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Drama in Central Europe Heightens. Aired 3-4p ET.

Aired September 4, 2015 - 15:00:00   ET


[15:00:14] HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight the World Right Now is live from Germany for our third consecutive night as the drama in central Europe



GORANI: Riot police and migrants face off in a very tense situation at one holding center in Hungary. All the while thousands of refugees set out on

foot determined to make it to Germany one way or another.

And the little Syrian boy who's become the symbol of the migrant crisis is laid to rest back in his home of Kobani, Syria.


GORANI: Hello everyone I'm Hala Gorani, welcome to the program, we're live in Berlin this evening and this is The World Right Now.

The doors are closing one by one in Hungary trapping thousands of refugees desperate to move west to Austria and Germany. Today Hungary closed its

main border crossing with Serbia when hundreds of refugees broke through a fence at a tent camp.

Watch the dramatic video.


GORANI: You can see people forcing their way through the fence and riot police trying to intervene at one point firing tear gas. Hungary's Prime

Minister says if his government does not protect its border "tens of millions of migrants" will flood the country.

This is from the Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Our correspondents have been reporting on the chaos in Hungary all week.


GORANI: Arwa Damon is in Budapest where thousands of frustrated refugees have left the train station and started walking to Austria.

And Frederick Pleitgen is reporting today from Bershka, near the capital Budapest. Refugees there are now being escorted from a train after a long

standoff with riot police.

Let's start with Arwa; all day we've been going to you live as you've walked alongside these refugees determined to walk themselves all the way

to the Austrian border. What's going on now?


ARWA DAMON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Hala, you can see they're still walking and it is dark out here, it is pitch black. If our

camera light was not on you would not really be able to see in front of you. They have been walking for about eight/nine hours now stopping only

very briefly along the way.

There have been some makeshift hastily put together stations, people along the road, citizens seeing what's happening, coming out giving them food,

water. But they have not stopped, they've kept going and they're absolutely exhausted at this stage.

But we were just speaking with a few of them especially the parents with the kids because understandably it's hardest for them. And you know

interestingly a lot of times its citizens here that are driving up in cars and giving them strollers.


Yes, so the two they're saying that you know the population is very respectable and they've been very helpful for them along the road. They

got the - they're very kind, Hungarians are very kind. But they got the stroller from a car that just stopped and gave it to them, they've given

them water, they've given them food in stark contrast Hala to the way the government has been handling all of this. Fairly hostile and not

sympathetic at all it seems with the plight of these people. The fast majority of them refugees from Iraq and Syria who have just come so far on

what is an exhausting journey.

One of the women who met on the road who was handing out assistance to these people her eyes welled up with tears as she was giving out food to

some of the kids and their parents. And they weren't able to understand what she was saying because they didn't speak English but she said I am so

sorry for my Prime Minister, I am so sorry for my government. Hala.

GORANI: Well we're hoping to speak to the Prime Minister's representative and we're expecting a news conference by the way in Budapest in about 25

minutes time. We will be going to that live.

Arwa, if I could ask you I heard you speak with someone in Arabic there, I mean it sounded to me like they might be Syrians. Would you be able to

just ask them a few questions about how long they're willing to keep walking and if they have any plans for the evening given that they're

essentially walking on an empty highway in the dark really with no idea where they're going to end up.

[15:05:06] DAMON: (Inaudible) She noted 160 km, they're going to stop at some point, it was another 6km, that was announced earlier. Then they're

going to start again tomorrow morning at 6am. 2 more kilometers they're going to stop in a place and there they're going to sleep.

Yes, they're going to be sleeping in the streets. Her daughter is five years old. They also got their baby stroller from people that just stopped

and gave it to them.

And you know Hala, given the way that they've been treated in this country from the moment that they crossed the border from Serbia into Hungary where

they were held in this field for hours. We were there, we saw it, under the beating sun, having to beg for water to being put into what was also

called a reception center along the Hungarian Serbia border. In fact the same one (inaudible) where we had that breakout that happened earlier

today. Their treatment there, everyone who has been through says was inhumane, they were treated like animals.

It so heartening for them and so encouraging for them to see these acts of kindness from the Hungarian population as they have gone along this road,

this highway, this main highway that connects Budapest to Vienna, Hala.

GORANI: Well there are good people everywhere if you look hard enough. Extremely moving stories there of just ordinary Hungarians stopping their

cars giving refugees strollers for their children.

