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Elections in France, Greece Will Shape Future of EuroZone

Aired May 4, 2012 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, counting down to decision time. Voters in France and in Greece prepare for what are critical elections that could dramatically change the landscape of Europe.

ANNOUNCER, HOST: Live from CNN London, this is connect the world with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: At the very heart of both elections are economic realities and struggles to make ends meet. Tonight, what calling time on the agony of austerity could mean.

Also this hour, a possible breakthrough in the case of the blind Chinese dissident at the center of a major diplomatic tug of war.

And why Premiership football Luis Nahal believes the beautiful game spins on an axis of sex and money.

Right. We begin with a special preview tonight of two elections that could affect the entire EuroZone and beyond as it struggles to recover from a deep economic crisis. Now voters in France will decide whether to keep President Nicolas Sarkozy or replace him with the Socialist Francois Hollande. Now, if Mr. Sarkozy loses it could mark a big shift away from austerity, the backbone of current plans to fix the EU debt crisis.

And in Greece voters furious with years of painful budget cuts will chose a new parliament as well. They could punish mainstream politicians they blame for this economic mess, throwing the very future of a European rescue package into doubt.

We've got live reports for you tonight from both countries. Hala is in France where the campaigning is now down to the final two hours. And Matthew Chance is live in Greece covering the elections some call the most critical there in decades.

Hala, let's start with you. What's at stake here?

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you said two more hours, because after midnight local time we can't discuss polls in France by law. And as you know, we cannot reveal any exit polling before 8:00 pm local on Sunday.

That being said, we still have two hours. And all the polls taken since October have given victory to Francois Hollande, the Socialist challenger to the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. And you mentioned the Euro debt crisis. And that really will be the big question mark as far as France is concerned, as far as the region is concerned.

Francois Hollande is different in his approach to Nicolas Sarkozy in the promises he's made in his campaign. He says he wants to reorient or renegotiate the pact that was signed with Angela Merkel on how to deal with this debt crisis. Less austerity he says, more growth -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Hala, thank you for that.

Matthew, no less important to this European project of these elections in Greece this weekend.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Becky. They're certainly crucial. In fact, we're seeing some very dramatic shifts taking place in Greek politics. With all the austerity measures, all the economic hardship that people are forced to endure in this country over the past couple of years, they're leaving the mainstream political parties in droves. The parties gathering around the center to the left and to the right that essentially have run Greece since the end of the dictatorship here in 1975. They're flocking towards what were previously considered to be fringe parties, the Neo Nazis are polling very well. Those on the far left as well, the Communists, the anarchists even are expected to gather some kind of momentum and gain seats in the parliament.

It's not to say the extremists are likely to take over, but there are going to be many more anti-austerity voices in Greece possibly in the next parliament, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah, an important weekend. Matthew, thank you for that.

More from Matthew and Hala ahead in the show. Both will be part of our team here Sunday keeping you up to date once the voting starts.

Nina Dos Santos also part of that team Sunday. Today, she crunched some numbers. Are you showing how the French presidential race is tightening as it enters that final stretch. Have a listen to this.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So this was the picture about two weeks ago in the first round of voting. As you can see, the map is dominated by pink. That is the color of the Socialist Party of Francois Hollande who emerged the victor, but only by a small majority. There's far less blue on the map. And that represents Nicolas Sarkozy's party.

What I want to show you is that although these two candidates scored about 27 to 28.2 percent of the first round, what we have consistently seen through polling is that Francois Hollande will do much, much better in the second round, or the run-off.

That situation has tightened a little bit, though, because back in October Hollande was scoring about 62 percent of the vote in the second round whereas Sarkozy was stuck at about 37 percent and the spread has narrowed quite a bit.

There are a few key issues to this. We've heard the two new shootings back in March, but also that crucial television debate which happened earlier on this week in France.

And one of the other things we have to remember is that there have been some significant horse trading and vying for votes of the other key parties that got mid to high single digits and some even double digits that didn't make it through to the run-off.

