Return to Transcripts main page


German Economy Slowing to Near Standstill; Merkel, Sarkozy and Monti Met for the First time; Interview with Trevor Manuel; Interview with Carlos Ghosn; Interview with Karel De Gucht; The European Business Awards

Aired November 24, 2011 - 14:00:00   ET


HALA GORANI, HOST: I'm Hala Gorani at CNN center. Here are your headlines this hour.

Despite five days of deadly clashes, Egypt military ruler say the parliamentary both scheduled for Monday, will not be postponed. Protesters are demanding the military's resignation. But so far, those leaders are refusing to bite. They did apologize, however, for the violence.

The deal for Yemen's President to resign this little Thursday, to end the violence in Yemen's capital. Activists say pro-government attacked protesters with bullets and batons, killing at least five and injuring dozens more people.

The protesters say their anger that the deal for President Saleh's resignation gives him legal immunity.

A life of abuse is now giving way to a life of freedom for a former nanny who once worked for the Gadhafi family in Libya. Shagen Mulah (ph) says she was severely burn when the wife of one of Moammar Gadhafi's son belched her with boiling water. We brought you that story first on CNN.

Well, she just finished two months of intensive medical care; she says she hope one day to look her attacker in the eye in a courtroom.

That is the look at your headline. I'm Hala Gorani at the CNN center. Thank you for watching.

Stay with us "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.


RICHARD QUEST, HOST: it's the case of the whole Monti, miracles like Mario Monti wants greater union for a greater Europe.

Junk bones and no butt are. Portugal's struck down and gone strike and it's a vacuum of talents says James Dayton (ph) to cause for more scientist and engineers in British Poly groups.


Good evening. Its Clarian calls for fiscal unity. The leaders of Germany, France and Italy say they are committed to get in together to make the Euro work properly.

Angela Merkel, Nicholas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Mario Monti of Italy met in Strasbourg. It's the first time since Monti took over in Italy.

Now, they presented a united front, they called for economic unity. They know they need a long term solution. However, they are dealing with their short term problems.

Our CNN's Jim Boulden explains to us left traders wanting more.


JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's long past the time that markets are comforted by leaders meeting. And words haven't helped lately either. Actions and decisions are needed in Europe.

On Thursday on Strasbourg, the leaders of France, Germany and Italy met for the first time since Mario Monti became the Italian prime minister.

NICHOLAS SARKOZY, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): We are determined as the three big economist of the Euro zone to do all to support and guarantee the sustainability of the Euro. Us, as three foremost economists are determined to work for the good of Europe.

BOULDEN: Mister Monti is no stranger to European politics as he was a commissioner for years. Now, he's return as a politician. And he is promising to stick to the plan, to balance Italy's budget by 2013.

MARIO MONTI, ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): As you know, Italy has a sorrowful budget service that is 5.77 from the past. We have inherited a large portion of that. He aims for the balance budget is not to be questioned here.

BOULDEN: No big announcement in their brief appearance after lunch but they all said there would be no change to the rule in the European central Banks area of responsibility. Someone had to become the vehicle of last resort to buy government funds that are being shunt by the market.

Germany is still resisting calls for there still to be one big European bond where Germany would become responsible for the debt of Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy et cetera.

Treaty changes are coming, the three said, but not to change the powers of the ECB, even though Germany had trouble selling its own bond into the market earlier this week.

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): We, Germany and France want to work on treaty change for the Euro zone. We have to make clear that we want to take steps in the direction of the fiscal union to express our beliefs that politics have to be coordinated when you have a common stable currency.

BOULDEN: This treaty changes for tighter fiscal integration would also common sanctions on governments that don't stick to debt rules. This maybe the biggest decision to be debated by European leaders when they again meet on December 9th, in Brussels.

Jim Boulden, CNN, London.


QUEST: It could not be clearer Angela Merkel; they are saying that treaty changes are in the open. All they saw in yesterday's failed bonds sale and there are few reasons to be cheerful about what's happening in the German economy as the moment. Thousands of German executives feel the pink tide IFO; they are feeling a little bit more buoyancy. So, that's a - certainly a healthy sign. It close to what's business climate index and expectedly rose enough to October where economist have been expecting a full on the climate index overall.

Germany's GDP growth accelerated by the end of Q3. That was the result of (inaudible) spending. Remember, it's a quarterly number unlike the U.S. which does it on an annual basis. So, a top of one percent.

