tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV September 1, 2017 7:00am-7:31am PDT
quick hello and welcome to "quadriga." "we can do this" -- that was the famous pledge uttered by angela merkel as she opened the country to a flood of refugees. more than one million refugees have poured into europe via what was known as the balkan route. today, most migrants arrive via the mediterranean s sea, mostly fromom north africa. this year, some 12020,000 -- consnsiderably fewer than two of years ago -- dare to risk k the
treacherous crossing. far from opening the door to them, angela merkel is now saying that migration via the mediterranean must be stopped. not least perhaps because she wants to be reelected in the coming weeks. her reelection campaign -- haunted by the refugee crisis? that's what we want to talk about today with our guests. it is a pleasure to welcome antje bauer, a freelance journalist and islamic scholar, who has been reporting from many parts of the world where refugees are on the move. she says migration can only be prevented by finding its causes. creating refugee migration camps is cynical and simple. , a pleasure tong have you here. he is a journalist who regularly comments on refugee crisis. he says we have to admit that mistakes have been made in our
policies regarding refugees. finally, it is a pleasure to welcome mekonnen mesghena, who heads the department of migration at the heinrich boll foundation. he says germany is not using the right tools in order to protect the truly needy. instead, it is survival of the fittest. let me briefly take us back to this day two of years ago. let's hear exactly what angela merkel had to say back then. saycellor merkel: i simply germany is a strong country. we have managed to do so much. we can do this. host: i would like to ask all of she ultimately get proven right? has germany, at least thus far, done this in the sense of
managing this amazing influx of refugees fairly competently? germany managed to receive all these migrants and refugees during the 16, 18 months. in a way, there has been collapsed. the fear of the public was do we manage this, and germany managed it, yes. host: would you agree with that? you said in your opening statement that germany has made some mistakes with its refugee policy. would you say that statement teen of years ago was the biggest mistake? malte: no. nevertheless, germany is a strong country. we have a big surplus in the
country of billions of euros, almost non-unemployment. but the task of integrating one million refugees with very , culturalhistories aspects, starting with anti-semitism, all these things still is a huge task. agree with what you said. i think that germany managaged. i think that germany managed quite well, but i agree also that we still have a huge task before us. host: this week, with german elections a little over three weeks away, the chancellor called that decision in 2015 a "humanitarian exception" deriving from the circumstances of that time. let's hear what she had to say at recent campaign rally. chancellor m merkel: w week in e cdu anand csu agree that there
should not and must not be a repeat of 2015 -- we in the cdu and csu. is she seeing a different tune now largely because of electioneering opportunism? malte: it is not so new. it started in the fall of 2015 when you have stricter rules for asylum-seekers, when she basically switched from the open heart and friendly face to very pragmatic and, i would say, more conservative way of dealing with the problems. i would say this is no real switch, but it was a long development starting in the fall of 2015 until now. kind of real existing humanitarian things. host: what do you think when you hear what she says now compared to what she was saying two of two years ago?
does that reflect lessons learned on her part or simply to ensure that her party does not lose bototh? mekonnen: everything you say is right. we have a campaign right now. of course, many changes have been done during the last 12 preventing humanitarian catastrophe and crisis during the summer of 2015 was followed by a number of changes restricting the open-door policy for refugees. in a wayeen managing to get more restrictive, so the sinking number of refugees today is the result of the policy change we have.
