"Our free life is stronger than any terrorism"

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Angela Merkel on the Paris attacks "Our free life is stronger than any terrorism"

"We, your German friends, feel very close to you," declared the Chancellor, in the wake of the attacks in Paris. This attack on freedom "targets all of us", she said. And that is why we will all respond together. In a telephone conversation with François Hollande, she assured the French President that Germany would provide any support requested by France to fight terrorism.

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Angela Merkel and her Cabinet ministers sign the book of condolence.

Entry in the book of condolence: "In deep sorrow and close friendship"

Photo: Bundesregierung/Kugler

The Chancellor has spoken by telephone with French President François Hollande and expressed personally the sympathy of the German government and the German people. "Germany grieves with you for the victims, and wishes all those injured a speedy recovery," said Angela Merkel.

The Chancellor condemned the "barbaric terrorist attacks" and underscored the fact that Germany stands firmly at France’s side. Germany, she said, will provide any support requested by Paris in the fight against terrorism.

A nightmare of violence, terrorism and fear

"We have just experienced one of the worst nights Europe has seen for a long time," said Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday morning, following the terrorist attacks in Paris. The people in Paris have gone through a nightmare of violence, terrorism and fear.

In her thoughts, she said, she is with the over 120 people whose lives were abruptly and prematurely ended, and with their families and friends. "Germany shares your pain and your grief."

Sympathy and solidarity with France

Angela Merkel's statement on the terrorist attacks in Paris

"Germany shares your pain."

Photo: Bundesregierung/Kugler

Germany stands shoulder to shoulder with France, assured Angela Merkel. "We will fight by your side against those who have inflicted such inconceivable suffering on you." This attack on liberty targets not only Paris, said the Chancellor. "It targets all of us and it has hit all of us, and that is why we will also all respond together."

She is in close contact with the government in Paris, continued Angela Merkel. And, in the course of the day she will be meeting with the ministers responsible in Berlin to discuss the further development of the situation in France and all the pertinent issues.

We will defend liberty and democracy

All citizens too, must "give a clear and unequivocal response" stressed Angela Merkel, and that response must be, "Our essential values are humanity, neighbourly love and the joy of fellowship. We believe in the right of every individual to seek happiness and to live their lives, we believe in respect and tolerance. And we know that our free life is stronger than any terrorism."

Speaking in Vienna, where he was attending talks on Syria, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also declared himself appalled by the terrorist attacks in Paris. "The dimension of the horror embodied in these attacks defies the comprehension of each and every one of us," he said. In these hours of suffering and despair, we in Germany stand firmly at the side of our French friends, he added. The Federal Foreign Office has set up a crisis unit to deal with the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Federal Justice Minister Heiko Maas condemned the attacks as barbaric and cowardly. "This is an assault on our liberal democracy." But, he declared, democracy and freedom are stronger than any terrorism. "We will not yield," stressed the Federal Justice Minister.