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Migrant Crisis. Aired 3-4p ET.

Aired September 2, 2015 - 15:00:00   ET


[15:00:09] HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight, a special edition of The World Right Now. We are live in Berlin this hour as Britain grapples with the

biggest migrant crisis since the Second World War.

This evening there is anger in Hungary where a bottleneck persists that the country's main train station. Meantime Munich is on the ready. It is a

city waiting to welcome migrants when the floodgates finally open.

Arwa Damon is in Budapest, Fred Pleitgen is in Munich, both Senior International Correspondents are standing by with the latest from those key

cities as we continue to cover this story as people still flock to Southern European shores, many fleeing for their lives, some dying along the way.

Hello, everyone I'm Hala Gorani, we're live from Berlin, and this is The World Right Now.

Well we being this hour with the stark and extremely disturbing image that symbolizes on so many levels so much of the tragedy behind this crisis.

Every day mothers and fathers make the agonizing decision to pack their families onto rickety boats in the hopes of reaching European shores,

risking death for the chance at a better life.

We know many of them never make it, now this heartbreaking reminder. And we warn you again the pictures are very disturbing.

GORANI: The body of this little boy washed up today on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey. He was among at least 12 Syrian refugees who drowned when two

boats heading for Greece sank.

Several other children are among the dead as well. This picture has been making the rounds on social media. Many saying if this will not spur

European leaders to act, then what will?

We're joined now by CNN's Arwa Damon, in Budapest, Hungary with more on the bottleneck there and what authorities are telling these refugees all

waiting to board trains toward Austria and Germany, what they're telling them is going to happen to them in the coming days. Arwa?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala, it's been so difficult and you know showing that image right there, so dangerous for

these families. And a lot of people questioning why it is that parents do make this very difficult journey. And when we ask them about that they say

that they do it because they firmly believe that if they were to stay back in their respective homelands, and most of these are refugees of the wars

in Iraq and Syria, they would end up dead anyway, so why not take the risk?

They have gone through it all, they have managed to arrive here in Budapest at the train station and yet here their journey is being blocked. They are

not being allowed to continue on. They're forced to live in squalor in the streets.

We want to bring you, we want to show you a little bit of who these people are, and here are two families who we met earlier in the day.

They almost drowned crossing the Aegean after their dinghy sprung a leak. For 21 days this Syrian family pushed, carried, and at times dragged

(Mahmoud) across Europe. Mentally and physically disabled from birth, his face scratched up from the journey. His 60 year old mother (Houria) who

refused to leave his side is exhausted.

Baby (inaudible) will bring about a smile, albeit a tired one and he's had diarrhea for days. (Inaudible) his mother is in her last week of pregnancy

with his younger sibling. She started cramping up and is terrified she will end up giving birth in the street.

We first met the family in front of the Budapest's train stations main entrance.

We couldn't make ends meet in Turkey, we can't go back to Syria, our house is on the frontline in Aleppo (inaudible) told us.

We just wanted a future, access to a good education for the children. But now, they are doubting the decision to take this journey.

(Houria) says they can forget everything they have been through but not being left to languish with this. We hope you will save us she pleads, I

beg you save us.

DAMON: They have nothing left, literally nothing. They have the clothes that are on their back. For the baby they have a pair of warm pants and a

jacket that they're putting on him tonight because it's gotten quite cold. And then they have a backpack full of diapers and a little bit of baby

formula, but that's it.

[15:05:16] They lost everything back home and then they lost everything throughout different stages of the journey.

Another family, another story. Echoes of the same misery. (Mahmoud), a chemical engineer was a successful businessman. His four year old son's

face scratched up when he fell during the commotion crossing into Macedonia.

It's too hard for me to see my family like this, (Mahmoud) says. (Mohammed) the eldest 17, so bright he graduated ahead of his class, and

should be starting university.

(Gran) shows us all she has with her from home. Three tiny photos of the kids when they were younger, before life turned into this. She misses her

parents still in Syria the most.

I just want to see them she says, she just wants her mother to hug her, and reassure her all is going to be OK.