Arwa, stand by, I want to go to Frederick Pleitgen, he's at that train station outside of Budapest, about 35km from the capital where we saw that

tense standoff of that train packed with migrants. Riot police I know surrounded that train, what is the very latest on the situation where you

are Fred?


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala, well it looks to us as though the last of the migrants who were on that train are

now being cleared off. It really took a very, very long time. What happened was that at some point during the day we were actually

communicating very much with the people who were on that train and they were voicing their anger at their situation and then all of a sudden a

second train, actually the one that you see right behind me here was put in between us and the one that the migrants were on so that we couldn't really

communicate with them more. That's when riot police moved in and stopped all that communication.

And at some point then we saw more and more groups of these people then being escorted to busses. But it was a very, very tense standoff that

lasted for well over a day. Let's have a look at what happened.


PLEITGEN: An escalation in the standoff over the train carrying hundreds of refugees as Hungarian riot police move in and shove them into the

carriages and take position on the platform.

Before being pushed back the crowd, mostly Syrian seeking asylum had voiced their outrage, this man talking straight to our camera.


PLEITGEN: While the refugees have refused food and water from Hungarian authorities the Red Cross has been able to provide some supplies to those

stuck on the train. But in the Southeast European heat tempers continue to flare.

(Adnan) is from the Syrian town of Lattakia and says he sustained a gunshot wound in his country's civil war.

(ADNAN): I want to go for treatment, not to die here. You understand? You people don't keep us here. Don't keep us here, not now, not to

tomorrow, to Germany tomorrow. Today we need your help. We need that attention now, right now. Where is the human rights?

PLEITGEN: In chants and with makeshift banners the refugees make clear they want to move onto Germany and not stay in one of Hungary's processing


The asylum seekers had boarded the train on Thursday morning thinking it would take them at least to Hungary's border with Austria but authorities

stopped it here just outside Budapest.


PLEITGEN: You can see the frustration grow as the hours pass and these people want this train to keep moving. They keep coming out say screaming

Hungaria no. A lot of women have started crying and screaming at the police here to finally let the train pass. But at this point in time there

is no indication that it could make its way towards the border anytime soon.


PLEITGEN: The Hungarian government says it's merely upholding European law and blames the migrants for allegedly breaking the rules.

[15:10:02] ZOLTAN KOVACS, HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON: The harsh treatment is simply not true. The problem is that you're witnessing a

couple of thousand people desperately wanting to go to Germany because they've been told they are free to go while we are facing two/three

thousand people a day arriving to Hungary illegally. So what we are trying to provide and we are giving shelter to all that are arriving to Hungary

(inaudible) the European Union but it's not their choice what they're going to get.

PLEITGEN: In the end many of the migrants having been on the train for well over a day decided to give up and allow Hungarian police to put them

on busses and bring them to a Hungarian shelter.


PLEITGEN: And now Hala, there are still busses parked outside here, the railway station, and we aren't seeing that many migrants being escorted off

any more so it seems as though that train has now pretty much been cleared. But there really were some almost hysterical scenes that happened here

throughout the day as people told us about their fears if indeed they would have to go into the shelters that many of them have now been brought to

very close here in these Hungarian refugee camps, Hala.

GORANI: Tell us about these processing camps. I'm not sure what the official term for them by the way is, these relocation camps. The Syrian

and Afghan refugees did not want to go there because they said they'd heard that conditions were terrible there.

Could you describe a little bit what these camps are, what happens inside these camps?

PLEITGEN: Well these camps are usually the first place that people have to go to get registered that's one of the main things. That's where you get

fingerprinted, that's where you give your details and that's where you usually get something of a number and they put you into the system here.

Now many people have been describing to us circumstances where they say that these camps have been absolutely sub-standard. They've complained a

lot about the fact that there was way too little food for them. That a lot of the food that they were getting was stale. Also that the facilities

there really weren't up to standard either.


PLEITGEN: And one of the big problems, not only here in Hungary but in many other places as well but in Hungary especially right now with the

difficult situation, is the fact that many of these places which were substandard to begin with are now also overcrowded. So that's something

that many people do complain about here and it really is difficult especially for people who have families with children for them to be inside

these facilities. That's why many of these people try to make their way to Germany where they've heard the conditions might be a little bit better,



GORANI: All right, our senior international correspondents, Arwa Damon and Frederick Pleitgen covering this important story from Hungary.

Of course this is not just a Hungarian issue. It's not just a German issue. It is a European issue and problem and crisis. What is the

European Union doing to address this situation?

