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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  November 16, 2020 4:30am-5:01am GMT

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to the international space station after successfully launching from cape canaveral in florida. it's nasa's first fully fledged mission using a privately owned spacecraft. the capsule will act as a space taxi service in the coming years. the former us president barack obama has told the bbc that america is more divided today than it was when he was elected 12 years ago. he said his successor donald trump was partly responsible, because he had actively fanned division for his political purposes. us president—electjoe biden‘s chief of staff says the white house must allow the transition process to begin soon, so that they can focus on tackling coronavirus cases, which have just exceeded 11 million. president trump is still refusing to acknowledge he lost this month's vote. now on bbc news — forget small
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talk, let's get some hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk. i'm stephen sackur. in the midst of a pandemic which has inflicted severe damage on the european economy, it is tempting to see the us election victory ofjoe biden asa election victory ofjoe biden as a boost for the eu. after all, donald trump seemed to view europe more as economic arrival than strategic partner. my arrival than strategic partner. my guest today is spain's foreign minister arancha gonzalez. what kind of power and influence can the eu wheeled on the world stage when it is grappling with a covid recession, exit and deep internal division? —— exit. —— brexit.
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arancha gonzalez, in madrid, welcome to hardtalk. it's great to be with you. i think we have to be with you. i think we have to start with events in the united states, key european leaders like angela merkel have made little effort to disguise their relief thatjoe biden is now president elect. in the united states. do you share that feeling yourself? well, you see, spaniards and europeans don't get to choose the american president, it is the american president, it is the americans who choose their president and they have spoken and they have a president elect in the person ofjoe biden and now the europeans and the spaniards at my government will work with the president—elect
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and the team of people he will select to advance our interests, which are many. and they are deep—rooted. but especially one of them, which is finding a new soul for the transatlantic relationship which has been a bit lacking a soul, lacking a guiding star, in this last years and so that is important for europe and america but also for the rest of the world. right, so what you are saying to me is under donald trump, you feel there was a lack of a guiding star or some sort of real partnership in relations between the united states and europe. you think thatjoe biden represents a positive shift? i think in a way, the euro atlantic partnership lost a bit of impetus because we forgot to find a heart for the transatlantic relation. at the beginning we used to have, the
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beginning we used to have, the beginning of the 20th century, we wa nted beginning of the 20th century, we wanted to fight against totalitarianism and then we wa nted totalitarianism and then we wanted to spread democracy and then we wanted to spread globalisation and in a way in these last years we have been without a project and i think the project could be to re— humanise globalisation, to ensure that this force that is globalisation works but leaves nobody behind, that we are addressing inequalities, that we address climate change, that we address climate change, that we are sure that —— ensure that progress in our economies means progress in our economies means progress for all of our people and that is where we have to invest in the future. i find it interesting that you said that you like that kind of common project at the trump administration. of course, some in europe would say something very different. there are heads of states and government in eastern europe in particular who felt a deal of common ground with the populist nationalism of donald trump. i'm thinking of poland and hungary and some of the baltic states. i'm even thinking of
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the prime minister of slovenia who was so excited about the early election returns on election night in the us that he sent his congratulations to donald trump on a famous victory. europe is divided about both what donald trump represented and whatjoe biden might represent. would you accept that? i would not characterise the like that. —— characterise the like that. —— characterise it like that. even under the current us administration, country like spain has found a partner to fight in important areas like for example security, defence, fighting terrorism. so there we re fighting terrorism. so there were lights in the relationship but there were also shadows. less shiny areas where we disagreed. for example, in the area of international trade, where we felt spain felt, at times accused of unfair competition for no good reason. but i would not characterise this as having been a failure throughout or disagreement
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throughout. there have been areas where we have worked, and worked well, and areas of disagreement but it is also not uncommon for countries that have such huge relationships to have such huge relationships to have areas of disagreement. now, your direct counterpart, secretary of state mike pompeo, said the other day, with his tongue perhaps firmly in his cheek, he said there will be a smooth transition to a second trump term. now, when you hear that kind of language and you see donald trump refusing to concede, using every legal avenue, how dangerous do you think this time is in the united states, and for your government, for the european union, in terms of a sense of uncertainty and also a degree to which donald trump is sending a message to the american people that whatever happens next, there is somehow a question mark over the legitimacy of abide in administration. how worried are you? —— a biden administration.