And Hala, a few hours ago we saw some of the police rounding up a small group of Syrian refugees that were down one of the side streets forcibly

removing them. The women began crying, they didn't really know where they were being taken. And then a short while ago the riot police were on the

outskirts of the train station and there was an announcement being made over a loud speaker in Arabic telling the refugees and migrants that they

need to report either to the camps that have been set up or to the police stations.

The problem is Hala, no-one wants to go into those camps, they have had absolutely wretched experiences in the camp along the border, the Hungarian

and Serbian border. And the woman who you saw there who is about to give birth, she just grabbed my arm after she heard about all of this and said

please, I can't give birth there, I can't go into that camp, we will not be able to survive under the conditions in these camps, Hala.

GORANI: All right, Arwa Damon is our senior international correspondent in Budapest, Hungary. I'll be speaking to a government representative in just

a moment.

Meantime though Italy, France and Germany are taking preliminary steps to try to address this. They are ordering a review on Europe's rules on

granting asylum. Now it's just a review for now.

They issued a joint statement today saying there must be a "fair distribution of refugees throughout the European Union." They say the

crisis has clearly exposed the limits and defects of the current regulations.

Italy is already suspending rules against border checks despite its participation in Europe's passport free travel zone. It's now checking

papers at the Austrian border instead of waving people through, that is at the request of Germany. Saying Bavaria is overwhelmed by people coming

across the border so please could you check papers in that border area between Italy and Austria.

Hungary though says what's really needed to address this crisis is a return to law and order. The Hungarian government spokesperson, Zoltan Kovacs

joins me now live from Budapest. Mr. Kovacs, thanks for being with us.

First I want to clarify something. It appears as though authorities at the Budapest train station where all these refugees are mast are telling them

they must register and head to camps. Is that the case and what happens if they refuse?

ZOLTAN KOVACS, HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON: (Inaudible) be the case. Up and until we are able to establish identity we can't call these people

refugees because we simply don't know who they are, so they are illegal migrants. They have to go through the registration process and

identification process that is required by all European countries, that is European laws.

That's going to happen to them in Austria, that's going to happen to them in Germany anyhow. Current European legislation requires all migrants,

illegal migrants, arriving to the European Union to be registered.

GORANI: OK, so clearly you're calling them illegal migrants which means that you are not accepting the idea that they are refugees until they can

prove to you that they are. But - I mean you know if you flee a war zone you rarely have you know files and passports and things like that. And

some critics of the way you've handled this situation in Hungary are saying this is just an extremely unsympathetic and callous approach to desperate

people. How do you respond to that criticism?

[15:10:00] KOVACS: Well you really have to keep wanting in mind. A small minority less than one third of those who are coming through the

Hungarian/(green) borders, 3,000 a day reaching 160,000 as of today are coming from Syria or claim to come from Syria. As a matter of fact we

don't know where they're coming from because we simply don't have the means to establish that.

The name of the game is that they come without papers, they throw away because we don't have papers because they want to misuse this existing

legal environment. Again it is important to establish identity. We are receiving even by claim over 100 countries migrants and that's a clear

indication that what we are facing here is not a refugee crisis but a major mass migration crisis.

Accordingly law and order should be re-established before you can do (inaudible) those who are in real need.

GORANI: But you may have heard from Budapest our reporter speaking to these refugees who say we refuse to go to a camp. We don't want to

register and get fingerprinted and get rounded up into a camp. Our reporter was also telling us that there are riot police around the area.

Will Hungary use riot police forces if these individuals at the Budapest train station refuse to go to these camps?

KOVACS: Indeed I've talked to Arwa, and I've explained to her what she witnesses on the ground and your viewers all around the world is illegal.

I mean that situation shouldn't be there. Those people are not supposed to be there. When they entered the country they were told where to go to be

able to fulfill the procedure, to comply with European legislation. They are going to be provided shelter, they are going to have the time, they can

spend the time, they're going to be provided the provisions, the money that is being provided them under European legislation.

It's simply unacceptable that they choose not to go to these temporary shelters but choose to stay at public places and at railway stations.

Again, this is an illegal situation most obviously neither the Hungarian police nor the government is going to let this to be institutionalized.

GORANI: All right, so it does sound like perhaps police forces will intervene then. But I've got to ask you one last question. I spoke to the

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, when I asked him why is the UN not helping to try to alleviate the situation in Budapest, this

is what he told me. I'll get your reaction after this - after this excerpt from our interview. Listen.

