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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
May Accuses EU Of Hardening Its Negotiating Position; View From Prime Minister Of Luxembourg; French Election Candidates Square Off In TV Debate; Comey: "Mildly Nauseous" To Think I Affected Election; Yanis Varoufakis on Brexit Negotiations; U.S., Palestinian Presidents Meet at White House; Putin and Erdogan Meet in Sochi; Ten Years Since Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired May 3, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. We are live at CNN London. Thanks for being with us on this Wednesday.
This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Well, the British prime minister appears to already be gearing up for a fight with the European Union as the campaign for the June 8th election
gets under way. Theresa May is now warning that some in Brussels don't want the Brexit talks to succeed at all and that the election itself could
be at risk. Erin McLaughlin has our story.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the world's biggest divorce and it just got uglier. As leaders from the United Kingdom and the
European Union spar over how to Brexit. Accusations that E.U. officials have meddled in Britain's affairs made by the British prime minister
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Threats against Britain have been issued by European politicians and officials. All of these acts have been
deliberately timed to affect the result of the general election.
MCLAUGHLIN: That election meant to secure support for Brexit ahead of formal talks takes place next month. May spoke after meeting Queen
Elizabeth Wednesday to officially dissolve parliament.
Her words are the latest in what's been a so-called disastrous week, after meeting with her negotiating counterpart, European Commission President
The two had a dinner that was supposed to pave the way for talks, but ended with Juncker far more skeptical about May's position than he was before,
that according to a German newspaper citing unnamed senior E.U. Commission official.
Juncker reportedly said May is, quote, "deluding herself" and "living in another galaxy" over the negotiations. And while May initially called the
dinner constructive and dismissed the comments as, quote, "Brussels gossip," the back and forth has turned into a downward tail spin. Juncker
tried to clear the air Wednesday.
JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: I like her as a person. I have noted that she is a tough lady.
MCLAUGHLIN: The divorce is an expensive one. We will not be paying a hundred billion, Britain's chief Brexit negotiator said today after reports
surfaced that had it would cost that much. Europe's chief Brexit negotiator said Wednesday that Britain will have to settle up its
obligations, but didn't give a number. His bottom line, this breakup will hurt for everyone.
MICHEL BARNIER, EU CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR: Some have created the illusion that Brexit would have no material impact on our lives. All that
negotiations can be concluded quickly and painlessly. This is not the case.
MCLAUGHLIN: May says she's optimistic about June's election. But if her position stays the same after, Houston, we have a problem. An E.U. source
tells CNN, the United Kingdom simply does not get it, the source said, and the mood in Brussels towards the U.K. has soured. May remains firm, she's
delivering on what the British public voted for.
GORANI: Well, Erin McLaughlin is here with me. So your sources are telling you that the U.K. just, quote, "doesn't get it," we had those leaks
from that Juncker-May dinner on Wednesday. Why do you think they are saying these things so early on in the negotiations?
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you know, first of all, there is definitely a sense right now that things are getting out of hand. Talk about an extraordinary
allegation by the British prime minister with Downing Street as backdrop.
Now in reference to that we have not heard reaction from either the European Commission or the European Council. Prior to the speech though I
was getting the sense that there was concern that this leak over the disastrous dinner had somehow backfired.
[15:05:01]Serving only to sort of harden the British prime minister's position rather than its intention, which was to illustrate their concern
that the British government was not fully comprehending the complexities of Brexit.
Now, E.U. officials have been telling me that anything that Theresa May says right now in their view has to be taken in the context of the campaign
that she is in campaign mode. So once we do get official reaction, it will be interesting to see if that is how they are saying her remarks.
GORANI: But Theresa May is speaking to two audiences, the one in Brussels and in Europe and also the one at home just a few weeks from this snap
MCLAUGHLIN: That's right. This certainly is playing into her reasons for calling the snap election. Remember, she said she was calling the election
because she wanted to strengthen her hand going into the negotiations.
Now she's painting the European Commission's position as hardening, kind of bolstering sort of that argument. Of course, not exactly sitting well with
the British opposition.
We heard from the Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon today tweeting out, quote, "The U.K. needs the best possible Brexit deal and has limited
leverage. So for the prime minister to, quote, "poison" the atmosphere for partisan reasons is deeply irresponsible."
GORANI: All right. We are in campaign mode for sure. Erin McLaughlin, thanks very much.
And Erin, obviously there were 28 members, still are, in a few years there will only be 27. One of those members is Luxembourg, the prime minister of
that country is one of the leaders who will have a say in the Brexit talks.
I asked Xavier Bettel, as he's been quoted, if he believed the bill for Brexit for the U.K. would total somewhere between $40 billion and $60
billion. I spoke to him before the British prime minister addressed the media earlier in the day and I asked him specifically, is it going to be
between with $40 billion and $60 billion.
