This morning, the President of the Catalan Government, Carles Puigdemont, attended the remembrance ceremony in homage to the victims of last year’s deliberate crash of Germanwings flight 9525 as it flew over the French Alps. The flight, which carried 144 passengers and 6 crew members, was flying from Barcelona to Düsseldorf until the co-pilot initiated its descent causing the aircraft to crash near Digne-les-Bains.
The event, which took place outside of Terminal 2B in Barcelona’s El Prat Airport, was co-chaired by President Carles Puigdemont and the acting Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy. This was the first gathering between the two representatives since Puigdemont took office in January. In this regard, both leaders exchanged words of a cordial nature but, out of respect for the victims’ families, avoided any political comment.
In his speech, President Puigdemont made clear his support to the victims’ families in calling for an improvement of aircraft security measures to avoid similar tragedies from happening again. In this regard, Puigdemont called for a series of legislative changes “in order for the circumstances that caused the accident never to repeat themselves again”.
The Catalan president also thanked the emergency services for their effectiveness at the time of the crash and the solidarity shown by the Catalan people towards those directly affected by the tragedy. In this sense, the President highlighted that despite the “enduring sadness”, the accident demonstrates that “in the darkest hours and in the worst tragedies, we see the best out of the country”.
“We saw this in the tragedy that happened a year ago, we saw it in the accident in Freginals and we are seeing it now as a consequence of the terrible attacks in Brussels”, explained Puigdemont. These tragedies, “bring out the best in all of us”, he added, assuring that “human kindness will always triumph over wickedness and catastrophe”.
In the conclusion of his speech, the Head of the Catalan Government thanked those attending the ceremony and described the event not only as a “tribute” but also as an “act of generosity towards the future”.
The memorial ceremony also included the attendance of other institutional representatives, such as the French ambassador in Spain, Yves Saint-Geours, the president of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau and the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Ana Pastor.