we had around 80,000 refugees, and this year, so far, around 120,000. this is not only a rhetoric issue but thehe result of restrictive policies as well. the question -- can this happen again -- it was one of the most-asked questions she had to face in the months after. maybe we can deal with when million refugees. maybe we can deal with the task ahead, but will this happen again? that was the basic fear of many people. melinda: in the upcoming election, two aspects are important. first of all, to what degree is angela merkel's rival, martin schulz, actually saying anything different? he, too, says mistakes were made, also by the chancellor, but he faults, for example, the
unworkable system within the european union for the distribution of refugees. how much difference is there between these candidates on this issue? antje: i do not see a big difference here, and i do not think this will be a point in which martin schulz can win over her the election. -- she dider all launch the decision in 2015 to open the doors of germany, and then she had to see what was going on. she needed the support of europe, and she did not get it. she asked for the support of the other eu countries like watches show has done. -- like martin schulz has done. but they both say we can handle this only if the european union is trying to do something
together. otherwise, germany cannot be the only country receiving a lot of refugees, so i do not see a big difference between schulz and merkel. as she has been changing her policy regarding refugees since , i think this is even a strong point for her right now. peopleleay she has this and will be able to handle it in the future. in termslet me ask you of what people think, to what degree is migration a high priority for a number of german voters? malte: i think it is in the head of many voters. it is not a real, substantial topic in the election campaign due to the fact that the migration policy of angela -- even by the opposition
partrty, there was no representation for all the fears of all the things that people were asking for. they had no political representation, so all parties were involved in the process. there is no party right now who can really point the finger if we are not talking about the right-wing populist party, who is not a member of the parliament, and nobody wants to do that job, so she is quite safe. even if nonetheless, this issue is not necessarily decisive or this election, clearly, it is an issue that is here to stay. standlook at where we right now on migration policy in general. there was a sort of miniature summit held this week between some european union members to talk about migration, and angela merkel came away from that summit saying, among other things, she thinks the border controls need to remain in place
in what used to be the borderless area known as the of the european union. is that the right way to proceed? mekonnen: border patrol is part , majorsovereign entity country, or continent. that is simply a statement of reality. the problem with europe is w we have permanent elections somewhere -- in france, spain, britain, italy. the policy on refugees is very much based on these ad hoc policies because of some elections. so we are driven by these kind of campaigns. we are driven by ad hoc policies, and we lacked the vision and the concept of how we want to manage refugee issues in the future -- we lack the vision and the concept.
this is something was goes hand-in-hand. we cannot discuss border control if we do not discuss how we want there is alsoause responsibility to protect in the world. melinda: speaking of vision, did that miniature summit have onen did anything come of it? antje: i think they tried to go along somehow in order to o tryo avoid the idea by the public that again one million people will come. they tried many things. they tried a contract and agreement with turkey, which i think can work, but which is politically highly problematic because of the political diversity in turkey. is now trying to prevent the stream of refugees through the mediterranean. they tried these what i would
call concentration camps in libya. there is not a vision because i think the problem in this measure has not been there before. there have always been my great -- therebut not today have always been migrant streams, but now today in a globalized world, it is much more frequent. wherea: let's look at things stand now. the numbers of refugees crossing the mediterranean are dropping, but does that mean the situation is improving? we went on board a trip that patrols for europe's border guard agency -- we went on board a ship. a chiffon patrol looking for refugee. often, they only find remnants, perhaps the remnanants of a catastrophe.
the decrease can be attributed to the increased presence of the libyan coast guard but also clashes between different malicious -- munitions - -- memelissas -- melitias in departure areas. melinda: where should these shipwrecked people go? back to africa? let me pass that question right on. angela merkel says that those who come for economic reasons need to go back to where they came from. how realistic is that? mekonnen: whoever comes in a boat, we cannot distinguish what they are looking for. are they looking for jobs, protection, etc.?
even political refugees seek jobs. this is not an easy issue to say these people sitting in one boat , we will offer them the kind of or aspiration they are looking for. this is not easy. however, because i think it is important for politics to look ,nto what instruments we use what kind of migrants and what kind of refugees. yes, we need policies which side, peoplehe one seeking political refuge. on the other side, what is the democratic necessity in europe and how we deal with that and what kind of opportunities we offer people who are looking for jobs, and what do we need to prosper in our labor market and lso our economy?
