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G8 Summit and Scotland
八國峰會對蘇格蘭的影響

First to Scotland, which is now getting back to normal after the meeting of the leaders of the eight major industrial nations, or G-Eight, at Gleneagles.

The summit ended with a communique about the subject of climate change. The leaders also agreed a doubling of the annual aid to Africa by 2010, and debt cancellation for Africa's poorest countries.

As soon as the Gleneagles venue was announced, local people started to think about what it would mean for them. Some were worried about the implications, real and imagined, of staging a gathering of world significance. Others were quick to spot opportunities, both altruistic and commercial. Our Scotland correspondent Colin Blane followed the G8 summit, from the first preparations to the final conclusions.

For a small country, Scotland's hosted more than its fair share of big events: the Commonwealth Games, European football finals, huge annual New Year celebrations. But when it was decided that the leaders of the world's eight wealthiest industrialised nations should meet at Gleneagles, an hour's drive from Edinburgh, everyone here knew holding a G8 summit would touch their lives in one way or another.

What no-one could have foreseen was how the summit would be used as a trigger for a series of lethal bomb explosions more than six hundred kilometres away in London.

In the planning for Gleneagles, it was clear the spotlight would fall on Edinburgh, seat of the Scottish parliament and a key business and tourist centre. The Gleneagles golf and hotel complex and the four thousand residents of the town of Auchterarder two kilometres away would also become the focus of international attention.

But many in Scotland saw the G8 meeting not as a challenge but as an opportunity. Visiting my mother in the seaside town of Largs, for example, I saw how church and community groups there hoped to use the summit to press home calls for world leaders to act decisively on African poverty and debt. All sorts of aid organisations and pressure groups were trying to make their voices heard in the pre-summit cacophony. Some wanted trade justice; some clean water; some action on HIV-AIDS.

Scotland's First Minister, Jack McConnell, decided to match the summit's pro-African agenda by establishing formal links with Malawi. Scotland -- which sent missionaries and civil servants there in colonial times -- would be joining hands again to provide equipment for hospitals and resources for schools.

As the date of the G8 summit drew closer, worries grew about its likely impact.   In Auchterarder, in the rolling hills of Perthshire, a special community police officer was appointed to calm residents' fears. He held more than fifty meetings with mother and toddler groups, boys clubs, and shop keepers. When ground was cleared for more car-parking, a rumour swept Auchterarder that a runway was being built to allow President Bush to fly in on Airforce One. A local lady wondered whether the CIA would be permitted to shoot wild-life which strayed too close to the US president. There were reports that up to thirty thousand protesters might descend on the town's play park.

Not all the inquiries were anxious. As security teams erected eight kilometres of steel fencing around the perimeter of the conference venue, one enterprising individual asked whether he could buy some of it at a knock-down price when the summit ended.

In the days leading up to the G8 meeting the potential for trouble became more and more apparent. A call by the pro-Africa campaigner Bob Geldof for a million people to head for Edinburgh caused consternation in a city of fewer than half a million residents. Anarchist websites began to talk of causing serious disturbances. Thousands of extra police were brought in from forces across Britain.

The first and biggest protest went off peacefully when a quarter of a million anti-poverty demonstrators marched through the centre of Edinburgh. Two days later, an anti-capitalist carnival in the same streets ended in violence.  Masked youths confronted mounted police. The city's famous floral gardens were raided. Begonias, geraniums and clods of earth were lobbed at officers in full riot gear as tourists and shoppers dived for cover.

For the next few days, there were periodic disturbances in Edinburgh city centre. And close to Gleneagles the disruption was worse. A band of anarchists attacked vehicles and broke windows in Stirling; others ripped down branches to form road-blocks and a breakaway demonstration charged the security fence. Over the G8 week police made hundreds of arrests.

And then, of course, came news of the atrocities in London, and the mood at the summit was utterly transformed.The British Prime Minister Tony Blair said those who hoped to change Britain's culture and way of life through violence would not succeed.

But some now believe there ought to be a review of the G8 format. One of Scotland's leading newspapers looked back over the expense and the protests and the isolation of those at the Gleneagles meeting and asked if the work of the G8 might not be better carried out in the global forum of the United Nations.

It's a view which reflects growing unease about the mismatch between the summit's opulent, high security surroundings and its declared aim of tackling deprivation and poverty.


