Return to Transcripts main page
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Spain on the Edge; Buffering Spain's Banks; Spanish Discontent; US, European Markets Down; Spanish Recapitalization Plan; France's 2013 Budget; US Dollar Up; Apple Apologizes for Maps App; Mobile Security; Mobile Courtesy
Aired September 28, 2012 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, HOST: Good evening. Tonight, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS from Madrid, where capital is the word. More than $17 billion-worth of capital to fix Spain's banks.
Also tonight, it's a combat budget for France, and tax rises are the weapon of choice.
Max Foster's with us in London.
MAX FOSTER, HOST: Richard, Apple says if our maps don't work, try our competitors.
And why libor is broken but not beyond repair.
QUEST: Tonight's program comes from London and from Madrid. I'm Richard Quest and, of course, I mean business.
Good evening to you. It is a miserable evening here in the Spanish capital tonight, clearly, though, as you can see from the people walking around with the umbrellas and the rain. But we're not here for the weather. Jenny Harrison will do that for us later tonight. By the way, she was right about the weather.
The pressure here in Madrid and in Spain on the banks is like never before. As the prime minister battled against a bailout rumors at the United Nations, here in Madrid we saw protesters take to the streets in their thousands to show the force of the we. This has been a protest against austerity.
Also this week, on Thursday, many of their fears were realized with $50 billion-worth of budget cuts. And tonight, the focus of attention is the banks, arguably the epicenter of this crisis.
We now know that Spanish banks will need an extra $76 billion to pull through the worst-case scenario in the downturn. The audit by the management consultancy firm Oliver Wyman also shows which banks will be affected in these make-it-or-break-it conditions.
So, here we have it: 14 Spanish banking groups were audited. Half of those accounting for 62 percent of the analyzed banking system were found to have enough capital. The other 7 will need to bolster their balances.
Bankia had by far the worst gap, needing more than $31 billion. Santander was in the best position with a cash buffer of $32.5 billion. Spain's central bank says it doesn't see any foreseeable problem in filling these gaps.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FERNANDO RESTOY, DEPUTY GOVERNOR, BANK OF SPAIN (through translator): Clearly the nucleus of the Spanish banking system should not have any problem in normal probable conditions to comply with the 9 percent capital requirement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, Spain's borrowing costs were unchanged after the announcement. The yield on the 10-year bond is currently at just under 6 percent. That 6 percent, of course, is always considered to be the crucially vital number.
The managing director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, says she welcomes the audit. She already has spoken. She says the amount identified in the stress test can be comfortably financed not only by the banks but by the eurozone's recapitalization fund. That's the fund that has been put together, 100 billion euros is available for Spain's banks.
Al Goodman, our Madrid Bureau Chief is with me now. So, what a week you have had here, Al, between protests, budgets, and now bank recap.
AL GOODMAN, CNN MADRID BUREAU CHIEF: Indeed. And the government looking for some way out of this mess. And the sum of these last two days, the budget bank audits, may give them a little more breathing room. They're trying to keep that sovereign bailout at --
QUEST: Do -- is there a belief, though, here -- and we'll talk about it with our guest economist in a moment -- is there a belief by the people that this is worth going for, that the austerity is just simply now too much? We need to understand, now, how much of this is the people speaking?
GOODMAN: No, you're hearing the people speaking in these protests, you're hearing the people speaking every day. You talk to people. This is one of the major high streets. You'll hear some stores complain about their business down. The austerity cuts and the lack of consumer spending is hitting right across the country.
And even though the prime minister has said the majority of Spaniards are not making headlines, are not protesting, they're helping this to get out, we're not seeing that. There is a lot of discontent.
QUEST: In this regard, Al, what do you believe happens now to the government of Mariano Rajoy? Because as I understand what I've heard and what I've read over the last few hours, people are sort of saying he's missed the opportunity, too little too late, and one wonders what he's going to do next.
GOODMAN: What he will do next is try to buy time. If you look at his entire political career, he has tried to solve things by hoping the problem would go away. That's how he's dealt with internal party strife. He's a survivor, and he's going to try to tough this out.
QUEST: Finally, though, I've got one final question: Al, is it your gut feeling that this crisis gets worse before it gets better here in Spain?
GOODMAN: Absolutely. You talk to anyone, and I live here, worse before better. No question about it.
QUEST: Al Goodman in Madrid for -- I was going to say "for us tonight," but with us tonight. Max Foster is at CNN London at QMB headquarters looking over the numbers of how trading's been going during the course of the day. Max?
