Barcelona attack: EU president Jean-Claude Juncker pledges Europe-wide response to 'cowardly attack'

The Commission President offered Spain any assistance it required

Jon Stone
Brussels
Thursday 17 August 2017 20:40
Comments
 President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker pledged EU resources in needed
President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker pledged EU resources in needed

The European Commission President has condemned a “cowardly” vehicle attack in the Spanish city of Barcelona and pledged a Europe-wide response to the atrocity.

Jean-Claude Juncker pledged to put the EU's its resources at the disposal of Barcelona’s emergency and security services following the outrage, which he said had “deliberately targeted those enjoying life and sharing time with family and friends” as reports of at least one person having died in the attack came in.

A speeding van ran through the city’s famous pedestrian street Las Ramblas, mowing down people and sending others flying for cover. Spanish media reports that the driver fled on foot.

The Commission president also hailed “heroic” bystanders seen ran towards danger to help others in the aftermath of the attack.

European Council president Donald Tusk also criticised the “cowardly attack on innocents”, tweeting in both English and Spanish: “All of Europe stands with Barcelona”.

European Parliament president Antonio Tajani said that “tonight, Barcelona is close to the heart of all Europeans” and that he wished to express his “solidarity with the whole” of Spain.

“The determination of the European Union in the fight against terrorism will not diminish,” he said.

“We will not be intimidated by those who peddle violence and death, and we face them down strengthened by our freedom, our unity and the rule of law.”

Mr Juncker said: “It is with profound sorrow and anguish that I have learnt of the terrorist attack that has struck at the heart of Barcelona this afternoon.

“I send my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, as well as to Prime Minister Rajoy and the people of Spain. My thoughts are with the people of Barcelona.

“I hold a special thought for the heroic people who responded by running towards danger to help others and to the security forces who are working to keep the population safe. The Commission is at the full disposal of the authorities for any help or assistance necessary.

“This cowardly attack has deliberately targeted those enjoying life and sharing time with family and friends. We will never be cowed by such barbarism.”

Just this weekend Spanish firefighers were sent to neighbouring Portugal to help battle out-of-control forest fires, as part of an EU disaster response cooperation programme. Three planes, 27 fire engines and 120 Spanish firefighters were mobilised as part of the EU’s civil protection framework.

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