Barcelona attack: Italian man died in front of his wife and young children

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A picture taken on August 18, 2017 shows a hat, flowers, candles and other items set up on the Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona to pay tribute to the victims of the Barcelona attack, a day after a van plowed into the crowd, killing 14 persons and injuring scores more on August 18, 2017.(AFP)
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Spanish policemen walk in a cordoned off area after a van plowed into the crowd, killing 14 persons and injuring scores more on the Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017.(AFP)
Updated 18 August 2017
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Barcelona attack: Italian man died in front of his wife and young children

DUBAI: The death toll in the Barcelona attacks rose to 14 on Friday when a woman injured in the town of Cambrils died, Catalan emergency services said.
Police shot dead five would-be attackers in Cambrils, south of Barcelona, after a suspected Islamist militant drove a van into crowds on a famous avenue in Barcelona.
The news of the mounting death toll came as details of some of the dead continued to be revealed.
The stories included that of a man who was one of two Italians killed in the Barcelona attack. He died in front of his wife and two young children who narrowly escaped harm when a van plowed into tourists.
The death of Bruno Gulotta, 35, was announced by his employer, computer company Tom’s Hardware, on Friday.
The Foreign Ministry said two Italian nationals were among the 14 people killed in Thursday’s attack but did not identify them.
“Our friend and colleague Bruno Gulotta was run over and killed by an odious terrorist in the heart of Barcelona,” a statement on the company website read.
Paying tribute to the kindness and generosity of their co-worker, Gulotta’s colleagues said his violent death had left his wife Martina facing “trials no-one should have to bear.”
“We put ourselves in the shoes of little Alessandro, who was is about to start elementary school knowing his and his family’s life will never be the same again. And we think of baby Aria... who will never know her Dad.”
Italian media reported that Bruno had been holding five-year-old Alessandro’s hand just before he was hit by the van. Martina had one-year-old Aria in a baby carrier and managed to pull her son out of the way.
The family, from Legnano, were on holiday in the Catalan city.
The attack, which has been claimed by the Daesh group, left more than 100 people of at least 24 nationalities injured, as well as the 13 dead.
The Foreign Ministry said three Italians were among the injured but did not rule out the toll mounting.
“There are still other people to be identified and the Spanish authorities are working on that at the moment,” said Stefano Verracchia, the head of ministry’s crisis unit.
Meanwhile Germany’s election rallies will mourn victims of Spain’s deadly attacks, but they won’t be halted as they are a celebration of democracy, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday.
The victims will be remembered with a moment of silence, while “loud music and similar” would not be played, said Merkel.
“I wondered if we should still meet here today” after Thursday’s attacks that left 13 dead and more than 100 injured, said the German leader on the sidelines of a campaign event in Berlin ahead of a September 24 general election.
But she and leaders of rival political parties finally decided that “yes we will do that.”
“Because elections and the weeks of campaigning before that are a celebration of democracy, and therefore a celebration of our freedom,” she said.
“The terrorists will never understand that. But we know that our strength lies in democracy, freedom and respect of each individual,” said Merkel.
“Terrorism can cause times of pain and deep grief as it has done in Spain, but it can never defeat us,” she vowed.
A driver rammed a van into a crowd on Barcelona’s famous avenue Las Ramblas on Thursday afternoon, while eight hours later, an Audi A3 car plowed into pedestrians in the seaside city of Cambrils.
Thirteen Germans were wounded in the assault in Barcelona, some critically, a spokesman for Germany’s foreign ministry said, adding that it could not be ruled out that citizens were also among those killed in the attack.
Flags are flying at half mast at all official buildings in Germany.

(With AFP and Reuters)


Nationalist ‘leprosy’ spreading in Europe: Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron is pictured after giving a speech on June 21, 2018, during his visit at the French western France of Quimper. (AFP)
Updated 25 min 48 sec ago
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Nationalist ‘leprosy’ spreading in Europe: Macron

  • Macron condemned “resurgent nationalism and closed borders, which some are pushing for” while repeating that Europe “cannot welcome everyone”
  • Italy’s new far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who refused to allow the Aquarius to dock, hit back at the French president

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday likened rising nationalism and anti-migrant sentiment in Europe to “leprosy.”
On a visit to Brittany three days before a meeting of European leaders to try to resolve the continent’s migrant crisis, Macron urged the French not to give into anti-EU sentiment.
“I’m saying to you in the gravest terms: Many hate it (Europe) but they have hated it for a long time, and now you see them (nationalists) rise, like leprosy, all around Europe, in countries where we thought that they would never reappear.”
These included “friends and neighbors” who “say the worst things and we become used to it,” he added.
Macron did not say to whom he was referring but France and Italy traded barbs in the past 10 days over Rome’s refusal to take in a boatload of migrants rescued in the Mediterranean.
The 629 passengers onboard the Aquarius were also rejected by Malta before being taken in by Spain in a case which shone attention on mounting anti-migrant sentiment in Europe.
Italy’s new far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who refused to allow the Aquarius to dock, hit back at the French president.
“If Macron were to stop insulting and concretely practice the generosity that fills his mouth by welcoming the thousands of immigrants that Italy has in recent years, it would be better for everyone,” Salvini said in the town of Terni, according to the Italian press agency AGI, when questioned about friction with France.
“We may be leper populists,” he said, “but I take the lessons from those who open their own ports. Welcome thousands of migrants and then talk we can talk.”
An influx of more than two million refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa in the past three years has fueled the rise of nationalist and populist parties, including the League and Five Star Movement which share power in Italy.
Macron condemned “resurgent nationalism and closed borders, which some are pushing for” while repeating that Europe “cannot welcome everyone.”
The median position adopted by his government — stepping up deportations of so-called economic migrants while improving conditions for refugees — was “always the most difficult because no one is happy, but it is more responsible than playing on people’s fears,” he argued.
In remarks aimed at his leftist critics, he said that those who argued “we should welcome everyone” were turning a blind eye to the divisions in French society.
“I want France and its national cohesion to remain intact,” he said.