FOSTER: Yes, Richard, the European markets were already closed by the time the audit results actually were announced, and we haven't seen too much of a reaction on Wall Street since the amount of cash that Spanish banks needed was almost exactly as expected. So, the Dow currently down just 0.2 percent.
Bank of America Shares were amongst the worst performers on the Dow, down by 1 percent. Bank of America said today it will pay $2.4 billion to settle a class action lawsuit over its acquisition of Merrill Lynch. Now, investors accused the Bank of America, or Bank of America, of hiding a major loss at Merrill Lynch until after they'd voted on the deal.
Stocks in Europe ended the day in the red. All the major indices close with losses for the week as a whole. Banco Popular Espanol was down 2.58 percent, and AXA (ph) Paris down 3.5 percent. HeidelbergCement was the biggest faller on the DAX, down by 2 percent after a downgrade by -- well, a downgrade, essentially.
In London, rising commodity shares helped stem losses on the FTSE 100, and the silver miner, Fresnillo, gained more than 4 percent as metal prices rose. So, lots of dynamics going on on the markets.
On top of bad loans, Spanish banks have another problem: falling deposits. This data from the European Central Bank shows how year-on-year, Spanish people are putting less and less of their money into the bank. For August, deposits were down 12.8 percent to $1.9 billion.
Now, it's being called "combative," and it's being called "tough." Next, we take a look at France's new plan to make ends meet in 2013.
QUEST: Welcome back to Madrid, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS live in the Spanish capital tonight, after a week which saw protests, a new budget, and now a bank recapitalization plan. Fernando Fernandez of IE Business School is with me, an economist.
First of all, let's very quickly get rid of the bank recap plan. Is it your view that it is enough to put Spanish banks on the course that they need to be?
FERNANDO FERNANDEZ, ECONOMIST, IE BUSINESS SCHOOL: Yes, surely it is enough. And first of all, 62 percent of the Spanish banking system has no problems, even under the most adverse scenario.
And then, the rest of it will need probably 15 -- 9 euro -- billion euros, out of which a lot of that can come out of their own banks.
QUEST: OK. But both the bank plan and the budget yesterday are both based on some -- not exactly optimistic but not necessarily the worst -- what we're seeing in the market in terms of growth, in terms of recession.
FERNANDEZ: That's true for the budget, but not for the banks. The bank recapitalization is assuming a growth in GDP of 2.1 percent for next year, which is much more than the budget. So, the bank recapitalization is really credible.
The budget is banking on confidence coming back to Spain, and to that effect, the bank recapitalization ending well is a necessary primary step - - first step for the budget to be credible and for the Spanish economy to pick up in the second half of the year.
QUEST: How unrealistic did you find that budget yesterday?
FERNANDEZ: I would say it's a little optimistic. But on the other hand, typically Rajoy, typical of our prime minister. What he is basically saying is have confidence. I have already revised the budget three times this year to make sure that I attain the target. So, if need be, I will do the same next year.
QUEST: When is the prime minister going to make up his mind on whether or not he's going to ask for bond-buying by the ESM/ECB?
FERNANDEZ: Two conditions have to be met. First, the Germans have to make up their mind and make sure that the money is available, because you will not ask for money when they won't --
QUEST: We know the ESM --
FERNANDEZ: But that's --
QUEST: The ESM's got 500 billion.
FERNANDEZ: But the ESM is not in operation until January 1st. And the second thing, he has to be sure that the conditions attached to that request are scheduled to meet them. And this is what has been negotiated.
I think what we're seeing is the negotiations -- these conditions being negotiated. Once he has confidence on that, he will do the request.
QUEST: In a word, a good, bad or indifferent week for the Spanish economy?
FERNANDEZ: Oh, a good week. The weather is miserable, but the news for the economy was good.
QUEST: The weather's miserable, but the economy's good. Thank you, sir.
FERNANDEZ: Thank you.
QUEST: Good to see you. Many thanks, indeed.
FERNANDEZ: Thank you.
QUEST: So, a good week for the economy, a bad week for the weather. We'll have more from Spain in a moment.
France also has a budget. If you're rich and living in France, start getting ready to pay. Max Foster has the details.
FOSTER: Yes, France is the second eurozone country in two days to unveil a tough new budget. Where Spain's focus is on spending cuts, France is heavily weighted towards higher taxes.
President Hollande announced $37 billion in savings with two thirds of it through tax hikes on the richest households and companies. Anyone who earns more than $1.3 million a year will be taxed at 75 percent. It's aimed at getting the French deficit below 3 percent next year.
