France must not give in to fear after attack - President
Fight against terrorism/attack in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier – Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic
Brussels, 26 June 2015
Ladies and gentlemen,
I left the European Council as soon as we heard about the attack carried out this morning just before 10.00 a.m. in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier in the Isère. The attack involved a vehicle driven by one person, perhaps accompanied by a second, driving at high speed into this Seveso site [subject to the EU’s Seveso Directive on safety], which contained gas canisters. There’s no doubt that the intention was to cause an explosion.
This was a terrorist attack, given that a decapitated body was found with inscriptions on it. As I speak, one person is reportedly dead and two are injured. The Interior Minister immediately visited the scene with the public prosecutor. The individual suspected of committing the attack has been arrested and identified. A sizeable gendarmerie contingent has been deployed. Seveso sites have been protected even further and every measure is being taken to prevent any further tragedy and pre-empt any action.
The Interior Minister is going to speak just after me to give useful information and nothing but useful information, because the investigation is under way and, as you know, has been entrusted to the anti-terrorist public prosecutor’s office. At this time, we must first of all express our solidarity with the victim. This solidarity was also expressed to me at the European Council this morning. Everyone remembers what happened in our country, and not only in our country.
There is shock. But shock can’t be the only response. There must be action, prevention, deterrence, and therefore the need to uphold values and not give in to fear, ever, and be equal to all the circumstances, not create unnecessary divisions or suspicions, which would be intolerable, and do the job the French people expect us to do: protect them, and at the same time establish the truth and eradicate the groups or individuals responsible for such acts.
I’m going to leave the European Council after speaking to you now – I have informed my colleagues – and will be holding a Select [Defence] Council meeting at 3.30 p.m. this afternoon at the Elysée. By then we’ll have other details, all the information, and we’ll take other measures if necessary.
Finally, as I’ve told you, the suspect has been arrested and identified. Investigations are under way and I leave the authorities tasked with these inquiries to provide information, even though, as you’ll obviously understand, there also has to be an element of discretion to ensure the effectiveness of our services. Thank you for your understanding./.