I'm joined now live from Brussels by the European Commission Spokeswoman, Natasha Bertaud. Thanks for being with us Ms. Bertaud.

First I have to ask you you're in close touch with the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker with the highest level officials in

Brussels. When they see what's been going on over the last several days, what is their - what is their initial reaction to this crisis?

NATASHA BERTAUD, EUROPEAN COMMISSION SPOKESWOMAN: Well this is not something that's only been going on for the last couple of days, this is

something that the President has made a very personal issue for him and have made it a huge priority for this commission. Before he was elected

the President made this his election campaign essentially and he's made it the top priority of this commission to come forward with proposals to

tackle migration from all angles.


BERTAUD: And then now in the meantime we've seen that we are now facing a very severe refugee crisis which makes action all the more urgent.

GORANI: All right, and so what are - there have been reports that the President, Mr. Juncker is going to make proposals next week at a sort of

state of the union, state of the European Union speech where he will propose increasing the number of migrants the European Union should accept.

Is that the case and if so what kind of numbers is he considering proposing?

BERTAUD: That is the case. So already in May this year we proposed to relocate 40,000 people in need of international protection from Italy, and

Greece and to other EU member states to share the responsibility of dealing with this - with this crisis. Unfortunately we did not receive the support

that we would have wanted from member states, and in the meantime the crisis has got a lot worse.

So on Wednesday when the President makes his State of the Union speech, he will also come forward with a series of further proposals including one to

relocate 120,000 people from Hungary, Italy, and Greece on top of the 40,000 we already have on the table.

GORANI: So the total number would be 160,000 is that correct?

BERTAUD: That's correct, yes.

[15:15:04] GORANI: But if there - if the European Union is having problems and issues dealing with the 40,000 number, how does the President

expect 160,000 to be managed across the region? There seems to be a lack of coordination and certainly not all countries are willing to accept these

migrants and refugees equally.

BERTAUD: No, and that is what we saw back in April and May - and May and July when these issues were first discussed is that member states were not

willing to go for the mandatory scheme that the European Commission wanted to propose. They wanted to try and do it voluntarily.

And then what we saw when they did it on a voluntary basis they were only able to agree on taking 32,000 so not even reaching 40,000 which is in

itself a very low figure. And I think that what we have seen over the summer has only reinforced the understanding amongst member states and

against people. I mean you can't look at these images and think otherwise that we need a European solution to the refugee crisis.

GORANI: And Ms. Bertaud, is there - is there a talk of proposing a mandatory quota system within the European Union? Is that something that

the President might consider proposing?


BERTAUD: The scheme that we're proposing is a proposal for a mandatory scheme, yes.

GORANI: So it is, and what happens then if country's do not cooperate with this mandatory scheme? What is the proposal there with respect to

country's that will not take in the allotted number of migrants or refugees under this proposed scheme.

BERTAUD: Well first of all we have to get it adopted because even if the European Commission can propose laws, it still has to be the parliament and

the council that's the member states and the council that have to adopt them by a qualified majority.

Of course once they're in the law then the commissioner has a general infringement power. We have a Guardian of the Treaties, we can enforce the

new law of course.

GORANI: And so therefore what would be - how would that mechanism work if it is adopted into law across the European Union? Would it envisage fines

or what kind of sanctions for countries who do not cooperate and take in their allotted number of refugees?

BERTAUD: Well we're hoping that once - if the law is adopted by a majority of member states then it would be respected. So but of course as a last

resort we always have infringement proceedings and this goes to any European law we can take member states to court, that's why we have a

European Court of Justice.

GORANI: All right, Natasha Bertaud, the European Commission Spokeswoman, thank you very much for joining us live from Brussels there with more

details on the proposals we are expecting from the President, Mr. Jean- Claude Juncker on Wednesday during his State of the Union speech. Thank you for your time, we really appreciate it on this very important week.


GORANI: Still to come tonight as Britain's Prime Minister changes his mind on how to deal with the refugee crisis we consider the power of the single

tragic photograph that may have caused the shift.

And later, laid to rest after a tragic ending to a journey that was full of hope initially. Mourners in Syria bury a little boy who has become a

symbol of the migrants' desperate plight.






[15:20:34] GORANI: As European leaders consider what to do about this migrant crisis the British Prime Minister, David Cameron is bowing to some

extent to public pressure and taking action.


