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CONNECT THE WORLD
Referendum in Greece; Pakistani Cricket Players Convicted; World Leaders Arriving in Cannes for Thursday's G20 Summit; G20 Protesters Gather in Nice; Germans React to Greek Referendum; Mid-Size German Businesses Resilient Against Euro Zone Crisis; Gateway: How Zurich Central Train Station Runs Like Clockwork; Muslim Faithful Undertake Annual Pilgrimage to Mecca; Big Interview: Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez; Parting Shots of Melbourne Cup
Aired November 1, 2011 - 17:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a very bad gamble. It's not the sort of thing a prime minister should do.
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FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: -- referendum on its EU debt deal. Tonight, several Greeks tell us how they would vote.
Live from CNN Center, I'm Fionnuala Sweeney.
Also tonight, shockwaves from Greece reverberate in Cannes, as world leaders are due to arrive for the G20 summit.
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MARTIN SHEEN, ACTOR: You focus on the -- the one of your children that needs the most at the time. And that's the way we've always approached it.
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SWEENEY: Hollywood star Martin Sheen on his new film and his troubled son, Charlie.
First though, it was a risky gamble that has sent stocks sliding around the globe. And despite a political crisis at home and anger from European leaders abroad, Greece's prime minister tonight says he won't back down.
George Papandreou's decision to hold a referendum on last week's debt deal hit the markets hard, with Germany and France bearing the brunt.
On Wall Street, the Dow close down 297 points. It had climbed earlier, after reports that the vote could be called off.
Former Greek deputy finance minister, Petros Doukas, told us why.
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PETROS DOUKAS, FORMER DEPUTY FINANCE MINISTER: It's a gross miscalculation, but his psychology says that he may try, at least for the next two days, to push through that. But I think that the opposition forces in Europe, in Greece and the markets are telling him to backtrack immediately, push through the reforms and get it on with and stop playing these games.
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SWEENEY: Well, tomorrow, Mr. Papandreou will be forced to explain himself as he meets leaders from France and Germany ahead of the G20 summit in Cannes. But tonight, his focus is much closer to home, with an emergency cabinet meeting ahead of that crucial confidence vote on Friday.
And Elinda Labropoulou joins us now live from Athens.
And what have we heard emanating from this cabinet meeting?
Is it clear that he will still go ahead with the referendum?
ELINDA LABROPOULOU, JOURNALIST: Oh, it does seem to be the case, although the meeting is underway, so all we have is very initial information sort of trickling out. He does have a tough time ahead of him, certainly, because there's a lot of opposition even within the ruling party about the prime minister's decision. One of his MP's defected today, leaving the -- the party with 152 deaths in parliament out of a 300 seat parliament. So a very slight majority now for Mr. Papandreou ahead of a confidence vote that he has also called and which is going to take place on Friday.
There are a number of other voices within the party saying that they will not necessarily back this referendum. And there's a lot of -- there's a lot of voices, again, and a lot of noise from the opposition saying that they certainly don't want the referendum to go ahead and instead, they're calling for a snap election.
So we have a lot of political developments in Greece in the last 24 hours. But the initial information so far from the cabinet meeting is that the prime minister is not going to back down on this one.
SWEENEY: And from anything I've read, he's not a man who is disposed to back down once he's made a decision on something such as this.
But will his party back down on him?
How likely are they to dump him, even before a confidence vote this Friday?
LABROPOULOU: Well, as -- as it stands, with 152 seats in parliament now, as of today, with one person defected, certainly he does not -- anything could happen. I mean we're not looking at a confidence -- confidence vote as such.
So it's not clear that this first step that he -- that Papandreou would need in order to get the referendum across will go through in -- in the first place.
His support is overall diminishing and this is one reason why he said he's calling the referendum in the first place, because of popular support diminishing and support for the measures diminishing.
In order for Papandreou and his government to get the new -- the austerity rules -- the austerity measures that are required through, he would -- he would need more support, that he certainly doesn't have.
So he doesn't have the support of the people. But he seems to be losing a lot of support from his own party, as well.
SWEENEY: All right, Elinda, thank you for joining us there from Athens, as the cabinet meeting continues. And, of course, instability is what has been driving the markets. And it would appear that Greece, the very home of democracy, is now finally going to have its say on the Eurozone debt deal agreed last week.
As well as recapitalizing Europe's banks and bolstering its bailout fund, the agreement saw private bondholders agree to take a 50 percent write-down on Greek debt.
In return, Greece promised to implement harsh austerity measures. The referendum, if it is still put before the people, could be a simple yes or no on whether Greeks are willing to accept yet more cuts.