The plan assumes the French economy will grow by 0.8 percent next year and 2 percent a year after that. The prime minister is confident, though, that today's budget will put France back on its feet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEAN-MARC AYRAULT, FRENCH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): It's a combat budget to fight against a debt that will not stop growing and which current and future generations will pay for. It's a combat budget for social justice, but it's a combat budget for growth. The preparation of the future, and it's a courageous and responsible budget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Well, Christian Malard from France 3 Joins me now from Paris. This is very interesting, isn't it? Because everyone wanted to see how Hollande was going to treat this growth strategy, and now we know. What do you make of it? Is it as you expected?
CHRISTIAN MALARD, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, FRANCE 3: Yes. It was a kind of promise, which has been made by Francois Hollande, he held his promises. But at the same time, let me say that a lot of people in the country, a majority of people, do believe that putting back France on the economic trail, the good way, the right way, belongs to the realm of wishful thinking.
Because at the same time, people realize that Monsieur Hollande wants to take 37 billion euro. Where to get them to reach -- to return to 3 percent public deficit GDP and it's going to be very difficult from 4.5 percent right now.
People don't understand how he's going to make when you have -- the prime minister telling you after a two-hour program yesterday evening that is -- 9 French out of 10, which is 90 percent of French, are not going to have their tax increase.
They're not going to increase the VAT. They're not going to freeze the control as a social contribution of charges. Everybody asked where they are going to get the money from?
And at the same time, you have the French government telling you they want to hire 40,000 more civil servants, 63,000 more people to strengthen the jail system protection. Where are we going?
A lot of people think we have a lot of ambiguities, a lack of vision, a lack of political courage to tell the French the truth, which is where are we going? Maybe straight into the wolves.
FOSTER: The economics is questionable as well, isn't it, to a certain extent? Because tax increases are one thing, but the spending -- there aren't spending cuts that other countries are putting through in the very tough time. And assuming growth of 0.8 percent next year, 2 percent a year after that, very, very ambitious. So, do the sums actually add up?
MALARD: Very ambitious, but at the same time, everybody has the feeling that France is not going to be able to meet the Brussels criteria to reduce the budget deficit. And at the same time, there is one thing which is of bad omen, it's that the French government said officially they're renounced the budget equilibrium for 2017.
So, right now, we speak about 2013 with a lot of worries from the French public opinion. And a lot of people are ready to get into the streets, the workers, on different -- on the steel factories, on the car factories. We might have ahead a lot of contention in the country and people getting into the street like in Spain.
Everybody wonders if France sooner than later is not going to join what we call the Cessant Club of the countries who have been in big trouble: Spain, Italy, Greece. This is what we are up to right now in the country. But let's see. We will judge on the facts. But right now, people are not very optimistic.
FOSTER: OK, Christian Malard, thank you very much, as ever, for joining us on the program.
MALARD: Thanks, Max.
FOSTER: Now, a Currency Conundrum for you. There was a time when Spanish money was legal tender in British territory. The Spanish Piece of Eight was widely used by British colonists in America before the revolution.
Our question to you is why? A, a British currency was scarce? B, the coins were made of silver or gold? Or C, colonies weren't allowed to produce their own coin? Answer later.
The dollar, meanwhile, is taking back safe haven status as optimism over Spain's debt-cutting plans drained away. The US currency is up around half a percent against he euro and the pound, and is a quarter of a percent higher against the yen.
FOSTER: Now, Apple says it's sorry its new maps app isn't good enough. CEO Tim Cook posted a letter on the company's website acknowledging criticism of the system.
"We strive," he said, "to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment." And he vowed to improve it as well. "We are doing everything we can to make Maps better."
In the meantime, Tim Cook invites customers to try competitors, would you believe? "While we're improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store, like Bing, MapQuest, and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps." You don't hear that very often, do you, from a chief executive?
Now, Shelly Palmer is a host of weekly TV show about living and working in the digital world, and he joins me now, live from our studio in New York.
First of all, Shelly, we should just show some examples of the problem here. The Brooklyn Bridge, first of all. Then, we've got the Hoover Dam and also the Seven Bridge. Extraordinary problems with these maps. Can you -- have you worked out what actually went wrong technically?
SHELLY PALMER, HOST, "DIGITIAL LIFE WITH SHELLY PALMER": What went wrong technically is Apple had no business at all dumping Google maps for their own maps before they fully vetted and tested them. And it's not one technological problem, it's a ton of technological problems.