GORANI: It is a policy shift, he has announced that Britain will take in thousands of refugees from Syria, thousands more. CNN's Nic Robertson

explains the sudden change but first I must warn you some images you're about to see are disturbing.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Barely laid to rest by his father Aylan Kurdi's death is already (chatterlizing) change. Britain's

Prime Minister reversing course bowing to take more Syrian refugees.

DAVID CAMERON, BRITSH PRIME MINISTER: Given the scale of the crisis and the suffering of people today I can announce that we will do more providing

resettlement for thousands more Syrian refugees.

ROBERTSON: Days earlier before Kurdi's tragic drowning Cameron was talking tough on the migrant issue saying the problem needs fixing at source in

Syria. Now after admitting Kurdi's death touched him taking a new line.

CAMERON: Britain will act with our head and our heart providing refuge for those in need.

ROBERTSON: Cameron appears to have caved to critics at home both political and religious.

YVETTE COOPER, OPPOSITION LAWMAKER: Britain want's to help but at the moment it's the government that's stopping them.

CARDINAL VINCENT NICHOLS, ARCHBISHOP of WESTMINSTER: We're beginning to realize that we are not - we are not a mean spirited nation and our

response to this immediate situation can be much more generous.

ROBERTSON: But with his European critics who imply the U.K. doesn't help migrants enough, Cameron is pushing back.

CAMERON: We'll provide a further 100 million pounds taking our total contribution to over one billion pounds. That is the U.K's largest ever

response to a humanitarian crisis. No other European country has come close to this level of support.


ROBERTSON: Tough talk from the Prime Minister that's also intended to win support back home here too. Not only does he have those critics who say

that he should be more compassionate, but there are many on the other side of the argument who say that the country can't handle more migrants. He is

walking a difficult diplomatic tightrope. Getting the balance right ahead of an in/out referendum on the European Union next year, and that remains

his most pressing concern.

Nick Robertson, CNN, London.

GORANI: Live from Berlin, this is The World Right Now.


GORANI: These refugees are walking from Budapest toward the Austrian border. Their aim is to get here to Germany where I am. But how do they

get jobs once they arrive? We'll have a report on that in a few minutes, stay with us.





[15:25:19] GORANI: We've reported extensively on the exhausting journey that many of these refugees are making.


GORANI: It continues now for thousands of them on foot from Budapest with the aim of getting to the Austrian border.


GORANI: You are seeing some of the still images taken today on a highway linking Budapest to Austria.

For many their journey began in Turkey and then across the sea to Greece. Macedonia was the next destination and eventually on through Serbia to


Hungary of course is critical because it is an important transit point, it is the doorway to Europe's passport free travel zone. Now they're trying

to travel onto Austria and then eventually Germany where we are broadcasting from this evening.


GORANI: But what happens to the refugees when they manage to get to Germany? The country is actually expecting a record number 800,000 asylum

seekers this year alone and many of them will need help getting the correct skills to apply for jobs and they'll also need to learn the language, no

easy feat here in Germany.

Atika Shubert has more from Berlin.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Assad Baloch remembers the exact date he first stepped foot in Germany, May 24th, 2013

fleeing political persecution in Balochistan province of Southwest Pakistan. Back home he studied politics, campaign for human rights. Today

he's learning how to make a lock. It's not, he admits what he had hoped.

ASSAD BALOCH, REFUGEE: It's not so much good but I have to do it because nothing is better than something.

SHUBERT: It's a bit loud in here because we're actually in the metal workshop where the training is taking place and this is what they are

building today, the kinds of locks that you can use here.

And it's not just this kind of training. The training happens in all kinds of industries; everything from baking to housing construction and the

ultimate goal is to get refugees into jobs.

This program was initiated by Berlin companies in need of workers so electricians, plumbers, construction workers, their motto refugee is not a


The hope is not only to match refugees with jobs but to guide them through the maze of German bureaucracy. A typical apprenticeship here can take

three years or more, this program hopes to create a shortcut and introduce refugees to Germany's working culture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For example they have to come here like every day for eight hours, and they have to be here at 8:00 o'clock. And in some

countries it's different, you go there for - you work for two/three days like for 20 hours and then you have three weeks off.

SHUBERT: There are up to 100 refugees enrolled so far and dozens have been placed into jobs but it's a job in the bucket to the thousands arriving in

Germany. The biggest impediment is language, the other is matching skills and being willing to learn new trades.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the cities have the problem because they are confronted with all the people and they want to give them an opportunity.

They know they have to integrate them because otherwise they will get like a serious problem.