XAVIER BETTEL, LUXEMBOURG PRIME MINISTER: Exactly. That is the fears that were set the last days to say that this could be the bill. This is not a
bill to leave, but just the bill you said yes, in fact, the U.K. members and at that time they decided also to join some initiatives.
GORANI: Some in the U.K. are saying Article 50 is clear, once the state leaves, this is John Redwood, a pro-Brexit politician here, once the U.K.
leaves, it has no further rights and so therefore it has no further obligations. What is wrong with that logic?
BETTEL: I don't understand his logic because if I'm right, Theresa May said that she first wants to know what will be the rights of the U.K. for
financial aspects to commerce international agreements. That's the first that they want.
For me the most important topic and again we speak about money, the first important topic will be the rights of citizens. You have thousands of U.K.
citizens in Europe now. They want to know what will be their rights tomorrow.
I have U.K. citizens living in my country. They are more than welcome to stay here, but they don't know what will be the future in the E.U. So for
me, it is important to get clarification for them.
And we have European citizens living in the U.K. So instead of saying now, how it will be, what will be the bill, will it be with a tip, without a
tip, that's not the question.
GORANI: But you talk about the right of E.U. citizens in the U.K. Is it your belief that there should be no trade deal before the U.K. guarantees
the rights of E.U. citizens in Britain? Is that your belief?
BETTEL: The fact is we need to clarify this topic before fighting trade deals. If we firstly put trade before people, this would be really the
principle that we did not understand why the Brexit happen and why we have populism in Europe. So I would put citizens first, but also these
questions of budget, these questions of money, these questions of governance, we need to clarify this four, five different points and then we
GORANI: So you're saying to Britain don't think you're going to negotiate any favorable trade deal before point one, point two, point three and we
are telling you what those points are, are clarified. Is that an accurate assessment of what you're saying?
BETTEL: We need to clarify the past to speak about the future. We can't speak about future relations if we cannot deal with the situation now. I
always have to know with the negotiations.
You don't start to give up the fillet pieces, and then you negotiate the hard pieces. I think it would be much better to discuss the hard pieces,
to recreate them, and then to speak about future relations. We shouldn't speak about the future if we are not able to resolve the past.
GORANI: I'm sure you read that article in the German paper about the Brexit dinner with Jean Claude Juncker, your predecessor, and Theresa May.
They called it the disastrous Brexit dinner. They quoted an E.U. diplomat as saying Theresa May is in another galaxy more or less, that they are
delusional, that they think this will be easy and it won't be. Is it your understanding that that is how badly that first dinner went?
BETTEL: I was not at the dinner so I can't argue now who or what happened, how it was. I can't say if it was right or not.
[15:10:11]The only thing is I can tell you it's not a time for cherry picking and to have a unilateral Brexit where the U.K. will decide how they
want to get out, what they want to keep, and how they want to have a deal.
We are 28 around the tables. We need agreement between 28. Theresa May organized now the elections so there is a month of what we don't what is
going to happen the next weeks, but the fact is before it was hard Brexit, in her own words, and now we speak about a different Brexit.
It will be Theresa's Brexit. She will go to the voters. She will need votes and if she is still the prime minister, it will be her Brexit. We
can't have (inaudible) -- before the U.K., they wanted always to have opt out. Now they are out and they want to have a lot of opt ins. This is not
how it works.
GORANI: You say it will be able Theresa's Brexit. What is your assessment of how Theresa May has handled the very beginning of this negotiation
BETTEL: She said the first time it will be hard Brexit. When she is in front of her member of the party, she's got different speech for example in
the letter. So I think a balanced Theresa May will be the partner we will have and it is important. It is a loose situation if you are not able to
behave like adults.
GORANI: There is a crucial probably the most important election for Europe this year, what is going on in France with Marine Le Pen against Emmanuel
Macron. You saw what happened with Brexit. You saw what happened with Donald Trump. Do you think Marine Le Pen has a chance to be elected
president of France on Sunday?
BETTEL: Do you remember what happened in Austria? Do you remember what happened in Holland? I hope that this Sunday or Monday we remember what
happened with Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
GORANI: The prime minister of Luxembourg. We were talking about the French election and speaking of that, there is a pivotal crucial debate
going on live on French television right now. Let's listen in a little bit to this one and only debate between the two presidential finalists in
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): I assure you, yes, they deserve first of all the truth, not your accusations
because you would know if you were up against the people the situation is very, very different and that's what I saw as minister of the economy.
MARINE LE PEN, FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): You have told this lie in front of 10 million people and obviously you were
minister, you could maneuver perfectly well in that sphere. You've sold this advice and immediately signed the same. That's the reality of the
MACRON (through translator): It was the private property of a group. We are in a state where private property is respected. It is the group that
sold them. Don't tell stupid things. You know that perfectly well, it was in order to progress the country. You have a private group which is backed
up by private capital -- go on.