But it could also become a wider vote on whether Greece wants to remain in the Eurozone. A weekend poll found nearly 60 percent of Greeks opposed to the debt deal reached last week.
But despite that, 70 percent say they want to stay in the Eurozone. A yes vote would, of course, strengthen the prime minister and give him the public backing to implement more austerity measures. A no vote would likely break the deal with Greece's lenders. And without their aid, Greece would be unable to meet its payments, leading to a default. And that, in turn, could force Greece to leave the Eurozone, sounding shockwaves across the globe.
So the stakes are high. Right now, the prime minister fighting for his political life at the cabinet meeting. But so is the anger high among those fed up with the austerity measures.
We spoke to three Greeks and asked them, if posed with a referendum, how they would vote.
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MARIANNA RANTOU, GREEK STUDENT: If the question is only whether me and the Greek people will approve the austerity measures, you know, frankly, it's a very tough question to ask the Greek people after the measures are already agreed on. If we were asked before, three months before, for -- for example, it would be different, because then the agreement on the European level would -- wouldn't have been on the table already.
If the question of the referendum was whether I want leave -- to leave Greece to leave the Eurozone, I would personally answer no without second thoughts. It is my personal opinion -- I'm not sure if this is what the majority of Greeks would vote. But I think it would be a huge, huge mistake for Greece to leave the euro.
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YIANNIS PANTZOS, GREEN PENSIONER: Personally, I would not approve the austerity measures because what is happening in Greece two years now is measures taken to the people and to the working class people, the middle and low class people. And these measures are not proportional to the people of Greece that created the debt. I could hope to return to the drachma because my belief is that in the year 2000, Greece was not ready to enter the euro and this happened under some very, very strange conditions.
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SPYROS GKELIS, GREEK LECTURER: No, I wouldn't vote for those austerity measures, just because all the austerity measures taken so far seem to have no results in improving anything. The debt is increasing. The debt situation hasn't any -- any actually improvement. And life is getting worse and worse here in Greece. I would like to -- personally, I would like to stay in the Eurozone, but not under these austerity measures and not under this kind of Europe, but that's actually seemed to be interested in saving (INAUDIBLE). What I understand is it's actually focused on saving the banks or the banking system.
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SWEENEY: Well, if Greece wanted to leave the Eurozone, it would have to address a huge number of complicated issues.
First of all, would its departure even be legal?
According to the Eurozone treaty, technically, the answer is no. But if Greece won't to go back to the drachma, there isn't really anything anyone could do.
The next big question, where would it get all those drachmas from?
It would need to print millions of notes virtually overnight and deliver the money to every bank, business and ATM in the country.
The next unknown is how Greeks will react. Take this scene from "Mary Poppins" when people panic and start a run on a bank when they think their money is no longer safe. Now, the same scene could play out in Greece, with millions of people demanding their savings right away.
And what if you are a Greek but you have a loan from someone in Germany, which needs to be paid back in euros?
All of those loans would need to be restructured or forgiven.
And then, there's the issue of the spread of the problem. If one country exist the Eurozone, the pressure will grow on other struggling economies to do the same.
Well, right now, Eurozone leaders are determined o make sure that doesn't happen. And tonight, the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, said last week's deal was the only solution.
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NICOLAS SARKOZY, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): Yesterday, the Greek prime minister took the initiative of announcing a referendum. This announcement has surprised the whole of Europe. France wishes to restate that the plan adopted unanimously last Thursday by the 17 members of the Eurozone is the only possible route to resolve the problem of the Greek debt.
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SWEENEY: President Sarkozy speaking tonight.
Well, earlier, he spoke to the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.
China Fred Pleitgen is in Berlin.
He joins us now.
The two leaders determined, Fred, to make sure this deal sticks.
But I mean, really, it -- it can't be overestimated just how much they were caught by surprise by the Greek announcement.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you're absolutely right. I mean it's something that you rarely see in Berlin, where you really notice how dumbfounded a lot of the institutions and the government here in this -- in this city, and, indeed, in this country were.
For the better part of the day, you -- you didn't get any sort of statement or anything from the German government on all of this. You were calling the institutions and they were telling you we really don't know what the Greeks have announced. We're really not sure what exactly they want. And that's certainly something that Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy are going to be talking about at that emergency meeting that is going to be taking place tomorrow in Cannes.
They're going to ask George Papandreou, first of all, why did you call for this referendum, and, second of all, why didn't you consult with us first?
And as Nicolas Sarkozy said, and the Germans reiterated today, they really feel that the plan that was put forward by the EU Summit last week is the one that needs to be saw through.
