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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Parliament locked in by Terrorist Attack in Strasbourg as Cyprus President arrives

EU Parliament locked in by Terrorist Attack in Strasbourg as Cyprus President arrives

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 11 December 2018
 
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- All People working in EU Parliament s Plenary Session this week in Strasbourg were suddenly locked in, as a Security precaution, after a Deadly Terrorist Attack reportedly killed 3 and wounded more than 9 civilian victims targetted by at least one gunman who apparently escaped downtown.

 

 The unprecedented incident occured just after Cyprus President Nicos Anastassiades arrived to Strasbourg in order to address EU Parliament early tomorrow morning, and while EU Commissioner Wolfgang Oettinger, earlier in charge of Energy, and nowadays of the Budget, was speaking in the Plenary.

 

Cyprus Ambassador to the CoE in Strasbourg; Mr Attias, speaking to "Eurofora" by phone, said that the President was well and safe, as several MEPs referred to the tragic incidents, while the 1st speaker, German ChristianDemocrat/EPP Monika Hollmayer, Rapporteur also for Security issues, was curiously absent, perhaps locked out of the Parliament, as the 2019 Budget debate was starting when the incidents were anounced, followed by the creation of a European Defence Fund (see infra).

  

 The recognized armed Terrorist reportedly attacked Civilian People at a well known pedestrian street, not far away from the Cathedral, crossing  Strasbourg's Central Square Kleber, from which pass most Public Transports, including some coming from, or going towards the Quarter of European Institutions' Headquarters. Shots and victims apparently continued also towards a touristic Square Gutemberg, where has now been set up a nice "village" from Finland, the current President of PanEuropean CoE for the periiod of November 2O18-May 2019. Afterwards, a gunman reportedly run into a traditional commercial street, at the older and more touristic area of the city.
 
Initially, Strasbourg had quite strong Security Measures during its Traditional "Christmas Market", each December, even Earlier than Other Cities, because of a Strange but anodynous Incident in the Past, at nearby Frankfurt, etc., when a Video had revealed that Islamist Extremists might seek to destroy Christian Historic Cathedrals in Europe. Often, the French JHA Minister was visiting to verify the Security Measures in Strasbourg, before the Christmas Market starts, and this was done, Recently, this year, also with the New JHA v.Minister Laurent Nunez, (Comp. his Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions, precisely about Terrorist Risks and European Cooperation, at : ...).
 
 But, some Days ago, we had been Surprized to find out that, soon After 8 p.m., almost all those Security Measures were routinely Lifted, everyday, except during the Week-End, (reportedly because the Christmas Market was closing then)...It's precisely that Lacuna that the Deadly Terrorist(s) of Today Exploited in order to Cowardly Target and kill innocent Civilian People, at the Time when they were Leaving to Return back Home... 
 
 
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+In the Meantime, inside EU Parliament, all the Locked in MEPs, Assistants, Civil Servants, Journalists, etc., had gathered at the Hemicycle in order to hear the President Antonio Tajani speak about the Practical Organisation of a Way out, in the best possible Security, as long as the Armed Terrorist(s) had Not yet been arrested by the French Police, which was still Searching to find at least 1 armed Suspect, Blocking, for that purpose, almost All the Center of DownTown (where many MEPs' Hotels were located), including most Transports. 
 
 Interestingly, from the point of view of Human Solidarity, several MEPs loudly Refused to Leave the First, with Cars and Drivers Protected by the French Police, as long as there wasn't yet found a Satisfactory Solution for their Assistants, the Civil Servants, and other EU Parliament's staff !  Curiously, Nobody hadn't yet spoken aloud for the numerous Journalists (including "Eurofora"), who were still working in the Press Room...
 
 
In Addition, a Call was Launched for the confined MEPs to Hold a Minute of Silence, in Memory and with Respect of the Victims of that Terrorist Attack, (See relevant "Eurofora"s Photo), while the Incoming News kept Augmenting the Total Number of persons Wounded or Killed...  
 
 
 But, Most of the Time sped in Plenary, overNight, until more than 4 a.m. in the Early Morning, (and withOut Any Translation, while some spoke French, other English, or German, even Italian, etc), seeking to organize a Safe Return back to MEPs' a.o. Hotels, Homes, etc, while, a the same Time Down Town reportedly several Hundreds of Policemen were sreportedly Searching to Find and arrest one or more Armed Terrorist(s) who still circulating free, so that Noone was Safe, unless protected by special Police Cars.... 
 
Finaly, "Eurofora" (with a Wounded Leg, etc), was obliged to leave almost the Last from EU Parliament's PressRoom, Later than 4 a.m...
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    Before the end of 2009, France and Germany will take strong initiatives to open "new Horizons" needed by Europe and the World, going well beyond the current Crisis' management, anounced French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel, reassuring that both a judgement on Lisbon Treaty by nearby Karlsruhe German Federal Court, and the forthcoming National Elections in Germany would confirm their capacity to act.    