LE PEN (through translator): I know these dossier, I know these affairs.
GORANI: All right, so there you have it, two diametrically opposed candidates that were talking about Europe. Obviously Marine Le Pen against
the very central tenant of Emmanuel Macron's platform which is pro-EU. She's also trying to paint him as a big business globalist because this is
playing quite well with her base in the National Party.
And she's hoping also to on attraction people who have been -- and Melissa Bell joins me now live -- who feel they have been wronged, that they have
suffered from open borders.
Melissa, I love these French debates because they have the two candidates sitting at one table and they are talking to each other. You know,
different from when even behind a podium. It's very personal face-to-face.
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the first time, Hala, we've seen anything quite like this. This is the fourth
presidential debate in this election campaign so far, which is unheard of in France. Normally, you just don't have the kind of presidential debates
and we've seen three of them before the first round. This had never happened before.
But until now, they have been very much controlled by the presenters. You had one with five of the candidates, another with all 11 and another that
was just a series of interviews. Everything has been super carefully put together and kept apart.
[15:15:06]This is the first time and we're seeing the last two really go at each other without any intervention practically from the anchors, Hala.
And it's amazing television. We just listened for a moment.
But from the start, they have been going at each other over, as you say, these two profoundly different visions of what France should be and it is
GORANI: So you know, we know what the polls say, the polls are giving Macron a substantial advantage. However he's still under 60 percent, there
are still may some of that secret Le Pen vote that is not accounted for. So I guess, the question is, how important is this TV debate, how much
could it affect the overall race?
BELL: I think the word you used at the beginning, Hala, was absolutely the right one. It is pivotal. Any slip up by either of the candidates could
be fatal. We're really just days away now from this second round of the French election, which will decide which of the two comes first.
And as you say there is substantially for Emmanuel Macron, but there are all kinds of things we can't measure. The undecided votes, the problem
that we've seen recently with polls that appeared not to be the case in France for the first round.
And then, you know, the whole question of how -- whether Emmanuel Macron will be able to gather enough supporters around his view and whether Marine
Le Pen, you mentioned that very big difference between them on questions of how the French economy should be run.
She made the decision just a few months ago to really turn left wing in her economic approach and that appeals to a lot of people from the far left
especially. Will she manage to draw them out purely her tactic tonight is to put that at the forefront of her message.
GORANI: Yes. It is still Emmanuel Macron's race to lose here, very much so. And so we will be looking out for how he's done because at this point
given the polls, Marine Le Pen doesn't have much to lose. She can go all in whereas he has to be more careful.
BELL: He has to be more careful. This is absolutely his to lose. She needed to seem presidential. I think it was in her interests to rise above
and not seek to win debate, but look ahead to winning the election. I think she's gone in there in a much aggressive way because as you say,
probably she has nothing to lose.
This is her one big chance at seeing the favorite lose his lead. He will of course be feeling the pressure of that new as you arrive at the debate.
There is so much resting on his shoulders over the course of the next couple of hours -- Hala.
GORANI: Yes. And how did they prepare? Because I heard on our affiliate network, BFMTV, one of his advisers say he's been locked in a room, he's
been preparing very seriously for many hours. But -- so we got a little bit of an insight into Macron's preparation for this. What about Marine Le
Pen, do we know what she's done today?
BELL: Marine Le Pen has been out campaigning of course again today. You wonder how they managed to keep up this rhythm, Hala, over the course of so
many weeks. But of course she's also prepared and we've seen really a retargeting her message over the last couple of weeks since her first round
To take on specifically Emmanuel Macron really toning down the rhetoric after leaving the European Union, which clearly doesn't resonate
necessarily with such a big of the French electorate and moving on to this attack about the fact that Emmanuel Macron was a banker, a minister in a
socialist government and really trying to paint him as the candidate of the system.
And she the change that France needs. And once again you're hearing that tonight, very personal attacks directed at Emmanuel Macron that he will
have to stay firm against.
GORANI: Right. We are three and a half days away or so before the big day. Of course, we'll be covering the election on Sunday with Melissa
Bell, our senior international correspondent, Jim Bittermann, and a big team in place in Paris and across the country. Thanks, Melissa, and we'll
Still to come tonight, dramatic testimony on Capitol Hill. The FBI director says he feels mildly nauseous about a decision he made right
before the U.S. election, but he says the alternative would have been catastrophic. Also ahead this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what I call the runaround. It is a strategy for impeding negotiations. Mrs. May is going to negotiate for the right to
negotiate, which is what we were trying to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Pessimistic vision of the road ahead for Theresa May. The former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, gives me his opinions on what he
thinks lies ahead for Britain.
