Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Reports and communications > La Coruña 2015

We all are Charlie

Let me, dear friends, show you my most sincere gratitude for the numerous individual or collective, friendly messages, received after the savage killing that hit our country in Paris between the 7th and the 9th of January, where 11 team members of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, four kósher supermarket customers and two policemen were murdered.

The repercussions of these tragic happenings have been considerable, as much in France as abroad: More than 4 million people protested all around France in the “Republican Walks” that took place on the 10th and the 11th of January, forty-four heads of State and Government marched together in Paris on the 11th of January with more than one and a half million anonymous citizens.

This will of coexistence has been visible in many cities and villages; thanks to a solidarity boost, France experienced the greatest demonstration of its history. French people belonging to all faiths, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim or atheistic people rose up in order to protest against this terrible cruelty and to preserve the freedom of expression, tolerance and democracy.

The emotion during three days went far beyond our borders; the whole world has been holding its breath because of the events and the international press reacted strongly against these horrible attacks. A huge support wave has been noticed in the countries from the European Union where leaders, journalists, personalities and simple citizens expressed their solidarity and outrage towards the attacks. Many supporting gatherings took place in the European capitals, because this has been a hard blow for Europe.

The terrorists wanted to challenge our country, but they also attacked the Europe values and the democracy it represents. The terrorism phenomenon affects all of us, because it does not make the difference between nations. The fatal gunfire in Copenhagen, Denmark reproduced intentionally the attacks from Paris; and on the 18th of March in the Bardo Museum, in Tunisia, a Muslim and democratic country, twenty tourists died because of the murderous madness of Jihadists. Terrorism has turned Europe as well as its culture, its traditions and its humanism into its main enemy. In Europe the fight against terrorism is extremely important. It is impossible for us to take a distance from this hostile relationship because we did not start it. Terrorism holds a direct rejection of the principles which are the barebones of our liberal society.

The fact that such terrible actions are committed in a capital like Paris, strongly related to the European Union, and the fact that humoristic journalists, a policewoman with creole origins, a Muslim policeman and Jewish customers from a supermarket were killed, shows how much we can and we must feel proud of our diversity, set over the centuries and how important it is that diversity remains our main objective within a united Europe.

The humoristic magazine Charlie Hebdo, pretending to be optimist, wrote this some days after the attacks: «we hope that from now, defence of laicism, freedom of speech and tolerance is a reality in our civilised world; we should, once and for all, stop legitimising and even tolerating because of cowardice the community sectarianism, cultural relativism or rifts between parties with the sole goal to get more votes».

People are more aware than ever about the need of carrying on building the European Union, which they endorsed when demonstrating in many places of our old continent.

We must thank the work the Europe founding fathers carried out and confirm our attachment towards the values which are our unity’s core. In the French delegation’s name and in my own name, I thank you again for the friendship you showed towards us.

Jean Claude Chrétien