I was with some friends yesterday who had made the terrible error of downloading iOS 6, the new operating system, which kills your Google Maps, kills your YouTube, and puts in Apple Maps. And we were sitting in a restaurant, and they said, "Wow, this restaurant according to Apple -- Google Maps was supposed to be between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue."
I said, "Well, that's OK. Here, check out my iPhone. According to Apple Maps, the restaurant we're sitting in is in New Jersey." So, it's like no, we're in serious trouble now, and Apple has got to make good very quickly, because they made -- literally, they made Google go away.
So, you have to download other alternatives, like Waze or Bing or something else. And Google Maps, at the moment, isn't available for the iPhone and iOS 6 the way it was available on iOS 5.
So, if you have an iPhone 4s or an iPhone 4 and you have the option to upgrade to iOS 6, my suggestion is, don't do it. Just sit tight with iOS 5 until Apple gets their act together. If a certain previous CEO was still on this Earth with us, iOS 6 would never have been released as a product ever.
FOSTER: It's an extraordinary story, isn't it? And a very honest sort of reaction, I guess, from Tim Cook. But all this week on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, we've been focusing on mobile phones and how they've altered the way we live. We now store so much information on our phones, including bank details, that security is becoming increasingly important.
Now, earlier this week, I spoke with John Hering, the CEO of Lookout Mobile Security. Let's listen to what he had to say about where hackers are heading.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HERING, CEO, LOOKOUT MOBILE SECURITY: Well, what we're finding is mobile is quickly becoming the platform of choice for hackers worldwide. By 2015, more people will be accessing the internet by mobile devices than PCs alone.
And what we've found is that bad guys are going to go after the most prevalent computing platforms. So not only are we finding that it's the most popular computing platform for the hackers, but we're also starting to see that vulnerabilities are becoming more and more prevalent in these platforms.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Shelly, what sort of advice are you able to offer people who assume somehow that their mobiles or their cell phones are safer than their PCs?
PALMER: Well, it's the same advice for every device you own: make strong passwords and use them. Now, most cell phones allow you set at least a four-digit password, and you have to set it.
And usually, when someone says to me, "Well, I don't feel like doing it, it's so inconvenient," yes, it's convenient for you and it's inconvenient for the hacker. If you leave your door open and someone tries your door, they're going to get into your house.
And so first and foremost, set strong passwords and use them everywhere. Not convenient passwords, like running down the 6969 or 5880. Weird, complex, strange passwords.
And also, take your phone and once a day wipe it off. Because the grease on your fingers leaves a decided pattern where you have hit your password every single time, and it is very easy for someone who steals your phone to get into it.
Now, this gentleman just before me in the sound bite was spot on. This is going to be the hacker platform of choice. It's easier to hack an Android phone than it is to hack an iOS device, but that's only today. And according to CISCO, by 2015, there'll be 15 billion connected devices in the world, all of which can be password protected.
The other thing you have to know is that you can never be any safer, metaphorically, then you would be locking your doors and your windows to your home. Your electronic devices can never be any safer than that as an individual.
If someone's going to hack at the enterprise level, they're going to get your information anyway. But you want to protect people from stealing your phone or picking up your phone and using it. You want to protect people from just inadvertently picking up your phone and getting that data.
And most importantly, you want to protect against, to the best level you can, someone finding your phone on a network like a wifi network that you happen to log onto and say, "Oh, well look at this device, there's no firewall, there's no password protection."
So, it's time for us to be vigilant about our cell phones and our SmartPhones the same way we're vigilant about our computers -- in fact, better than we're vigilant about our computers, because security, sadly, is a lot like oxygen. People don't notice it until it isn't there.
FOSTER: Absolutely. Great advice, Shelly. Shelly Palmer, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us on the program.
Now, it's not all about security or even how well the apps work. Sometimes the biggest problem with our mobiles is just how we use them. A little courtesy goes a long way, as Jim's been finding out.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Texting, talking, surfing, all on the go. We all do it.
BOULDEN (on camera): Here at Malletti's Italian takeout, they do good pizza and they don't tolerate bad manners.
BOULDEN (voice-over): Owner Antonia Verruto decided to put his foot down and put these signs up three years ago.
BOULDEN (on camera): So, if I come in like this and I order a pizza, what are you going to say to me?
ANTONIO VERRUTO, OWNER, MALLETTI'S PIZZA BAR: I'm not going to serve you. And if you insist, I'm going to chuck you out.
BOULDEN: You're going to chuck me out?
VERRUTO: Of course.