參考譯文:

在鷹谷舉行的西方八國首腦會議結束以后,蘇格蘭已經漸漸恢復了正常。

這次峰會在氣候變暖的問題上簽署了一個聯合公報。各國領導還同意將給予非洲的援助加倍,同時同意取消非洲最窮的幾個國家的債務。

當公報簽署以后,當地居民就在想,這對于他們來講究竟意味著什么。有些人擔心這里面是不是有什么隱含的意義,會不會使蘇格蘭成為世界矚目的焦點。還有人立刻發現了很多機遇,包括商業機遇等。我們的科林·布萊恩自始至終一直在跟蹤報道本次峰會。

蘇格蘭是一個小國家,他所承辦的活動要多于這樣一個小國家所應該承辦的活動,包括:英聯邦運動會,歐洲杯足球賽決賽以及大型新年慶典等等。但是當八國峰會決定在鷹谷這樣一個距離愛丁堡只有一個小時的車程的城市舉行時,這里的人們都意識到,這次會議將會在某個方面影響到他們的生活。

但是沒有人預見到,這次峰會居然會引起六百公里以外的倫敦的一系列致命性爆炸。

在這次峰會的籌備過程中,大家都知道會議的焦點會集中在愛丁堡,蘇格蘭國會的席位以及一個很重要的商務旅游中心。鷹谷的高爾夫球場和復合旅館以及兩公里以外的奧特拉德小鎮的四千多當地居民都將成為舉世矚目的焦點。

但是很多人并沒有把這次峰會看成是一個挑戰,而是一個機會。比如說,我上次去一個叫拉各斯的海邊城市看望我媽媽時,我看到當地的教堂和社區里的人們很希望這次峰會上,各國領導人會對非洲的貧困問題和債務問題做出一個決定。所有的援助組織和要給峰會施加壓力的組織都紛紛在峰會前發出聲音,想要讓這些領導人們聽見。有人想要交易公平;有人要潔凈的水;有人要他們采取抵抗艾滋病的行動。

蘇格蘭的地方首席大臣杰克·麥克康納爾與馬拉維建立正式的外交關系,以此來推進本次峰會的議事日程。蘇格蘭曾經在殖民主義時期在馬拉維派送了傳教士和公務員。現在也要聯手為馬拉維的醫院提供設備,為學校提供資源。

隨著八國首腦會議的日益臨近,人們開始漸漸擔心起它的影響了。在奧特拉德小鎮的佩思郡的崎嶇山路上,有一個特殊的社區警官負責安撫當地居民的恐慌情緒。他同母子團體,青年團體和一些店主等團體進行了五十多次會議。有一次要清理一塊空地,為了騰出更多的停車空間,這時候在奧特拉德小鎮就盛行這樣的說法:布什總統要乘坐他的空中一號來了。有的當地婦女甚至問我,中央情報局是否被允許向接近總統的飛禽走獸射擊,來保護總統。據報道,多達30,000人聚集到佩思郡的公園。

不是所有詢問的人都是帶著緊張的情緒的。當一個安全小組在會場外八公里以外的地方立起一道鐵柵欄的時候,有一個公司職員就上去詢問,是否可以在峰會結束以后以較低的價格購買這些柵欄。

隨著八國峰會的日益臨近,出現問題的勢頭也是越來越明顯。一個支持非洲的競爭者鮑勃·格爾多夫號召了一百萬人來到愛丁堡,這給這個只有不到五十萬人的小城帶來了恐慌。

當25萬反貧困的示威者游行穿過愛丁堡中心的時候,這場首次的也是最大的抗議游行就這樣波瀾不驚地結束了。兩天以后,一個反資本主義的狂歡在同一個街道上進行,最終以暴力的方式結束。那些潛藏的青年要面對越來越多的警察。這個城市最大的一個花園被襲擊了。當游人和購物的人們想要拍攝他們喜歡的東西的時候,他們看到的是混亂中人們把秋海棠,天竺葵以及土塊制成小球往警察身上投擲。

后來的幾天里,在愛丁堡的中心仍然斷斷續續地有騷亂發生。在鷹谷附近,騷亂的情況則更加嚴重。一伙無政府主義者攻擊斯特靈汽車和窗戶;還有其他人折斷樹枝來制造路障,一個無組織的游行隊伍負責搞柵欄。在八國首腦會議舉行的那個星期里,警方一共逮捕了上百個人。

當然了,然后就傳來了倫敦暴亂的消息,而會場上的氣氛也完全改變了。英國首相托尼·布萊爾說,那些想要改變英國的文化和生活方式的人是不會成功的。

但是現在有些人覺得應該反思一下八國首腦會議的形式了。蘇格蘭的一家很知名的報紙回顧了八國首腦會議的費用,回顧了那些抗議者以及在八國峰會上擱置的議題。他們開始疑問:如果這個會議在美國的全球論壇舉行的話,那么情況會不會好一些呢。

這個觀點反應了人們越來越多的不安:因為這次峰會的消除剝削和貧困的主題與嚴密的,高度安全的環境形成了強烈的反差。