So let's start out by taking a look at how that fit into the vote. First of all, we know as of this week Francois Bayrou, the centrist candidate, has endorsed his vote towards Francois Hollande and that can help push his rating up to about 37.7 percent. You'd also imagine that being from the far left, well Jean Luc Melenchon's party would naturally see some of their voters gravitate towards Hollande as well, that again pushing up his vote.

Now here's the interesting one, though, Marie Le Pen of the National Front, being from the far right, many people would expect her voters to naturally gravitate towards Nicolas Sarkozy, the incumbent president. However, she has instead said that she'd rather cast a blank ballot rather than endorse directly any of these two candidates. And some economists have been saying given the fact that she's been taking some pretty protectionist economic stances such as perhaps even obliterating the euro and taking France out of it, some of her voters might end up voting towards the left instead and that in turn they say could see Hollande going above 60 percent on Sunday.


ANDERSON: All right. That's Nina for you.

Let's get back to Hala Gorani in Paris. Hala, it's been an interesting election. Le Pen scoring loads of votes. Sarkozy getting basically potentially getting kicked out. What does all this mean post- Sunday? A new France and Hollande a more conservative France under Nicolas Sarkozy?

GORANI: Well, interestingly, and something that Nina mentioned, is how many of the Le Pen voters in the first round might support Nicolas Sarkozy in the second round. This has to do a lot with the big hot topic of immigration of minorities in this country. Nicolas Sarkozy needs a vast majority of those voters to support him in the second round, but in the latest polling we're seeing not more than about a third to 40 percent of those voters who say they will cast ballots for Nicolas Sarkozy.

So from a polling perspective that's not good news for him.

Now let's talk about the issue of immigration of minorities and specifically of Muslims in this country. This is one of the big topics, of course, embraced by Marine Le Pen and those who vote for her believe that these minorities are taking away from the French identity. On the left, people say that these topics are being used in an inappropriate way in order to inflame the debate in this country.

Pianist Richard Greene went to one Paris suburb that is populated with many Muslims in terms of the percentage of the overall population. He spoke to those individuals and asked them what they thought of the current campaign.


RICHARD GREENE, PIANIST: There is no doubt in Oissem Setouri's mind who he is. He is a university student in Paris studying politics, looking forward to a summer internship with a radio station. And he's planning a trip to Tunisia where his parents were born.

Ouissem is a Muslim, living in France, the country with the largest Muslim population in Western Europe. He says there's no problem being both French and Muslim.

OUISSEM SATOURI, ASSOCIATION OF FRENCH MUSLIM STUDENT: I never ask myself if I'm French or not. I'm speaking French. I'm living in France. I'm dreaming in France. I want to live in France. I'm French. But I'm Muslim also. And there are never -- I never find a non-compatibility between these two parts of me.

GREENE: But not all French people see things that way. A record number voted for Marine Le Pen of the far right National Front Party in the first round of presidential elections two weeks ago: nearly one out of five. Many drawn to Le Pen's view that Muslim immigrants are destroying French identity.

The vote comes on the heals of a shooting rampage in Southern France that left seven people, soldiers of North African origin and a rabbi and children at a Jewish school dead. The suspected gunmen, Mohammed Merah, a Muslim born in France.

The immigration rhetoric from President Nicolas Sarkozy has become even more heated as he tries to woe National Front voters and win in the second round of voting.

And Ouissem Satouri is concerned.

SATOURI: We feel that we are skewed from the debate. We are stigmatized. And it's very problem, a big problem for us today.

GREENE: Historian Luisa Zanoun, herself the child of Algerian immigrants, studies immigration. She says France used to be more open.

LOUISA ZANOUN, HISTORIAN: If you look at the (inaudible) of the French Republic, it was about to include all the people who have been using the values of the republic. Nowadays it's very exclusive, because to belong to the republic you have to give up your religion, you have to give up your culture and you have to give up on many other aspects. Now some immigrants are not prepared to do that. And why should they?

GREENE: French Muslims don't seem to have any problem being both French and Muslim, so the question is are the politicians and the broader society prepared to accept that as possible. It's a question that will become only more pressing with time. Experts say that within 20 years, one in 10 French people will be Muslim.