GORANI: Well, it was a highly anticipated appearance, the FBI director, James Comey, testified on Capitol Hill today and he gave a passionate
defense of one of his most controversial decisions. To inform Congress just days before the American election that he was revisiting a probe of
Hillary Clinton's e-mails. He said concealing that information could have meant the, quote, "death of the FBI."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: Look, this is terrible. It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election, but
honestly, it wouldn't change the decision. Everybody who disagrees with me has to come back to October 28th with me and stare on at this and tell me
what you would do.
Would you speak or would you conceal? And I could be wrong, but we honestly made a decision between those two choices that even in hindsight,
and this has been one of the world's most painful experiences, I would make the same decision. I would not conceal that on October 28th from the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, remember, this comes just a day after Hillary Clinton blamed Comey in part for her lost in November to Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28 and Russian
Wikileaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: As you can imagine, that didn't go over well with Mr. Trump. He fired off tweets that accused Democrats of making up the, quote, "phony
Russia story" as an excuse for losing the election. Comey, though, says he's not on anybody's side.
Let's bring in our senior congressional reporter, Manu Raju, for more. And also the FBI director was asked whether he believed Russia tried to
influence the election and whether it could try to influence future elections.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Indeed. And he raised serious concerns that Russia may in fact try to mess with other elections
not just in the United States but around the world. He also raised concerns that Russia tried to do that last election cycle as well saying
that one reason why they allegedly tried to help Donald Trump was because of their concerns with Hillary Clinton.
In fact, as he said, they hated Hillary Clinton, specifically Vladimir Putin hated Hillary Clinton and they believe they could work with Donald
Trump as a businessman. Now, even as this FBI has been investigating any of these campaign ties between the Trump officials and Russian officials
since last July, there were not many new revelations about the investigation today.
James Comey really refusing to give details in an open public session saving that for a classified setting. Instead revealing new details about
his decision making to reveal the Clinton e-mails investigation just days before the election saying that he had to do at the believed otherwise he
would have been the death to the FBI saying he could not conceal that information but reveal to the public -- Hala.
GORANI: But was he asked why he decided to reveal the sort of revival of that probe into the Hillary Clinton server and why he didn't choose to
reveal also the fact that the FBI was looking into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia?
[15:25:01]RAJU: Indeed he was. In several different occasions, Democrats were pushing him on that. He said look, the investigations were in
different stages. He said the Clinton campaign was much more advanced. That had been happening for months and months.
And he had revealed months earlier than October 28th that he had actually essentially closed the investigation. That there was nothing there to
charge Hillary Clinton with.
But he said when he learned October 27th the day before he announced publicly that they were looking in to judicial e-mails, he believed it was
incumbent on him to inform Congress that the investigation was still ongoing.
But that the Russia investigation had only just started and they were not ready to reveal that publicly yet. But suffice to say, Hala, Democrats
were not satisfied with that response.
GORANI: I can imagine. But regarding Russia, I mean, he says that obviously the investigation last year was at its very beginning and he
won't really reveal more about where it is now. But I imagine that he is saying publicly he believes that past elections were probably influenced,
that he believes future elections could be influenced and not just in the United States, that time is of the essence to get to the bottom of exactly
what is going on.
RAJU: And we don't know exactly the time frame yet. This is an investigation that could take months and months, maybe spill in to next
year. There is a lot of classified information they need to go through.
He did say that there are some open cases of Trump associates that they are looking into specifically, but no real indication from the FBI director
about how closely they are to bringing charges or closing the case or moving on. Unclear on that right now -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Manu Raju, thanks so much on Capitol Hill.
Speaking of Russian influence, Emmanuel Macron's team has told us in the past, they believe their campaign website has been targeted by thousands
and thousands of attempted hacks, that they believe came from Russia. So it's not just in the United States that some people believe perhaps that
Moscow is trying to meddle in the electoral process.
Now, we could learn a lot more about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a key figure in the Russia investigation at a hearing next
week. CNN has learned that the former acting attorney general, Sally Yates, is expected to say she gave the White House a forceful warning about
him several weeks before he was fired.
Sources say she warn that had Flynn was lying when he denied talking about sanctions with Russia's American ambassador. You may recall President
Trump has said, quote, "Flynn did nothing wrong" but by discussing sanctions but he fired him because he lied about it to the vice president,
A lot more to come. I speak to Yanis Varoufakis, a man who knows what it is like to be in tricky negotiations with the E.U. So what advice does he
have for Theresa May?
And high praise from the Palestinian leader to his American counterpart. Find out if Presidents Trump and Abbas are on the same page when it comes
to the Middle East.