And one of the things that we can't underestimate, Fionnuala, is that this plan carries a lot of the handwriting of Angela Merkel on it. If you look at the debt write-offs, the size of the debt write-offs, the EFSF enlargement program, all of that carries the weight and carries the handwriting of Angela Merkel. It was something that was seen as one of her great successes.
And now all of that is being called into question.
The other thing that we can't underestimate, also, Fionnuala, is the fact that Angela Merkel had to go through a lot of opposition within her own ranks to get that deal to go through -- Fionnuala.
SWEENEY: Oh, she can't be a happy woman tonight. But I mean even last week, let's than a week after this deal was announced, she was roundly praised in Germany as being the architect of that deal, someone who had suddenly found her political direction, who had been right not to move quickly and hastefully, but to plan all of this slowly but surely.
I mean what are the costs, potentially, for her politically at home if Papandreou were to fall over his decision to call a referendum, which still hangs in the balance, although he's saying he's going to go ahead with that one?
PLEITGEN: Well, there's some -- there's some costs already. There's some short-term costs that we're already going to see, that we are already seeing. And then there's obviously the -- some long-term costs which could become a factor if, in fact, this referendum has a no vote to it, if the Greeks turn down this referendum.
The short-term cost is that a lot of the things that were calmed down here in the past couple of weeks here in Berlin are starting to flare up again. A lot of the euro skeptics within the governing coalition, especially in the Liberal Democratic Party, are finding a voice again, are speaking up again, are saying they believe that Greece should leave the Eurozone. They -- they are saying they believe that these could be the first motions for Greece to go bankrupt and to ultimately be either shut out of the Eurozone or to leave the Eurozone voluntarily.
So a lot of the things that she's tried to calm down are flaring up again right now.
And then, of course, if this referendum goes in the -- for Angela Merkel and -- and for a lot of the other European leaders wrong direction, of course, then, it really is anyone's guess what is going to happen then. But, obviously, this deal that she worked on for a very long time -- and, as you said, a lot of people praised her for having this long-term vision, all of that is obviously going to be not only called into question, but essentially be falling apart -- Fionnuala.
SWEENEY: All right, Frederik Pleitgen reporting in Berlin.
It should be an interesting day in Cannes tomorrow, if one was a fly on the wall at that meeting with Angela Merkel and the Greek prime minister and, indeed, tomorrow night on CONNECT THE WORLD, Becky Anderson will be in Cannes as the Greek prime minister faces the music during those emergency talks with the leaders of France, of course, as well as Germany. And she'll have all the buildup to the G20 summit, which, of course, kicks off on Thursday.
But, in the meantime, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
And when we come back, new developments tonight in the John Terry race row.
Then, the betting scandal that rocked the world of international cricket. We have details on the verdict against two Pakistani players.
And finding your way after a family targeted -- the inspiring story at the heart of Martin Sheen's latest film.
SWEENEY: I'm Fionnuala Sweeney at the CNN Center.
And you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
Here's a look at some of the other stories making headlines this hour.
Thousands of protesters are pouring into the French city of Nice and are set to march against what they describe as corporate greed. They're gathering in advance of this week's G20 Summit. Leaders from around the world are there to discuss progress made in reforming the Greek financial system. Also on the agenda, of course, is the ongoing Eurozone debt crisis.
And we'll have more on the protesters' gathering steam just 10 minutes from now.
Anger is growing among flood victims in Thailand, as water submerges new neighborhoods in the capital. Inner Bangkok has been kept dry, but large areas of surrounding suburbs remain underwater. The U.S. ambassador to Thailand described the situation.
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KRISTIE KENNY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THAILAND: Let me first talk about the situation here, because, as you've seen, much of Bangkok remained drier than expected. I went up in a helicopter today, and while downtown Bangkok is quite dry, the surroundings of Bangkok are still very badly flooded. There are still some two million people who are flood-affected.
So I think the worst may be over for Central Bangkok. But the recovery phase for millions of Thai people will remain for weeks to come.
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SWEENEY: Police in Britain have tonight launched a formal investigation into racial abuse claims against Chelsea football captain, John Terry. Terry is alleged to have made the racist comments to Queen Parks Rangers' player, Anton Ferdinand, during a recent match -- claims he denies. Officers spent several days assessing the matter before deciding to take it further. The Football Association is also looking into the incident.
Stranger than fiction -- videos and photographs taken during Operation Ghost Stories, in which 10 Russian spies were arrested, have been posted online by the FBI. The new videos shedding more light on the shady world of espionage, detailing how the operatives would switch packages and use dead letter drops. The videos were released after a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
Conrad Murray has told the judge in his involuntary manslaughter trial that he won't testify in his own defense. Murray is charged in the death of Michael Jackson. The decision by the pop star's doctor means that evidence in the case has now been completed. Closing arguments are expected on Thursday.