BOULDEN: But you know, this is today's life. I need to be on --
VERRUTO: This is your life, it is not mine. It's rude if people walk in a shop and they don't look at you, they just keep pointing at the product. People they were concentrated on the phone, all the people were on the phone, and they completely forgot what they ordered.
BOULDEN: It's one thing to be using your device on your own time. It's altogether different when you're in the office.
So, as an experiment, we set up a camera inside CNN to see how some of my colleagues react during a meeting.
BOULDEN (voice-over): No surprise, perhaps. In a room full of journalists, a half dozen of them checked e-mails or surfed on the iPad. So, is that behavior always appropriate in meetings?
BENJAMIN REID, THE WORK FOUNDATION: If it is related to the output and improving the output of having the meeting in the first place, then that's exactly the kind of collaborative use of technology that makes it so powerful.
BOULDEN: Etiquette expert Liz Brewer hates mobiles in meetings but recently had an even more dramatic encounter with a ringing phone.
LIZ BREWER, AUTHOR, "ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PARTY PLANNING AND ETIQUETTE": I was at a funeral and -- the other day, and it was the wife's phone.
BOULDEN (on camera): Wow.
BREWER: I was doing the eulogy. I said, "He's obviously -- Sam's obviously ringing you from the dead."
BOULDEN (voice-over): Says Liz Brewer, when meeting, people should look at one another in the eye and not focus on a screen.
Jim Boulden, CNN, London.
FOSTER: This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. In a moment, the ten-point plan to fix libor, the rate that tarnished London's reputation.
QUEST: I'm Richard Quest, live in the Spanish capital, Madrid, tonight. More QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. But this is CNN and, on this network, the news always comes first. Max Foster is at CNN in London with the update.
FOSTER: China's Communist Party has kicked one of its former rising stars out. Bo Xilai could be prosecuted and jailed for crimes related to abuse of power. The move comes six weeks before the Communist Party congress, where the party will announce a new lineup of leaders.
In Syria, rebels in Aleppo are staging what they describe as a decisive battle for the city. The opposition says violent clashes have killed 122 people across Syria today, 50 in Aleppo alone.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is hosting a Friends of Syria meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Earlier, during the general debate, Germany's foreign minister urged the Security Council not to give up working on a political solution to the Syrian conflict.
Kenyan and Somali troops have entered the Port of Kismayo in Somalia to try to drive out the militant group, Al-Shabaab. Kismayo is an important transportation hub and its loss would be a major blow to the Al Qaeda linked group. The Kenyan military reported significant gains in the assault, but Al-Shabaab says it is still in control.
Nineteen people have been killed in a plane crash in Nepal. The plane had just taken off from the capital, Kathmandu. Authorities say the plane struck an eagle before it crashed. There were no survivors.
QUEST: Good evening from Madrid, where here in Spain they're dealing with a banking crisis. But in the U.K., too, there are problems and it's around LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate. Well, now it's broken but not so broken it can't be fixed. That's the verdict of the man whose investigation it is to decide what to do about LIBOR and the LIBOR fixing scandal.
Martin Wheatley said it can be repaired; it doesn't need to be replaced. He's head of the U.K.'s Financial Services Authority and today he said there is still hope for LIBOR, as Jim Boulden now reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Friday could be seen as the day London fixed one of its biggest scandals, the benchmark known as LIBOR.
MARTIN WHEATLEY, FINANCIAL SERVICES AUTHORITY: Today we need to press the reset button.
BOULDEN (voice-over): Financial regulator Martin Wheatley was tasked with cleaning up LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate. It's the interest rate which banks in London say they can lend money to each other. Up to now, its setting was unregulated.
And according to Wheatley, broken. But some $10 trillion worth of loans worldwide are tied to it. Conflicts of interest and downright manipulation of LIBOR were uncovered over the past four years.
WHEATLEY: I'm recommending that the FSA is given clear and extensive powers to ensure that regulation is able to cover the offenses and that there is enough clout to punish those banks who break the law.
BOULDEN (voice-over): The LIBOR investigation led to a $453 million fine for Barclays Bank, and cost the jobs of the chairman and the flamboyant CEO, Bob Diamond. More banks are expected to be fined soon. And there are criminal investigations underway. New regulations might make that process easier.
NICK MOTSON, CASS BUSINESS SCHOOL: Anybody now who attempts to mess with this is at risk of criminal prosecution. And you can't necessarily regulate human nature. But what you can do is make sure that if people do do something wrong, then they can be prosecuted.
BOULDEN (voice-over): The new regulations should come into place next year. But Wheatley says he expects banks to start implementing the reforms now as part of cleaning up their act. If not, LIBOR could find itself replaced by some other benchmark, with LIBOR and London losing its influence.