[15:30:22] GORANI: U.S. President Trump is calling for direct peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. In his meeting with the
Palestinian authority, President Mahmoud Abbas, Mr. Trump vowed to help broker the elusive deal, and President Abbas said the U.S. leader's
negotiation skills are what gives him new hope.
Right now, in France, the last and only televised debate before Sunday's election, centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen
facing off on topics from immigration to the economy. These are live images, by the way, coming to us. This debate is airing on national T.V.,
on TF1 as well.
The latest polls suggest Macron has quite a clear advantage over Le Pen, about 20 points, 40 to 60 was the last set of polls. And those numbers
haven't changed much in the last few weeks.
The U.K. royal family is taking aim at a French magazine. Prince William and his wife, Catherine, are seeking $1.6 million from the French magazine
"Closer" after it published photos of the Duchess of Cambridge sun bathing topless at a private French villa in 2012. The case is ongoing.
No one, and I mean no one, ever said Brexit negotiations were going to be easy. But day by day, the relationship between Britain and the European
Union seems to be souring. And as Theresa May heads into a general election fight, the gloves are truly off. She says there are some in
Brussels who don't want Brexit to succeed and even accused leaders there of leaking what she calls misleading accounts of Brexit meetings. Whoever
wins June's snap election will lead Britain into unchartered waters.
Here are some of the key figures they will face on the E.U. side. There is, of course, Jean-Claude Juncker. We've heard a lot about him and seen
him a lot. He has led the European Commission since 2014. He was the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg.
He appointed Michel Barnier, the European Commission's chief Brexit negotiator. Among his former roles was France's Minister of Agriculture.
Like so much in Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will play a big part probably, and some say, by the way, the biggest part in the overall
negotiations. She recently told Britain not to hold any illusions about what Brexit means for its future.
Someone who knows exactly what tricky negotiations with the E.U. are like is Yanis Varoufakis. He was Greece's Finance Minister during the country's
economic crisis. We should say economic meltdown. He also has a new book called "Adults in the Room, My Battle with Europe's Deep Establishment."
And I spoke to him earlier. I began by asking him what he learned from his time negotiating with the E.U.
YANIS VAROUFAKIS, FORMER MINISTER OF FINANCE IN GREECE: The great difficulty with the E.U. is that, firstly, it's impossible to know whom to
speak to. Remember, Henry Kissinger once said, when I want to talk to Europe, I don't know whom to call.
VAROUFAKIS: Now, this is not just a question of incompetence. You go to Europe, you speak to -- Theresa May will have to speak to Michel Barnier.
GORANI: But she's the lead Brexit negotiator. She has a counterpart.
VAROUFAKIS: Yes, but at the same time, he will say to her that he does not have a mandate to discuss the things that Theresa May wants to discuss. He
will refer her to Jean-Claude Juncker, and he will refer her, again, to Angela Merkel. She will refer them, you know, the Brits back to Brussels
and to Barnier and so on.
This is what I call the E.U. runaround. It is a strategy for impeding negotiations. Mrs. May's going to negotiate for the right to negotiate,
which is what we were trying to do. So unless you have a fallback position, an outside option, there is absolutely no way you can get towards
the stage when you can say that you are negotiating with Europe.
GORANI: But that is a very dark, pessimistic prediction as far the U.K. is --
VAROUFAKIS: No, it's the reality.
GORANI: So you're saying the reality is Theresa May is going to face a situation where, as you mentioned, she thinks her interlocutor is Michel
Barnier, it ends up being Juncker, maybe Tusk, maybe then Merkel, and then it goes around.
VAROUFAKIS: That is correct.
GORANI: So then what happens?
VAROUFAKIS: That's right.
GORANI: Based on your assessment and your experience, two years then is a fantasy to get a deal done?
VAROUFAKIS: It is a fantasy. I've been, actually, advocating this line since the 23rd of June, 2016, that the notion that Britain is going to
negotiate a fair deal, a mutually advantageous deal, with the European Union is just a total illusion. You heard Barnier today and his
GORANI: Yes. He said it's not going to be quick or painless. Pretty much.
[15:34:59] VAROUFAKIS: Well, he said something far worse than that. The operative phrase is two-phase negotiation.
What does this mean? It's like you and I wanting to split a pie between us or to negotiate some distribution of burdens and benefits. And imagine if
I were to say to you, Hala, you will have first to commit to giving me everything I want before we start discussing what you want from me. Now,
that is not a negotiation.
This is why it was a grave error on behalf of London to go into this two- year period after triggering Article 50 with this fear that they are going to negotiate a free trade agreement. It will never come. That two-year
period is simply not long enough. And the worst nightmare of Brussels and of Berlin and of Paris is a good deal with Britain because to them, that
would simply signal to the rest of the E.U. that you can get out of the E.U. with benefits.
GORANI: Easily. Yes, with benefits. So what advice -- I mean, I don't -- can you give advice to the Prime Minister?
