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Angela Merkel Flies To Paris In A Show Of Solidarity

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: DEgov}

Germany/France

ANGELA MERKEL FLIES TO PARIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

A sign of solidarity

On Wednesday the Chancellor will fly to Paris, for talks with President François Hollande. “This is a sign of solidarity with our French friends,” said deputy government spokesperson Georg Streiter. The Federal Interior Minister stressed that “everything is being done” in Germany to prevent potential attacks.

The Chancellor’s meeting with the French President is scheduled for Wednesday evening. President François Hollande invited Angela Merkel to the meeting. As deputy government spokesperson Georg Streiter underscored on Monday, the visit is “a sign of solidarity with our French friends”.

Only one day after the attacks in Paris the Chancellor said, “Germany stands shoulder to shoulder with France.” This attack on liberty targets not only Paris, she added. “It targets all of us and it has hit all of us, and that is why we will also all respond together.”

Security authorities being strengthened

In the meantime Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizère has announced that everything is being done in Germany “to identify and thwart any planned attacks at an early stage”. In an interview with the German Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag he pointed out that the authorities responsible for security, like the federal police and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) are being strengthened. The 2016 budget will provide for a total of 4,000 new jobs. He announced that the federal police are to receive an additional robust unit alongside the GSG9 special unit.

The Federal Interior Minister also picked up on the discussion that ensued following the decision to call off last Tuesday’s friendly football match between Germany and the Netherlands. Asked whether he really thought that concrete statements would worry the Germans, Thomas de Maizière said, “It is primarily a question of protecting our sources, particularly protecting the life and limb of those who provide us with information. It is sometimes in the interests of national security to remain silent.”

Frank-Walter Steinmeier says, “We must not allow fear to prevail”

Also in the Bild am Sonntag, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke of the evening he spent in the Stade de France in Paris, while attacks took place in the immediate vicinity. “I can only compliment the French police in the strongest possible terms. It was thanks to them that the stadium was cleared without any mass panic. To remain so calm in such a tense situation is an achievement that deserves huge respect,” he underscored.

He also said, “The terrorist attacks in Paris are an attack on our open society and on the whole of Europe.” However dreadful the attacks were, “We must not renounce what makes our life so worth living. We must not allow fear to prevail,” said the Federal Foreign Minister.

We must openly address fears in schools and nurseries, says Federal Family Affairs Minister

Federal Family Affairs Minister Manuela Schwesig also called on the German people not to bow to fear. “That is exactly what the terrorists want – they want to sow the seeds of hatred and fear. We will not allow them to destroy our way of life,” said the Minister in the German daily newspaper Bild. She also recommended talking with children and parents in schools and nurseries about the events, in order to overcome their fears and their concerns.

She addressed the question as to how we can prevent young people becoming IS fighters. “We must act before anything happens. It is often the feeling of being excluded and feelings of inferiority that cause young people to fall into the trap of IS. We need service packages, social work and counselling and we need these where the young people are,” declared Manuela Schwesig.

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[photo credits: Maya-Anaïs Yataghène [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]

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