ANTONIO GUTERRES, UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES: (Inaudible) inform us that assistance was not to be provided there, only in a reception center

that for the moment of course would be very far from that place. And as we speak today I am in Abu Dhabi but in contact with my colleagues I have

asked them to insist with the Hungarian authorities you know to be able to provide assistance.

GORANI: So, Antonio Guterres is saying essentially the UN has offered help but that authorities in Budapest have refused it. Why is that since the

situation is so desperate?

KOVACS: Exactly for the reason I told you before. It is impossible that we institutionalize a refugee camp at a major Hungarian railway station.

That is not going to happen in Germany say in the Munich main station or in Berlin, or in any other major European city.

We do have designated areas, we have refugee camps in Hungary is it is required by European laws. We are in continuous cooperation with the UNACR

and all international organizations so they do have the opportunity, the chance and as a matter of fact the best on the ground helping these


Again, these migrants are supposed to be at these places and not occupying illegally (inaudible) places around the country.

GORANI: Zoltan Kovacs, the Hungarian Government Spokesperson joining us live from Budapest this evening, thank you very much for being on the


There's a lot more to come tonight. The other side of this desperate journey. We head to Munich where arriving migrants face brand new


I'll also be joined by an editor of one of Germany's best-selling newspapers for his take. Stay with us.



[15:17:00] GORANI: Welcome back to a special edition of The World Right Now. We are live in Berlin. This is the country where many migrants stuck

in Budapest hope to end their journey.

A large number of Syrians and Iraqis arrived on Monday after Hungary allowed them to board trains. You're looking at a map by the way showing

the route many migrants take into northern Europe. Those fleeing Syria cross through Turkey, and then on to Greece and then eventually they make

their way through the Balkans, Serbia and Hungary.

Reaching Hungary is critical because it's part of the EU's passport free zone so migrants get easier access to Europe's wealthier nations,

especially Germany.

Frederick Pleitgen is in Munich where asylum seekers are being helped to supplies and temporary shelter. What is the situation in Munich today

because many of those desperate refugees in Budapest are still stuck there. Have you seen any arriving today in Munich Fred?

FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well it's really been a trickle Hala and that really shows part of the tragedy that's

going on right now with those people who are stuck there at the Budapest train station.

It was interesting because we were at the Munich central station where there were literally dozens of private helpers, private volunteers who had

come there. They'd brought food, they'd brought water, I mean it was a gigantic German style logistical operation that was going on there. And by

the end of it the Munich Central Station, or at least part of it, really was almost a welcoming and processing center. But at least today there

were very few people who actually made it through. And it was quite frustrating for those volunteers who were there.

Some of them had been there overnight because the capacities certainly are there. There certainly is enough in medical facilities, there certainly

are enough supplies. And the other thing is that the system there for them processing these people and moving them on is one that does work.

I'm actually not at the train station anymore where I am right now is the first temporary shelter where these people are brought. And usually from

what we've seen at the Munich train station, that process didn't last very long.

They came into the train station were processed there, received from food and water, were put on a bus and then were brought here. And from here on

they go to other shelters in (Bavaria) and the South East of Germany but also in other places in Germany as well.

Now there is frustration among the helpers that we saw, there is also frustration amongst some top level German politicians. I spoke to Claudia

Roth who is the Vice-President of Germany's parliament, and here's what she told me.

CLAUDIA ROTH, GERMAN VICE-PRESIDENT: I think that Europe is in a real crisis and every day Europe is dying or the values in Europe are dying if

there is not a shared responsibility, finally a shared responsibility. So is the solution that in Hungary they build 175km long fence or in Bulgaria

they 100km long wall? No. Europe should be ready to receive more refugees from the hot regions. From Lebanon, from Jordan, from Iraq. And there

will be more coming from Syria and we have to receive them as a humanitarian responsibility and share the responsibility inside Europe with

the members.

[15:20:09] PLEITGEN: There's many, many people stranded right now in Hungary, very little food, very little water.

ROTH: With nothing.

PLEITGEN: The Hungarian government says we're just upholding European law. Is that what they're doing or are they just not being flexible enough?