Good news for some who have shares on the dot. Whatever share that it had been didn't last, the market was disappointed. When they heard Merkel re- state her opposition to the notion of Euro bonds and of course treaty changes. Treaty changes, as we know, take a very long time in the European Union.

Early on, I spoke to Tobias Blattner, the European economist with Daiwa Capital, and I asked him about Germany's stands on this Euro bonds.


TOBIAS BLATTNER, EUROPEAN ECONOMIST, DAIWA CAPITAL MARKETS: Well, I think still not trouble. We still have to go in to some worth movement even in financial markets before I think the German position will shift to what's more and towards closer to the Euro bonds.

Right now, I think there are still not seeing the need simply because they think that the - our crisis can still be stalled with the current framework and with all of the hostility measures eventually working out.

But I think come - comes the time and this is probably very, very soon and Italy will be under eventually even more pressure for example in February, when they have to roll over more than 50 billion of funds in one month. Then I think we need a bigger policy response on the one that are currently happening.

QUEST: There is no justification, is that for Italian bonds to be pricing at seven percent. There is no difference, there's no question about Italy's solvency or ability to service if existing debt (inaudible).

BLATTNER: Well, I mean the Italian economy have - have problems on the real side unfortunately. So, I think what most investors are concerned with his growth. So, Italy had a very, very low and below Euro area average growth rate for the last ten years. And so, with the debt of 120 percent of its GDP, obviously, investors are concern whether they above the debt possibility.

QUEST: Right. But, but, but if we haven't had Portugal, Greece and Ireland, no one will be questioning whether Italy could service its debt burden.

BLATTNER: It came all of the sudden, for sure. So, it was definitely calls by contingent but that was then the European politicians to be blame for because they did not act fast enough in order to prevent the contingent. That it then came as it did was obviously a mixture between not acting fast enough on the political side but also obviously the economic mismanagement that they saw in Italy over a long period.

QUEST: And we then moved forward to a December and January. I mean, Euro bond will take months, if not forever, with treaty changes. There is only one cowboy and sheriff in town, isn't that? And that is Mario at the ECB. When will they finally realize that the ECB is going to have to be stuck to the guilt with bonds?

BLATTNER: They probably already realized but I think they are trying and maybe also it's a good reason, they are trying to prevent it for as long as they can. Because they want to - they want to force European politician to engage in to a further fiscal hostility measures.

But I think when we have and eventually I think the trigger, the turning point might be when France credit rating will be at risk, then I think - because after a French downgrade, eventually the whole ETF (inaudible) any longer. And then comes the time that ECB eventually will have to go into the market and pull out really the bazooka that everybody is looking out for.


QUEST: Tobias Blattner there, talking about the Euro Zone and Euro bonds. We need to stay in Europe because striking Portuguese markers are being hat country to stand still and drag insult to injury, a second major rating agency has labeled Portugal sovereign debt as junk.

Fitch has just Portugal's rating a long term to BB+. This is a large deficit high debt for economic outlook means Portugal no longer deserves investment gray rating. Ouch! That sounds and is painful even though Portugal has been bailed out. It's a pretty bad stake of affair.

The union according to the country's biggest general strike in more than 30 years, Diapolis authority says all international flights were cancelled. Transport communication union says 98 percent of rail workers and 85 percent of postal workers have walked off the jobs.

So, let us pull together, the strongest of what happened on this Thursday where do we had a multi-meeting, whether you've got Portugal's strike. Because these are the numbers that really you do need to keep up well, we all need to, keep on eye of it.

Germany's 10-year bond now yielding to 0.1 percent and U.K. is over two percent. Spain is holding steady. I'm afraid, at that number that is the most concern at 7.1 percent. Italy is not surprisingly feeling the pain. The European stock market, I don't give too much attention to what happened in Europe today on the equity French.

New York is not playing with the thanksgiving holiday and therefore, markets are thin. Even so, as you can tell, Paris just barely changed just of 10th of one percent. The number that we need to be worried about is seven percent. It's not an automatic and barometer or trigger for bailout. But at seven percent, with Italy's refinancing in the next twelve months, that is serious staff.

In a moment, JK Rowling has confronted the dark arts of the media. The Harry Potter author has plenty of stories to tell us especially in quarry.



QUEST: She says she was bullied, harassed and victimized for being famous. One of the world's most successful and beloved writers had to move out of her house because of tabloid intrusions.