They were replying to Press questions in Berlin, after key-regional elections on Sunday, where Merkel's ChristianDemocratic party kept everywhere a strong 1st and won the possibility to forge a New Majority with Liberals at the largest of 3 Landers : Saxony (4 millions inhabitants), while its main competitor, the Socialdemocrat party fell to unprecedented lows : Tackled by the small "Linke" (left) party in Saarland (1 million inhabitants), it became even smaller than it in Saxony and Thuringen (3 million inhabitants), where SPD arrived only third. While its usual partners, the "Greens" also fell down, contrary to CDU's new partners, the FDP Liberals, who go up.

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    - "At any case, at the end of the year (2009), if things go as scheduled, we shall take strong initiatives, showing that Europe needs a Franco-German axis, as well as the World, even if it never excludes other" countries to join, replied Sarkozy to a question if France and Germany will revive the "European dream", by "relauncing the EU motor" for the Future, with actions going further than the mere management of the global crisis, (as it was done fex. in the Past with the creation of the "Euro" Monetary zone, etc).

    - "I am convinced that the Franco-German friendship must be constantly nourished by New Projects", he added."There are many areas of cooperation where we intend to take, very soon, some Franco-German initiatives, which will allow to open more Horizons" to the EU, Sarkozy stressed.

    But if "we don't speak about that now, it's only in order to avoid interfering in important elections coming in Germany", he observed. However, "we have already started to consider the Future with the (German) Chancellor, and what we can do in order to honour our predecessors". "We are already speaking about that, and we are preparing things". "I am working very well together with Mrs Merkel, and I wish that it goes on", Sarkozy concluded.

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    - "It's important for EU's credibility that France and Germany advance forward together", stressed Merkel from the outset. "Don't worry about Germany's capacity to undertake initiatives" with France, she added. "France and Germany will be perfectly able to make proposals" for the EU.

    -  "After-crisis" plans must be prepared, meanwhile, with measures "advancing progressively", Merkel anounced. And, for the short term, we must deal also with EU Citizens' dismay since they feel that it's a Scandal for some in the Financial Markets to be paid with excessive "Bonuses", etc, she agreed with Sarkozy.

    - "Abuses in financial markets must stop", stressed also Sarkozy. Backing Merkel's announcement that France and Germany call for an EU meeting to forge "a crystal-clear European position" in view of the G-14 Summit at Pittsburg, he warned that "everyone will have to undertake his responsibilities, in front of World's Public Opinion. particularly those who don't want to make the same effort of regulation as France and Germany".

    Moreover, "Global Trade cannot be correctly dealt, without taking into account also Environmental and Social rules", Sarkozy added, referring to recently expressed positions against Unfair Competition via Environmental and/or Social Dumping, (See earlier "EuroFora"'s publications).

    Such moves are obviously linked to the need to ensure at least an elementary respect for Human Rights by Third Countries, (f.ex. exploitation of Children's work, etc) in order to avoid, precisely, any such Social Dumping.

    - "EU has Values, protecting Human Rights and Human Dignity", and "it cannot close its eyes" in front of grave violations, particularly "Torture and/or killings", added, indeed, Sarkozy.

    Thus, "the time comes, where decisions must be taken". But, in case of "Sanctions", "all International opinion should be convinced of the need to take action", he observed.

    Expressed on the occasion of recent developments in Iran, the same principles should logically apply also to other similar cases, including fex. that of Hundreds of ECHR judgements' condemning f;ex. Turkey for grave crimes, (as Torture, brutal Killings, Enforced "Disappearances", Destruction of Family Homes, harassments and oppressive violations of Freedom of Speech, etc).

    Meanwhile, questioned on (EU Commission's chair)  Barroso's bid to succeed himself for a second mandate, they both expressed a "wish" or a "feeling" that "EU Parliament"'s various political Groups might fix a date for decisions "during September". However, is he is endorsed before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be legally necessary to re-vote anew for a full term of office afterwards, according to EU Legal Experts, revealed recently in Strasbourg the experienced former President of EU Parliament's Constitutional Committee, German Socialist MEP Jo Leinen. And Germany will not vote for Lisbon Treaty's ratification but only "on September 8 and 18", revealed Merkel, ( i.e. after EU Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg).

    - Therefore, "for EU Commissioners' appointment, it's too early yet, because we must wait for the ratification of Lisbon Treaty" by all 27 EU Member countries, including naturally Ireland's Referendum on early October, said to "EuroFora" the influential President of EU Parliament's largest group of MEPs, Joseph Daul, expressing, however, the hope that a controversial deal with the head of the Socialist Group of MEPs, Martin Schultz of Germany, might hold for Barroso alone, at a forthcoming vote due to fix the Strasbourg plenary's Agenda.

    But MEPs reportedly just "postponed" for 1 week all their previously scheduled group meetings (See : http://www.euractiv.com/en/future-eu/barroso-unveil-summer-homework-week/article-184825 );

    However, while the choice of a new EU Commission's President by EU Parliament is supposed, according to many MEPs' wish, take place according to EU policy issues, paradoxically, this would mean that Barroso's bid would pass before even the anouncement of France and Germany's "initiatives" for EU's "new Horizons"...

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