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i think there is a big winner in this election and it is the american institutions. there are checks and balances, the procedures, the rules. at the end of the day the institutions that are the bedrock of our democracies. and what we're learning is that they are the ones that will make sure that there is a winner at the end of there is a winner at the end of the day. and it is these institutions that we need to nurture. and we have had in recent yea rs nurture. and we have had in recent years a temptation by some to weaken institutions, and weakening institutions will wea ken and weakening institutions will weaken our democracies so the big winner is institutions, rules, checks, balances, procedures, and that is what will ensure our democracies remain vibrant. we an optimist and you say what you have learned is that america's institutions are strong. what many people have learned is that america is profoundly polarised and divided and, if i can call at this, the trumpism of donald trump will long survive its originator. that is
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the populist, nationalistic strain in american politics is alive and kicking and there are many europeans who worry about that, i will quote you stefano stephanie, former italian ambassador to nato who says "what is difficult to repair is the fear in europe that this, by which he means the whole trump era, could happen again. europeans are going to say ok, now it is biden, that is fine. but let us be very careful about the future." that will be about the future." that will be a very common european feeling, isn't it? well, this is not just a european issue. worldwide we're seeing polarisation in societies and polarisation in societies and polarisation is a function of political forces that are teasing this division in society. crosstalk. i don't wa nt to society. crosstalk. i don't want to political science discussion. no, no. whatl want to political science discussion. no, no. what i want isa discussion. no, no. what i want is a clear reflection on you about what you have learned from the last four years. the us is now deeply divided. joe
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biden may have four years in power but it is very possible he will then be replaced by, if not donald trump running again which is a possibility but if not but then somebody running on the republican ticket in the mould of donald trump. now, europe has a choice to make. do you still invest in this notion ofa you still invest in this notion of a long—term constant strategic partnership with the us or do you take, from the last four years, the learning that you can no longer do that? the us is not the constant apartment you thought it was. while, to go back to the question which he did not let me finish, we want to address polarisation in our societies and we want to fight populism then we need to address what fuels this and what fuels this is inequalities, insufficient social safety nets, taxation systems that are unfair and let's fix this, this is how, this is the most way to fight against populism and to fight against populism and to fight against those that are exploiting it and dividing societies. now, for europe, the big lesson of these last years,
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and it isn't just big lesson of these last years, and it isn'tjust in relation with the us, overall in the geopolitical landscape is that we have to invest more in our own strategic autonomy, we have to be able to make our own decisions. but that we don't do this alone by building walls around europe. we do this by strengthening multilateralism, by building partnerships which is also where the europe and american partnership has such a huge role to play. 0k, let me very quickly then address two points on multilateralism. this easy assumption that things will be so much easier now that biden is in the white house in terms of relations between the us and eu. i'm struggling to understand why that will be the case in two areas, trade. europe has just announced punitive sanctions on the aerospace sector in the united states because of a massive dispute over subsidies and unfair practices in that particular industrial sector. and on defence also, spain in
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particular clearly failing to meet with the us demands of a 296 meet with the us demands of a 2% spend on defence every year. so on trade and on defence, there is no sign of a coming together between the united states and europe. well, multilateralism, it is nurturing and we certainly in spain want to nurture multilateralism on international trade and we know there is a big dispute between europe and the us. the us think that a bus cheese and the eu things that knowing cheats and we know that both of them have been found guilty. —— airbus cheats.. . so we think we need to sit down and talk about the aircraft sector and in the meantime by the way there is another player, china, going scot—free. so let's focus on settling this dispute once and for all and on defence, spending is important to all of us spending is important to all of us and we have a commitment and we will gradually meet it.