JK Rowling testified on Thursday at the Leveson Media Ethics Inquiry stalked by the U.K. phone hacking scandal. The Harry Potter authorized told a parliamentary panel that at one point, a journalist got close enough to slip a letter in to her 5-year-old daughter's school bag.


JK ROWLING, AUTHOR, HARRY POTTER: This doesn't apply to the whole of the press but the attitude seems to be absolutely cavalier in difference. What does it matter? Your famous, you're asking for it.


QUEST: In the mornings, Sienna Miller spoke of her terror of being chased in the dark by packs of tabloid press. The actress has already won a case against Rupert Murdoch's. Now, the front "News of the World" newspaper, today, she told the inquiry how the hacking intrusion caused turmoil against


SIENNA MILLER, ACTRESS: It was baffling how certainties of information kept coming out. And the first initial step I took was to change my mobile number and then I changed it again and again. I end up changing it three times in three months. And story still continue to come out with very private information that not a lot of people knew about.

And so naturally, having change my number and being pretty convinced that people have been, as a result of hacking even though staff was my suspension, I, horribly, I accused my friends and family of selling stories. They may accuse each other as well.


QUEST: The Leveson inquiry also heard from the former head of formula 1, Max Mosley, who had also taken the "News of the World" to court. And once, he says claims that have been printed about his alleged audio back in 2008. Well, they were as straight forward invasion of privacy.


MAX MASLEY, FORMER FORMULA 1 BOSS: I think the story was enormous and I think it's quite right but it is private, it's adult and it's conscientious. Then it concerns nobody else.


QUEST: The parliamentary panel has confirmed, it will call CNN's Piers Morgan who is himself a former tabloid newspaper editor and he will be giving evidence, and to date, to be arranged.

The hacking scandal may have even markia (ph) links. Nearly a quarter of a century ago, a private investigator was found dead outside the British palace. Now, his British partner was the chief suspect an indeed, one of the top investigators for the "News of the World".

It's a rare business. CNN's Atika Shubert is doing some digging.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 1987, private investigator Daniel Morgan is found dead with an axe buried in his head.

Nearly 25 years later, Daniel's brother, Alastair, shows us the spot where it happened. The most notorious unsolved murder case of the British Metropolitan Police, but this cold case may be a key to unraveling Britain's phone hacking scandal.

ALASTAIR MORGAN, DANIEL'S BROTHER: To me, this is the darkest corner that covered (inaudible). And anybody who's serious in one's to clear this up which our government set a monster. We had lots and lots of promises and under taking on that well, I say if you don't look into this corner of the (inaudible) for wanting a better world. Then you are not going to clean the place at all, can you?

SHUBERT: The main suspect in the murder was this man, Jonathan Ricks (ph), Daniel's business partner, private investigator, for among others, the "News of the World", one of his contacts at the paper, Alex Maranchi (ph) then, deputy editor.

Ricks (ph) openly boasted that he is in corrupt cop in his business. But despite six separate investigations, attempts to prosecute him for the murder, failed.

In fact, in March this year, the Metropolitan Police apologized to the Morgan family saying "it is quite apparent that police corruption was a debilitating factor in that investigation. This was wholly inacceptable."

It gets worst. In 2002, senior detective David Cook was tasked with investigating the Morgan murder. When he became suspicious, so several vehicles parked outside his home, registered it turns out, to "News of the World."

Worst, police had evidence that Cook and his wife's voice messages had been hacked while investigating the Morgan murder. Police confronted "News of the World" editor at that time, Rebecca Books, naming Alex Marunchai (ph) as the one responsible.

David Cook's lawyers said, the paper gave no explanation and the matter was dropped.

MARK LEWIS, LAWYER: It flanked in novel. I mean, you couldn't write better fiction that they have a large corporation in charter media. And the largest peaceful in England seem to be working a long side just don't approach, stop the investigation of a murder to effect the investigation for murder. You can't run to (inaudible).

SHUBERT: Labor NP, Tom Watson, put it more bluntly to the investigating parliamentary committee news international, he said, has entered the criminal underworld.

TOM WATSON, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: There are a lot of allegations around the original inquiries involving with Daniel Morgan's murder. Not at least, the king officials leading the inquiry where it's huge by covers surveillance from by "News of the World" and some of the private investigators, that is were also it somewhere related to the Morgan murder inquiry originally.

