Greece and China

Owen Bennett Jones presents wit, analysis and anecdote from BBC correspondents around the world. In this edition, Paul Moss finds Euro-optimism is decidedly a thing of the past in Greece, while Michael Bristow meets one of China's new class: the super-rich.

Why Frankfurt bankers are no longer Greek heroes

It’s been said that politics in Western Europe has simply become irrelevant – that’s why fewer and fewer people vote. Some argue that since the elite - elected and bureaucratic - all agree on the fundamentals, it doesn’t make much difference any more who is elected to power. They just manage things and tinker at the edges.

It’s difficult to make that argument now. The decisions being made by Europe’s leaders this week and next will have profound consequences for millions of people. Paul Moss has been in Greece, and remembering a time when the public there believed that EU interventionism might be a force for good.

One country, three ideologies?

China’s rulers would have us believe they run a true communist state. A place where each produces according to his or her ability and is rewarded according to his or her needs. A system in which the workers collectively own the means of production. Odd, then, that two recently published rich lists show that the country’s wealthiest individuals have more money than ever before.

Some Chinese are showing every sign of aptitude at capitalism - how to make money and how to spend it. And some others are expressing an increasing hunger for a spiritual dimension to life, with a revival of traditional Confucian and Buddhist ideas.
Michael Bristow has been having lunch with a man who is living proof that China’s state ideology is far removed from its daily reality.

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10 minutes

Last on

Sat 5 Nov 2011 04:50 GMT

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