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JUDGE MICHAEL E. PASTOR: At that he is time, Mr. Chernoff, does the defense have any additional witnesses it wishes to call?
ED CHERNOFF, ATTORNEY FOR CONRAD MURRAY: We don't. Subject to -- to proceedive exhibits, we will rest.
PASTOR: Thank you.
The defense is resting its case.
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SWEENEY: And dramatic scenes in Poland as a passenger plane was forced to make an emergency belly landing. The Boeing 767 could be seen here skirting along the runway. It was forced to come down this way after problems with its landing gear. A spokesman claimed that 230 people were on board. No one was injured. The Polish Airlines flight was traveling from New York to the Polish capital.
Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD, the betting scam which has left cricket fighting for its reputation. We'll take a look at how the Pakistan match-fixing (INAUDIBLE).
SWEENEY: Hello and welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD.
Two Pakistan cricket players have been found guilty of plotting to cheat and to accept bribes in a major international competition against England last summer. The men were caught after an investigation by the now defunct British tabloid, "News of the World".
Phil Black has more from London.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Former Pakistan cricket captain, Salman Butt, and fast baller, Mohammed Asif, have been coming here to Southern Crown Court for almost three weeks, arguing they were not responsible for fixing specific moments of a test match last year.
Today, they found out the jury didn't believe them. Each was found guilty on two counts -- conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments. A third player, another bowler, Mohammed Amir, plead guilty to the same charges before this trial began.
It is all the fallout from an undercover investigation carried out by British tabloid, "The News of the World," in which is videoed Butt's manager receiving a $140,000 bribe and promising to guarantee three no balls or illegal deliveries at special moments in the match.
His predictions proved accurate.
Prosecutors and police here admit that without that investigation, it is likely these players would still be behaving in the same way and getting away with it.
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SALLY WALSH, CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE: Through their actions, they brought shame on the cricketing world, jeopardizing the faith and admiration of cricket fans the world over. This prosecution shows that match fixing is not just unsportsmanlike, but is a serious criminal act.
DET. CHIEF SUPT. MATTHEW HORNE, METROPOLITAN POLICE: This was cheating, pure and simple. They let down everybody that bought tickets and they let down children when they're role models for those very children that are playing such a special game. I think we all look forward to sport being played in its truest spirit, as we go forward with these types of issues.
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BLACK: Salman Butt and Mohammed Asif left court surrounded by an international media pack. They remain on bail while hearings are conducted to determine just how seriously they should be punished. Their offenses carry a potential jail term.
Phil Black, CNN, London.
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SWEENEY: Well, not surprisingly, the guilty verdict has led to concerns about cricket's image around the world. There are claims that cricket's governing body isn't doing enough to prevent corruption.
Pinto joins me now from London.
I mean we heard there, essentially, from the Crown Prosecution Service how shaming this was for cricket around the world.
What's been the reaction of the cricket community?
PINTO, CNN "WORLD SPORT" ANCHOR: Well, everybody has condemned it, Fionnuala. And as far as the criticism level that the International Cricket Council, the ICC, that's the governing body, I guess people are disappointed that it had to be a journalist finding these allegations and starting this case rather than the governing body itself. The head of the ICC, Haroon Lorgat, released a statement on Tuesday saying that there was a zero tolerance policy within the game and the governing body, saying that all players had been suspended already and these suspensions will, of course, carry on to be -- to be in effect.
What -- what is interesting is that even in Pakistan, you could think that there could be some outrage, Fionnuala. But fans there, officials that CNN has been speaking to throughout the day, everyone has supported the fact that there has been a legal system put in place to punish these players. And Salman Butt could face up to seven years in jail. Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir up to two years in jail.
So these are serious, serious sentences that could be passed over the next few days.
SWEENEY: And -- and does it leave cricket, the sport of cricket, with a clean slate now?
And what about the Pakistani cricket team?
A lot of focus on them.
Will they be able to restore trust?
PINTO: Look, what's really difficult here to -- to gauge, as far as cricket being clean, Fionnuala, is that a lot of these betting scams that are going on are part of the underworld on the subcontinent. Now it is completely forbidden to bet on cricket in India and Pakistan. What people are doing is that this is run by criminal gangs. And there is a direct contact, allegedly, between these gangs and the players or the agents. And it's very difficult to police these proceedings.
So whether cricket is clean, whether the -- the Pakistani cricket team is clean, it's very difficult to find out, because a lot -- a lot of these dealings are going on under the radar, so to speak.