So, there's a mark story out there that he had to be told and I think that's why it really needs to judge to pick up the evidence fallen and find out just what the hell went on although, she's a girl.

SHUBERT: We asked Jonathan Ricks (ph), Alex Marunchai (ph) and Rebecca Brooks to explain what happened so many years ago, none of them responded to our request.

The darkest corner of the phone hacking scandal, remain a mystery.

Atika Shubert, CNN. London.


QUEST: One of the U.K.'s tough inventor, is hoping to boost British innovation, James Dyson has a latest project and will tell us why it has greater needs, in a moment.


QUEST: The inventor, James Dyson is unveiling his latest creation. This time it's a professorship at Cambridge University. Mister Dyson, the man who invented the blade less fan and her pack let vacuum cleaner. He hopes a $2 million deal will boost research in science and engineering.

Felicia Taylor spoke to James Dyson to find out what drives his passion for invention.


FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here we are in (inaudible) at the Global Headquarters of Dyson, sort of the birth place of the bag less vacuum.

Sir James Dyson has made it his life passion to invent and innovate and take the everyday product and make it something a little more unique. And now, Sir James is rewarding younger talents, engineers that have the same kind of passion. And this year's winner is an Australian man who invented the ear drum.

JAMES DYSON, FOUNDER, DYSON: What he's done is to take hot air, take it on the ground where it's cooler and condensation forms. And you do the night condensation and then go back into the land as pure watering system.

So, it's brilliant. The idea is to encourage students to design and develop technology that solve a problem.

TAYLOR: Why are you so passionate about innovation, about creating new things?

DYSON: Because it's exciting. It's challenging and it is solving problems. And solving problems what I love doing. And I think what makes engineers love doing.

TAYLOR: Why is it important to protect intellectual property within a company?

DYSON: Well, it is very important because if you don't protect it, people will copy you. And if you are putting a lot of time, energy, intelligent for it and money in to developing new solutions to things which have, you know, commercial possibility, you got to be able to go out and commercialize that.

But I think, you know, this is what we need to do in the west. Because you can see what's happening in China. That China is becoming manufacturing center of the world. In order to correct for something, it's got to be better engineering and better design that what is being offered by China or other big exporting nation.

TAYLOR: But you don't consider yourself a businessman.

DYSON: No, no. No, I'm a designer and then engineer. But of course, I make things that supplies people like you. And, you know, that's my business. But I don't ever think of it as business.

The most important thing is that almost everything I do failed. Everything, we - my, you know, 600 engineers out there do failed. And what was interesting about it is watching the failure because that's where you learned from. You never learned from success.

TAYLOR: But did you seriously wake up one day and go, wow! I got this idea for vacuum cleaner or --

DYSON: No. It molded within me for about 25 years.

TAYLOR: Really?

DYSON: My mother used to make me vacuum at home and this terrible smell that (inaudible) and fell down and pick things up. But the fact vacuum cleaner was not picking up.

TAYLOR: So, I'm just going to stir you this way because this is where all the RND happens.

DYSON: You are not allowed o this.

TAYLOR: This is where I'm not supposed to go.

DYSON: No. I'm afraid I have close. I have to block the view.



TAYLOR: Thousands of failure in research and designs that turned into a multimillion dollar business.

Felicia Taylor, CNN. London.


QUEST: Bye (inaudible). Brave man's Sir James Dyson taking off Felicia Taylor who want to go somewhere when she wants to got that. I love that line. You don't know anything by your success. It's only by your failures, and perhaps not original, but something to think about this evening.

Now, when we come back, laboring on South African government minister tells us about the country's plans with eleven million jobs.


QUEST: Hello. I'm Richard Quest in more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment. This is CNN. And in this network, the news always comes first.

So, I need to tell you that state media in Egypt is reporting that the former Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri has accepted the honor request to form a new government. Apparently according to state media and reports, the prime minister, former Prime Minister Ganzouri will be the next prime minister of Egypt.

It comes as Egypt parliamentary election will not be delayed according to the country's military rulers. They are rejecting calls to their resignations. Protesters in Cairo's Tahrir's Square standing the ground demanding a civilian government as a fragile troops between police and demonstrators which seems to be holding.

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy said they have agreed not to expand the European Central Bank's role in taming the debt crisis. On the bonds front, Italian bonds yields of net rose to more than seven percent. Germany's kept up to 2.2 percent.

