16 November 2015

Paris attacks

Official statements.

Content published under the Government Valls II from 2014 26th August to 2016 11th February

Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, following the meeting of the Defence Council (Paris, 14 November )

My dear compatriots,

What happened yesterday in Paris and in Saint-Denis near the Stade de France is an act of war, and in the face of war the country must take the appropriate decisions. It’s an act of war which was committed by a terrorist army, Daesh [ISIL], a jihadist army, against France, against the values we uphold all over the world, against what we are: a free country that speaks to the whole planet. It’s an act of war which was prepared, organized, planned externally, and with internal complicity which the investigation will enable us to establish. It’s an act of absolute barbarity: as I speak, 127 people are dead and many wounded. The families are suffering grief and distress, and the country is in sorrow.

I’ve issued a decree to declare three days of national mourning. Every measure to protect our fellow citizens and our territory is being taken in the framework of the state of emergency. So the domestic security forces and the army – to whom I pay tribute, particularly for the action carried out yesterday, which enabled us to neutralize the terrorists – the army and the domestic security forces are mobilized at the highest capability level. I’ve ensured that every mechanism is stepped up to the maximum level: service personnel will patrol Paris throughout the coming days. Because it’s been cravenly, shamefully, violently attacked, France will show no mercy to the Daesh barbarians. It will act, within the framework of the law, with every means appropriate and in every theatre, both domestic and external, in consultation with our allies, who are themselves targeted by this terrorist threat. In such a painful, such a serious, such a decisive period for our country, I call for unity, for people to pull together and stay calm, and I’ll be addressing a special joint meeting of both chambers of Parliament in Versailles on Monday to rally the nation in this ordeal. France is strong, and even though it may be wounded it always gets back up, and nothing will be able to hurt it, even if we are plunged in grief. France is solid, it is active, France is valiant and it will triumph over barbarism; history reminds us of this, and the strength we’re capable of harnessing today convinces us of it.

My dear compatriots, what we uphold is our homeland, but it’s much more than that. It’s the values of humanity, and France will be able to shoulder its responsibilities, and I call on you to show this essential unity.Long live the Republic, and long live France!

Communiqué issued following the Council of Ministers’ meeting (Paris, 14 November )

A meeting of the Council of Ministers, convened by the French President, was held on 14 November at midnight. On the basis of reports by the Prime Minister, the Interior Minister, and the Keeper of the Seals and Justice Minister, a decree declaring a state of emergency was adopted. It takes immediate effect throughout metropolitan France and Corsica. Among other things, it allows for a ban on the movement of people and the establishment of protection and security zones.

A second decree was also adopted to step up measures in all the communes of Ile-de-France [Paris region]. These provisions make it possible for any person whose activity is dangerous to be put under house arrest, for performance halls and meeting-places to be provisionally closed, for weapons to be handed over and for precautionary/police searches to be carried out.

Furthermore, the President decided to restore border controls immediately. The customs services are also mobilized to this end.

Schools and universities will be closed today, Saturday, in Ile-de-France, and school trips cancelled.

Hospitals have been mobilized. The Plan Blanc [hospitals emergency mechanism] has been set in motion.

The Foreign, Justice and Health Ministries’ victim support unit, in liaison with police headquarters, has been activated.

A meeting of the [Select] Defence Council was convened for 9.00 a.m. today. An additional 1,500 service personnel have already been mobilized.The President will remain in Paris and will not take part in the G20 meeting. He will be represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Minister of Finance and Public Accounts.

French President’s statement following the Council of Ministers’ meeting (Paris, 14 November )

The security forces have once again been called to intervene under extremely difficult conditions, and the terrorists who took position, including in a place very near here, have been killed. I want to express our admiration for all those services – doctors, firefighters, civil protection – who dedicated themselves to helping throughout the night. Many people were wounded, seriously wounded; those wounded people are shocked, shocked by what they saw. So we wanted to be here, among all those who saw those terrible things, to tell them we’re going to fight this battle, and it will be merciless, because when terrorists are capable of carrying out such atrocities they must be certain that they will face a determined France, a united France, a France that comes together and a France that will not be cowed, even though today it is expressing unbounded shock at this tragedy, which is appalling because it is barbaric.

(Sources of English text : Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development)