Richard Greene, CNN, Clichy Sous-Bois.


GORANI: An interestingly, hearing the debate, Becky, Nicolas Sarkozy said something that he repeated then a few days later saying we want a Muslim of France not a Muslim -- an Islam of France not an Islam within France. As for Francois Hollande today, he was tweeting away. And several times said this campaign is not about immigration, it's not about minorities, it is a false debate. Back to you.

ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff.

All right, Hala, thank you for that. Hala back of course on Sunday for the results.

You're watching Connect the World live from London. Still to come, Greeks also going to the polls Sunday. We're going to take a look at the human costs of the economic crisis in what is in this austerity rabid country. That on Connect the World and that is up next. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Well, it is a big election weekend in Europe as Greece also goes to the polls along with France this Sunday. Top of the agenda in Greece, the crushing austerity, the hugely unpopular. It's going to be complicated this election with more than 30 parties to choose from. CNN's Matthew Chance is in Athens tonight. And Matthew, austerity measures in Greece have had quite frankly some devastating effects, certainly, on families across the country.

CHANCE: They have, Becky. And it goes far beyond the economic headlines about whether or not Greece is going to crash out of the EuroZone or not. This is first and foremost when you're in this country it's a social crisis. People are seeing their pensions slashed to the extent that they can't even afford food. People have lost their jobs. One in four people in the country is now unemployed. And, you know, people are paying a very, very high price for these cuts and austerity measures that have been instituted by the government.

It's lead people who are perhaps already vulnerable to commit suicide. It's not an issue that is often spoken about in Greek society, it's often swept under the carpet as it were, but just last month there was a very high profile suicide in the square right behind me just outside the country's parliament which very much shook this country to its core.


CHANCE: As economic despair grips Greece, this is one tragedy still tormenting its people. Demitris Christolous (ph) was a 77-year-old pensioner who stood in front of the country's parliament and shot himself. It was, he wrote, his only dignified way out or else rummage for food in the garbage.

Well, this is the spot in the center of Athens where Demitris (ph) took his own life. You can see this tree still adorned with flowers and mementos and of course messages of condolence and support.

This one says, "these are the criminals who are responsible for your death, the leaders of the gang." It goes on to name some of the most prominent politicians in Greece "Papandreou, Papademos, Venezalos (ph), and Samarus (ph) was expected to do well in the forthcoming elections."

Another one here is from the town of Caditza (ph) his hometown in central Greece saying Caditza (ph) will never forget you.

There's a nice one over here from someone from Petaloniki (ph) in the north of Greece saying that "I've come here to tell you that your death is not in vein and that we will continue to fight."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was not sick. He was not dying. OK, he was old. He had nothing to lose.

CHANCE: He was desperate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was desperate.

CHANCE: Friends say he was sending a clear political message.

MILTIADIS PASCHALIDES, FRIEND: If you do the same thing in front of the parliament protesting that you're doing this to me. I have no other way to express the injust that you did to me and to all the people and I want to -- I want you to see this.

CHANCE: But this is no isolated death. In the offices of this charity suicide help line in Athens, counselors talk of an epidemic sweeping the country. Suicide rates have doubled, they told me, because of the Greek economic plight.

ARIS VIOLATZIS, PSYCHOLOGIST: The society, the economic recession, the economic catastrophe we are experiencing has given the rise to the problems...

CHANCE: So the economic hardship, the austerity measures, the cutbacks, the unemployment, that's responsible is fueling the higher rate?

VIOLATZIS: And many Greeks fear even greater economic hardship ahead. A future with little hope filled with despair.


CHANCE: Well, Becky, one statistic from that charity that I spoke to counseling people who may want to commit suicide. They said that a year ago they were getting about in Athens five telephone calls a day from people who felt that they were pretty desperate. Today they get day in, day out they said more than 100 telephone calls from desperate citizens of the Greek capital.

ANDERSON: Matthew. Shocking.

Thank you for that. Matt with us of course special programming Sunday.

