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According to prime minister Alexander Stubb, only by openness can one fight against terrorism.
Stubb was one of the marchers among a crowd of over 1.5 million in the unity rally in Paris on Sunday afternoon, which was arranged to commemorate the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack.
The march was led by the French president, Francois Hollande, who in addition to Stubb, invited several EU heads of state and government to the rally.
“It would be wrong to close ourselves off, it would be wrong to build new walls inside Europe. Safety can be increased, but not by closing down, but by opening up,” Stubb said.
Serene but determined
According to Stubb, it’s important that Finland is among the nations, which defend the freedom of speech and open society.
“This was an unforgettable experience and not least because about one quarter of the world’s prime ministers, presidents and kings were here,” Stubb said to STT.
Stubb described the atmosphere as peaceful and serene despite the huge crowd; the people waved from the windows and balconies.
“The atmosphere of the march was wistful but determined. We will not give up to terrorists.”