I think the only thing that the Pakistan cricket team and the Pakistan cricket officials can do at the moment is make sure that their players are as closely watched as possible. And that will be the only way of trying to find out whether anyone is trying to work on any deals that they shouldn't be doing -- Fionnuala.
SWEENEY: , thanks very much, indeed.
From London there.
He'll have much more on this story, as well as a wrap-up of the night's Champions League action in about an hour from now on "WORLD SPORT." So please don't miss it.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
And when we come back, thousands of people are flocking to the French Riviera, but not to bask in the sun. They're protesting the priorities of the world's major economies. The G20 summit kicks off this week in Cannes and will have detailed coverage coming up.
And the Swiss are among the world's top time travelers. Find out how special time keeping helps the country's world network stay on track. Our Gateway series continues in around 13 minutes.
And two Hollywood stars show us the way. Father and son, Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, talk about working together on a film with a strong family message.
That's all coming up right here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
Stay with us.
SWEENEY: You're watching CNN, the world's news leader, and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Let's get a check of the headlines this hour.
Floods in Thailand are causing yet more misery, and this time, for car manufacturers. Honda is cutting car production in the US and Canada for a few weeks due to a shortage of spare parts made in Thailand. Since July, the floods have killed several hundred people.
The main airport in Warsaw, Poland, will be closed overnight after a plane flying in from New York made an emergency belly landing there earlier. An airport spokeswoman says the Boeing 767 had problems with its landing gear. No one was hurt.
More fallout from the Palestinians' successful bid to join UNESCO, the UN cultural body. The Israeli government decided to build 2,000 new homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and freeze the transfer of tax money to the Palestinian Authority.
A spokesman for the Greek government says he's confident it can win a confidence vote set for Friday. He also denied claims that a referendum on last week's debt deal has been called off.
Well, the referendum announcement by the prime minister of Greece sent stocks sliding, and at the closing bell in New York, the Dow had plunged by 297 points. Investors fearing the recent euro zone debt deal may be in jeopardy.
Those are the headlines this hour.
Staying, of course, with news from Greece with the news of that referendum sending shockwaves through the world markets and reigniting fears over the future of the euro zone just in time for the G20 summit.
Political and financial leaders are now gathering in Cannes, where the summit officially begins on Thursday. But many will get down to business as soon as they step off the plane, anxious to address the economic crisis.
In the meantime, thousands of G20 protesters are making their voices heard nearby. CNN's Dan Rivers has the latest from Nice.
DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's been a good-natured and noisy campaign through the streets of Nice today. Several thousand people came out, not the 10,000 or more that the organizers were hoping for.
And of course, they've been kept a long way from where the G20 will be held in Cannes. This is some 30 kilometers down the coast.
But the people here were still angry about what is being discussed at the G20, a lot of people saying that the world leaders are gathering not for their benefit, but for the benefit of the banks and the bankers.
They feel that they are being ignored, that public services are being cut in austerity drives, not only here in France, but across Europe and the rest of the world. And it's something that they're determined to show their feelings for.
Dan Rivers, CNN, Nice.
SWEENEY: While world leaders struggle to stem the economic crisis, many people across Europe are struggling just to make ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck. We don't want this hardship to be overshadowed by the bright lights of the G20, but we do need your help in sharing the stories.
Wherever you are in Europe, whether you're underemployed, unemployed, or currently working, please tell us how the economy is affecting your bottom line. Just head to cnn.com/ireport and upload your video.
We also want to meet you. CNN's Diana Magnay is traveling through Europe's crisis zone talking to young people a town hall-style meetings, and yesterday it was Berlin. Today, it is Munich.
Diana joining us, now, live to tell us about her experiences. And Diana, how is it going down, the latest news from Greece, with the Germans you're speaking to?
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fionnuala. Well, the Germans were pretty surprised at the decision by the Greek prime minister. I talked to a group of about six students here in Munich, incredibly articulate, very engaged. They felt that it was on the --
MAGNAY: -- one hand right that George Papandreou should actually try and get the backing of his people, the sanction of his people, because so much of what he's doing is at the behest of forces that aren't anything to do with the people of Greece.
And yet, on the other hand, they said that what may be good for Papandreou is a horror for the euro zone --
MAGNAY: -- they put it, because of the dangers of populism, because, they said, people are likely to act in their national interest first before they act in the interests of the broader whole. And so, the Greeks are likely to really vote to save their own backs rather than to save Europe.
And they fundamentally believe, the Germans that I spoke to --
MAGNAY: -- Greece must stay in the euro zone and that the euro must be saved, because that, if it crumbles, will be to the detriment of Germany and to the whole of Europe. They seem very, very convinced of that fact, Fionnuala.