Now for months this Greece situation has got worse. We've been speaking to a man called Yannis Pantzos. He was a chief cabin attendant for Olympic Air before he was forced to take early retirement and now he's involved in one of the new parties that we've been talking about in these elections this weekend.

Earlier I spoke to him and Petros Doukas from the conservative New Democracy Party and the country's former deputy finance minister. He is running again this weekend. So I started by asking Yannis what he thought the way forward was. This is what he said.


YANNIS PANTZOS, GREEK PENSIONER: We have to be united as Greek people to make a better future for us and not to make a better future for others that they do not live in our country.

ANDERSON: All right, Petros, you're response.

PETROS DOUKAS, FRM. GREEK DEPUTY FINANCE MINISTER: It's obvious that we are in the last wagon of the European Union. We need to change the ways we used to work and live over the past 40 years are not valid anymore. Something needs to change. We understand the need for reform.

The problem is that the rising opposition parties have a three-pronged platform. All of them are saying let's renege on our debts unilaterally. And all of them are saying that.

One of them is saying let's sue the German's for World War II reparations and from that we can pay a lot of benefits to the people. And they're also saying let's pre-sell a GM oil, the oil that's in the -- embedded in the Aegean Sea for over $100 billion, things that are obviously very long-term prospects and would actually cause more harm than benefit.

ANDERSON: Than what do you do short-term? Well, tell me then, what do you do short-term?

DOUKAS: We need to move and reform.

ANDERSON: Yannis, when you listen to Petros Doukas, is he -- is he a member of parliament that you want representing you going forward? I hate to be personal about this point, but you've been there before, Petros. Yannis, is this the man you want fronting reform for you?

PANTZOS: Personally I lived with reforms three years now, but I do not see any results. Considering the short cuts we (inaudible) demanding short cuts without having an (inaudible). Once she goes prime minister of economics, did she know about the black hole on this economic black hole suddenly appeared in the Europe in 2009?

ANDERSON: OK. Let him respond. Did you?

DOUKAS: When I was deputy finance minister 2004 to 2007, there was no black hole. Not only that, we managed to put down the debt and the deficit of the country, sorry, to 8.2 percent to 3.2 percent. So we really during that time achieved a mini-miracle for the country. We were able to give real wage increases. We really helped a number of classes of Greek society live much better.

The problem of Greece developed in 2009 and I was outside the government and outside the parliament at that time.

ANDERSON: Yannis, you're response.

PANTZOS: Well, I believe that the economic memorandum was the result of the two biggest parties of Greece that the governor of the country 30 years now and they were promising actually a better future to Greece that this future became to be a big lie, all these promises. So I'm going to ask now, Mr. Doukas again if after next Sunday the big -- the two big political parties of Greece they will lose their percentage, the next day we'll have a cooperative governance between the new parties of left and right position, what will the Greek status quo will react?

DOUKAS: Just this one reminder, all the living cadre of independent Greeks were ministers in the New Democracy government that they now say is responsible for a lot of the misgivings of the economy. They were all very, very ranking members of the Kalamalis (ph) government at the time. And up to recently of the New Democracy Party, very senior, very ranking members fully in the barrel with everybody else.

Now what will happen on Sunday night will be the gorge of what we do on Monday. I don't want to put our party head into any straight jacket as to what he needs to do. He will do whatever is best for the country. We need to form a strong government. We sit -- we need to sit down with our European partners, but not during -- not unilaterally reneg on the promises and our signature.


ANDERSON: Petros Doukas and Yannis Pantzos just underlining how important these votes this weekend are. Make sure you join us Sunday for CNN's special coverage of both the Greek and the French elections. Well, Hala and Jim will be in Paris, Matthew in Athens for you. And of course I'll be here.

From London with my colleague Nina Dos Santos. Join our team this Sunday right here on CNN.

Tonight, plenty more to come. A daring escape from house arrest. The U.S. embassy created a diplomatic firestorm. Could there now be a breakthrough on the horizon. The Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. That and more coming up.