General strike over austerities, creating chaos to Portugal's transport network. Al international flights in and out of the country were cancelled on Thursday. This been metros since the shutdown. Two of the country's main unions organized the demonstrations.

The Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, has told an inquiry into British media ethics she was constantly harassed by journalists after the birth of her second and third children. She said she felt like a hostage in her own home. Rowling also said she has no magical answer to the abuse of -- problem of abuse by the press.

South African President Jacob Zuma says his country will not be able to increase spending on social programs. Millions receive some form of assistance. The unemployment report is at 25 percent and holding steady.

The South Africa minister in the presidency has a plan to create millions of jobs over the next 20 years.

Nkepile Mabuse sat down with the former finance minister, now a key part of the triumvirate, Trevor Manuel.


NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: OK, let's just talk about some of the plans that the National Planning Commission have -- have come up with - - increasing exports, adding value to South Africa's mineral resources, rural development, supporting small businesses.

Many of these ideas are not new. And some would argue that South Africa has always had great plans. It's in the implementation of those plans that the country has fallen short.

TREVOR MANUEL, SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBER: We -- we -- yes, it is true that -- that many of the ideas are -- are kind of policy decisions that the government have -- have already taken. We need to ensure implementation and we need to involve a range of agencies.

In every area, the implementation agencies are different. And that, I think, is what gives the -- the proposals on the table now its richness.

MABUSE: You've set a target of creating 11 million jobs by 2030.

How is South Africa going to be able to step up job creation when the economic environment is going to be so much -- is expected to be so much tougher in the coming years?

MANUEL: We are saying that if we want to reduce employment to manageable levels and create opportunities in the labor market for many, many young South Africans, then those are the numbers we have to work with. We understand that we will need growth in the order of about 5.4 percent per annum. Now that's a big, big problem.

MABUSE: The outlook is not looking very good, is it?

MANUEL: But you see, the outlook is -- is an immediate outlook. The -- there will have to be some decisions taken. And I'm pretty sure that -- that these decisions are not taken within any one country, regardless of which country it is, even the United States or China, on their own, are not going to resolve the crisis that now confronts the world.

We need leaders from all countries to sit down and resolve the issues. I think the G20 meeting in -- in Cannes this year was an opportunity, perhaps it was a lost opportunity. And -- and this has to come -- I don't think it's avoidable any longer. And as the world deals with this, the issues of unemployment are going to have to be dealt with. It's -- it's in picking up on that that, you know, it can't be beggar theory neighbor in dealing with -- with -- with the challenge of unemployment. We have to find solutions together.

MABUSE: What could...

MANUEL: While we are doing that...

MABUSE: -- what are some of those solutions?

MANUEL: Community works programs, an expanded public works program. So it's community type jobs. It's not highly paying. It's -- it's frequently a stepping stone to something else. But we've set a target of two million by -- by 2020. We believe it's attainable. We believe that if properly managed, people leave those kinds of jobs with portable skills and that -- that is also an important dimension of creating further employment.


QUEST: One of the most respected men in international economics, Trevor Manuel, the former finance minister of South Africa, now heading the National Economic Council.

In a moment, Carlos Ghosn must be doing something right. Even though 2011's challenges seemed biblical, the Nissan chief is still smiling and he tells us why, next.


QUEST: Nissan's chief, Carlos Ghosn, says he's optimistic for the future despite the challenges of the past year.

Anna Coren sat down with the chief exec of the Japanese car company in Tokyo and asked how Nissan's weathering trials that seem almost biblical, from Japan's earthquake and tsunami to floods and global economic turmoil.


CARLOS GHOSN, CEO, NISSAN: Well, you know, in 2011, yes, we had the record number of -- of crisis. Unfortunately for us, most of them concerted in Japan. So that means the rest of the industry had -- had a good year, because the crises we're talking about, that means -- the flood in Thailand impacted mainly the Japanese industry, because this is the second base of manufacturing for -- for -- for -- for the Japanese car makers.

Obviously, the earthquake in Japan impacted the Japanese -- the Japanese industry. The strengthening of the yen impacted Japanese industry.

So there is no contradiction between the fact that 2011 already will be a record year for the car industry, because most of the other carmakers had a great year, with the exception of the Japanese car maker, which have been hit by so many crises.

