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Wednesday 29 June 2011

Len Freeman | 11:23 UK time, Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Greek MPs have voted in favour of unpopular austerity measures aimed at saving the country from defaulting on its debt.

So is that the end of the crisis? Our economics editor Paul Mason assesses the likely outcome as protests continue on the street. Read Paul's blog.

And while Greece is preparing for some major belt tightening, the European Union is looking to ask its member states for more cash - going against the wishes of David Cameron who had called on the EU to exercise some belt tightening of its own.

The UK Border Agency has been facing criticism after managing to let into the country a man who had been banned. It wasn't as if he sneaked in. Sheikh Salah, who has Israeli citizenship and is the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, arrived under his own name and his visit had been announced in advance.

He went on to address public meetings before the police arrested him. Richard Watson will have a report for us.

And our political editor Michael Crick is in Inverclyde ahead of Thursday's by-election. The seat has traditionally been held by Labour but after the SNP's success in the Scottish Parliament elections, Alex Salmond's party is hoping to pull off a win. Michael will bring us the latest as the campaign ends.

Join Jeremy Paxman at 10.30pm


  • Comment number 1.


    Guess what group of 'public servants' doesn't want the spotlight shone on their platinum-plated pensions?

    'And so to a mere taster of their perks. Just 15 years' work could build up a pension of £24,000, a recent FT assessment noted, whereas private sector employees would have to amass £700,000 to generate the same income when they retire at 65.'

  • Comment number 2.

    Notwithstanding other wrongs in a sea of few rights...

    '@shanegreer - Where exactly do the Greek protesters imagine the money is going to come from to facilitate the spending they want? #seriousquestion'

    It's a question I'd love some commentators to get their expert heads around and chip in on.

  • Comment number 3.


    I have noted many times that our Christian Parliament is a 'Mote and Beam' free zone. It seems they also eschew 'Do unto others'.

    Currently Nick agrees with Dave that striking (in public service) is reprehensible, solving nothing. YET WHEN I WRITE TO EITHER OF THEM - THEY DO NOT REPLY! That looks like withdrawal of labour to me! Nor do most MPs and Peers reply, from the lowest to the highest (except to dodge).

    But bloggers take note: while NewsyNighty will not take up the matter of the 2010 General Election, voided by Conservative Party illegal deployment of a FALSE INSTRUMENT, I am now making headway (with Police 'blessing') in nailing the lie, and in flushing out the perpetrators.

    Dave is due to discover that THE BIG SOCIETY is a lot bigger than he realised.

  • Comment number 4.


    You know how I hate to kick a man when he's clown, but Dave has taken to invoking St Tony's support, to 'strengthen' his arguments. Words fail me. If you have lost track of just how pathetic today's Tony is, this will help:

    Correct link

    To my mind, today's Tony gives the lie to yesterday's illusion.

    So what brings Dave - with his army of wily advisers, spinners and plotters, to even mention Tony?

    I pass.

  • Comment number 5.

    greeks have half day jobs and rarely pay taxes. why should we bailout their lifestyle?

  • Comment number 6.

    Re: Scotland & the SNP

    Alex Salmond is on the march towards winning an independence vote - this bye election is but another milestone down the road.

    Just as Mrs T's stint @ no10 was the harbinger of Scottish devolution by totally alienating the Scots, so Cameron's mad dash to slash the state is paving the way for a YES vote north of the border for independence.

    This would be a catastophic event for the rump of the UK, as overnight we would cease to be a significant energy producer and what was a nice little earner for the Treasury will switch to being an increasingly expensive import we simply can't afford.

    I really think the coalition is ignoring the extent to which their orgy of libertarian ideology is driving a wedge between the other nations of the UK they wholly control and the vast majority of Scottish people. Is messing about with student fees, rearrangng the deckchairs @ the NHS and hacking away at public services really worth the price of shattering the UK permanently?

    Perhaps when the "little Englanders" of the Tory Party & The Daily Mail REALLY DO LIVE in "Little England" they will finally find out what's really wrong with it and have to face up to the economic collapse their policies are going to cause.

  • Comment number 7.

    why isn't Ed Milliband supporting working people against greedy bankers, working people who have paid in and now are being right royaly ripped off, fancy being in the same lobby as that what Labour leaders do...or just this one, shameful

  • Comment number 8.

  • Comment number 9.


    One presumes Dave's wealth is durable when the soup lines form?

    We need to view Westminster like a Prof. Winston experiment with damaged kids. Observed in that way (no need for one-way glass - they don't know we are here) their behaviour makes pereverted sense.

    I have posted the Tony link again (post #4). He has lost the old blagger bravado, in todays currency hi rhythm has gone; net serves and double faults are de rigueur. Yet THAT SELF-CONSCIOUS, POSTURING, RELIC WAS ONCE OUR PRIME MINISTER.