ANDERSON: New developments this hour in the case of the blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. Now Beijing has said he is free to apply to study abroad just like any other Chinese citizen. Now Chen has been offered a fellowship with an American university, but skepticism remains over whether he'll actually make it out of the country.

Well, speaking earlier U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was encouraged by the progress being made.


HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We are also encouraged by the official statement issued today by the Chinese government confirming that he can apply to travel abroad for this purpose.


ANDERSON: And more on that story in the next 10 minutes or so here on CNN.

A look now, though, at some of the other stories that are connecting our world tonight. And Egypt's military rulers have announced an overnight curfew in Cairo after violent clashes between protesters and police there. Soldiers fired water cannons and tear gas at demonstrators outside Egypt's defense ministry while protesters battled back with rocks. At least one person is dead, nearly 300 are injured. Demonstrators have gathered to protest against Wednesday's violence where 11 people were killed in clashes.

Employers in the U.S. hired fewer works than expected in April, causing jitters it's got to be said in the stock markets on Friday. The Dow Jones down about 170 odd points at the closing bell. A government report showing that America had only add 115,000 jobs last month, that was less than the -- around about 160,000 odd expected by Wall Street's analysts. Still not a bad number. Unemployment figures did drop slightly to 8.1 percent from 8.2. Still significant numbers.

Conor Black, the man found guilty of defrauding investors of millions and obstructing justice has been released after three years in a U.S. prison. On his release, he was immediately taken into custody by U.S. immigration and deported to his native Canada.

Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD, my interview with the Tottenham footballer and French national team member Louis Saha, what he makes of the beautiful game. Fascinating and candid, coming up.


ANDERSON: A very warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I'm Becky Anderson, these are the latest world news headlines from CNN.

A solution to the diplomatic crisis surrounding the activist Chen Guangcheng could be close at hand. The Chinese government has signaled Chen may be allowed to travel to the United Sates to study once he applies for a passport.

The streets around Egypt's Defense Ministry are under curfew after troops and protesters faced off there. The state news agency reports one person killed, almost 300 hurt. The demonstrations were against the ruling military council and the exclusion of several candidates from the presidential race there.

Just an hour and a half of campaigning left in the French presidential runoff. Incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy has got some catching up to do. The latest opinion poll shows him six points behind his Socialist rival, Francois Hollande.

More now on the blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. In new developments today, it looks like he could leave China and go and study in the United States. CNN's Stan Grant has been on this story for you throughout the week. He's out of Beijing for us, now. Stan, the very latest, as we know it.

STAN GRANT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky, the window has been pried open just a little by the Chinese here today. They're talking about Chen being able to apply for a passport like any other Chinese citizen and then submit for a visa from the United States to study there.

Now, an offer has also been made from New York University for Chen to receive a fellowship. There are still some hurdles along the way, though. The actual process itself needs to take place.

And China, while it's offering an olive branch here, is also still drawing a hard line with the United States, still demanding an apology for the US harboring Chen inside its embassy after he fled house arrest.

And also from a Foreign Ministry spokesman today, warning the United States it will have to watch its actions in the future to ensure these things don't happen again, which could further damage this relationship.

Well, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's also been in Beijing for top-level trade talks over the past couple of days. She's also been addressing this relationship, talking about it in historic terms, an established power, the United States, and a rising power in China saying that we'll achieve more by cooperation rather than competition.

She's welcoming these first steps cautiously. She's saying they look encouraging, but right now, the bottom line for Chen is, he is still inside a hospital here surrounded by a lot of Chinese security, still hoping to go to the United States. Perhaps a little bit closer. But that fear that if he remains in China, his life would be in danger. Becky?

ANDERSON: This has been a fascinating week, because as you and I are talking, our producers are keeping an eye on you being transmitted across China on some televisions.

Now, quite often, as you go to air in China on a story that the Chinese don't like a lot, that would go to black. Tonight, we're still on. It's been interesting to see how this story has developed and how China has handled it.

