MEPs respond to blasts with show of solidarity

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg responded to the London bomb blasts with a show of solidarity today.

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg responded to the London bomb blasts with a show of solidarity today.

European Parliament President Josep Borrell echoed Tony Blair’s description of “barbaric” acts of terrorism.

Spaniard Mr Borrell said: “As a citizen of a country which experienced only last year the horror of this kind of multiple attack, I want to send, on behalf of the Parliament, a message of solidarity to the British people.”

He went on: “We all stand with you today, and we will never let the atrocities of terrorism defeat the values of peace and democracy in Europe.

“On behalf of the Parliament, I want to express our condolences to the families of those who have died and express our solidarity to those who are injured and suffering the consequences of these barbaric acts.”

Liberal Democrat leader in the European Parliament Graham Watson denounced the attacks as cowardly, adding: “There can never be any excuse for terrorist acts.

“Since 2001 the world is now facing a persistent and indiscriminate threat from international terror groups.

"European countries and western democracies must stick together in opposing this menace. Our citizens’ most basic desire is to live in peace and security. Member States can no longer guarantee the safety of their citizens.”

London Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford said: “Londoners displayed courage and stoicism in the face of these atrocities. I particularly applaud the prompt and efficient reaction of the emergency services.

"Londoners will know that they have the solidarity and support of all their fellow Europeans during this terrible experience as expressed by the President of the European Parliament at our session today.”

Green MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit said: Whatever the motives of the perpetrators, we must be clear that violence offers no solutions. Assuming that these attacks were linked to the G8 meeting in Scotland, the timing is particularly cynical.

“The leaders of the world’s richest countries are finally talking about findings ways to improve the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. To send a message that this is in some way wrong, is shocking and obscene.”

Irish MEP Avril Doyle, leader of the Irish MEPs in the centre-right European People’s Party in Strasbourg, said: “Yesterday was a day of joy and celebration in London. Today is one of shock and disbelief.

“I echo the sentiments of the President of the European Parliament when he said we stand with the British people today. We will not allow terrorism to distract from what we have all worked so hard to achieve – peace and solidarity across Europe.”

Ms Doyle said the attacks were an assault on the whole EU and were particularly sinister with Britain in the presidencies of both the G8 and the EU: “Our memories of Madrid are very recent, and while we work in Strasbourg today our thoughts and prayers are with the people of London.”

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