
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think the thing that gets overlooked are all the brave east europeans who risked everything to try to bang about political change. those are the people i spent most of my formative years with at the time. thank you for reminding us of them. let's fast forward. as you said at the beginning thomas, everything has not lived up to the hopes. germany has ina not lived up to the hopes. germany has in a way tradition for the reunification of germany, the difficulties of identity over the intervening 30 years. you referred to the yugoslav wars, we have seen so to the yugoslav wars, we have seen so many other problems. tell is what you think is happened most importantly for germany and german citizens in that time. emma we have to recognise 30 years is not a long time to bring about a healing process. look at america, that took over 100 years after the civil war between north and south to become a united country. the same is
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happening in germany, east germans tend to feel neglected or overlooked almost. you can put it into some hard—nosed almost. you can put it into some ha rd—nosed facts, not almost. you can put it into some hard—nosed facts, not a single east german citizen on the board of some bigger companies. there is a sense of nostalgia going back to how life was simple, controlled yes, not free, but comfortable, amongst friends and so forth in the old established order and there is a sense that you wanted to go back to some of that humanity as it were, east germans think capitalism was unhuman and too raw and cruel and had a more human life with neighbours and things like that. the alternative for germany coming to the four in many parts of east germany, it has that imprint that it isa germany, it has that imprint that it is a new voice of nostalgia and the
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left—wing party which has inherited the old communist party, all banding together to create a sense of know, east germany is somewhat different than east germany is somewhat different tha n west east germany is somewhat different than west germany. so we have to be patient and not artificially impose too much of homogeneity but allow east germans to come to leading positions. we have an east german chancellor, but that is an exception. the rest of these germans don't feel they are sufficiently represented in the german society. annalisa when you talk about the eastern west, do you feel the same about europe as an entire entity? to some of the same problems apply? the do indeed. if we look at the real issues now in this european integration problem, —— project,
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there are issues of division, misunderstandings, so they do apply and what we're seeing is these kind of identity issues are getting deeper. so if there is one lesson looking back and looking where we are now, it is 30 years ago, this continent united around some extraordinarily up important values. freedom, democracy, human rights. how can we go back to the moment which was a moment of euphoria and history where the content was coming back on its common history. how can we go back for? because at the moment what we're seeing is a return to tribalism, nationalism, things which divide people. select that is an important reflection, it is to get back to that extraordinary feeling of we are back together where we belong. alexander, how do you think russia sits alongside that? because the question of values, russia has had a different
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experience in the past 30 years? for russia, 30 years later, the euphoria is over. i think all expectations that something will change, europe will become delighted, the west will become friendly, that is gone. especially after ukraine. i think we are now at this stage when we have a semi cold war back. there are bits of hot water happening actually. in parts. the information war between east and west, russia and the west, i have never seen anything like it during the cold war. we are witnessing a confrontation. and i think that mistakes were made on both sides. i think the expansion of nato eastwards was a huge mistake. because the whole point of that transformation 50 years ago was for
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the military alliances to stop and maybe even diminish. that happened, but nato aggressively is moving and already on the borders of russia. what can you expect russians to make of that wonderful, brave new world? let's bring a kind of us perspective to this table because to some extent the post second world war shape of europe was underwritten by the united states and us diplomacy has been important and us military presence has been so important and yet we now see an administration which according to some european leaders is retreating from europe?” assume you're alluding to the interview with emmanuel macron the french president this week where he referred to the nato alliance as brain—dead i believe is the word he used. i think that is an accurate description of perhaps the rhetoric
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and kind of... especially given what donald trump has said about how europe needs to contribute more. i think it was very much a reaction to the west are all of us troops —— withdrawal, allowing turkey to roll in. that being done without consultation with the us‘s european allies, they felt blindsided by that. but let's remember the us is still the linchpin of european security. it still contributes, accou nts security. it still contributes, a ccou nts to security. it still contributes, accounts to two thirds of nato members defence spending, has thousands of troops still in europe. provides key missile defence system for europe. but i think what he was acknowledging was the reality that europe does need to start spending more on its own defence which is very much what trump wants to hear,
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right? the reality of that is even if europe steps up with a plan to create a security framework, there will still be huge gaps, like the metal defence system. —— missile defence system. it remains a challenge regardless of whether or not trump is re—elected. we saw even before he was elected that 0bama was with drawing of it from... is there a shift here, almost a recognition of some of the point that alexander was making? that military alliances pressing right up against russia's backyard, as it would like to see it, not what the us should be doing any more? part of emanuel macron said is an affront to members of central european countries, particularly the balkans and poland to view nato as essential for their own security. so for macron to be
