The European Day of the Victims of Terrorism that is commemorated on March 11 will finally be celebrated in Madrid and will consist of an institutional act of the European Commission which will be attended by the Commissioner for the Interior, Ylva Johansson, and, in the afternoon, a ceremony of State chaired by Felipe VI that, in principle, will take place in the Plaza de la Armeria del Palacio Real. After the European Commission confirmed to this newspaper in writing on January 10 that, due to the pandemic, the tribute was going to be circumscribed this year to a symbolic on-line act in Brussels, sources from the Community Executive itself returned to address to Media to rectify and communicate that in the end there would be “a face-to-face event” in Madrid.

The Commission rectifies, This also gave full acceptance to the invitation that the King announced in 2020 in Paris during the celebration of the 1st European Day of the Victims of Terrorism, in which he offered the capital of Spain as the venue for the next edition of this day. In the absence of many aspects being specified, and while progress is being made in work meetings both at the community level and at the Ministry of the Interior, it is expected that the two different calls will take place throughout this 11-M. The first will be held, predictably, at the headquarters of the representation in Spain of the European Commission, located in Madrid’s Paseo de la Castellana, where Commissioner Johansson will receive the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and that of Portugal, Eduardo Cabrita, as this is the country that this semester holds the rotating presidency of the Union. This will be a sober tribute, “with a lot of interaction with the victims, which will be broadcast via streaming throughout the EU”, and that only between 30 and 40 people will be able to follow in situ, among which there will be preferential associations of victims.

The “country act”, which will be held by Spain, to honor this date will be that of the afternoon, according to official sources consulted. In all probability, the place will be the courtyard of the Royal Palace, an open space where there is room to respect the safety distances imposed by the health alert. The Kings will attend, who will be accompanied by the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, and on the guest list are Commissioner Johansson and personalities “from other areas of the EU”, which the sources did not specify as being premature. It is taken for granted that there will be a speech by Don Felipe, who the day after the enthronement inaugurated his reign with a meeting with the victims of terrorism, towards whom he has shown constant closeness and commitment.

In the plenary session, Fernando Grande-Marlaska made mention of the celebration in Madrid of this European Day for the Victims of Terrorism this Wednesday as further proof of the importance that his department gives to this group, for whose associations the Ministry has just made publishes a call for aid budgeted at 960,000 euros, 30,000 more than the previous year. At the same time, he praised the work of these organizations for “creating a memory in recognition of the victory against ETA” and for carrying out activities that deserve a “highly satisfactory assessment”.