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tv   Real Money With Ali Velshi  Al Jazeera  May 6, 2015 1:30am-2:01am EDT

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cinema. >> it hosted not only the first moving image, but the first x-rated film. the theatre dubbed the birthplace is given new life. just a reminder that you can keep up to date with all the news on the website. that is leading with the violence near the border of yemen and saudi arabia there. greece is straight to get its hands on bail out cash to pay its debt of the creditors are playing hard ball, demanding the country get the economic house in order. the country is rife are corruption, fixing it is not easy. the greek government is laying down the law. will it be enough to satisfy
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lenders. i went to greece for a first-hand look, and i talk to the prime minister who started greece on the odyssey with the first bail out five years ago. i'm ali velshi, and this is "real money". greece is giving the world a painful but important lesson in why uncertainty is the enemy of economic stability, prosperity and peace of mind. it's a lesson that america's elected officials should take to heart and head before letting politics derail efforts to pass a federal budget. i will talk about that with the white house director of management and budget shaun donovan in the show. first, i want to keep your focus on how uncertainty over the financial mess in greece threatens to tear apart the eurozone. you should care about that.
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it could send shock waives through financial market where some of your savings are no doubt invested. uncertainty reared it head today when the european commission slashed its estimate for economic growth in greece this year to half of one%. that is down from the 2.5% growth it estimated in february. stocks in europe plunged. the commission blamed high political uncertainty for undermining greece's struggling recovering. citing the lack of charity about whether the greek government will make changes it promised in exchange for 270 billion in bailout fund. as i explained to you last night, greece desperately needs the last $8 billion of the bail out money to pay the bills, including a payment to the international monetary fund of $850 million, due a week from today. things heat up in july and august, where greece owes
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creditors more than $9 billion. germany and other countries are refusing to release the last bit of bailout money, unless greece follows more bitter financial pills like cutting pensions and making it easier to fire workers. enter uncertainty. that is because more pain is a hard sell for an ultra left wing government that took office an an aunt austerity -- an on anti-austerity platform. it country where ignoring and fighting old rules is practically a way of life, from tax evasion to serious forms of corruption. as i discovered on a recent trip to greece, the way of life shows up in surprising places. corruption in greece is pervasive, from privacy at the highest reaches of government, media, and business. to greeks not disclosing income
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to avoid tax. >> translation: let me tell you the concept of corruption is so broad and big that it can fit into a lot of things, it's certain corruption and economic crime are linked closely and tax corruption. >> the problem of corruption in the greek society is so pervasive transactions. >> absolutely. doctors, dentist, lawyers, notaries. you name it. they give you doesn't, and you do not declare, you do not arriving for a receipt this woman worked in the tourist industry for 25 years. she asked uts to protect her confidentiality, and she spent $7,000 on dental care and paid in cash. she never received a receipt. we
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persuaded us to give us her dentist's name. most medical experts are in non-disruptive apartments, with nothing but a name plate. most on see patient by appointment. we found the dental office in this apartment block off a busy street. the nurse was reluctant to allow my producer to speak to anyone or tell us whether the dentist provided receipts. >> i can't give answers. the dentist is not here. most of the doctors are not here today. if you have questions,... >> but you have patient here. >> i have to tell you, he is not here. i can't speak for another. he is the one answers. >> reporter: may i ask you - do cards. >> you do accept cash.
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>> can you confirm that you give... >> i can't give you any more answers. please. don't bring me in any... >> no, that's fine. >> and please turn the camera down, please tax evasion is everywhere in greece. more and more greek doctors who are not making enough money and have been asked to pay high taxes came up with creative ways to dodge the tax mun. man some lie about the size of their homes. some accept these, greek envelopes, and the money inside. these are expected in exchange for medical services, and by public officials in exchange for turning the other way. politicians in greece spent the last 10 years promising to fight this corruption, especially in the medical sector.
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greece's former prime minister said successive governments, including his own failed to make a department. >> doctors overprescribing extravagant therapies and medicines get a form of kickback and the pharmaceutical companies making a lot of money at the expense of the taxpayer and the system which pays for this. it's simply why don't we make an experiment and put prescriptions on line. doctors have to prescribe through an online programme. >> transparency. >> despite the resistance we got it through. it cut the costs by 50%, and that 50% is equal to ail the today. greece's anticorruption star says he is confident his office can eliminate all forms of corruption in greek society. >> translation: the first aim not only of this ministry, but
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the whole government and state is to improve public things. >> he believes his office will live up to the promise of fighting corruption. made by greece's new government. >> look, i think you can fool a person for many years. i think you can fool all the people for a while. you cannot fool all the people all the time. >> the first case leading people to be disappointed by political leadership is when people are disappointed by the political leadership's behaviour. i, myself, have no intention to disappoint anyone with my behaviour. so i have no concern whether i will disappoint the people who have a good idea of me and believe in me. next - it's the people versus creditors. the creek government came to power -- greek government came to power promising to end austerity, the international monetary fund demands they stay put.