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saying that he is almost undermining the support he might need from those countries. for greater european integration. what we have seen as some of these countries pushing back. against those efforts at closer european integration, moving to more at nationalistic...” closer european integration, moving to more at nationalistic... i think thatis to more at nationalistic... i think that is a misreading of what he was doing. i think what he's doing is try to make nato stronger, not weaker. what he is doing is saying nato as brain—dead because it was born 70 years it is obsolete as donald trump said at the beginning of his presidency and we need to reimagine it in a way that would ta ke reimagine it in a way that would take in account what alexander was rightly saying, they're having mistakes. there have been mistakes in pushing nato to close to russia, mistakes in using the nato shield that was ok after the second world
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warasa blunt that was ok after the second world war as a blunt instrument. everywhere. so what he is saying when he is saying it is brain—dead is that it is not capable of thinking. he is asking, the world is changing, donald trump wants to separate from the role of policeman of the world but we europeans to think about the relationship with russia yet it is notjust about security. thomas, coming to something else, we have spoken about what emmanuel macron said but that is because he made an interesting speech. he also said we should not think about this is just the market. said we should not think about this isjust the market. coming back to said we should not think about this is just the market. coming back to a point that you made, annalisa, coming back to a community of values, data, technology, we need a coherent apology? i want to come to the point that annalisa made before. europe initially had a hope of becoming a more united, value oriented community. i am saying something controversial when i blame
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brussels on the eu partly for having got the wrong end of the stick after 1989 and forcing a greater pace the ever closer union. the closer union is not the new emerging national spirit that individual countries want. great britain is an example. great britain was always against ever closer union, she has a national identity. not everything is wrong with the renaissance of national identities in europe. the ever closer union had something of a misconception on it because there is only a limit to how you can integrate so many different nations under one umbrella. you have to be very careful not to overdo it. you have to recognise the individual persona of nations. are you referring to the euro crisis, where we had a german tone of work first, siesta later? yes. europe is the
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only area where i accept greater integration might be necessary. you cannot operate an economic regime in europe with a common currency and having different budgets and so forth. in that area, i agree closer integration may be necessary or unavoidable, but other than that, we have to be careful not to denigrate the re—emergence of national identities. it is a natural development of the post—cold war world, that those nations who were surprised under soviet power are coming free and want to re—establish their national identity. there is nothing wrong with it. alexander, is that how you see it? and other analysis is that there is too much inequality, that some people are crushed at the bottom whereas kleptocratic saudi regulation or whatever one wants to call it, different administrations at the top and that pure people in marginalised places get angry and resentful and
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that has driven nationalisation?” would like to say that nato is obsolete because there is no external threat to europe. russia is not a threat to europe. the external threat has gone, the internal threats are massive. look at the tensions, racial, national, religious, inside. the economy in europe is a virtual economy. it is not a proper free—market economy. it exists for the markets and the sake of the middleman. the producer is no longer king. read adam smith, the producer must be king, not the banker or the lender or the middleman. that is the problem. europe is looking for external enemies, when the enemies are within. what about alleged russian interference in british politics? you should know something about this dossier that nobody wants us to know about. what is in their? i suspect
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it is nothing in it, that is the reason it has not been released. it is nothing in it, that is the reason it has not been releasedm there is nothing in it... ? if they release it and they cannot prove that for 3.5 years they were banging on about russian meddling, they would look stupid. that is what i suspect is the reason. the external enemy thing is overplayed. exaggerated. how can russia with a budget which is ten times smaller than that of nato be a threat, it is impossible? that is the reason why, the threat has changed and for very little money and effort, russia has been able to sow divisions on europe and the us. internal enemies. they all speak at once we do not have time, we have a division. alexander thinks we are exaggerating or others are exaggerating or others are exaggerating the russian threat. you two to think there is a russian threat. we believe that they are.
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internal thread, one sentence on the internal threats that alexander identifies? a return to nationalism and toxic tribalism, that is the eternal threat. -- and toxic tribalism, that is the eternalthreat. -- internal and toxic tribalism, that is the eternal threat. -- internal threat. might? the issue of immigration is something of immigration is something of immigration is something every european country is grappling with. how do european leaders manage immigration anyway that perhaps respects the spirit of 1989, yet does not produce greater divisions like the ones we've seen following the refugee crisis in europe? we will have to leave this issue because i promised we would distill the british election. 0ne question to all of you and i will ta ke question to all of you and i will take an answer from anyone, does anyone feel any nostalgia for the simpler world before 1989, of two massive blogs to move slowly and had hatreds? how can i? i have brought with me a piece of the iron curtain.