that's why i say we need a concept and a long vision. to do with that, we need the instruments to tackle the issue on one side and also participation on the other side. issues anddebate the maybe come up with something which can provide a more intelligent way to deal with it, and if not, we need an instrument which tackles both issues. melinda: at the moment, one of the instruments that's being the are detainment camps, ones antje bauer referred to as concentration camps, detainment/ detention camps in libya which have been put together by way of agreement between italy, which has been less high and dry by other eueuropean union members n dealing with this problem, turning to libya and making
for refugees. not an attractive solution, but a necessary one, given the eu inability to agree on how to give people refugee? but nott is necessary, in the way it is done right now. , noe is always famine employment, misery, war in africa and other places on earth. people are coming because they haveve a smart phone -- smartphe and see which route to take to get a better future and so on. what italy is trying is twofold -- first, to deter as many people as they could in making the camps as miserable as they could, and i would say they should be run by the united nations and other humanitarian organizations, not by libya or countries like them. as muchnd is to deter
people as you can. it sounds very cynical, but if you don't want to have real supportive borders at your own landscape, you try to levy the border question to africa, to north africa, to the sahara. you cannot deter the people when they do not see any prospective in the regions where there is oppression, when there is famine, when there is a huge amount of unemployment. the majority of people from africa are not refugees in the classical l nse. migrants.ty are you have solved the problem how to distinguish between a migrant and refugee in the very early stage. younnen: the problem is
cannot deter b by violating humn rights. that's the major issue we have. countries like libya commonly violate human rights. melinda: let me bring antje your in on this because opening statement made it clear you do not think these caps are a workable deterrent. antje: no, because it is against human rights. it is cynical to say we have to do this to achieve that other thing. this is not an easy topic. maybe there are other ways to prevent people to come to europe in the first place than in order to be brought back. can takethink europe il those who come because think also there is a war of images in another way, that men come because of the wrong image in europe, and then they cannot go back because they are afraid theywill lose face when
come back and say, "it wasn't what i thought." that would be to accept that they did the wrong decision. very often, the whole family has gathered all the money, sold this and that. often, they do not have a realistic image of what is going on. i think there must be a way of dealing with people who come out of poverty, but not only the way of preventing them to come here, but a way to give them perspective because most of these people -- we see them. they are not hungry. they are not people who are -- they are strong. they are the strongest of their family who come here. why do they come? they do not see any prospective for themselves. we have to put in place international politics, coming something like the value
that has got lost in the last 50 years. melinda: i want to pick up on a kind of marshall plan for europe . briefly, to your point about distinguishing between economic migrants and political refugees, the fact is many of those fleeing are fleeing situations of terrible governance, corrupt regimes that do not provide opportunities. are they economic migrants or political migrants? if they have to fear for their life, they are refugees in the classical sense. this is what the rules said, the german rules and most european rules. if your life rules is threatened. if your future is threatened because you have no perspective that is not aive,
refugee. you have to focus on helping people in need, physical need. that is: to an extent, correct. the geneva convention is also over 50 years old. we have to talk about ongoing political change in this world, the economical structure of this world, the environment. the environment we create here creating another environmental situation in other , who bear our responsibility. we need to reconsider the issue of migration in many ways. do we have an economic situation which provides perspectives for people? do we tackle those issues on , weapons business, for which we are also responsible, etc.?
it is not only the issue of political oppression, but also the economy. people are suffering and losing their prospective. we need a holistic picture and holistic approach in order to tackle the issue of refugees and immigrants. let me briefly asked all of you to comment on another issue the chancellor has been tatalking about. she said need to address the problem at its roots, something have talked about, and the need to put more development aid particularly into africa, but that is a very long-term solution and we are looking at a short-term crisis. the short-term crisis, we always have to try to find a solution. there are things which cannot work. militias in our
libya, it is true that it is violating human rights. campsyou and u --n -- un in other countries might work, but helping the democracy and economic cooperation on a bigger level than what is going on right now will be the right solution. mekonnen: there are already instruments which can be applied in order to ease the pressure on the issue of refugees in other regions, so why don't we talk about -- while we talk about border protection, we need also to talk about how to protect people and what instruments we have which we can apply as well. back to bringing this
the title of our show and the upcoming election, issues like the long-term aspects of the refugee crisis, like the need for development aid -- are these issues that are really on the agenda for german voters? i do not think so. you come very soon in the area of visions and solving the problems of the world, sure. nobody wants war, but there are wars in the world. i would like a country like a lovely to be on the level of switzerland, but it would take toels -- it would take years achieve that, so i do not think people in the election campaign are talking those long-term strategies. melinda: thank you very much. thanks to all of you for being with us today, and thanks to you out there for tuning in. see you soon. ♪
>> this week, "global 3000" heads to the west coast of africa, where plastic trash poses a chchallenge for thte island state of sao tomé and principe. what's the solution? in toronto, artists can rent affordable spaces in expensive city districts. we find out more. but first, we go to a zambian forest that draws millions of migratory fruit bats every year. >> they're like precisely choreographed dances -- flocks of birds in motion.