SHUBERT: Assad says he hasn't found a good fit yet but said the program is still good. His advice to other refugees.

BALOCH: A man must learn this language. It's very difficult and then they have to look for house building or for a study if anyone wants to study in

(inaudible) or something like this. But don't sit in home. You will not get nothing.

SHUBERT: Next week Assad will trade in his hammer for baking that's as part of the production rotation, a new skill he hopes may lead to a new


Atika Shubert, CNN, Berlin.


GORANI: We're going to have a lot more of our special coverage. You're watching the World Right Now, we're live in Germany.


GORANI: Still to come, his life cut unbearably short but in death a two year old refugee from Syria is striking at the world's conscience and may

help others just like him reach a safer home.

And across the world people are standing in solidarity with migrants offline with public demonstrations, and online with some trending hashtags.

We'll look at that story and #refugeeswelcome, how that's taking over. We'll be right back.




[15:32:06] GORANI: Welcome back to a special edition of The World Right Now, we're live in Berlin and we continue our extensive coverage of the

refugee and migrant crisis facing Europe.

Let's take a quick - a quick look at other stories CNN is following.


GORANI: In Yemen 22 soldiers from the United Arab Emirates and 25 Yemenee coalition forces were killed in a missile attack against a weapons depot.

It happened in the northern part of the country. Two senior defense ministry officials say Houthi rebels are to blame. More than 70 others

were wounded and the death toll is expected to rise.

ISIS terrorists are continuing to destroy ancient monuments in the historic city of Palmyra in Syria. Syrian officials tell CNN that they've blown up

three tower tombs that you're seeing now highlighted. The oldest one dates back to the year 44 AD.

We are keeping an eye on Wall Street where U.S. stocks are lower after the latest jobs report. The Dow Industrials are down currently 270 points at

16,104. The U.S. economy added 173,000 jobs last month. Now that sounds like a good number but the problem is its 35,000 fewer jobs than what

economists had forecast.


GORANI: Well returning now to our special coverage of the crisis in Europe. Many of those seeking asylum are refugees fleeing Syria. They're

well aware of the risks of the journey but remember they also risk death by staying behind.


GORANI: The war is continuing to claim more and more civilian lives. Many are trying to follow this route going over land through Turkey to reach

Greece by sea, eventually making it to Hungary.

And then their hope is from Hungary highlighted in orange there, their hope is to make it to Germany where we are broadcasting from this evening.


GORANI: We've been reporting for weeks about the refugees who lose their lives on this desperate journey but a few days as though it feels as though

something changed.

One image surfaced that was so shocking, so heartbreaking that the world could no longer look away.

A small tiny Syrian boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach has now finally been laid to rest. And we warn you some images you're about to see

are disturbing.


GORANI: Aylan Kurdi's final journey was supposed to get him to safety away from warn torn Syria to a better life in Europe. Instead it ended back in

Kobani with his funeral.

The two year old buried alongside his older brother and mother. His broken father Abdullah Kurdi mourning the loss of his entire family.

ABDULLAH KURDI, AYLAN KURDI'S FATHER: (As translated) Is there someone whose children are not valuable to them? The children enrapture you, they

wake you up in the morning, daddy I want to play in the water. Is there anything in the world better than this? Everything has gone.

[15:35:10] GORANI: The family had been trying to reach Greece by boat when it capsized Kurdi tried desperately to save his wife and two sons but

was unsuccessful.

The heartbreaking picture of Aylan's lifeless little body washed up on a Turkish beach was shared millions of times on social media. Seen around

the world. The image becoming a symbol of a humanitarian crisis, bigger than any in Europe since World War II. Prompting some world leaders to

open up their borders to more refugees and rethink how best to help thousands of people fleeing from war.

According to Turkish media four Syrian nationals that have been arrested in connection with Kurdi's family's death and nine others whose bodies also

washed ashore.

That is little consolation for the devastated father who now vows to stay in Kobani with his family and asks to one day be buried alongside them.


GORANI: Those heartbreaking photographs of two year old Aylan Kurdi have created a groundswell of public sympathy but also anger. And that pressure

has been bearing down on the British Prime Minister, David Cameron. Listen to what he had to say on Thursday.


CAMERON: As I also said yesterday there isn't a solution to this problem that's simply about taking people.


GORANI: While the images of the lifeless little boy seemed to have pushed Mr. Cameron into a policy shift after saying they affected him as a father.