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crosstalk. i'm sorry, minister, you cannot tell me defence is really important to spain and we look at the facts in spain is spending, what is it, 1.16% of gdp on defence when the united states and, indeed, partners like the uk say it has to be 2%. you're obviously not serious about it! well, we have got a commitment and we are working gradually to make this commitment. and we're doing this also times, at times of difficult economic situation with our commitment to meet the engagements we have taken. and in the meantime, with a very strong presence of spain, ensuring our collective defence with our military forces all across the world, in afghanistan, iraq, working to ensure free and more peaceful world so yes, we very clear commitment —— with a very clear commitment —— with a very clear commitment and with our military serving the world for
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peace and security, stephen. another point about abidin administration, let us learn something from the position he took as vice president in the obama administration. it was clear that obama and biden both felt that was —— brexit was damaging, damaging to the uk but damaging to the eu. they clearly wish that wasn't going to happen but it has happened so now, the question is, i dare say the biden administration is fervently hoping this, can the eu and britain and this transition phase by coming to a trade agreement? are you confident that, despite the posturing on both sides, come the end of this year that there is going to be a thoroughgoing trade agreement, close agreement, between the uk and the eu? well, spain clearly thinks and believes that we would be better served collect fleet if we were to have a deal between the uk and the european
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union post—brexit. at this time of incredible uncertainty and economic turmoil, we should not be adding more volatility. that if we are to be responsible, and we want to be responsible, we have to work towards a deal. this is where spain is putting all of its energies. crosstalk. it needs two to tango. well, tango, yes, let's talk about fishing, not tango, let's talk about spanish fishermen who are saying they want the absolute right to continue fishing pretty much as they do in uk waters after the end of this year. that is one of the key reasons why an year. that is one of the key reasons why an agreement year. that is one of the key reasons why an agreement may not be found. as foreign minister, who is a much bigger picture than the spanish fishermen, are you prepared to say to them i'm sorry, guys, your interest cannot overcome and overrule the wider interests of spain and the eu. you're going to have to accept a massive compromise on fishing. will you say that to your own fishermen? fishing is
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an area where there is still disagreements like there is on ensuring a level playing field between the uk and eu post bracelet, like there is still an issue to be agreed as regards to that. as many issues that open. what we have set in spain is that we want to work for a deal and obviously working for a deal means we are ready to make compromises. like any negotiation, obviously, we wouldn't be the only ones making a move and a concession ona making a move and a concession on a compromise. we would also need the other side to make it all steps towards a deal. at the end of the day, in an negotiation, if there is a point where our interests and the interests of the uk can be found, can meet each other, we will get you a deal. in any event, stephen, it will be because of spain. we will put all of our energy to get to yes. interesting. so you are kind of implying, i'm thinking of countries like france,
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playing hardball with the uk than spain is. i want to ask you why my question on brexit and again it relates tojoe biden. there is a feeling in some quarters of europe that the biden presidency, it is the fa ct the biden presidency, it is the fact that he is the president strengthens europe's hand in these last ditch trade negotiations because biden has made it plain that he doesn't wa nt to made it plain that he doesn't want to see the british under way at the so—called good friday peace agreement in northern ireland. and there is a concern that with the legislation in the uk parliament being pushed through, that could be freshened and the us may well be applying some pressure to borisjohnson. do you think in terms of leveraged, the biden success in america has helped europe and is perhaps creating a new difficulty for boris johnson? a new difficulty for boris johnson? well, i guess, boris johnson? well, i guess, boris johnson and the uk will be listening attentively to what the us president—elect has to say, mostly because they also have two negotiate an agreement
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with the us post—brexit. but you're as position is their position and they will negotiate on the basis —— europe, on the basis of the matter they have given out. our negotiator is pretty clear on their objectives and he is fighting hard to get to yes. so we stand on our two feet. you say to me spain will not be the cause of a failure of these talks. hand on heart, looking directly at that camera to me from madrid. do you think, are you sure in fact, that there will be a trade agreement between the eu and the uk by december 31st this year? between the eu and the uk by december slst this year?” can't december 31st this year?” can't promise that because i can't promise that because i can only speak for spain. but what i can tell you is that the european union negotiator michel barnier has very clear instructions to work for a deal. and frankly, i also think the british negotiator wants to get to a deal. what we need to do now is, we know where the