GRANT: Yes, this is really intriguing because, as you say, sensitive stories, we're routinely blocked out. Initially, most of our stories were running, which really had us puzzled here, because we can barely mention his name in the past and immediately the television would go to black.

Then, the past couple of days, we've seen more and more of these blackouts as the issue has become increasingly sensitive. Today, after it started to turn a corner a little, we're again seeing a little bit more leniency and the story is running.

We've also seen a little bit more reporting just in the past 24 hours on Chinese media. Initially, state media was a blackout. There was no mention of him at all. If you tried social media, as well, it's very difficult to search anything related to Chen.

Well, they've started to report it a little bit more, perhaps trying to prepare its own people for the eventuality of Chen going abroad. They've also been very, very vigilant in trying to portray Chen and the United States as the bad guys in all of this saga and seeing it very much as a win for China.

All Chen, of course, is concerned about is that he actually gets out of here with his family and can live a safe, free, and prosperous life elsewhere. Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes, the story continues. Stan, it's been some great reporting this week, and for transparency purposes, I've got to tell our viewers that as we were talking and looking at you being transmitted in China, it was our Skype line that went down, not the Chinese blacking you out tonight. Bit of theater there.

But the point is a very good one, as you say, that as the story has developed, the Chinese have been more willing to see the international media actually doing some program on it, which has been a very good point. So, it's our technology tonight, not the Chinese, who were blanking you out as it were.

All right, mate, thank you for that. Have a good weekend. Stan out of Beijing --

GRANT: Thank you. Cheers, Becky.

ANDERSON: -- for you this evening. Coming up, he's a striker who wages fear on the very best defenders and defense in the world. Now, French international Louis Saha is taking aim at the very heart of the game as he exposes the role sex and money plays in the lives of footballers off the pitch. That up next.


ANDERSON: All right. Tiger Woods was on a high just over a month ago after winning his first tournament since 2009, but he followed that up with what were fairly disappointing performances at the Masters and -- he struggles, and they continue on Friday, as it looks as if he's going to miss the cut on what is the Wells Fargo Championship.

Don Riddell, my colleague, joins us from CNN Center for more. And if Tiger misses the cut -- tournament, we've got to talk about it, because it's not unique, these days, but it's a big rarity, isn't it?

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's news when he misses the cut, because it's only happened seven times previously in a career that dates all the way back to 1997. That's a 15-year career.

Yes, he's had a pretty miserable week, Becky. This is his first tournament since the Masters, which you said was rather disappointing. I think by his standards it was, frankly, a bit of a disaster. His worst- ever finish as a pro at the Masters, he finished tied for 40th player.

He's currently at a 71 and a 73 this week. He hasn't broken 70 in eight consecutive rounds, now. Becky, he's now waiting to see where the cut ends up, but he's even par for this tournament. It's projected to be one under, which means he will be going home early this weekend.

He's spoken after his round. Doesn't seem too concerned. This is what he had to say.


TIGER WOODS, LIKELY TO MISS WELLS FARGO CUT: Obviously, it's frustration. I've finished 12 back of the lead. I'm not playing a weekend where I have a chance to compete for a title, so I've missed my share of cuts in the past and I don't feel good.


RIDDELL: Becky, I love how he says he's missed his "share of the cuts." That sounds like it's happened quite often, but this is -- or these are the only times it's happened. We can fit them all onto one page. I don't think we could do that with most professional golfers out there at the moment.

TEXT: Not Gonna Cut It, Woods' career PGA missed cuts: 2011 PGA Championship, 2010 Wells Fargo, 2009 British Open, 2006 US Open, 2005 FUNAI Classic, 2005 Byron Nelson, 1997 Bell Canadian.

RIDDELL: He has had some incredible runs. I mean, there was that run between 98 and 2005 where he made the cut at 142 consecutive tournaments. It doesn't happen very often.

And I think what's really worth pointing out here is that only, what? Six seven weeks ago he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Everybody was saying Tiger Woods is back. He was, to be fair, hitting it straighter than anyone else on tour, and it looks as though he's gone from that to the Masters and then to here, and it's just all completely fallen apart again.