SWEENEY: And I was talking to Fred Pleitgen in Berlin a little earlier, and it's safe to say that both the French and German leaders were taken by surprise by the announcement of the Greek prime minister of this referendum.
And things had really turned around, it would seem, in Germany for Angela Merkel over the last week or so since the announcement of the debt deal.
In the people you've been speaking to, has anyone been alluding to any lack of vision on her part? Is the tide beginning to turn in any way? Are people still as confident about her as they seemed to be last week after a period of uncertainty about Angela Merkel?
MAGNAY: One of the quotes that I got was somebody saying that she is a good European and a brave European whilst trying to do her best for Germany.
I think a lot of the criticism of Angela Merkel all the way along, her handling of this crisis, the fact that she should've taken a stronger step earlier along the way.
That wasn't necessarily -- it was more a sort of feature of the international press so much than what you heard from people in this country. The German people --
MAGNAY: -- felt all the way along the line as though she was sort of --
MAGNAY: -- right to be cautious and right not to put their cash at risk. And I think there was that sort of change around after the EU summit last week, when all of a sudden, the press raved about the fact that Angela Merkel was making brave decisions.
And in fact, the German people felt that they were quite justified in having believed that she was right to be cautious, but that she would do the right thing for Europe in the end.
And it was quite interesting, because one person said to me today, "Germany never wanted to be a leader of Europe --
MAGNAY: -- in this post-war situation. And she's -- Angela Merkel is being forced to take on that position, which she is doing reluctantly. But in the end, she's shown that she can do it.
So, I thought that was an interesting point, Fionnuala.
SWEENEY: All right, Diana, we'll continue to follow you and your tour as you talk to people about how they feel affected by the euro zone crisis. Thanks very much, indeed, for joining us there from Munich.
The uncertainty around Greece's euro zone future has been a major blow to both confidence and, of course, the financial markets. In Germany, medium-size businesses are proving to be resilient against the crisis. Let's hear more, now, once more from Fred Pleitgen in Berlin on why.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Even in these uncertain economic times, business is booming at Wolfram Office Communication, a mid-size company in Berlin that provides printers and office software.
But owner Mathias Wolfram tells me even though his firm is growing, he's concerned.
MATHIAS WOLFRAM, WOLFRAM BUEROKOMMUNIKATION (through translator): "We have good planning. Our budget is good, and we have lots of orders," he says, "but it's impossible to say how things will be in a year because we don't know what will happen with the European economy."
PLEITGEN: One thing Wolfram is doing to make his company fit in case there is a crisis is increasing the firm's capital equity.
WOLFRAM (through translator): "If you have a good capital stock, of course the banks will look at you differently," he says. "You have a better rating, and it is possible to get loans even when the institutes are reluctant to lend."
PLEITGEN: Germany is Europe's economic powerhouse and the second- largest exporter of goods in the world, but even in the land of Mercedes and Volkswagen, small and medium-sized businesses, what Germans call the Mittelstand, are the motor and backbone of the economy.
And now that European banks face uncertainty because of the euro zone bailout, once again, the Mittelstand seems well-prepared, and most companies have been increasing their capital stock consistently for years, says Stefan Marotzke of the Union of German Savings Banks.
STEFAN MAROTZKE, DEUTSCHER SPARKASSEN UND GIROVERBAND (through translator): "Right now, mid-sized companies have a capital stock of about 18 percent," he says. "That is an absolute record, and it shows that even in difficult times, companies have been building their equity capital."
PLEITGEN: But of course a strong capital stock alone does not guarantee company will survive the harsh economic times. Mathias Wolfram says for a company like his, every day is a battle to stay ahead of the game.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.
SWEENEY: And stay with CONNECT THE WORLD for the very latest on all the economic news out of Europe this week. Becky Anderson will be covering the G20 summit starting on Wednesday.
Just ahead, though, on CONNECT THE WORLD, timing is everything at Zurich's main train station. Find out how special clocks keep the transport hub ticking.
SWEENEY: Hello and welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. Now, from Hamburg's train station to Incheon's airport, CONNECT THE WORLD's Gateway series takes you behind the scenes of some of the world's busiest transportation hubs.
And this week, we're at Zurich Central Train Station, where timing is everything. Becky Anderson went to find out how the station runs like clockwork.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the heart of Zurich sits the Hautptbahnhof. This railway station has been serving the city for over 150 years.
Functioning as a pace-setter for the entire Swiss rail network, the station is also a hub where major European routes intersect.
DANIELE PALLECCHI, SPOKESMAN, SWISS RAILWAYS: On the whole Swiss net, we have daily 960,000 passengers. We say if Zurich is working well, the whole net in Switzerland works well.