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technical solutions. we know technically how to fix the different problems. what we now do now is to cross the line with a political decision to enter into this final lap and to close a deal. in any event, we will be much better served on both sides, especially at this very turbulent time to and with an agreed plan for the future than to just simply divorce without a settlement. turbulent times is an elegant way of describing what has been a really nightmarish time for spain in particular, and europe in general as a result of covid—i9. i appreciate your remit as the foreign ministry but can you, as a spanish national, and somebody who knows the spanish economy very well, can you explain to me why spain's performance through the covid crisis has been so disastrous, not just in healthcare terms where your deaths per 100,000 people are amongst the very worst in europe but also in economic performance terms. you're
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looking at a year on year contraction of your economy by something like 13%. whereas the eu averages a little over 8%. why has it been such a disaster in spain? well, first i would tell you that i think your description is grossly inaccurate. spain is not the exception, spain is the rule, the rule on the first wave only rely on the second wave of covid. not at all, the figures in spain are actually... absolutely not. absolutely not. if you look at every indicator you look at, you will see that spain is not the exception, it is the rule in europe. i'm not sure what the figures you're looking at minister but you are looking at minister but you are looking at minister but you are looking at minister but you're not looking at the same figures as me. if you look at deaths per 100,000 people, as me. if you look at deaths per100,000 people, spain currently stands at 84.7 deaths due to coronavirus over the course of the pandemic. germany stands at 14.7. spain is the second worst performer in the
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eu. well, you choose one country, you choose one point, use is one indicator, i'm sure you can choose another point, another indicator and you will see that what is happening in spain is being greatly affected by covid like france, like benevolence, like the czech republic, like the uk, like italy, like basically every country in europe plus hours. we have also seen a contraction in our economy and unsurprisingly, every country has the economies where the incidence of the services, tourism services sector is higher, like spain, the impact is higher. what i would also tell you is spain's economy being a solid economy which was growing by the way, well above the european average before covid max, is already recovering. what we saw in the third quarter of this year is a recovery of our economy thanks in no measure to the very heavy
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support package that the spanish government took to support businesses, workers and citizens. the results are there on what we're doing now and where we are focusing our effo rts where we are focusing our efforts to build on this beginning of the recovery we see with the new transformation plan that will be basically the future of economy of spain. do you think your boss, prime minister sanchez regret saying until i fear, quote," we have defeated the virus and control the pandemic". i don't think he regrets having said that because this is how we felt, this is how europe felt at the time. it was very, very wrong. we felt that... well, yes but basically every prediction we have made" on covid has proven wrong, not just that have made" on covid has proven wrong, notjust that one. we we re wrong, notjust that one. we were not contemplated at the timea were not contemplated at the time a second wave like we are contemplating now. remember there were countries in europe
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that didn't even — were not affected by the first wave that are among the most severely affected by the second wave. we are facing an unknown enemy which is called code two. we are basically struggling to respond to this covid in the best way we can, the most responsible way we can, in the heart way we can as we discover how this enemy works. the important thing is that we now see light at the end of the tunnel with a vaccine appearing in the horizon that will help us in the horizon that will help us all. indeed, we'll keep our fingers crossed for the but it strikes me that spain is desperately in need of the economic relief package that the european union has talked about over a 7—year period. links heavily to the eu budget. there is talk of 750 billion euros being poured into those areas were steered by covid, and spain is expecting well over 100 alien euros of that assistance. what assurances that the spanish government has a clue how to spend that money
