Friday 28 February, 2020

Merkel: Election campaign won't be interrupted

News Desk
Published: 22 August 2017 Tuesday, 03:33  PM

Merkel: Election campaign won't be interrupted

Bonn, 22 August ( German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that campaigning ahead of next month`s elections will not be interrupted as a result of a deadly terrorist attack in Barcelona.


After speaking to the leaders of other parties, the Christian Democrat (CDU) leader said they had agreed that events would still take place, albeit with minutes of reflection and no loud music.


In a statement to the press, Merkel condemned the Islamist terrorist attack on Barcelona`s busy Las Ramblas promenade Thursday, in which 13 people were killed.


A 14th person was confirmed dead in another ramming attack in Catalonia, which Spanish officials say was part of the same terrorist cell.


Merkel defended the decision to continue campaigning, despite concerns that it might be inappropriate.


"This is a celebration of democracy and with it we are celebrating our freedom," she said.


"The terrorists will not understand that. But we know, precisely in democracy, that in freedom and respect for the individual lie our strengths."


Merkel, who currently enjoys a commanding lead in the polls, is vying for a fourth term as chancellor in national elections on September 24.


Her main challenger, Martin Schulz, said his Social Democrat party (SPD) would also soften the tone of campaign events "as a sign of solidarity" after discussing the issue with Merkel on the phone.


"We absolutely agreed ... that there is a mutual will, overriding all political differences, to not give space to terrorism," Schulz said.


He condemned the cowardly attack in Barcelona but said terrorism "would not stop us from standing by our open society."