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Politics

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: François Hollande: Attentats à Paris

François Hollande: “This is an act of war’

Translated Sunday 15 November 2015, by Anne Sanders

The head of state, who was speaking this Saturday after an extraordinary defence council meeting at the Elysée Palace, stated that responsibility lay with the “terrorist army” of the Islamic State organisation, “Daech”. He declared three days of public mourning and announced that he will address both houses of the Parliament in Congress on Monday at the château of Versailles.

Here, in its entirety, is the speech made by the President of the Republic, François Hollande, on Saturday morning after the Defence Coucil meeting at the Elysée Palace, the day after the murderous attacks in Paris:

“Dear compatriots, what happened yesterday in Paris and at Saint-Denis near the Stade de France football ground, is an act of war, and in the face of war the country must make appropriate decisions. This is an act of war committed by a terrorist army, Daech, a jihadist army, against France, against values which we defend the world over, against what we are, a free country which speaks to the whole planet. It is an act of war, which was prepared, organised and planned from outside with an inside complicity which the investigation will be able to confirm.

It is an act of total brutality. At this moment in time, there are 127 dead and many wounded. There are families in a state of mourning and distress. The country is suffering and I have issued a decree declaring three days of national mourning. All measures have been taken to protect our fellow citizens and our country. Within the framework of the state of emergency, the forces of internal security and the army, to whom I pay tribute, particularly for their actions yesterday which led to the terrorists being neutralised, are mobilised to the highest level possible and I have seen to it that all measures have been implemented to the maximum possible. The military will be on patrol in central Paris throughout the next few days.

Because France has been attacked in a cowardly, shameful, violent way, we will be ruthless towards the barbarians of Daech. France will take action with all means possible within the framework of the law. And with all means appropriate and in all territories, both interior and exterior, in consultation with our allies, who are themselves the target of this terrorist threat.

In this period which is so painful, so serious and so decisive for our country, I call for unity, for solidarity, for composure. And I will address the full Parliament in Congress at Versailles on Monday, to bring the nation together during this ordeal.

France is strong and even though she may be wounded, she always picks herself back up and nothing can harm her even if she is assailed by grief. France is strong, alive, France is valiant and she will triumph over barbarism. History reminds us of this and the power which we are capable of mobilising today convinces us of it.

Dear compatriots, what we are defending is our country, but it is much more than that. We are defending the values of humanity and France will assume her responsibilities. I appeal to you for a unity which is vital now. Long live the Republic and long live France.”


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