He's really struggling with his swing. Maybe the weekend off will do him some good. He can go back to the range and work on it.

ANDERSON: Whoever thought that he'd get the yips, eh? Wembley, Don, gearing up for the FA Cup final, of course. Will it be the blues or the reds to lift that trophy on Saturday, do you think?

RIDDELL: If I had to put my money on it, I'd say Chelsea. The FA Cup's always a great occasion, isn't it? It's a great sporting occasion for English football fans, but this match is watched all over the world. And we've got a final this year between two teams with real FA Cup pedigree. They've got a lot of rivalry between these two sides, as well.

And it's actually really fascinating that both these sides have made the final because, at times, they've had pretty miserable seasons. I don't think Liverpool will consider that they've had a great season at all. They've really struggled in the Premier League. Yet, they could finish up with two trophies. They've already won the League Cup.

Chelsea, up until, what? Three months ago were having a dreadful season, but now they're in the Champions League final, they could win the FA Cup for what? The fourth time in about six years. They're on a phenomenal run in this competition. And this season, it's all been down to a change in manger.


JOHN TERRY, CHELSEA CAPTAIN: Sometimes a change of management can just sometimes help. Nobody can really put their finger on what it is, but it does. But he's certainly done well, as I said before. The person he shows within the dressing room, on the training field, has been excellent and certainly rubbed off on us, so I think that's been a big factor.


RIDDELL: John Terry would know. He's played for Chelsea since 1998. Roberto Di Matteo is the 11th manager that he's played for.

ANDERSON: That's right. And I can put my finger on it. He quite likes it because Di Matteo is actually choosing him for once. The old coach wasn't. Listen --

RIDDELL: They didn't like the old guy.

ANDERSON: No, I got a chance -- no, I don't. I got a chance earlier on to sit down with a footballer today who isn't involved in the FA Cup at Wembley this weekend, but he's involved in the chase for Champions League place next season.

Louis Saha, as you know, is a French national team member who plays his football for Tottenham, the team that I support in the EPL. "Thinking Inside the Box" is a new book out, Don. It's his very candid take on what is the beautiful game. And I got a chance to chat with him before the show, and started by getting his take on the celebrity role of a footballer in 2012. Have a listen to this.


LOUIS SAHA, PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTBALLER: We are normal people who are living normal lives, and just normal people.

ANDERSON: Just sitting on the axis of money and sex.

SAHA: Yes, exactly, because everyone does it. We -- even with a small salary, you're still fighting for having a better salary, a better life, so --

ANDERSON: How has the money and sex affected your life?

SAHA: Yes. I could say that it did because, in a way, that you are always under scrutiny, and it is not easy sometimes, because you're from -- hearing from people saying you're great, you're the best player here or the best player there. It's -- yes, it's tough to keep calm and cope with it.

ANDERSON: But do the players still enjoy the game as much as you describe you did as a kid, or has the money and sex changed things, do you think?

SAHA: Maybe some young players see the possibility to have fame and like -- natural things. And some may think that that's the main important thing. But it's not. I think they all love the game, but sometimes, they misunderstand what they have to do to get it.

ANDERSON: You're not frightened of speaking out, particularly not about the ugly side of the game, which is the word that we wish wasn't in the game anymore, but it is. It's racism. Is it getting better or worse?

SAHA: I still think that it's getting better than if some cases recently have been like Digger day team, the image of football, but I do think that it is related.

ANDERSON: Have you felt any racist attacks since you've been in the UK?

SAHA: Recently, just by Twitter.

ANDERSON: Do you feel it out on the pitch.

SAHA: Not at all.

ANDERSON: In the dressing room?

SAHA: Not at all. Just like maybe it could be sometimes banter, but with banter, it's all about respect and you laugh about it, and that's fine. But it doesn't cross the limit, and when it does, you have to stop that.

ANDERSON: You've compared England to France to that degree, and you've said that you think England is much more multicultural than France is. Can you just explain?

SAHA: In France, it's a bit harder. Discrimination is hidden, but it's -- it's a problem. I'm not the first to say that, I'm not the only one. And it needs to change.