ROTH: That has nothing to do with European law. I ask myself when I saw this what the hell is it European law that they take out of the refugee,

take them like prisoners, put them anywhere nobody knows. If they don't give them water, basic needs. This is a universal human right.

PLEITGEN: So some very strong words there from the Green Party politician Claudia Roth. One of the things that she wanted to make clear is that of

course there are European laws that are still very much in place like the Dublin convention for instance that tells refugees that they have to

register in the first country that they get too. However when there is a gigantic crisis situation like this one it is debatable whether or not

those laws need to be enforced to the last letters or whether or not there is some leeway there, that's certainly one thing that helpers in Munich are

saying as well.

They said look on Monday refugees were being allowed to come and that process was working and at least publicly there was no-one who seemed to

have an issue with it. And then all of a sudden all of it just stopped, Hala.

GORANI: All right, Fred Pleitgen is live in Europe. Thanks very much. And we know that at least France, Germany, and Italy, have decided to

review some of those rules.

Now some countries are hosting more migrants than others. Take a look at this. The countries are arranged by size from left to right. The graph

shows the number of asylum places each country granted per 1 million people. So this gives you a good idea of the scale compared to the

population of each country.

Sweden has granted the largest number of asylum applications relative to its small population of about 9.6 million. Our data comes from the World

Bank and the European Commission.

A recent German newspaper article highlighted this very issue. The title you see there translates to Europe's slackers. The Editor in Chief of Bild

online, Julian Reichelt joins me now live in Berlin. Thanks for being with us.

JULIAN REICHELT, EDITOR-in-CHIEF: Thanks for having me.

GORANI: So you have taken quite an editorial position here in your very popular (inaudible) newspaper. Why? Why do you consider that this is

something that you have to position yourself on.

REICHELT: Well I think that we're seeing here is a historic crisis and what we're not seeing is a historic response to it.

You know there are children as, you know you showed the picture at the beginning of your show we are running that some are drowning on the very

beaches where the richest continent in the world is vacationing. And that's just not an adequate response.

So we felt that it's very important to take a very clear stance on all those issues and said you know every country has to - has to you know take

a share of those desperate people who are coming to Europe.

GORANI: Can I ask you, explain to our viewers why do you think Germany has been the most generous? Not relative to its population but in terms of

total overall asylum seeker settlement places? Why do you think that's the case?

REICHELT: Well you know many of those refugees simply want to come to Germany because they consider Germany a safe haven, you know. And I think

everyone who has followed the situation in Syria knows that nothing is going to stop those refugees after what they have been through so it is

just something Germany has to respond to.

And you know with all those people coming here there's just no way we can turn them down in this kind of desperate situation. So I think there

wasn't much choice for Germany and at the same time I think people have a good understand of what is going on in Syria, of what they've been through,

and people are very willing to help.

GORANI: There are some pockets of resistance. In fact I interviewed you on this very program a few days ago, you wrote a very powerful editorial

about a particular town in Germany that had acted very violently and aggressively toward an asylum seeking center. But overall the sentiment is

still very much positive right?

REICHELT: I would say it is and if you - you know we talked a couple of days about this since then those anti-refugee sentiments have pretty much

died down and have been beaten back by the public speaking out and politicians speaking out, you know.

GORANI: There was one 28 year old man who peppered sprayed a center or something, that's an isolated ..

REICHELT: . you see it popping up here and there and you know every single incident is a disgrace but overall I think people are very welcoming. We

run you know major stories in our paper showing support showing that it is - you know now it's everyone's duty.

GORANI: . I've got to show this by the way, I don't know if you can see it here (inaudible) which means in German, we are helping.

REICHELT: Correct, that's a headline we ran basically asking people to do you know as much as they can, it's the kind of time where everyone has to

do something even if it's just something little.

[15:25:08] GORANI: Julian Reichelt, thanks very much. The editor of Bild newspaper here in Germany.

We're going to take a quick break, a lot more of our special programming after this. Stay with us on CNN.



GORANI: Welcome back everybody I'm Hala Gorani, we're live in Berlin, we continue our special coverage of the refugee crisis in Europe.