BOULDEN: Of course, the L in LIBOR stands for London, and its reputation has been damaged by this scandal. The financial community here hopes that this review is the first step in rebuilding trust between London and the financial community internationally -- Jim Boulden, CNN, London.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Live tonight from London and from Madrid, the Spanish capital, this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Coming up in just a moment, why Spain's economy may be a health hazard. Fears that efforts to save Spain from recession are putting lives at risk. That's after the break. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST (voice-over): The answer to tonight's "Currency Conundrum," now why the Spanish pieces of eight was legal tender in America before the Revolution. The answer is all three. Britain was concerned about the scarcity of silver and so banned the export of silver coins. It had banned colonies from producing their own currency.
British coins became rare; colonists were forced to use foreign ones. Spanish dollars were acceptable because they were made of gold or silver and had intrinsic value.
Tonight's Spanish "Currency Conundrum" on both sides of the equation.
Now Spain's austerity cuts are a downright health hazard, especially as they're hitting the country's public health system. Immigrants have lost full access to free health care in a move that the government says will save the best part of $2 billion a year. It may have a financial saving, but at what cost to the people and what cost to the health of the country?
Our Madrid correspondent Al Goodman reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Simone is a Brazilian who's lived five years in Madrid without a residency card. She doesn't want her face shown.
But now that 150,000 illegal immigrants have largely been excluded from Spain's public health care system, she's speaking out, worried it will endanger her recovery from breast cancer.
SIMONE, BREAST CANCER PATIENT (through translator): At home I talked with my husband and my children, and they, "Mama, be calm. There will be a solution."
Well, I can only hope for one.
GOODMAN (voice-over): Simone has a public health care card that expired last May. That's how she got breast cancer surgery and chemotherapy. But she can't renew the card because of the new rules, part of austerity cuts to reduce the deficit. The government says it can't keep giving away a billion dollars a year in free medical care to non-Spaniards, especially to other Europeans.
MANUEL CERVERA, RULING POPULAR PARTY MP (through translator): We're trying to establish some order. No one will be refused medical care, but those who aren't eligible for it will be billed, like in other countries.
GOODMAN (voice-over): For illegal immigrants, free care continues only at hospital emergency rooms or if they're pregnant or under 18. Simone must now pay $130 for her next cancer treatment shot, more than a fourth of her monthly income as a maid and caregiver in Spanish homes. She decides to test the system, heading for a neighborhood clinic.
GOODMAN: We're going to wait here to see if she manages to get that appointment with a gynecologist, who she says needs to do a checkup, especially to make sure there's no cancer in that part of her body.
GOODMAN (voice-over): The gamble paid off. She saw the doctor and didn't have to pay.
SIMONE (through translator): I'm very happy. I didn't show my expired health card. I went to the counter and someone let me go up to the doctor.
GOODMAN (voice-over): Six of Spain's regional governments have vowed to defy the new rules and some doctors' groups also are campaigning against them. As part of the campaign, this video urges Spanish medical workers to disobey the rules.
SAGRARIO MARTIN, DOCTORS OF THE WORLD (through translator): Those who don't have the right to medical care unless they pay, that changes the fundamental philosophy of the system. And we'll reduce their access to the system.
GOODMAN (voice-over): Simone is finding that out soon after visiting the gynecologist. A neighborhood clinic refused to let her see an allergy doctor. She had to go to a private hospital, which billed her for its services. As the government tries to tame its economic crisis, Simone's only gets worse -- Al Goodman, CNN, Madrid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So Al Goodman reporting there in Madrid.
Time now for the weather forecast. I'm in Madrid. I'm going to basically give her a chance to say I told you so.
All right, Ms. Harrison, yes, by all means, I could sing a song. I could dance along the streets. Yes, come on. You get one go at this.
JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: No, I'm --
QUEST: Go on.
HARRISON: -- just glad you pay attention. I'm glad you were listening. I knew you'd have your trusty mack and your brolly and you did fine. So yes.
QUEST: Not. Not only here. Not only here but in Barcelona, where I was this morning, it was raining. Madrid, it is cats and dogs tonight.
HARRISON: I know. Well, I tell you what, you think it's bad where you are, you actually escaped the worst of the weather across in Spain. I'm going to start by just showing you the satellite for the last few hours, because this is all coming in from this area of low pressure, very vigorous area of low pressure.