VAROUFAKIS: Of course, I can. It doesn't mean she's going to listen to it.
GORANI: What is your advice to her, to Theresa May?
VAROUFAKIS: My advice has consistently been center your tactics to get something out of this without needing to negotiate. And let me be concrete
VAROUFAKIS: If I were Theresa May, I would have triggered Article 50, immediately filed a request for an EEA, a European Economic Area, no waste
VAROUFAKIS: A minimalist Brexit, in other words, for a period of six years or seven years or something of that order of magnitude in order to prevent
these negotiations. Because you see, this is an off-the-shelf agreement. It doesn't have to be negotiated.
That means that, OK, you trigger Article 50. You have a six, seven-year period of a transition period, which does two things. Firstly, it gives
the next parliament the space of time which is necessary to debate amongst themselves what kind of long-term arrangements they want with E.U.
And at the same time, you allow Merkel and Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker to effectively throw the ball in the court of their successors. And that
would be fine by them. But pushing them into an FTA outcome within these two years is simply to ask for trouble.
GORANI: Well, if you would talk to Michel Barnier or the E.U. side of this equation, what should their approach be for it to be win-win? Because it's
not a win-win if the U.K. loses entirely for the E.U.
VAROUFAKIS: I would have nothing to say to them. They're bureaucrats. Mr. Barnier and the rest go in those negotiations with a checklist, and
they go tick, tick, tick. They do not have a mandate to discuss matters of substance, like should there be a free trade agreement with the United
GORANI: Who has that mandate?
VAROUFAKIS: No one. This is the problem with the European Union. It's a black hole --
GORANI: Ultimately, it's up to someone.
VAROUFAKIS: -- of lack of sovereignty.
VAROUFAKIS: In the end, Angela Merkel. She's the only leader that has any say in any of this.
GORANI: Let me get back, lastly, to your book because --
GORANI: -- when I asked you, would you give any of the E.U. negotiators advice? No, because they're bureaucrats. I mean, there's no love lost
there, obviously. But who stood out to you, in your experience negotiating on behalf of Greece, as having acted in a way that you found admirable?
VAROUFAKIS: The only person is Macron. The only Minister I met in Europe who understood that crashing our government, pushing us further down this
black hole of debt inflation through more austerity and more loans -- we're a bankrupt country. We have a bankrupt state, banks, families, and
VAROUFAKIS: And you push more of that on to a bankrupt entity, on condition of shrinking their income further, an eight-year-old can tell you
this is not going to end well. And Macron understood that. And he even took some steps towards doing something to confront the situation.
This is why I have a personal relationship with him. I disagree entirely with him on labor markets, on his plans for Europe.
VAROUFAKIS: But, you know, in this Europe of ours, he's the best bet we have in France today.
GORANI: But he fought in your corner when Greece was in trouble, was what you felt.
VAROUFAKIS: He did. He did.
GORANI: Yanis Varoufakis there. We've gone full circle back to Emmanuel Macron, at least according to Varoufakis. He believes that he's the one
individual that stood out to him that was perhaps fighting against this austerity program that Greece felt was being imposed on them and that
perhaps felt that wasn't the best thing for the country.
And as we mentioned, Macron, currently face-to-face with Marine Le Pen on live French television in their only debate between the two rounds in just
a few short days before the second round on Sunday.
Now, to Washington. We will get this done. Standing alongside the Palestinian authority president, Donald Trump said he will facilitate talks
to bring peace in the Middle East. Listen to Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[15:40:03] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There can be no lasting peace unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice
against incitement to violate and violence, and hate. There is such hatred. But hopefully, there won't be such hatred for very long.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Mr. Trump's comments were long on optimism but short on details. Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, reiterated his belief in the two-state solution.
Mr. Trump didn't comment on that point after having said in February that he didn't have a preference between a one or two-state solution.
Players across the Middle East have been eyeing this meeting closely, looking for signs of what to expect from Washington. Ian Lee is following
all of this from Ramallah in the West Bank.
So we heard praise from Mahmoud Abbas for Donald Trump. We heard Donald Trump say that he is optimistic that a deal can be found. Obviously, many,
many other U.S. administrations before him have tried and failed. What is the view from Ramallah?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, this is really a time for the two leaders to get to know each other. They have spoken before on the phone,
but this is the first time for them to meet face-to-face.
You know, one thing we've learned from President Trump as a world leader, if you praise him, you're going to have a good relationship. If you
criticize him, not so much. So not surprised to see a lot of these high praises for President Trump.
At one point at the end of their press conference, we heard President Abbas say, "Now, Mr. President, with you, we have hope," which is quite, on one
hand, a compliment for President Trump but also quite the burden. Because as you said, successive U.S. presidents have tried to bring some sort of
peace agreement here and they have all failed.