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can a compromise be reached. when we come back we talk to the former prime minister of greece who asked for the first it bailout and ended up being >> sunday on "hard earned". losing control. >> 50 and broke. i live with the consequences every day. >> harsh realities. >> i did two tours in iraq, when i came back i couldn't find a job. >> fighting to survive. >> bein' a man and can't put my family in a home that they deserve... that's a problem for me. >> hard earned pride. hard earned respect. hard earned future. a real look at the american dream. "hard earned". sunday, 10:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america. >> part of our month long look at working in america. "hard earned".
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. >> we don't have the mentality to pay taxes. >> our taxes are not being put to good use. >> this is not just now.
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it is a legacy left from our parents in 2010 when greece received its biggest financial bailout history the plan was to help the greeks get back on their feet. greeks are facing financial ruin and unnerving the economy. the man that engineered the first bailout is former prime minister george papandreou. this is his story. in 2009 the european union sound the the alarm bells over greece's public offenses sending interest rates soars, high courting the government's ability -- hurting the government's ability to take office. when george papandreou took office he found 350 billion euros in public set. george papandreou, the son and grandson of former greek prime ministers responded with the biggest spending cuts greece had seen.
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and greeks took to the streets in violent protests. within six months george papandreou's government was forced to resign. unemployment in greece shot up from 10% then to 26% today and talk of a greek exit continues. if that happened, financial implosion could damage the recession hit economies and reverberate into your retirement account. to date greece received 240 million euros in bailout from the european union and the international monetary fund. now greece does not have the money for repayments and may have to default. that is something george papandreou who ran for office in jan's elections said greece must avoid at all softs. costs. he offered join the ultra left prime minister alexis tsipras in
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a unity government. i sat with george papandreou and understands the difficult decisions that the counter greek government faces, but says he ha little choice but to cooperate. a reminded george papandreou that a lot of panic started with the deficit his government uncovered in 2009. here is what he told me. >> what happened with greece - order. because we are linked with the euro, it became a question of whether we have the confident of partners in the european union. >> without getting too technical, you asked to trigger a support mechanism that was never triggered before. the euro countries said if one of us is in trouble you help out, and you called on the eurozone to trigger that mekan. >> what did you learn? >> the support mechanism didn't exist initially.
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we faced the fact we couldn't get on to the market and borrow at viable rates. where do you go to borrow. you end up facing bankruptcy. we needed to find confidence in the market. one thing we had to do was have the changes inside greece, and say we'll make the reforms. it will be a viable economy. we needed o show of support from the i don't know are, where the euro is, and this is where a major mistake was made, is that they said this was a greek problem. >> reporter: was greece that different. the problems that the world
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learnt about greece in those trying days was that people seemed to be less productive with their work time. they worked less, retired earlier. you know, there were structural changes underscoring how different countries in the eurozone were, how different greece was from germany, that was the example used. >> first of all, the structural changes that we needed to make, we pushed forward. for example, with preelectorally we made pension reforms open up the different practices, lawyers, mechanics, engineers and so on. so that we could open up the market for the younger generation. we needed time to do this. we needed breeding time. we could see in advanced democracies it takes years to make a major reform. we had to do this in months, if not years.
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support. >> and greek restructuring was to be a long-term issue. >> yes, the restructuring was at least some years. many felt that the problem was the budget deficit that we had gone way over the criteria. the criteria is criteria. >> you were over 12. >> we were over 12. when euro stat came to greece and looked through the books, it took a year and a half to do so. from 3 to 15.7% was a huge, huge different. and the previous government, before it left a few days before the elections reported that the deficit was 6.5%. created a greater gap. >> the party with the most votes was a party that said austerity was too far, and we need to pair back. at the moment they have not had
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much success in negotiating that debt. the europeans debt of the. >> there is a deal to be had, and i mentioned that again and again preelectorally that we can bargain with partners in the european union. the emphasis on austerity had a negativity of sidelining reforms. we had a primary surplus a few months ago, we need more austerity and emphasis on the reforms to make the economy move and be more competitive. >> what is your sense on how this plays out. this is a long-term problem. they their solutions. they are not letting out that
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greece needs to be certain painful things, things that government. >> they have made major sacrifices. for better or for worse, we have followed a programme that brought cuts in the g.d.p., huge unemployment, and a lot of pain for not only those that pay high taxes, it's not true that we have not actually made things. however, what i say again is that the emphasis should have been less on the budget so quickly and more on pushing the refund. this is where i think he is supposed to find the solution. this should be less punitive, obviously, but demand that there
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be a clear roadmap more how we move forward and make the changes with greece the greek government may be buckling under debt, but there are towns and cities throughout greece that are solvent and able to pay the bills. not surprisingly the government is asking them to help keep the country afloat. we have this report from greece. >> reporter: it's not every greek village that gets its own surfaced football field. but this man blons to a community that managed this area so well it has $17 million in the bank. despite the fact that the subsidies has dropped it still feeds the constituent and has day care centers. >> translation: the country needs our support. we need to know when we want the money, we will have it.