Italy, Germany and France are calling for a review of the current rules on asylum in this part of the world. There are also growing doubts about the

system that has allowed citizens in Europe to travel freely between countries for years.

It's the Shengen Agreement. Isa Soares has that story for us.

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They've escaped the horrors of war and persecution on rickety boats, on crowded trains and on all fours

crawling throughout the night; all in the hope of reaching the safety of Europe.

For many Hungary is the entry point to Europe's borderless zone, the Shengen area. But as a number of migrants reaching the union increases

daily some are questioning the very purpose of this European project.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We immediately need to close the Shengen area which means we need to protect Shengen, we need to prevent the immigrants from

coming in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am simply saying that if we are unable to agree on a fair distribution of refugees within Europe then some people will start

to pull Shengen into question. We do not want that, we want a fair distribution of refugees and then we won't need to discuss Shengen.

SOARES: Implemented in 1995 the Shengen Agreement eliminated internal border controls which allowed citizens from 26 member states to travel

freely around most of Europe.

20 years on and Shengen remains fundamental to the very idea of the European union. It covers 7,721km of land borders. And what it does it

allows some 400 million EU citizens to work, to travel, and to live in any of these EU countries without the need for special formalities and by that

I mean visas and paperwork, really no red tape.

Trade and security between these countries also shared and as you can imagine they benefit greatly from it. But some argue that with the rise of

ISIS or with large numbers of migrants arriving in the block from Africa as well as the Middle East, a borderless Europe is exacerbating the crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have eased actually sort of growing pressure that's welling up in some parts of the population but also amongst various

politicians that see that the ideals of the European Union, the ideals behind the Shengen Agreement are actually causing problems and will create

difficulties and so in time this could be one of the issues which really does shatter elements of the European Union.

SOARES: At a time when Europe is calling for more integration physical divisions are going up from Hungary, Bulgaria, Calais, to (inaudible)

fences or walls of barbed wire are being built. It's an image that takes the continent back to 1999 when the last border fell right here in Europe.

Isa Soares, CNN, London.

GORANI: Still to come on this special edition of the program. Germany is at the ready to welcome refugees and we'll show you the scene at a

registration center right here in Berlin.

Plus we'll talk to a key member of the European Parliaments efforts to tackle the migration crisis. Stay with us.



[15:32:20] GORANI: Hello, and welcome back to this special edition of The World Right Now. We're live in Berlin, we're following the migrant and

refugee crisis across the continent.

A look at our top stories before we move on. U.S. President Barack Obama appears to have won a major victory in congress. Democratic Senator

Barbara Mikulski announced she would be voting in favor of the Iran nuclear deal. That gives the President enough support to secure a potential veto

on a Republican resolution that disapproves of the deal.

Earlier the American Secretary of State John Kerry, spoke to CNN's Christiane Amanpour and he strongly defended the agreement.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: This agreement is not based on hope or trust. This agreement is based on verification and on very specific

steps that Iran has to take. For instance you were just having somebody interviewed about business in Iran. Business in Iran will not be able to

take off until Iran has done all of the things that it has to do in order to expand the breakout time and live up to this agreement. That could take

six months to a year.

And so again, nothing in this agreement is based on hope or in a signature. It is based on very specific things that have to be verified for the

lifetime of this agreement. There is no sunset to this agreement. It is the lifetime of the agreement that must be lived up to.

GORANI: John Kerry there speaking to CNN. Among our other top stories; ISIS is claiming responsibility for two suicide bombings in Sana'a, the

Yemen capital. At least 28 killed according to a news agency run by Houthi rebels.

Officials say the first attack targeted a mosque while the second struck as civilians were trying to help those injured.

Also, kidnappers have abducted a group of Turkish construction workers in a Shiite dominated area of the Iraqi capital.

The 18 men were helping to build a sports stadium in the Sadr City neighborhood north of Baghdad, very much a Shia neighborhood.

The abductors reportedly stormed into the worker's quarters before dawn in military uniform. No-one has claimed responsibility.

And Police in Thailand have issued an arrest warrant for another suspect in last month's Bangkok Shrine bombing.

The Turkish man is believed to be the husband of a Thai woman authorities are also seeking. Police say he provided accommodation for the other

bombing suspect.