  • Comment number 10.

    #9 continued:

    Globopoly will be played with similar panache to Tony - at our expense. Dave spotted the Aid trick, as used by Brown: dish out money (without asking the owners) to Johnnie foreigner, who can be relied upon to credit YOU. That way you become a Mother Theresa figure, in far lands, where they never hear about the evicted Chagos Islanders. We must stop elevating damaged children!


  • Comment number 11.

    Just caught a few moments on SKY with some stereotypical teargas-addicted Pulitzer-aspiring wannabee somehow injecting a lot more nuance into the motivations of those he was running with than their actions indicated was the actual case.

    Never heard so much BS-spinning for thugs with too much time on their hands and an over-developed appreciation of how constrained police are in this PC world.

    If such 'reporting' makes it here in support of similarly-motivated individuals, things don't look too promising.

    If anything is out of control these days, it's the 24/7, ratings-addicted media we're lumbered with, often without choice.

  • Comment number 12.


    I don’t know where you get the idea that the Greeks are lazy. They are not; at least not the ones I’ve met. Every country has its fair share of lazy people, including your country and mine, but our economies are not bust, yet. The Chinese are being handed a check mate by helicopter Ben and his USD/economic policy; domestically, our inflation rate is running at a 30 year high – I wouldn’t be surprised if Chinese economy has a hard landing in the near future. We’ve all got problems and let’s not pretend that the people control the flow of events.

  • Comment number 13.

    Corporate Nazi alleged " socialists " sold out to the Banks and the EU Forth Reich in Greece today, just like Brown did when he had the chance to defeat them in the interest of true freedom and democracy !

  • Comment number 14.

  • Comment number 15.

  • Comment number 16.


    JJ said to look hard at it. When you are funded to the tune of $ a billion, there is a lot of quid pro quo to be attended to.

  • Comment number 17.

  • Comment number 18.

  • Comment number 19.

    Ha, ha, ha. No, no, stop, Mr. Mason.

    Newsnight should hold the creators of the Euro to account?

    No, no, stop - you're killing me.

    [Calm down; deep breath; phew!] There's no point bleating about an increased E.U. budget. The supposed sovereign nation states of the E.U. lost control, years ago, of the monster they have created.

  • Comment number 20.

    "Three Labour MPs...three Labour MPs!!"
    You had keith the waz on. Is the good folk at newsnight trying to wind us viewers up or what?

  • Comment number 21.


    I can understand every syllable that Private Frazer says.

  • Comment number 22.

    NN hasn't got any better since I stopped watching it a while back, tonight I dipped in and shook my head constantly. I won't bother with touching Greece as it's just the first domino, to be followed by the rest of the PIIGS before hitting our shores. Instead I'll comment on Sheikh Salah, who I'd never even heard of before tonight. Some quick Google Fu plus some speed reading revealed something interesting. Why did I bother even with the Google Fu, let alone bothering to log in and comment? The phrase "anti-semitic" was uttered by a Mr. Weiss on NN, a phrase that is incorrectly used on many BBC programmes, see-

    Semitic is a Language Group, Not a Race or Ethnic Group

    From my internet search it seems that Salah would be correctly categorized as anti-Zionist, i.e. opposed to zionism -

    As the UN General Assembly voted in UN Resolution 3379 that Zionism is racism surely banning Salah is racist and therefore illegal in this country? But that would assume the government respects the same laws as you and me, which it obviously does not.

  • Comment number 23.

  • Comment number 24.

    Excellent debate by Jeremy on increased funding for the EU – the point that topped it all was the demand for an 80% increase on funding for entertainment. Can we really afford not to vote for UKIP? As for the debate on team sports always winning on home ground – they’ve left out the fact that England won the Ashes in Australia....... As for the excuse of a possible “computer error” allowing the banned guy into the UK – makes you wonder how many more are in or have visited the UK.

  • Comment number 25.


    ZIOPHOBIA: The irrational fear of mythical homelands donated by ineffable gods to self-defined 'peoples'.

    I have been prejudiced all my life. Anyone for tennis? Oh - silly me - THAT is partisanship - EVEN LOYALTY!

    We are truly the Ape Confused by Language.

  • Comment number 26.


    I watched part of 'Saving Private Afghanistan' (by treating it as public property and wrecking the place). There was one VERY SCARY squaddie who explained the clinical 'execution at a distance' of Johnnie Foreigner. The way he enunciated 'kill', without a hint of emotion, had a truly heroic quality . . .

  • Comment number 27.

    We don't just grow them.. we let them come here from afar. I didn't know we had border control. Would that be those people who chew gum and scratch themselves whilst looking at my passport? that really border control ?! ah well, there you live and learn.