Now, on the streets, we were talking to some people. They didn't have the rosy picture that was seen at the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): There is no hope because there is nothing new. We just hope the situation stays the same and doesn't
worsen, both politically and economically.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We don't expecting any positive results out of any meeting between Palestinians and Americans. American
politicians are very biased toward Israel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Trump is very strong. He will find a solution. I'm very positive, 100 percent. Only strong people can
find a solution. Weak people cannot find one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: And, Hala, I asked Palestinian officials around President Abbas, you know, what is different about President Trump from past U.S.
administrations? And they said the one thing that was key is his style of diplomacy. There is direct diplomacy.
They feel they have the ear of the White House, that there isn't the State Department, this middleman that they're going through. And they say
because Donald Trump is so invested in this process, that he is putting his reputation on the line. And that's where they are getting this optimism
GORANI: Interesting. But, obviously, you mentioned the middleman, the State Department, Rex Tillerson was at the lunch today in Washington but
also the special adviser to Donald Trump, his own son-in-law, Jared Kushner. What do people in Ramallah but also in Jerusalem and elsewhere,
what do they think of Jared Kushner and Rex Tillerson and whether or not they think they can help facilitate an agreement?
LEE: You know, it's the one thing that when we were talking to whether they'd be Israelis or Palestinians, those names didn't really come up much,
which just kind of shows kind of where it is right now.
You do have Jason Greenblatt, who is that special envoy from the White House who was here. They said that he did a lot of listening, not a lot of
talking. When it comes to Jared Kushner, this is someone who is untested, so they are waiting to see really what he will do and how he will get
But really the big thing, and you point out, is Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, nowhere really to be seen, at least when you're talking
to the Palestinians. They don't feel like they are dealing with the State Department at all. They say, of course, the State Department will be
involved in some capacity but, really, when it comes to the negotiations, they expect to see President Trump take this on, front and center, and
really sideline the State Department.
GORANI: Yes. And they also haven't appointed assistant secretaries of state in so many geographical areas as far as the U.S. is concerned a few
months in. Thanks very much, Ian Lee. He's in Ramallah.
Check out our Facebook page, facebook.com/halagoranicnn. We'll post some of our show content on there. A lot of you are interested in the
interviews today with the Luxembourg Prime Minister, but also Yanis Varoufakis. We'll be posting that.
[15:44:58] This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Russian President Vladimir Putin says he's back on track with another world leader. More on who he's
talking about and how it could help or not in Syria when we return.
GORANI: It's been a very busy few days on the diplomatic front for the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Fresh from a meeting with the German
Chancellor Angela Merkel and a phone call with Donald Trump, he spent the last few hours meeting Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The
relationship has been testy over the last few years, but according to Mr. Putin, it has now fully recovered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION (through translator): Some time ago, our bilateral ties as it is well known were tested. Now, we
can say with certainty that the recovery process in Russian-Turkish relations is complete. We are getting back to a normal cooperative
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's go to Moscow and CNN's Matthew Chance. So what came out of the meeting? What is a productive partnership as far as Vladimir Putin and
Recep Tayyip Erdogan are concerned?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, it's a remarkable turnaround first of all, isn't it, Hala, the fact that, in 2015,
Turkish interceptors shot that Russian warplane out of the skies near the Syrian border, and it led to a massive deterioration in relationship. Now,
they're shaking hands. They're meeting in the Russian Black Sea, the resorts of Sochi, and discussing future cooperation, not just on Syria.
They're still on opposite sides of the conflict in Syria, of course. Russia's supporting Bashar al-Assad. Turkey, among the leading voices,
calling for him to be replaced. But they have been cooperating in the Syrian conflict, and they've been carrying out joint strikes recently
against ISIS positions. They are co-sponsoring peace talks currently under way in the Kazakh capital, and they've been discussing the possibility of
establishing safe zones as well to protect civilians in Syria.
And so there is a burgeoning relationship on the war front, if you like. Also on the peace front, they are building relations as well. Russia and
Turkey announcing that they're going to start a joint investment fund, containing initially a billion dollars, to invest in various projects in
both their countries. Russia has said it's prepared to help the Turks bolster security at Turkish tourist resorts where millions of Russian
tourists go every year. And, you know, it looks like these two figures, these two strong men of international politics, are becoming increasingly
GORANI: So why is this happening? You know, they're still on opposite sides of the conflict in Syria, why this rapprochement?
CHANCE: Well, I think it's partly because they both recognize that they need each other when it comes to establishing a peaceful solution or any
kind of solution in Syria. I think there is also a sense in which Vladimir Putin, who is a great opportunist and a tactician, sees an opportunity in
sort of leveraging President Erdogan away from his western allies.