ANDERSON: Louis, you've talked about your concerns about the rise of Marine Le Pen. Some 20 percent of the French voted for her in the first round of the French presidential elections. As we now approach the second round, who would you be voting for and why?

SAHA: You see in the first round, Marine Le Pen getting all those voters. Try to find an explanation, but she's, as I said in my Twitter, I said, oh, I'm not surprised. It's been there for years, now. I felt like it was more a vote of disagreement, you know?

ANDERSON: Protest?

SAHA: Yes? They protest something, and they're not happy about the system of politics right now, so that's why they voted for that.

ANDERSON: What do you feel when you hear the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy banging on on this anti-immigration stance, for example?

SAHA: It is -- it is hard, because I think he played the style of politics when you try to take the voters of Marine Le Pen, so -- it's a bit hard to take.


ANDERSON: That's Louis Saha. I've never spoken to a footballer who's been more candid on racism, on homophobia, on politics. Also on what he calls the "axis of sex and money" around which, he says, football revolves. You can see more from Louis Saha on "World Sport" in just about 45 minutes. He also talks about who he thinks is going to win Euro 2012. And given he plays for the French team, you might be -- might be surprised by what he says.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, he swapped the fashion houses of Paris for the wilderness of the arctic. We're going to take a look at the artwork coming out of this week's Fusion Journey. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Now, time just this evening for the last part of this week's Fusion Journey, a busman's holiday that's taken our Lebanese photographer from the bustling city of Paris to the cold grip of the arctic.



ROGER MOUKARZEL, PHOTOGRAPHER: My name is Roger Moukarezel. I'm a photographer. I'm based in Beirut. For my Fusion Journey, I went to the Arctic region of Sweden to meet Carl-Johan Utsi, a Sami reindeer herder and photographer to shoot part of an exhibition of images about global warming.

We cut up streams of industrial pollution to contrast with the natural, unspoiled beauty of the landscape and the indigenous people.

OK, that's it.

I'm trying to get people fighting more for the nature, fighting more for the future of the planet.

Now, I've returned to Beirut to select the pictures which will form the start of my exhibition.

When you look back at the picture, you have again the smell and the heat and the feelings you had when you were shooting. It's crazy.

I like that. It gets you feeling that you were there again, and this is the good part of a picture. It's like when you listen to music, it reminds you of a certain situation, a certain feeling, and here, it's the same.

You remember the scenery, the smell, the -- the contact with the people. You feel your knees on the snow when you go down. Every picture gets you back to the same situation you were in. The same feelings you were in. And this is what is crazy about it.

The exhibition should take place in an outdoor area, where it can be seen by a lot of people, not in a gallery.

We're going to print it on 60 by 40 centimeters, just as a test, to see how it's going to go. My tool! Tell me people are feeling!

Ah, well. This is too much contrasted, and this is not enough contrasted. We're lacking some colors here. The colors I had were much more magical. We're not here yet.

The good part of traveling somewhere is to live the real life of the people. Those people eat reindeer. It was my first experience eating reindeer. You should go there and learn how the people live and understand the people, how they live, and eat their food and live their lives.

CARL-JOHAN UTSI, PHOTOGRAPHER: So, you can lie down over there.

MOUKARZEL: Walk like them, drive like them, sleep like them. This is where you can understand things.

Mustache man.


I think already the Sami people understood the concept of my commitment, because they are aware of all the damage of the planet. But here, they saw a nuclear power plant just near them, physically. It's not on TV. It's not in their thinking. It is there, and they understood the impact of the exhibition and they helped it.

This is where the people get involved. A Beirut-base photographer goes to the -- almost to the North Pole and do this picture.

They can see that there is in another part of the world people who think the same and people who want also to help them and help themselves, and help the people to understand better all this vicious circle.



ANDERSON: What a joy. And for more on all of our Fusion stories, you can go to our website,

I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD this Friday evening out of London. Thank you for watching. The world news headlines, of course, are up, as ever, after this short break. Don't go away.