ANDERSON: Here, the efficiency of the operations is a question of time.
ANDERSON (on camera): Switzerland is known for its iconic watch brand. You won't be surprised to learn that Zurich train station runs like clockwork.
ANDERSON (voice-over): The station's clocks themselves have become a symbol of Swiss punctuality. Their smooth mechanics mimic the smooth running of the trains.
The red second hand stops for one and a half seconds at the hour mark to make it easy to see when trains are leaving on the dot.
PALLECCHI: Part of the whole reliability is our -- we call it in German Nachtsystem. That means every train from every part of the country enters the Zurich main station before the full hour. And if you need to change the train, your train will leave seven minutes after the full. Every hour, the trains departing at the same time.
ANDERSON: The integrated timetable allows 3,000 trains to come in and out of the station every day. The system was implemented in the 80s and is now mostly computerized.
ANDERSON (on camera): This is the relay room at the control center at Zurich station where the switches and signals on even a regularly short journey, say Bern to Zurich, which takes 55 minutes. They're checked half a million times.
CHRISTIAN FLUOR, CONTROL ROOM OPERATIONS, ZURICH CENTRAL STATION: Even if it is computerized, you have to do a lot of work. All of the factors are important for a punctual system. The reliability of man and machine, of the trains, of the computer systems. And here, you have a view of what's happening.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Having been an engine driver for over ten years, Adrian Hofstetter knows a thing or two about punctuality.
Today, he's going to Zurich Airport, ten minutes away.
ADRIAN HOFSTETTER, ENGINE DRIVER, ZURICH CENTRAL STATION: The train arrives a little bit late, and we will take the delay with us. Doors are closed already. And we go.
Now, one minute late. But at the airport, we will be on time.
We have a lot of variety on our schedules. Many trains, many different routings. I can work by myself. I see Switzerland by day, by night. Every weather. It's very different.
And this tunnel brings us to Zurich Airport, the station Zurich Airport is in the underground.
ANDERSON: After a stop at the terminus station, the train is on time and ready to head back to Zurich.
HOFSTETTER: Here we're coming to Zurich main station, have to slow down the train to 30 kilometers per hour.
OK. Welcome to Zurich main station.
ANDERSON (on camera): Today, Switzerland's rail network is one of the densest in the world, and Zurich's Hautptbahnhof sits right at the center of that. And it's the efficiency of operations like those that we've seen here that keeps this European hub ticking.
SWEENEY: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, and still to come, the star pilgrims. Martin Sheen and son, Emilio Estevez, find their way back in Spain. Our Big Interview is just two minutes away.
SWEENEY: On a journey of religious solidarity, millions of Muslims from around the globe have started to arrive in Saudi Arabia for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. The ritual, known as Hajj, takes on extra significance this year, coming as it does at a time of continued turbulence across the Arab world.
Hello and welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Fionnuala Sweeney in for Becky Anderson.
Now, Hajj is the biggest pilgrimage in the world, but it isn't the only one that attracts millions of people each year. In tonight's Big Interview, Becky speaks to two Hollywood stars who've made a film about another well-trodden path. It's a 780-kilometer journey taken by Christian pilgrims in Spain, including Martin Sheen himself.
MARTIN SHEEN AS TOM, "THE WAY": Hello.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you the father of Daniel Avery?
SHEEN AS TOM: Daniel was my only child.
ANDERSON (voice-over): The ultimate loss for a father sends him on a journey of ultimate discovery. Such is the premise of "The Way," a film about a pilgrimage across the Pyrenees in northern Spain. The movie's directed by Emilio Estevez and written for his father, Martin Sheen.
ANDERSON (on camera): Martin, I believe that once he got the script together, you said that you weren't good enough to play this part, you should go elsewhere, Michael Douglass or somebody.
SHEEN: Well, we were having difficulty getting the financing, and I thought, you know, if they got a big-name star, the studios could get behind it. But he said that if I didn't do it, it would not be done. And that was the end of it, so -- he wrote it for me.
EMILIO ESTEVEZ, ACTOR/DIRECTOR: I wasn't going to make it -- I wasn't going to make it without him. It was just -- it was a -- that was a non- starter. It was his idea, and I wrote it for him.
Listen. I spent a great part of my childhood watching my pop take films and do TV shows so that he could feed the family. They weren't necessary career moves. And --
SHEEN: Most of them aren't very good, either.
ESTEVEZ: Well, I'm -- anyway.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Of course, one of Martin Sheen's most memorable roles was in the 1979 film "Apocalypse Now." It was a particularly difficult time for the family. Martin was battling alcoholism and father and son did not always see eye to eye.