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effectively? -- 100 a clue how to spend that money effectively? --100 billion euros. b clear, every country in the european union has been severely hit economically and thatis severely hit economically and that is why we have been able to put this recovery package together that is unprecedented in european terms. spain will use this financing that is the european recovery fund represents to implement a recovery and transformation plan. it is the plan that batters for the most effective way to spend this financing. this investment into the transformation of our economy. and what we're doing together, stephen, is putting that plan working with our regions, working with our regions, working with our businesses and making sure we build it on four key ingredients, digitalise, decarbonise, include and gender equality. let's not forget about that also which can boost our economy. you say spain has a coherent vision for how it wa nts to a coherent vision for how it wants to recover. let me just
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ask you one more question. it is about the coherence of the eu as is about the coherence of the euasa is about the coherence of the eu as a whole. are you saying to countries like hungary which is in dispute of the eu over its rule of law, independent judiciary, its values, basic eu values. are you saying to hungary that they will not get any assistance unless they change their direction in terms of governance and the rule of law? well, i think in the european union, we have a very solid foundation which is respect for democracy, human rights and respect for the rule of law. and we have got proper mechanisms and institutions to ensure every member as to those values and principles. we sometimes do it very transparently, so transparently that everybody hears about it, which i think is very good in a democracy. whether it is hungary, poland, italy, slovenia, spain, we have this ina very slovenia, spain, we have this in a very open manner. mechanisms are therefore those who don't respect the rule of
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law and for those who don't respect, respect democracy and human rights, because at the end of the day, those are the values in which the european democracy is built. we have to end right there but foreign minister arancha gonzalez, i thank you very much forjoining me on hard talk. always a pleasure, stephen. hello. that was quite the weekend of weather, and to start the new week we find ourselves in between weather systems. so, actually, for a time there will be something drier and brighter. only for a time, another the weather system is coming in with more rain. here it is, that's the one that brought us the wet and windy
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weather over the weekend, but here is the next one. and in fact we'll start the day with a few outbreaks of rain from monday morning, for, particularly, parts of scotland and northern england. and that's going to fade away. it's a cooler start to the day than we've had recently. and by lunchtime much of the uk will be dry, there will be some breaks in the cloud allowing some sunny spells to come through, but remember that next weather system gradually increasing the cloud through northern ireland, wales, and the western parts of england. and we'll get some rain moving in during the afternoon also reaching in towards the south—west scotland. eastern areas will stay dry for daylight hours, anyway. it will begin to turn a bit milder again with the arrival of the rain, but through the evening and night we'll reach on to those areas that have stayed dry during the day and gets stuck across north—west scotland for tuesday into wednesday, where it is looking very wet here. maybe up to 150mm in the hills, so there could be some flooding. mild overnight, and into tuesday so there's the weather system sticking around north—west scotland on tuesday. the rest of us are in this flow of very mild air coming in from the south—west. but there will be a lot of cloud around.
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it will be quite windy. you may see a bit of patchy, light rain and drizzle. particularly to western hills, but remember, the heavy and persistent rain coming in towards north—west scotland. if you see some hazy sunshine, you may well. in north—east scotland, parts of north—east england with that wind direction, your temperature could be around 17 celsius. still raining on wednesday, north—west scotland and not just here. rain spreads east right across the uk. cold airfollowing on behind, still very mild across the east and south—east of england. the rain still coming with gusty winds. the rain eventually ends in north—west scotland. very wet on thursday in shetland. and then as we go from thursday, then still into friday, and a brisk north—north—westerly wind and there will be colder air moving south across the uk. some sunshine on thursday, and bands of showers moving south as well. so some rain at times this week. so, it will be quite windy. very mild for a time, but colder briefly later.
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this is bbc news. i'm sally bundock with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. joe biden's staff say the us president—elect must be allowed to begin the transition process so he can focus on the coronavirus crisis. president trump is still refusing to concede. the former us president ba rack 0bama accuses donald trump of fanning resentment and division in america today. some of that is attributable to our current president who actively fanned division because he felt it was good for his politics. spacex's first operational crewed flight is heading towards the international space station after launching


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