Here's what he had to say just 24 hours later on Friday.


CAMERON: Given the scale of the crisis and the suffering of people today I can announce that we will do more providing resettlement for thousands more

Syrian refugees.


GORANI: Well Mr. Cameron has also said that he's going to make an extra $150 million of cash available to help Syrian refugees in camps abroad.

But still some people don't think he's going far enough.

Johnny Mercer is a member of the British Parliament with David Cameron's Conservative party and he joins me via Skype from his constituency of


Thank you very much Mr. Mercer for joining us. First of all we're talking a few thousand more re-settlement spots potentially offered by the U.K. to

Syrian refugees. Is it enough.

JOHNNY MERCER, BRITISH MP, CONSERVATIVE PARTY: As the Prime Minister said from the beginning you know I think this is part of a holistic strategy, it

needs to be a multi-faceted strategy to dealing with this problem. And he's absolutely right taking more and more refugees is not going to solve

the problem.

We were in a position earlier in the week where we could do more, we are stepping up now with doing more.


MERCER: This isn't the change of policy you describe, clearly foreign policy must be malleable to the - to the threat that we are facing and to

the problems we've seen. And we've seen that this week and the U.K. has adjusted the amount of people we're taking in. But that is one part of the


And like has been said all week, there is not one silver bullet to this and by taking more and more refugees I'm afraid your simply not going to solve

the crisis.

GORANI: Right, but I mean you can alleviate it, you can lessen the impact of it, Sweden is doing it, tiny little countries like Malta are doing it

per capita it's the second country in Europe in terms of how many refugees are willing to take in.

Many people have looked at the U.K. and said the U.K. is just not opening its doors, it's not being generous and this is a historic crisis. How do

you respond to that criticism?

MERCER: Hala, I don't think that criticisms fair at all. Look, the U.K. government has piled 900 billion pounds into that - sorry 900 million

pounds into that region in order to try and stabilize that part of the world and that's been increased again today by a hundred million, and that

is more than the rest of Europe combined I'm afraid.

So the idea that we haven't been doing anything and have been walking by is entirely false. The Prime Minister has stated our policy today. We look

forward to welcoming those most vulnerable people from the refugee camps within Syria. But this is - you know this is such a broad problem, it

cannot be solved simply by some competition in terms of whose taking the most numbers. We need to deal with this at source and taking out the best

people from that country is not going to do that.

So clearly we can do more, we are doing more, but I'm afraid the source problem does not go away with this move, and we must do more to combat ISIS

within that - within that area in order - you know why are these - why are these people leaving their country? That's the problem we need to attack.

GORANI: Right, well you've served several tours of duty, you're an ex- military man. You served several tours of duty in Afghanistan. Many of these refugees are from Afghanistan. I mean the source of the problem is

not being solved. The problem is that these countries are extremely volatile and unsafe.

[15:40:11] But until then should there not be more of an effort made within the European Union?

I spoke with Spokeswoman of the European Commission President. She said Jean-Claude Juncker was going to propose a mandatory quota system. Is that

something you think the U.K. would sign up to?

MERCER: That's not something I think the U.K. would sign up to. And I think today I think we had five or six Prime Ministers and foreign

ministers say actually that's not the situation - that's not a scenario that's going to work by taking quotas.

What we do need is a Europe wide response to this. I want to see the U.K. taking its part in that and we are now doing that. And I come back to what

I said at the beginning you know this isn't all about taking refugees. The U.K. has contributed militarily to this cause. We've given over 900

million pounds to the countries around Syria. We are doing our bit, we've done more than our bit and I'm proud of the contribution that we've made

towards this.

But like I said at the beginning we must get down now to the cause and I believe we need an aggressive pursuit of what is going on in North Africa.

We've got to find out why they are leaving and pursue that precise problem.


GORANI: Johnny Mercer, a Conservative MP for Plymouth. Thanks very much for joining us from your constituency via Skype, we appreciate your time


And if you're watching this and you want to help refugees, we have on our website a list of aid groups working on the ground. There are some teams

that are actually dedicated to rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean. Others to providing foods to refugees. It's all at

Europe is under pressure to do more, we've seen it, we've talked a lot about it especially when it comes to helping refugees fleeing war in the

Middle East.


GORANI: But what about countries closer to the heart of the crisis? We'll look at demands for wealthy gulf states to get involved.





GORANI: Welcome back to our special coverage.


GORANI: Millions of Syrians are seeking refuge in other countries.