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if we don't, we won't be able to buy fuel or food for daycare centers, or pay salaries or pick up rubbish or do the basics. >> reporter: greece is at odds with creditors over economic reforms. the flow of assistance should stop throwing the country back on its own resources. the longer the talks drag out. the deeper the government has to be. it borrowed half a billion from passengers funds. now it hopes to borrow $2.5 billion more. time and money is running out. >> translation: >> reporter: universities, and public trusts among others had to hand over holdings. they are skeptical. >> translation: mayors are
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afraid this government, to, will take their savings. it wants to give financial padding to face the assault from creditors and the eurozone. the european central bank cut off liquidity. we have not received money from abroad since last july. ultimately mayor will comply because if the ship of state sinks, life boats will not last much longer next, broken government is not unique to greece, the united states has its own share of dysfunction in washington. when we come back, how politics threaten the budget at
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>> "inside story" takes you beyond the headlines, beyond the quick cuts, beyond the sound bites. we're giving you a deeper dive into the stories that are making our world what it is. >> ray suarez hosts "inside story". coming up next.
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>> we're here to fully get into the nuances of everything that's going on not just in this country but around the world. >> if there were no cameras here, would be the best solution. >> this goes to the heart of the argument >> to tell you the stories that others won't cover. how big do you see this getting? getting the news from the people who are affected. >> people need to demand reform... >> we're here to provide the analysis... the context... and the reporting that allows you to make sense of your world. >> ali velshi on target
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only on al jazeera america [ ♪♪ ] bnt deficits, bailouts, broken governments - we are not talking about greece. you need go no further an washington d.c. to see serious government dysfunction, a constitutional mandate is to pass a budget setting out the spending priorities of the government. we have seen the past fix years avoiding fiscal cliffs and government shutdowns and imposing sebbing which is tryings. it's a stupid name for a stupid idea. automatic across the board spend gs cuts because the lawmakers cannot agree on a budget. these are the topics we discussed. president obama's director from the office of management and budget. we met last week at the conference in los angeles, where business leaders and policy makers gathered to shmooze and talk.
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i asked donovan how hopeful he is. they can move beyond partisan politics. this is what he told me. >> the thing that was the low point in the budget was sequestration. this was a process is designed to make cuts so stupid, to effect. >> it was a poison pill. >> exactly, and it was a poison pill that was swallowed. when sequestration went effect, not only did we see tens of thousands cut off and training slots disappear, all other effects, the economy lost 750,000 jobs. we know that now from the history. so the next that we are in is staring at sequestration, if congress does not act, going
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back in full in effect. the hopeful part is a couple of years ago lawmakers got together, bipartisan fashion and put together the murray ryan deal, lifting half of sequestration for one year, 20% in the next. that's what we need to do again. the president put forward a budget following that model, saying let's reinvest in the things that will help our economy. education, job infrastructure, and pay for it with longer term reforms to the mandatory programs, the entitlements and the taxes. >> you wrote a letter to aproposeriations committee saying funding should be relatable to the provisions. this was a bid to block funding to getting people out of guantanamo. the president wants to use the government to block funding for obama care. that seems to be unmovable for
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many people. how do you deal with that? >> you talked about the parts of broken. this is absolutely one of the most broken parts. the idea that we would use the basic functioning of government, the funding of our aspecties as a place for ideological warfare over not only guantanamo. there are writers in another billion the house floor, leading to more pollution, allowing guns to be carried on federal lands. if republicans want votes, let's have them straight up. do not pollute the funding process, the budget process with the idea logical riots. >> a lot of americans, most don't sit around learning about the budget. it can be passed and can't be
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beaten by the president or filibustered. every bees of legislation -- piece of legislation this that resolution can be. you can say i voted for the budget, i didn't vote for a government shutdown, but not find anything in there or attach riders or complexity. >> let's take an example, republicans tried to do it with homeland funding bill. because the president stood strong and side by side with democrats in the house and the senate, we won, and republicans from forced to back done. if necessary, that's what we'll continue to do on the bills, and the president is clear he'll not accept the bills, the ideological riders, and i do think if republicans care about the functioningle congress, and they said they do.
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mcconnell and john boehner want to see a functioning parliament that was the white house director of the office of budget. that is our show for tonight. thank you for joining me. i'm ali velshi. psh psh the citizens united decision from the supreme court opened a new era in campaign financing. running for president costs hundreds of millions, and money that can't be traced to pouring in, along with the backing of a small group of billionaires. they are ready to spend untold millions to pick the n