[15:35:00] Two people have been detained including this man. Police say his fingerprints match those found on bomb making material that was

discovered during a weekend raid on an apartment in Bangkok.

And finally, a fire in Paris has killed at least eight people including two children. Police are trying to determine whether it was started


It happened in the early morning at an apartment building. Officials say more than 100 fire fighters spent three hours controlling the blaze.

Let's return now to our top story. Europe's biggest migrant crisis since World War II. We use the word migrant as a catch all term. Of course many

of those who are fleeing and asking for political asylum are refugees.

Thousands more people seeking asylum by the way have arrived in Athens. The flow continues, the Greek government chartered ships to bring them from

an island overwhelmed by the huge numbers of refugees coming ashore. Many are fleeing war in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

One man departing the ship said the refugees want peace and a good life adding "we are human."

The reception awaiting refugees seeking asylum in Europe differs very much, one could say wildly from country to country. Germany is rolling out one

of the biggest welcome (inaudible) around. It's expecting 800,000 asylum applications this year. Atika Shubert has more from Berlin.

ATKIA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Papers in hand they wait all day and hope they will be assigned a home or given a doctor most prized

of all permission to settle in Germany.

Waiting to be called they watch the numbers flick by never quite fast enough. For thousands of refugees this is the final destination of a long

and dangerous journey but for so many it is also the most difficult wait.

So this is the main registration center here in Berlin and as you can see it is completely overwhelmed.

One official told me that up to 600 people apply here for new applications every day that's on top of the 2,000 or so that come here with help for

housing, healthcare and other social issues.

Volunteers weave through the crowds offering snacks, coffee and tea. Nearby donations are collected and every morning new people arrive asking

to help anyway they can. It's the first day for these volunteers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have already seen some pictures, some images from you so it was - we knew a bit how it would be but the huge mass of people

who are just sitting, lying on the ground, and it's also so hectic and there's no real order, and this has surprised me, yes.

SHUBERT: These friends use their own money to buy cold treats for the kids today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like this huge gap. Our politicians are saying stuff but it's not really happening. So they say they have

everything under control and obviously nothing is under control.

SHUBERT: When they met a Syrian family sleeping out here in the open they pitched in to pay rent for a small apartment. This is her response to

those worried that Europe will be overwhelmed with refugees.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (As translated) You can be as rich as you want but if you are poor in your heart I think you live less quality life.

SHUBERT: Ordinary citizens stepping in to fill the gap that governments have been unable to fill.

GORANI: All right, and Atika joins me now live in Berlin.

So Atika, right now this is really the initial preliminary first steps for these refugees, these asylum seekers. Eventually though you have to

integrate, you have to learn German, you have to live here I mean that's very difficult.

SHUBERT: Absolutely it is difficult and I think Germany is taking on that challenge. Not only are they trying to find housing for them immediately

making sure they get the medical care they need, but we actually went and saw an initiative today for example in which employers said you know we

need electricians and plumbers and construction workers and even architects and other jobs so can you connect us with those refugees that are coming

across that have those skills and then we'll help to get them the language training and so forth they need.

And so the idea here in Germany is you can't stop the wave of people coming in what you can do is be better prepared. Get them the language training

and the skills training, and just the cultural training that they need to get plugged into society here `cause there's no use in ignoring that.

GORANI: But the language training is a long term process when you're an adult. Learning German is an extremely difficult language.

SHUBERT: It is difficult and I don't think anybody is going to pretend that you can just jump from being an architect in say Aleppo and then plug

into here. But you know if you're able to get into a program that at least begin learning German so that you can get by just on day to day living a

lot better. But also you know you can make those connections with other employers. Maybe they have a need for example for Arabic speaking

architects or from wherever. And you'll be surprised at how many - how many employers are actually looking for that whether it's hospitals looking

for care work or otherwise.

[15:40:19] GORANI: Atika Shubert, thanks very much and we'll be seeing you of course again tomorrow on the program with more of our special


I want to bring you a guest who is quite literally at the forefront of Europe's efforts to try and end this crisis. If we could move on. Joining

me from Brussels's Ska Keller, she's the Chief Negotiator for the European Parliament's Emergency Relocation Scheme. She's also a spokesperson for

the Greens in the European Parliament on migration.