I still consider that 2012 will be another record year for the industry because with the exception of Europe and the exception of Japan, I still think all the other countries will be growing. They may be growing less than we would have hoped for because of the financial turmoil and the budget problems which are now, in a certain way, creating some kind of volatility and uncertainty. I still think that this is going to be a record year, because China is going to grow, Russia it's going to be growing, India, the Middle East, South and Latin America, even the United States. No matter how this problem of the deficit is going to be ending up, I still think the car industry in the United States will be growing next year.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The economic crisis facing the world doesn't seem to look like it will be resolved any time soon.

What is your forecast?

GHOSN: No, I -- I think, you know, we had so many crises for the last three years that it's going to be difficult to get out of all of this all of a sudden. So I think we're going to continue to have a turmoil within the next two to three years, for the very simple reason is I'm just ignoring the possibility of any new natural disaster of any new manmade kind of -- of turmoil, like, you know, political -- political turmoil or any aggression somewhere or any war. I'm eliminating all of this.

I still think that the problem where the West is going to go through a period of deleveraging, where, you know, governments are going to have to reduce their debt, they're going to have to cut their expenses, is going to have some consequence, at least on part of the economy.

Even though the emerging markets are going to be doing very well, we're going to be facing, for the next two to three years, some kind of volatility even though the overall economy is going to be growing.

COREN: Well, Europe and the United States, they are facing recessions. So you are focusing on the emerging markets and the -- and the BRIC nations.

How much growth do you expect to come from those regions?

GHOSN: For our industry, most of the growth, I wouldn't say all of it, because the United States will be growing I'm -- I'm -- I'm absolutely not pessimistic about the U.S. market, even though I'm very cautious on Europe. I'm very cautious on Japan. I'm optimistic on the recovery of the -- of the US.

But all of the growth, if -- if I except the United States, is going to come from emerging markets. I mean for us, when we -- when we're talking about 2012 being another record year, it's going to be thanks to growth in China, growth in Brazil, growth in Russia, growth in India, Indonesia, the Middle East, etc.


QUEST: Carlos Ghosn talking to our Anna Coren.

The world weather situation and particularly that in Europe at the moment. It's Thanksgiving in the United States so people there are not too concerned. And the weather is very good there. I can -- I can beat you to the -- to it on this one.

The weather is quite good in the United States.

But what about the rest of us?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, the rest of you guys across portions of Europe, Richard, really across Northwestern Europe, hard to believe, sitting at some of the warmest temperatures you're going to find. Glasgow -- and keep that temperature in mind, 12 degrees. And, of course, a range of temperature is three below across Munich, seasonal, so a few degrees below seasonal. Work your way into Warsaw and into Kiev, temperatures one below, just about two below coming out of Moscow as of this hour.

But you've got to remember that 12 degree temperature, because that's one of the warmest you're going to see, even with more than Madrid as of this hour. Even around Macea (ph), temperatures sitting at around 10 degrees as of this hour. And you want Athens -- that's typically a good competitor to have a temperature range with. But it is warmer in Glasgow than it is even down south in Athens. And that sort of a pattern going to continue.

And lots of cool temperatures around Southern Germany. That's just outside of Munich there, in the state of Bavaria, a frosty autumn morning lining up out Europe. We have a frosty autumn morning lining up out there. We have a meteorological term for this, hoarfrost, that has developed on some of the foliage out there in Southern Germany. And the term comes from the old English term in reference to the elderly or -- or folks of old age because the white colors upon these leaves here as the cold temperatures set in in the overnight hours.

But take a look at this. An active weather pattern -- any time you see a linear feature like this, we're talking about a cold front beginning to push in. So the temperature trend across Northwestern Europe going to cool off a few degrees over the next few days and certainly a few thunderstorms around the North Sea working their way toward Scandinavia, where some snow showers in the forecast for our friends in the higher latitudes out there.

But heavy rains at times coming out in areas from, say, Dublin down to Belfast and work your way out toward portions of the Scottish hills there. Thunderstorms at times bringing some heavy rainfall. But that weather pattern really stays to the north.

High pressure to the south. We have generally clear skies. Yes, it is a little cooler. But you're noticing the pattern here. Keep the storms predominantly across the northern regions. And this time of year, that jet stream or the steering currents in the atmosphere gradually bring this storm track down to the south. So the transitional period certainly going to be felt here in the next couple of weeks to few months.

And there you go.

Travel concerns?