And remember the severe to extreme drought conditions across, really, the whole country of Spain. So when we have had 52 millimeters in Malaga in Spain, the monthly average that was just 16. And this rain coming down in such a short space of time and on that just rock-hard dry ground, this is what it has done.
Just have a look at these images, because not only was the rain torrential, it's led to widespread flooding. At the same time, it has just picked up all this mud and literally just made these streets full of this thick, thick sludge that people are trying to deal with.
Now, obviously people are trying to deal with this right now. Then it'll be a clear-up. And have a look at some of these still images as well, because the force of this mud mixed with the water and all the debris, the branches, the rocks and everything else, I mean, it just has caused widespread upheaval damage.
And just look at that, that car just trying to go through (inaudible) muddy churning waters. So really not a good picture at all. Let me show you what's been going on, as I say, an area of low pressure, very heavy amounts of rain. Very warm ahead of this system. And this is going to continue to work its way into the western Med as we go through the first part of the weekend.
But the system coming across northern Europe as well, but it's across the southwest where we have more warnings, very heavy amounts of rain again. We could still see some severe thunderstorms, and possibly some isolated tornadoes.
Doesn't (inaudible) delays across in Europe to the north, Glasgow, for example, it will be Saturday morning into the afternoon with those strong winds, the same in Copenhagen, but a little bit later on, given where it is on location the area of low pressure.
But Barcelona Saturday morning, some long delays there with the strong winds as that system continues to come through elsewhere in Europe. Delays not too bad, fairly widespread, but not too bad.
There's that rain across the west and again to the north. I'm only going to see the rain but also some pretty blustery conditions for the next couple of days and it will feel cooler, 12 in Glasgow and Stockholm, just 15 apiece for London and Paris, and Madrid, 18 degrees. That's the high on Saturday, Richard.
QUEST: Thank you very much, Jenny Harrison, at the World Weather Center. And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in Madrid. Max Foster is in London. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. And I'll see you back in London on Monday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): We speak to students who want change in Swaziland.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think if the government is not able to create more jobs (ph), you run the risk of experiencing what happened in North Africa.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): And the country's finance minister denies accusations that the lavish spending habits of King (Inaudible) and 13 wives are compounding the countries financial crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can assure you that His Majesty of the royal family, they never overspend.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): You're watching MARKETPLACE AFRICA. In this week's show, we are in Swaziland, examining the social cost of the country's crippling financial crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Iced lollies, candy floss, bumper cars and merry-go-round, they're all here at the Swaziland International Trade Fair, held annually to attract new business to the small kingdom.
The government blames the financial woes on a drop in income from the Southern African Customs Union following a new tariff deal. Organizations like the IMF have urged Swaziland's government to cut its bloated civil service, reduce spending and attract foreign investors. But for some, reforms aren't happening fast enough.
ZODWA MABUZA, FEDERATION OF SWAZILAND EMPLOYERS: You look at the (inaudible) economy as a country where government plays a significant role. Currently government (inaudible) 40 percent of our economic activity and that is not healthy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Tucked away in one corner of this international trade fair are the stands promoting HIV/AIDS awareness. Zelda Nhlabatsi runs an organization that offers advice and help to sex workers. She believes the financial crisis is driving more women into the sex trade.
ZELDA NHLABATSI, FAMILY LIFE ASSOCIATION OF SWAZILAND: I would say the (inaudible) information there would be an increase because of the fiscal situation, especially for this country. So (inaudible) for most people, it's a livelihood.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): In a small landlocked country in southern Africa, everyone is trying to make a living. But in a country with the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world, for some, mistakes are much higher than for others.
For two years, Nelsi (ph) has been working on the streets after her parents died in a car crash. She tried to find work but found nothing.
NELSI (PH), SEX WORKER: Here in Swaziland, there are no job. I (inaudible) no choice to be (inaudible) a sex worker whether I like or not, I must do there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): She says she knows other women who are on the streets because they also can't find work. Many, not all, though, have HIV.
NELSI (PH): (Inaudible) HIV (inaudible). I (inaudible) -- I was raped (inaudible). While I wasn't raped, I was HIV negative.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): A staggering one in four people in Swaziland are HIV positive. And a recent study found that the rate is much higher in sex workers. Seventy percent are thought to be infected.
SENZO HLATSHWAYO, WORLD VISION, HIV/AIDS MANAGER: Our age group 15 years to 49 years, we have a prevalence rate of 26 percent. This is a group which has to be (inaudible) country. But with such a significant amount of them who are infected, we compromise the economy balances that we need to be enjoying as a country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): With such a high rate of infection in the population, the fiscal crisis has left the government struggling with service delivery. At its height, anti-retroviral drugs became scarce, cancer treatment was stopped and schools were closed. Many people are angry.