  • Comment number 28.

    I wonder what 'distorted diction' of Dumfries thinks of this

    Short sighted? protectionist? Mean-spirited? Underhand?

    If they try this will they move the general education qualification in line with three year degrees?

  • Comment number 29.

    paul loves his workers power stuff?

    why no reports on the feather bedded greek lifestyle paul? e.g


    eu is out of control driven by ideologues.

    uk democracy institutionalises incompetence. so there will always be an never ending stream of stories about incompetence. funny how we only get the ones involving muslims though richard?

    no political party have a business plan for the uk. because they don't need one to get elected.

  • Comment number 30.


    What with the devolved UK (but without an 'England') and the involved EU (with two parliaments and no accounts) and the 'organised' New World Order (being ushered in by a bunch of organs) could ANYONE now draw a world organogram, without resorting to the back of a Mobius fag packet? We have all the components of Alice's Adventures, and about the same chance of a viable outcome as Wonderland. BUT ‘THEY’ DON'T SEEM TO NOTICE.

    In passing: did a stray CIA unit, with faulty radios, miss the recall and mistake Chavez for bin Laden? Annoying individuals don't only get clobbered under dictators - democratic dictators take them out too. The list grows daily.

  • Comment number 31.

    Greed is Go(o)d, or will it Destroy America?

    'by encouraging global “free trade” and removing regulations like the New Deal’s Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banks, the government also got out of the way of “progress,” even if that “progress” has had crushing results for the middle-class.'

  • Comment number 32.

    Sorry I missed it.

    For the rest, there's iPlayer.

    And coming to a street of London near you.

    If ratings and agenda have 'owt to do with it.

  • Comment number 33.

    CLASH? (#32)

    Nothing to miss - the sound of one (cracked) cymbal, desperately trying to be edgy. Very Paxman.

    "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not EDGY, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."


  • Comment number 34.

    Well at least this area of "growth" is very successful and coming along nicely! : (

    #30 Very good post Barrie

  • Comment number 35.


    paul is an ex? member of workers power and has been agitating about riots for months. he is the main one pumping the 'austerity' mantra which is a hard left political interpretation of how, in this case, greek society has been working. [see featherbedded links above]

    it all reminds me of the fbu strikes when it emerged the firemen had two jobs and other cushy perks that would have embarrassed a military dictator.

  • Comment number 36.


    "The lower number of deaths can be attributed to higher mortality (sic) rates due to medical advances, with circulatory diseases having seen the greatest fall in age-related mortality."

    (Have I misread, or should that be 'higher survival rates'?) Whatever:

    No mention of the CURRENT NUMBER of living dead, in UK, that I could see - just the above indication that more and more will be condemned to life, as medical 'advance' robs them (and those who really care for them) of release. I wonder what the graph of 'STORED UNTO DEATH' looks like - going forward.

    It is a nightmarish irony that so many Manglish speakers find minimum-wage work in terminal storage facilities; the tacit acknowledgement being, that all those loopy oldies can do without hearing their own tongue spoken clearly, as their faculties addle. This amounts to a calculated, callous, multiple blasphemy. Bravo Westminster. Who's playing with Health - at the moment? Pass the parcel - it's all a game. Nuff sed.

    Cheers Liz.

  • Comment number 37.


    Jellyfish bunged up the cooling of a nuclear plant. (:o)

  • Comment number 38.

    Advantage of home games

    Aside from the referee's bias towards the home team, I believe scoring the first goal will also increase the likelihood of winning, because it increases the confidence of the players in the winning team. Contrary to the author last night, I think cheering fans do have a role, because they lifts the spirits of the players, and spirit/attitude can definitely affect outcomes in all walks of life, although it is something unquantifiable.

  • Comment number 39.

    Barroso says about contributing more from Countries like Britain. This is a form foreign aid, and money from the eu, is from stronger Countries like Britain, so we do not get anything from it, and we do not need/want anything from it, apart from leaving. This was a Commonmarket. The Dutch guy from their green party has proven why we need to leave this rediculous organisation as soon as possible. No need to go through it here, I cannot be bothered, because British people can find out for themselves, if they care. We should all see through this pro eu'ers old arguments. If not, hope is fast disappearing.

  • Comment number 40.

    '35. At 16:36 30th Jun 2011, jauntycyclist'

    Speaking of risky agitations, on Paul's Blog, kindly linked , couldn't help but notice the poor soul who was being teargassed for 'only' throwing sticks and stones seemed oddly similar to the one happy snapped previously trying to set the police on fire with a Molotov.

    Just need to tweet up an oddly accessible #UKUncut 'child' with a fire extinguisher from one's iPhone and all would be well.

    Maybe Jeremy knows more than he barely conceals.


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