Parties freeze EU election campaigns after Notre Dame fire

People kneel on the pavement as they pray outside watching flames engulf Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019 - Photo ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

France’s main parties are suspending their European Parliament election campaign because of the fire that ravaged the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris Monday night.

“We are living a moment of profound sadness”

“We are living a moment of profound sadness. The Renaissance list joins this moment of national unity. We are suspending the campaign until further notice,” Nathalie Loiseau, lead candidate of Emmanuel Macron’s party, La République En Marche, (LREM), tweeted Tuesday morning. LREM has branded its European election campaign “Renaissance.”

As a result “all public visits and interviews are cancelled for Tuesday, as well as a rally scheduled for Thursday in Marseille,” according to an LREM official.

The right-wing Les Républicains (LR) cancelled a rally they were due to hold Tuesday evening in Nîmes to launch their campaign.

“We are deeply troubled by these images [of the] collapse of this invaluable treasure… it is a moment of mourning for all of us,” François-Xavier Bellamy, lead candidate for LR and a practicing Catholic, told French television Tuesday morning.

Marine Le Pen’s party, the National Rally (RN), made the same decision. “The campaign is suspended for the time being because of the catastrophe,” according to an RN official.

Macron postponed a much-awaited televised address he was meant to give Monday evening, to outline measures he plans to take following nationwide public debates held in response to the Yellow Jackets protest movement.

Instead he rushed to the scene of the fire and vowed that France “will rebuild Notre-Dame” and that an international fund-raising campaign would be launched.

Source: Politico