GORANI: The majority of course have settled in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq. If you look at these numbers more than 4 million Syrians are now

in those four countries alone.

But a number of wealthy Arab states are facing increasing criticism for not doing more to help. Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait

and Bahrain have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees according to Amnesty International.


GORANI: Calls are growing for those oil rich states to open their doors and give shelter. According to the BBC an Arabic hashtag reading welcoming

Syria's refugees is a Gulf's duty, has been tweeted 33,000 this week.


[15:45:04] GORANI: Scathing cartoons are also making the rounds on social media. This one shows a refugee waiting at the door of the European Union

while a man in traditional gulf clothing yells angrily "why don't you let them in?" His own door surrounded by barbed wire.

And this cartoon ridicules what the article calls the Gulf's double standard on Syria's war and its refugees. On the one hand giving the

thumbs up to Syrian rebels, while on the other turning away refugees fleeing the war.


GORANI: Our next guest says the record of Gulf states in this crisis is "absolutely appalling."

Sherif Elsayed-Ali Ali is Deputy Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International and focuses on the rights of refugees and migrants.

Thank you very much for joining us. The United Arab Emirates is quite clear it says look we are helping in the most efficient way, we are sending

millions and millions of dollars to help refugees in other countries, it would make no sense for them to come to the UAE.

What do you make of the UAE's pronouncements on this - responding to this particular criticism?

SHERIF ELSAYED-ALI, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL ISSUES, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Well I think first of all I don't know what many millions

of dollars they're talking about. As of today the amount of money that contributed to the United Nations who made an appeal for Syrian refugees in

the Middle East, was $5 million. That's not a lot of money for an appeal that's $4 billion and more.

Secondly you know - the point is yes money is very important. And you know that deal is only 40% funded which means that you know as a result of that

we can see that in Jordan 80% of refugees are under the poverty line. That figures 70% in Lebanon.


ELSAYED-ALI: But the point is there are people who are extremely vulnerable living in extremely difficult conditions in the refugee camp,

they can't work, children are not going to school. They live in very poor housing, you know that's you know just not suitable, and these people need

to be receptive. They need a place to be able to just continue their lives, to live in dignity, for children to go back to school, and people to

be able to work. And this is what needs to be done. This is what the Gulf states are not doing and should be doing.


GORANI: I want you to take a listen to something that happened earlier today. The American President, Barack Obama, and the Saudi King had a

bilateral meeting and reporters shouted out something about migrants, listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much everybody.

GORANI: All right, it looks like that question was shouted out and didn't really get a response. I mean do you think that the increased pressure,

the fact that people are tweeting, the fact that we're discussing it right now live on CNN that it's going to change policy in Gulf countries?


ELSAYED-ALI: Well I hope so because the situation is just getting worse. I mean the reason that people are going to Europe, I mean one of the

reasons at least is that the conditions in countries like Jordan, and Lebanon, and Turkey are becoming extremely, extremely difficult for the

Syrian refugees.


ELSAYED-ALI: And you know people have been saying that this is going to happen, that there will be more people trying to get to - more people

risking their lives to flee these conditions. The UN Refugee Agency has been warning about this for years. We have been warning about it for years

but not much has been happening.

And you know first of all yes, give the money, fulfill these humanitarian appeals, that's extremely important, but you know that's 400,000 people who

have been identified - Syrian refugees identified by the United Nations as in need of resettlement because they are very vulnerable. And unless there

is a real change in policy things will get worse, people will continue to risk their lives and we will see scenes like we've seen the last few days

of kids dying, and their family's dying just trying to get to a better life.

So you know if after everything we've seen in the past few weeks things don't change, I really do not know what will make the policy change.


GORANI: All right, Sherif Elsayed-Ali, of Amnesty International live from London, thanks for joining us on the program this evening.

And don't forget for our viewers, you can go to the Facebook page,, and there you will find our best interviews, we

also posted the remarkable scenes from a Hungarian highway today when our Arwa Damon there was walking alongside refugees who've decided to just

essentially, on foot, try to reach Austria and then eventually Germany. A lot of dramatic scenes, important developments and you can find them all on

our Facebook page.

Live from Berlin, this is The World Right Now.


GORANI: Thousands of refugees are walking, as I mentioned, from Budapest toward the Austrian border. Their aim is to get to Germany. I'll be

speaking to the Editor-in-Chief of Bild online coming up next.