Including these university students. Their university was closed for a month because the government said it will no longer pay scholarships for students to attend. On August 16th, the students gathered to protest against the cuts.
BRIAN SANGWENI, UNIVERSITY STUDENT: On that day we're intending to march to the minister of social -- labor and social security, where our scholarships are processed, to present those problems we are faced with. And it's just so unfortunate that we couldn't (inaudible).
There will happen to the blocked by the police officers.
NKOSINATHI METHULA, UNIVERSITY STUDENT: We did nothing. We're unarmed and then you suddenly short and the police beat me up. And then they took me to (inaudible) government hospital. I found (inaudible) I was shot by the rubber bullet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The problem is now the police, they claim that there was no student that was shot. They say that the students that were injured, they injured themselves, that is student to student.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): These students believe that if they're unable to finish their courses, their prospects of work in a country already struggling with high unemployment. According to the African Development Bank, youth unemployment in Swaziland is currently over (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) the scholarship right now, to me, that will be the end of my life anyway. (Inaudible) there's nothing else I can do. (Inaudible) just the same now as a normal person living without education.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): (Inaudible) that the government needs to make spending cuts, but he says the government has to get its priorities right.
SUBUSISO DLAMINI, UNIVERSITY STUDENT: They've prioritized anything that has to do with culture and forget about (inaudible) that we have to do every day in order to keep us living.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): It's cultural events like this one that Subusiso Dlamini believes the government is prioritizing over education.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): After the break, we continue to look at social impact of Swaziland's financial crisis, and we ask the country's finance minister about the spending habits of Africa's last absolute monarch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Swaziland's annual (inaudible) is a seminal moment in the country's cultural (inaudible). And a major draw for tourists. Thousands of unmarried girls (inaudible) in front of the king at the (inaudible). Traditionally, it's when the king chooses (inaudible).
About two hours' drive away from the dance in the mountains, we met Mary (ph). It's not her real name. She's danced before the king seven times. She and her sister have started making their living illegally. Like many people in this remote rural area, they grow and sell marijuana.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the police will find that she grow (inaudible) we will be in trouble. So that's why we used to grow it in the forest near the river. I don't have a job at all. This is the only way I do my living.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Majozi Sithole is Swaziland's finance minister. He acknowledges that unemployment is high, but says the government has to keep making cuts whatever the political or social cost.
MAJOZI SITHOLE, SWAZILAND FINANCE MINISTER: Yes, there are challenges in Swaziland, as everywhere else of -- because of the fiscal crisis. Yes, there are problems of youth unemployment as well as in other countries. But for it to be said it would (inaudible) I think that's an exaggeration.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): South Africa's President Zuma has offered some respite after the IMF refused Swaziland a loan. A $355 million bailout was agreed.
SITHOLE: We're waiting for the South African (inaudible) whether that money is still available or not. And if it is available, we will gladly take it. It will assist us in making some of the fiscal challenges that we currently have. But if it is not available, we already are taking steps to say let's look at what we have.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The South African government is insisting on political and economic reforms before the loan is finalized. But some human rights campaigners believe that Swaziland's large neighbor could be doing more.
DUMSANI SITHOLE, ECONOMIST: The South African bailout is going to define for this (inaudible) but in the long run we really need to find a lasting solution.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Critics of the king believe he and an array of wives have contributed to the financial demise of this small kingdom. In 2009, "Forbes" magazine estimated that the king had a personal fortune of $100 million, and that the reports of expensive cars, a palace for every wife, private jets bought by so-called anonymous sponsors and lavish spending.
M. SITHOLE: I would say there's people that are dropping from an uninformed position. We do have budget. We take our budget to parliament and it is discussed extensively by the parliamentarians. They pass it and we try to say spend within what parliament has approved. And I can assure you His Majesty of the royal family, they never overspend on what they've been allocated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): In times of financial crisis, governments have tough decisions to make. But in a country where a quarter of the population has HIV or AIDS and unemployment is soaring, for many, there's very little light in their future.
NELSI (PH): The one thing about us is take all those away, I don't think that they are just making an improvement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If government fails to pay for us, it's very, very difficult to (inaudible) our studies.
M. SITHOLE: We will not stop them from pursuing those studies but like everybody else, government also has a budget concern.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reality is this government cannot be able to do the right priorities. We tend to create a generation of people who will be indebted by (inaudible), indebted by illiteracy, people will be overwhelmed by issues of low economic status.