Oh, yes, you have that across portions of Frankfurt, bringing in a few low level clouds or fog in place there. Thirty to 45 minute delays going into the overnight hours on Friday. Glasgow, gusty conditions. These storms one after another, going to keep it unsettled out there. So a bumpy ride expected in an around Glasgow. Upwards of an hour delay possible. And even out toward Amsterdam, light to moderate delays, Richard.

And that's certainly the latest here from the Weather Center -- I'll send it back to you in London.

QUEST: Pedram, many thanks.

Pedram at the World Weather Center.

Now, you know the phrase, plus de change, plus la meme chose, the more things change, the more they stay the same. An appropriate phrase. I remember 10 years ago covering the departure from Paris of Marks & Spencer's, the quintessential British store which retreated from Paris. Now, it has made a triumphant return to the French capital. Marks & Spencer's is on the Champs-Elysees. Cues formed down the Champs-Elysees. Expats and locals alike waited to get their hands on the sort of food -- Scotch eggs, digestive biscuits and shortbread. I'm not sure whether they are intending to sell these rather fine garments that you can buy here in London. Probably not. But to redress the balance, on my way back from France today, I chose something perhaps a little more ordinary -- well, a little more French, a bit of foie gras and a bit of brie.

And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight.

I'm Richard Quest in London.

Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I do hope it's profitable.



I'm Juliet Mann.

This is the Mediterranean metropolis where the artist Picasso said there is where it all began. There is where I understood how far I could reach.

So it's quite apt that this is where the European Business Awards are taking place, an event that celebrates innovation, drive and, of course, profit making that's inspiring companies from all over Europe.

We're here to gauge how optimistic these companies are about their futures amidst the euro crisis.

In this week's show, I speak to the EU trade commissioner, Karel De Gucht, a keynote speaker at the European Business Awards. And I met some of the winners who survived and thrived in the economic downturn.

This is the venue where the European Business Awards are taking place. Take a look at this week's European Business Awards by numbers.

There were more than 15,000 entrants from 34 countries in Europe. Those contenders have a combined turnover of $1.4 trillion.

It was a rigorous judging process by 62 judges. Their quest, to find one winner in each of the 11 categories, from best customer focus to employer of the year.

I'm joined now by Adrian Tripp, who's the brains behind the European Business Awards.

Now, I know you haven't got much time today, so let's use this elevator trip for you to tell me just why the European Business Awards are important.


For the companies that get through to this stage and to the country that represents this stage of the awards, it's great. It gives them large amounts of exposure, it gives them recognition to show what they're doing and how they're doing it. And it also brings them lots of business, which is important.

MANN: Which companies really stand out for you?

TRIPP: Well, I think the range of companies that stand out is amazing. So you've got two billion euro businesses that are adding a billion euros a year in terms of organic growth. You've got startups that have started with an international mindset. They're traveling all over the world within 12 months of getting into businesses. They're billion -- multi-billion dollar organizations growing at 15 percent a year.

I think what's fascinating is just the wide mix of companies and what they're doing in this competition is amazing.

MANN: Time is up.

We'll have to leave it there.

I'll see you later.

Thank you.

TRIPP: Thanks for that.


MANN: The nominees are all gathering together.

Let's talk to some of them.

Hello sir.

What's your story?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. We are from Turkey, both of us. And as you were showing. And we are here for innovation networks.

MANN: How about you, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, I'm Osmon (ph) from Strategy 7 (ph) in Paris, France. And we compete to win the -- the award for (INAUDIBLE).

MANN: Well, good luck to both of you.

These awards are a chance to showcase innovation and also resilience in unpredictable economic times. You know the big picture by now -- the debt crisis, banks who won't lend, consumers who won't spend.

The politicians are doing a lot of talking but is it down to grassroots businesses like these to get us back in business?

That's something I asked EU trade commissioner, Karel De Gucht, in this week's FaceTime.


KAREL DE GUCHT, E.U. TRADE COMMISSIONER: Certainly, we cannot get out of this crisis without the businesses. I mean it's the businesses hurt who are performing the exports and -- and the trade who produce the -- the products that we can market on -- on the -- on the world marketplace. So without these businesses, we are nowhere.

And that's why I very much welcome this awards ceremony, because it puts the businesses in the picture, you know?

MANN: So if you were to give us some kind of checklist, a message, what do they need to do to ensure growth in these tricky economic times?

