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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





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.


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

Jean-Claude Juncker.

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

should open.

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

speak soon.

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 --


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.


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."


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



GORANI: Well, remember, this comes just a day after Hillary Clinton blamed Comey in part for her lost in November to Donald Trump.


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.


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,

Mike Pence.

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

on this.


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

style agreement.


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.


[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.


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.


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.


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

from, Hala.

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, 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.


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



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.


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.