[15:51:47] GORANI: Germany has been taking the lead in accepting refugees. That huge figure of 800,000 asylum seekers expected this year

has made many headlines. It hasn't pleased everyone, clearly.


The Hungarian Prime Minister on Thursday said the number of migrants was not Europe's problem but a German one because Germany is advertising that

it's open.

Julian Reichelt is the Editor-in-Chief of Bild, and he joins me now live here in Berlin. A pleasure seeing you again, once again Julian.

So we're rounding out the week; it's Friday. Over the last two or three I believe front pages for Bild has been about the refugee crisis.

Why is it for a newspaper like yours such an important issue?

JULIAN REICHELT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, BILD: Well I think we have seen another tragic highlight this week with the picture of that boy that you also

showed being washed up on the shore of Turkey. And I think it brought to attention this whole story.

It was very obvious to us for weeks now but to many people it wasn't so obvious too, and we felt it was very important you know to kind of use this

moment and use this photo to show people what is going on here.

GORANI: I thought and in the story that I filed on the press coverage the next day, I actually used your front page because you didn't even have a

headline. You simply put on a black background the picture of the little boy and then a paragraph urging Europe to do more.

Why did you make that choice?

REICHELT: Well we felt that we had to run this picture but we also felt that we had to give it some space and dignity. So we didn't run it on the

whole page but we used a huge black frame and we thought there's just no headline that can you know summarize what we're seeing on the picture. The

picture kind of speaks for itself. And what we wrote underneath it was basically what we think now is the right thing to do. You know find a

solution. Act - finally act, finally do something to prevent children from drowning on our shores.

GORANI: Now you heard the British Prime Minister on Thursday saying - defending his policy and the numbers that Britain was pledging to take in.

And then interestingly 24 hours later announcing that Britain would take thousands more Syrian refugees.

Do you think the power of that picture has the power to change government policy?

REICHELT: It certainly has. It may need - it may need more persistent and constant coverage because as we all know after you know a couple of days

the attention may go away so it will need more pressure I think from the media.


REICHELT: But this - this picture is a tragic beginning to it and what we are seeing right now is the affect this picture has. You know a government

saying that they have to change their policy and do something to help those people.


GORANI: I spoke to the spokeswoman of Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission. And she was saying that the President is going

to propose a mandatory quota per European country to re-settle 160,000 Syrians. Now there are countries like Britain that clearly are not going

to sign up for that.

It doesn't seem like Europe is going to come up with a unified strategy.

REICHELT: It doesn't seem like it right now. Personally I don't think that a quota would really make any sense.


REICHELT: Because if you know send 15,000 people to Poland and they want to go to Germany after what they have been through, they've been through

ISIS checkpoints, they have escaped one of the most brutal regimes in the world. You know they don't want to stay in Poland or don't want to stay in

Hungary, they won't. You know if there is a quota, if there isn't a quota, they will come to Germany.

[15:55:06] So I think we have to come up with something that is worth of Europe and worth of our values, which is you know a united system how to

take in those refugees, united standards how to treat them. I think the pictures we saw coming out of Hungary were our fault. And we need you know

standards how we treat those people.

GORANI: But how do you impose those standards? I mean I think that's the hardest thing because when you have a commission, a European Commission, it

has a very hard time imposing anything on member states.

REICHELT: Yes, well that commission has a very easy time imposing you know money donations, imposing - giving money to other countries. And that

money that is being handed out to countries to member states of the European Union, has to be used as leverage. You know there is no way the

countries can accept money but cannot accept refugees. I don't think that is how the EU should work, I think that is a disgrace to our values. And

that's what you should.


GORANI: Julian Reichelt, thanks very much for your take and we appreciate you visiting us so often over the last couple of weeks on this important

story. The Editor-in-Chief of Bild.

REICHELT: Thank you very much.

GORANI: Well people are trying to do their part to help on social media. The use of the #refugeeswelcome, you may have seen it if you're online as

often as I am I have to say. That has rocketed over the past two days.


GORANI: This map from shows how far the message has spread. You can see tweets appearing from Iceland to India, and dozens of other

countries across the world.

In the U.K. refugeeswelcome tweets are frequently linking to a petition. It's calling for more asylum seekers to be given refuge in the U.K. More

than 370,000 have signed that particular petition so far.

And again find us online if you would like to contribute, ask your questions, make your comments. You certainly haven't been shy this week

and I've appreciated it.

This has been The World Right Now, I'm Hala Gorani, thanks for watching.


GORANI: Quest Means Business is next.