ESTEVEZ: Well, I've gotten over all my missing teeth. I've --
ESTEVEZ: No. We -- we've gotten along for the most part. We had some disagreements. In the Philippines, we sort of went at each other.
We had some disagreements about the use of the name. I wanted to use Sheen when I was a young -- actor starting out, he said "Don't do it, don't make the same mistake I did." He was right about that. He's been right more often than he's been wrong, and so --
SHEEN: You know, the Irish have a phrase that we never get over our fathers, and we're not required to.
ANDERSON: Martin, a practicing Catholic, and Emilio, who describes himself as more of a humanist, addressed the struggle between father and son in "The Way."
ESTEVEZ AS DANIEL, "THE WAY": If I let you take me to the airport, you wouldn't lecture me about how I'm ruining my life.
SHEEN AS TOM: I lied.
ANDERSON (on camera): One of the most profound quotes in this movie is, "You don't choose a life, you live it." How did you interpret that?
SHEEN: Well, the short version is "Get a life." You know? He's saying to his father, "You are limited by your profession and by your need to feel secure in your life." And in order to really live, you have to risk stepping outside the box and taking a chance.
You're not always sure that -- when you put your foot down in a strange place that it will -- it'll land on firm ground, but you have to have faith that it will, otherwise you can never grow.
DEBORAH KARA UNGER AS SARAH, "THE WAY": So, what is it? On a pilgrimage to change your life?
ANDERSON (voice-over): While the pilgrimage in the film is motivated by a death, it is essentially more about life.
SHEEN AS TOM: I'm tragic, of course. But brilliant.
ANDERSON (on camera): It is a movie that makes audiences think. Did you have your own epiphanies during the production?
SHEEN: I don't know if "epiphany" is a good word because the camino is filled with miracles for us, and they were almost a daily occurrence.
We were the first movie ever to be allowed to film inside the cathedral at Santiago, and we didn't get that permission until 48 hours before we arrived in the city. So, it was a great act of faith that we kept walking and praying and hoping that they would open the door for us. And sure enough, they did.
ANDERSON: Emilio, what message do you hope this movie sends?
ESTEVEZ: That we live in a culture where we are supposedly more connected than ever before. We have all of these devices, whether it's the iPads or the computers or the cell phones, the iPhones, whatever it is.
And yet, we're so disconnected. We're perhaps more disconnected than ever before. We don't sit and eat together as a family. We don't -- we -- you'll get an e-mail from your partner or your wife who's in another room of the same house, which is so outrageous.
So, I think that this movie is an effort to say, hey, you know what? Maybe all this high-tech stuff is not always the way to go. Maybe let's put our cell phones down. Let's close our computers for a moment and reconnect. So, there's that theme.
And then, the other theme is that we're in a culture, too, that celebrates that we need to be different. It tells us we need to take this pill and we're going to be thinner, or take -- visit this plastic surgeon and you'll be prettier. Take this other pill and you'll be happier.
And none of it works, man. Ultimately, you're still -- you're still stuck with yourself. And this is a movie that says it's OK to be OK exactly who you are. It's OK to be comfortable in your own skin. How about that for a change?
ANDERSON: I believe, guys, that Charlie saw the film. What did he think?
ESTEVEZ: Yes, man. He loved it. He absolutely loved it. He saw an early cut of it, and he had some notes.
ESTEVEZ: So, we of course -- you know, we're a tight family, and we listen to one another. And some of his notes were actually incorporated into the film. Believe it or not.
ANDERSON: This movie is about the relationship between a father and a son. Martin, did you think about your relationship with your son Charlie Sheen during the making of this film?
SHEEN: No, not -- not specifically, no. I have three other children, and they're all of equal importance. You focus on the one of your children that needs the most at the time, and that's the way we've always approached it.
But we're very tight as a unit, we adore each other, we support each other no matter what. No one gets very far way. At least not from our hearts.
SWEENEY: And just before we go, time for our Parting Shots. The Melbourne Cup is known as the race that stops the nation. And this year, all of Australia were on the edge of their seats for the closest finish ever. Just take a listen to the commentators trying to keep up with the excitement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dunaden is coming through the middle. Dunaden, Red Cadeaux, and then Lucas Cranach. Dunaden is coming hard. Dunaden, Red Cadeaux. Dunaden and Red Cadeaux make it to the line -- a photo finish between Dunaden and Red Cadeaux!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SWEENEY: And indeed it was a photo finish, and there was a nail- biting wait before the judge awarded the race to Dunaden. It's the second year running that a French horse has won the famous two-miler.
I'm Fionnuala Sweeney, thanks for watching. I'm back with the world headlines and "BACKSTORY" after this short break. Don't go away.