Ska Keller, thanks for being with us. First of all let's talk about why Europe in your estimation, and you're right there in Brussels is having

such a hard time because after all this is what the European project is all about is to present a common strategy when faced with crisis. Why is it

proving so difficult in Europe?

SKA KELLER, CHIEF NEGOTIATOR EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT EMERGENCY RELOCATION SCHEME: Indeed this should be exactly the time when we all sit together

and find a European answer to a common European challenge. And the problem is that this is not happening. The member states are acting on their own,

they're blaming each other. None of them are doing what they're supposed to do, or hardly any let's say. And that is really a problem that there

was not even an agreement to relocate 40,000, only 40,000 refugees from Greece and Italy, those member states where the most arrivals are


So it really is a problem of lacking European solidarity between the member states and a lack of political will to really roll up your sleeves and help

those people in need.

GORANI: So is this really putting in jeopardy is this threatening the European project do you think because it is just not able at least it

hasn't been able until now to deal with this problem, this crisis it's facing?

KELLER: I do think that it threatens the whole idea of Europe because Europe is a project as you have said that's based on humanitarian values.

Of the idea of helping people, of not turning the blind eye when people are in need. And what is currently happening is not living up to this ideals

and we have to make sure that the European Union is able to live up to this idea.

I mean the European Union got the Nobel Peace Prize but we have to ask ourselves whether we're really worth it as Europeans or like especially as

the government and the European Union, if we're not able to act together for those people.

GORANI: But Ska Keller, let me put to you the Hungarian position. Because in the end they are saying look, we are simply applying the rules, we have

people who have arrived without paperwork, they are illegals, they want to board trains onto Western Europe, we don't know who they are, we can't

verify their identity, why should we just let them move freely?

How do you respond to the way Hungary has managed this situation?

KELLER: Well Hungary hasn't been following the rules in other areas for example them imprisoning refugees who are asking for asylum in Hungary. So

it's very understandable that people do not want to ask for asylum in Hungary. A lot of people are coming out of there even more traumatized

than they've been before.

So it's really a problem that any member state has been following the common European minimum standards on asylum properly else we would have

good asylum procedures everywhere and we would have good asylum housing everywhere. And of course those still would be coming under more strain

when there's more people coming no doubts about that. But at least you would have the basic structures and that is something that for example does

not exist in Hungary but also not in other states.

GORANI: Ska Keller, thanks very much a member of the European Parliament joining me from Brussels with her reaction to the crisis unfolding in


We're going to take a quick break, we'll be right back.



[15:46:42] GORANI: Well this migrant crisis is largely viewed as European issue. The United Nations does often step in to aid refugees elsewhere.

So why isn't it - is it not doing that here in Europe, and in Hungary in particular. I posed that question to Antonio Guterres, the UN's High

Commissioner for Refugees.

ANTONIO GUTERRES, UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES: Well the UN cannot manage a situation that can only be managed by the Hungarian government.

The UN can and that is what we have been trying to do to educate for the European asylum system that is completely dysfunctional and that

dysfunctionality now is absolutely obvious to allow for a management of a situation in which this kind of blockages do not exist.

As you can imagine when a system is so dysfunctional from the beginning, from the entry point, from what's happening in Greece where no reception

conditions exist, where no effective registration is still taking place. And then people move onwards as they move through (inaudible) through

Serbia. If one country tries to apply strict rules inevitably there will be a blockage.

GORANI: Commissioner are you calling on Hungary to allow the refugees currently blocked at that train station, to allow them onto trains and send

them on their way to Austria and Germany. Are you making that call to the government in Hungary?

GUTERRAS: First of all we have been trying to have permission to provide some assistance in place in which the local authorities would not allow for

the moment. I hope this will change.

And secondly I have been saying very clearly that one government blocking the situation will not solve the problem and that we need a collective

answer. And so obviously this situation is not solving anything and it is creating for the people that is there a very, very dramatic aggravation of

their plight.

GORANI: So you have been in contact from what I understand, from what you're telling me, with Hungarian authorities asking them to provide

assistance to the refugees in Hungary and you have been refused that access. Is that accurate?