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we are remembering the fall of the berlin wall today. it is the fall of the iron curtain. i cannot feel nostalgic about returning to the time before the iron curtain and the cold war. i am happier as we are in the liberated world. i would advise greater patience, that we accepted ta kes greater patience, that we accepted takes longer to bring divided countries together, starting with germany and europe. we have economic inequality in europe, and the immigration crisis but other than that, i think we have the freedom to determine our own fate and what is there more to celebrate than this freedom? on that note we believe this discussion, celebrating the freedom to determine our own fate. talking about that, britain faces an election. week one of a british election campaign and "oven ready brexit deal" is a favourite slogan for the conservative party. but is this election all about
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brexit. i will let you start. the tories would like to make it about brexit and labour would not. for me, the real dividing line that needs to be made sharper and will be made sharper over the coming weeks are the battle over the tory and labour spending plans. the tories have finally abandoned their fiscal rules and have opened the spending gaps, tabs, and are willing to start spending. labour wants to spend double what the tories have outlined. that needs to come into sharper focus. for voters, outlined. that needs to come into sharperfocus. forvoters, it outlined. that needs to come into sharperfocus. for voters, it looks like one is spending so much, the other will spend that much more, can the tories show themselves as the competent ones who can carry out a loosening of this austerity in a way that benefits voters? what stands out for you, annalisa? what is
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extraordinary is the end of the 2—party political extraordinary is the end of the 2— party political system. extraordinary is the end of the 2—party political system. for the first time in 100 years we have a coalition of parties. we had the liberals, the greens and the welsh parties, they have formed an electoral collection. they have a clear message, we are to remain party. in the last opinion poll, the lib dems doubled their consensus in many areas, because they have a very clear message. i think the 2—party syste m clear message. i think the 2—party system is broken and that will be the most interesting thing to watch. alexander, what strikes you? it is a very boring election. a very boring campaign. a lot of people will turn off politics for a long time and the main problem is that none of the ruling elites as they are called understood what brexit was. brexit is not about immigration, it is not about the eu, brexit is a protest
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against the liberal values that do not work. we have to leave it there. thomas, one sentence only? what a waste to be talking about brexit still. for 3.5 years, this country has lost its timing. what about the election? it is tragic to still be talking about brexit. we need to talking about brexit. we need to talk about what needs to be done to change this country, its inward problems and tonnes of problems. we are not talking about that enough. there we have to end it. that's it for dateline london for this week. we're back next week at the same time. goodbye. hello there. lots of different types of weather
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across the uk today. it was a frosty, foggy start for some of us. there is some rain around as well, and not only rain, over high ground, there is likely to be some sleet and snow mixing in at times. there are places that could do without any more rain, parts of northern england and the midlands, where there has been significant flooding. there are still flood warnings in force, read about those on our website but the rain through today is affecting slightly different areas. this is the early radar picture, very wet across the east of northern ireland, rain spreading into western england and wales and through the afternoon, setting in across parts of central and southern england, there could be enough rain here to cause transport problems, perhaps some localised flooding. it stays damp through the midlands, wales and northwest england, and over the highest ground there will be sleet and snow mixing in. above 250 metres or so in wales, there could be a covering of snow. it stays wet for northern ireland, the rain could cause problems for eastern counties in northern ireland. for scotland, a lot of dry
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weather and some sunshine, but a speckling of showers for northern and eastern areas and these will be wintry over high ground. as we head towards the end of the afternoon, the rain continues across the southern counties of england so there could be enough rain to cause problems here. they will start to pull away south through the night. damp weather for a time through the midlands and wales, over high ground the odd flake of snow, but for northern ireland, northern england and scotland, a dry night with clear, starry skies overhead so another cold one, minus 5 degrees easily across scotland. not as cold further south because here we will still have the cloud and showery rain which will clear slowly during the morning but it should be gone by the time we get to remembrance sunday commemorations at 11 o'clock. plenty of sunshine to be had through the day, not a bad day at all. some showers for northern and eastern coasts, more rain into northern ireland later and temperature—wise, 6—11 degrees, but the rain eventually spreading to northern ireland associated with this atlantic frontal system.
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that will sweep its way through. some snow over high ground in the north, there could be significant snowfall over the highest ground. the wet weather should clear away east into monday morning, and then it is a day of sunny spells, and showers, heavy, thundery, wintry showers in the north with top temperatures of 6—12 degrees.
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this is bbc news. the headlines at 12pm. the conservatives lay out plans to train and employ thousands more gps, despite failing to meet a previous recruitment target. labour and the liberal democrats promise to fund more hours of free child care, but providers criticise them for not thinking through how they'll be paid for. the environment agency says flooding still poses a danger to life in south yorkshire, with seven severe flood warnings in place along the river don. angela merkel leads events in germany to mark 30 years since the fall of the berlin wall. translation: i remember you, the people who found their death their death at this wall because they were


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