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[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
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Press Release
Europeans commemorate tsunami victims

Date of release : 05-01-2005

Policy area :

Millions of Europeans across Europe observed a three-minute silence at noon today to commemorate the victims of the tidal wave in south east Asia and to express their solidarity with survivors in the tsunami-hit regions.

Throughout the EU, people responded to the Luxembourg presidency's call to respect the silence in mourning of the victims by stopping work. Radio stations suspended broadcasts, traffic came to a halt in many cities, everywhere flags were flying at half-mast.

In Luxembourg people gathered in the city centre to show their compassion with the victims. Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa as well as government members joined the gathering.

The current President of the Council of the European Union, Jean Asselborn, appreciated that such large numbers had reacted to the call. "It is an invitation to political leaders to act. The European Union cannot let down the five million people in Asia who have lost their livelihoods as a result of the tsunami," said Mr Asselborn.

So far, the Commission and the EU Member States have made commitments amounting to €273 million in financial aid. "We will know the final figure at the donors conference in Geneva on 11th January," Jean Asselborn added.

This page was last modified on : 05-01-2005

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