GUTERRAS: We have asked the municipality to provide assistance. The municipality inform us that assistance was not to be provided there only in

a reception center that for the moment of course would be very far from that place. And as we speak today I am in Abu Dhabi but in contact with my

colleagues, I've asked them to assist with the Hungarian authorities in order to be able to provide assistance at least to mitigate the

difficulties that these people are facing.

What we would prefer is the existence in Hungary as in Greece, and in Italy, an adequate conditions for reception, for registration and for the

effective solution of the problem to be taken.

Before those conditions exist I think it's better to let people go than to keep people stranded in places where obviously no problem is solved to

anybody and their plight as I said is becoming even more difficult, even more tragic.

GORANI: I'm sure you saw this picture today that probably will become the defining image of this refugee tragedy at sea of a young toddler believed

to be Syrian washed up on the beach, drowned in Turkey after his boat capsized and his mother is also believed to be dead.

[15:50:19] Can you tell us how you reacted when you saw this photo?

GUTERRAS: Well I react with terrible frustration. We have been saying time and time again that we need more legal avenues to come to Europe, to

go to the Gulf where I am, and to other places. To allow for more re- settlement, more humanitarian admission opportunities, enhanced verification programs, flexible visa policies. Can you imagine if you are

in Cairo for instance, and take a low cost airline to any place in Europe, you can travel with 40 or 50 Euros and you have no danger.

But these people are forced to go on boats. They pay four thousand or five thousand euros and they die in these desperate circumstances. This doesn't

make sense. We need to have a coherent response to this situation and in my opinion only Europe as a whole based on solidarity can give that

response. No country isolated can do so.

GORANI: Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees speaking to me a bit earlier.

Coming up it's been a historic year in Europe but perhaps for the wrong reasons, we'll take a look at some key moments so far in the continent




GORANI: It feels like every week brings a new tragedy or other major incident for those seeking refuge in Europe. After a while it's easy to

lose track and perhaps even easy to look away. Let's take a look back at some key moments so far this year in the crisis.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rescuers are combing the key this hour for survivors after a boat packed with migrants overturned between Libya and Lampedusa.

Authorities say up to 700 people were on board.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: UNHCR now believes a number of fatalities to have been over 800 making this the deadliest incident in the Mediterranean that we

have recorded.

PLEITGEN: You've seen where the victims of this continental trade and misery end up, in boats adrift.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There may only be a 6km distance between Turkey and Greece but the journey is still very much a perilous one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An estimated 3,000 migrants live in tents in the beleaguered port of Calais waiting for a chance to cross the English


GORANI: They say they'll do anything because Britain holds the promise of a better future. Something they tell me they are just not finding here in


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got to distinguish genuine asylum seekers fleeing persecution from economic migrants seeking a better standard of living.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we are in a third world country. Is this Europe? If this is Europe we're going back to Syria.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The world finds itself the worst refugee crisis since (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Macedonia peace open the border for a few at a time.

People here are so hungry, so upset, they can't believe that this is happening to them in Europe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hungary is the sole country along this awful (inaudible) route that is keeping law and order.

DAMON: There appears to be no empathy here in Hungary, they beg Germany, a nation that said it would take them in, to save them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have I think (inaudible)


GORANI: Well, some of the stories you've seen today may inspire you to want to help those in need. We have information for you on our website, it's

all centralized and they are vetted NGOs and charities. You can go to for that.

Also don't forget you can get all the latest news, interviews, analysis from the show on my Facebook page. You can find that at

And I always welcome by the way your comments, your questions. I'm always interested in hearing what you think about this show, what you like, even

what you didn't like. Feel free to go ahead and comment on the page.

I want to show you again some of the video that we opened the program with from that Budapest train station. Still many refugees and migrants packed

there, stranded, they want to get on trains and go to Germany. Hungary are saying no can do, you must register with the police and go to a camp where

we will process you and verify your identity. There is even (inaudible) we understand from reporter, Arwa Damon, on the ground of riot police. So

we'll keep our eye on that situation and continue our special coverage of the migrant crisis in Europe throughout the next few hours. And I will see

you in Berlin tomorrow at the same time.

This has been The World Right Now, I'm Hala Gorani, thanks for watching. Quest Means Business is next.