[15:50:04] Turkey is, of course, a main NATO ally. But, you know, there is tension, of course, between western powers, particularly in Europe, and
Erdogan over his democratic credentials in Turkey. Vladimir Putin sees an opportunity there. Perhaps this is a leader that he can bring on to the
Russian side on all sorts of diplomatic events, not just the conflicts in Syria.
GORANI: But it is always about personal relationships as well as strategic self-interests, and these two men, you could can argue, are similar. In
some ways, their critics say they are authoritarian. They don't tolerate dissent. They are strong men. I wonder, personally, if we have any word
of how they get along on that level.
CHANCE: The Kremlin and Putin, they are not very giving when it comes to details like that, on how the two men get along. But, I mean, you can see
from the chemistry between them, the joint photographs, the fact that they meet pretty consistently, that they clearly have a sort of respect for each
other. That, you know, was something that very much suffered a heavy blow when Turkey shot that Russian plane out of the skies in Syria. But they
seemed to have re-established their friendship after that.
I mean, it contrasts very starkly, I think, with the cold kind of tension that you sense when Vladimir Putin, for instance, met Angela Merkel, the
German Chancellor, the day before.
CHANCE: Even though they both speak Russian and German, they were very cold with each other. And Merkel brought up some very controversial issues
that, of course, weren't approached either by President Erdogan or by President Trump.
GORANI: Interesting. Thanks very much, Matthew Chance, live in Moscow. By the way, I was telling you at the top of the hour and throughout that
there is this very important pivotal debate on French television right now. It opposes the centrist Emmanuel Macron and the far-right leader Marine Le
They're both in the second round, they've made it through. They are trading blows as we speak. They are the two remaining candidates in the
battle for the Elysee Palace. The second round of voting takes place on Sunday. And you couldn't have two more opposed candidates, and they are
currently sitting at the same table debating each other.
Coming up, it's been 10 years since her disappearance grabbed front pages worldwide. When we come back, what investigators are saying about the
search for Madeleine McCann and also a special CNN program on that story. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Today, it's May 3rd and marks a sad anniversary for one family. It's been 10 years since British toddler Madeleine McCann went missing
while on holiday with her parents. Her disappearance sparked an international investigation. Erin McLaughlin reports.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's the little girl with the sparkling blue-green eyes. Her disappearance, every parent's
worst nightmare. And the subject of seemingly endless media speculation. Still, Kate and Gerry McCann have hope their Maddie will be found alive.
GERRY MCCANN, FATHER OF MADELEINE MCCANN: No parent is going to give up on their child unless they know for certain their child is dead, and we just
don't have any evidence.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): The mysterious disappearance of Madeleine McCann is far from solved.
MARK ROWLEY, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR SPECIALIST OPERATIONS, METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE: When you deal with families in awful situations, it always
hurts that you can't guarantee success. But we'll do everything we reasonably can do to try and get there.
[15:55:05] MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): The exhaustive global investigation continues. It included multiple appeals to the public for help, over 600
individuals scrutinized, four suspects identified then discounted, Portuguese wasteland excavated, and images of what Maddie might look like
at six and nine years old. Still no sign of the girl.
We don't know exactly what happened that tragic night in Portugal when Maddie, almost four, vanished from her family's holiday apartment. Her
parents dined at a nearby tapas restaurant, her twin siblings asleep in the same room.
In the days following her disappearance, Kate and Gerry McCann were investigated as suspects. Portuguese authorities and the press skeptical
of their story. They've since been cleared of any wrongdoing, but the accusations still sting.
G. MCCANN: The prosecutor say, you know, there is no evidence that we were involved in any crime, and that is -- saying anything opposite is
injustice. It's not justice for Madeleine.
KATE MCCANN, MOTHER OF MADELEINE MCCANN: I mean, I find it all incomprehensible, to be honest, and it has been very upsetting. And it's
caused a lot of frustration and anger.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Ten years later, not much has changed.
K. MCCANN: That hope of Madeleine being out there is no less than it was almost 10 years ago. I mean, apart from those first 48 hours, nothing
actually has changed since then. I mean, I think the difficult thing has always been how will we find her, you know, because you're relying on the
police doing everything they can and you're relying on somebody with information coming forward.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Erin McLaughlin, CNN.
GORANI: All right. Well, thanks for watching. This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
And by the way, as I mentioned, there is that very important French T.V. debate. And just days away, there is this second round of voting, and we
will know who will be the next President of French.
Is it a pro-European centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron or an anti-European candidate, the far-right leader of the -- I should say, the former leader
of the National Front. She stepped down from that role a few days ago, but very much a far-right leader who opposes Europe, who opposes globalization.
Which one of those two will win on Sunday? Polls favor Macron. But these days, obviously, anything can happen.
I'm Hala Gorani, thanks for watching. Do stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.