Greek and Cypriot Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) used their social media accounts to describe the chaos that followed the horrific terrorist attack in the city of Strasbourg yesterday.
Strasbourg is the city near the German border where the European Parliament’s main buildings are located. The attack happened close to the popular Christmas market of Strasbourg near one of the city’s central squares, Place Kléber.
Dimitris Papadimoulis, Vice President of the European Parliament and a Greek MEP for the European Left, called for the strict punishment of the terrorists, and expressed his condolences to the families of the three dead and twelve wounded.
Terrorist attack in #Strasbourg, a city-symbol of peaceful and democratic coexistence of the European people. Our thoughts are with the victims. We express our condolences to their families, our sympathy to the French people and we call for a strict punishment of terrorists.
— Dim. Papadimoulis (@papadimoulis) December 11, 2018
George Kyrtsos, an MEP for the European People’s Party, described the first moments of the attack, saying that he was outside celebrating the ”capital of Christmas” as Strasbourg calls itself, because of its beautiful Christmas markets. He suddenly heard gunshots and then tried to exit the area with everyone else who was there. They all walked ”quickly but with no panic,” as he notes.
Βγήκα στο κέντρο του Στρασβούργου να χαρώ τη βραδινή ατμόσφαιρα της "πρωτεύουσας των Χριστουγέννων".
Επεσαν πυροβολισμοί και απομακρύνθηκα, μαζί με πολύ κόσμο, γρήγορα αλλά χωρίς πανικό.
Δεν έχει γίνει γνωστό εάν πρόκειται για τρομοκρατική ενέργεια.
— Γιώργος Κύρτσος (@GiorgosKyrtsos) December 11, 2018
Eva Kaili, an MEP for the European Socialists and Democrats, uploaded a picture showing how the stranded Parliamentarians were forced to stay inside the chambers of the Parliament for their own safety. They remain under guard there throughout the entire night.
Ongoing situation… at 02:00 we are here at the Plenary, terrorists are still out there. If anyone wants to exit it is at your own risk, authorities will try to keep you safe #EP #Strasbourg @EP_President #Terrorism Assistants & Staff should leave safe before any politician pic.twitter.com/iQqWLBg9qc
— Eva Kaili (@EvaKaili) December 12, 2018
Demetris Papadakis, a Cypriot MEP for the Socialists and Democrats, uploaded a video from the moment the European Parliament went on lockdown, in an effort to ensure the MEPs and the staff’s safety.
— Demetris Papadakis (@DemPapadakis) December 12, 2018
The French authorities are still trying to find the terrorist, but the search has been fruitless. The suspected perpetrator was reportedly already on a watch list, and a concerted manhunt has been ongoing from the very moment of the attack.