Politics

Macron joins Spanish Royals to honour victims of terrorism

Paris, Mar 11 (efe-epa).- French President Emmanuel Macron hosted an event to mark the 16th European Day of Victims of Terrorism despite concerns over the spread of coronavirus.Macron and his wife Brigitte were joined by guests of honour King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain for the event in Trocadero square, opposite the Eiffel Tower in the French capital. The European Day of Victims of Terrorism was established after the bombings in Madrid on 11 March 2004, the deadliest in Europe since 1988.Victims, family members and representatives from the emergency services gathered in a paired-back ceremony of around 900 attendees.“Memory is an act of respect, an exercise in justice and dignity, a moral demand,” the Spanish king said in a speech.”Dignity, justice, respect for the other and democracy make nations stronger and freer.”“Neither barbarism nor hatred will succeed,” the monarch added.King Felipe honoured the 192 people killed in the Madrid attacks.”They will always be in our memory,” he said.Macron thanked the Spanish royals and celebrated the link between the two nations.The French president named the places that had been attacked in recent years in France and praised the efforts of police, firefighters, emergency personnel, military and civilians who fought and worked to prosecute terrorists.Macron said the families of the victims would be given the same benefits as those of fallen veterans.”Terrorists kill blindly. We will save the names, we will remember the faces,” he said.France has witnessed several terrorist attacks in recent years.The most serious happened in Paris in November 2015 when three simultaneous attacks rocked the capital, one of them took place in the Bataclan concert hall. Attackers killed 130 people and left more than 300 others wounded.In July 2016, 86 people were killed in a terror attack in Nice on the Bastille Day, France’s national day.Despite growing concerns in Europe over the spread of Covid-19, Macron decided to go ahead with the commemoration The Elysée Palace reinforced protection measures to protect the president and his direct circle after the French Minister of Culture tested positive for the coronavirus. Spain and France are two of the European countries that have been most affected by the outbreak, with more than 2,000 and 1,784 infections respectively.French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe and interior ministers Spaniard Fernando Grande-Marlaska and Frenchman Christophe Castaner also attended. EFE-EPAcpg/ch/rb

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