DE GUCHT: I believe they should be lean and mean. They should not be like state bureaucracies. They should be lean and mean. They should be innovative and innovation with the aim of making new products that you can put on the market. They said tap into the growth economies. Ninety percent of growth will be realized in the coming years outside Europe. China alone will be responsible for about one third. They should tap into the markets where there is growth. I mean they should continue to take risks, measured -- measured risks, but you cannot do business without taking risks.

MANN: You mentioned China.

How much of the EU's future growth is bound up in trade with China?

DE GUCHT: Well, I just mentioned that one fourth of world growth will -- we'll realize in China. We have to tape into that. And we in the European Commission try to create the conditions whereby this becomes possible, because we have a lot of problems with China opportunities, but also problems with intellectual property rights, with capital caps when the companies try to in -- invest there, with a lot of subsidies we are confronted.

So we have a lot of problems in this market.

But we also have to realize it's the -- one of the most promising markets in the world.

MANN: It seems a tricky path to tread to get it right. But it wasn't so long ago that the WTO slammed EU trade for too much red tape, criticizing farm subsidies, criticizing food standards and -- and crisis payments to industry.

What have you got to say about that?

DE GUCHT: Well, we still have too much red tape and in our 2020 project by the European Commission, we have pointed at -- at that problem, that we should get less red tape.

As regards to exports, we have been ready -- the European Union has been ready to make away with all agricultural export subsidies by 2013 in the framework of the DVA Rounds (ph).

The problem is that we don't get to (INAUDIBLE). In the DVA Rounds (ph) and that's certainly not due to Europe.

Now, we certainly have deficiencies but -- and we are in a difficult due to the economic crisis. But I mean we may be down, but we are certainly not out, you know?

We are the biggest economy in the world and they will have to -- to take us into account for -- for -- not even for the non-foreseeable future, you know. We can be sure of that.


MANN: He's taking risks -- that's the message from the European Union Trade Commission to companies trying to make a go of it in Europe.

Join me after the break for more from the European Business Awards.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: gentlemen, it is my pleasure to announce the winner. And the winner is (INAUDIBLE).


MANN: Welcome back to MARKETPLACE EUROPE at the European Business Awards in Barcelona. The prize giving is now in full swing.

But what (INAUDIBLE) really mean for the winners themselves?

Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm very proud to announce the winner of the RSM International Entrepreneur of the Year Award is Anders Berry (INAUDIBLE). Gregory Major from Mesa Group in France.

MANN: Maesta Group was set up by two French graduates in Paris around 15 years ago. Now, they have 220 employees, turnover of $100 million and have expanded into the U.K., America and China. They make customized beauty products like perfumes and cosmetics, plus the packaging that goes with it, working with fashion brands like ZARA, super stores like Cap Four (ph) and celebrities like Kim Kardashian.

Now, they've won entrepreneur of the year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We feel very happy. We feel very proud and honored. I think it's about being highlighted as -- as a leading company for our business in all over the world and probably being the -- the leading company in our business, which is about creating and developing beauty on demand products for retailers.

MANN: What's made you the entrepreneur of the year?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: we think that we deliver beauty secrets to our customers and the beauty secret of the company is to stay in this beauty world.

MANN: The finalists came from businesses of all sizes and nationalities, (INAUDIBLE) from biotech to human resources, from energy to taxi firms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We -- we -- we feel very proud, because customer satisfaction is something you leave day after day. So when we -- you are awarded as a company customer focused, it's just a kind of recognition of this day after day strategy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) people, processes and technology. So we are just -- a very important part of our company. So receiving this award, that's TRIPP: Important to motivation. It's important to our business performance, also. So it's a great feeling to have this award. It's a great honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would believe that that solar energy contribution from our company is -- is one of the reasons why we got this prize tonight.

MANN: They've taken risks, perhaps altered expectations. But even putting themselves up for these awards shows that they're not afraid to shout out their success.

At the European Business Awards, an optimistic outlook is the long- term, glass half full view.

Take a look at that. You know, even with a backdrop of trouble in the Eurozone, the European Business Awards shows that there's still so much opportunity out there for businesses across Europe. And there will be challenges along the way, but as events like the Business Awards show, with hard work, determination, and a bit of luck, it's still possible to make your own success, even against the odds.

That's it for MARKETPLACE EUROPE at the European Business Awards in Barcelona.

I'm Juliet Mann.

Join us next week.