1st time since WWII: Europe’s top flea market scrapped over terrorist threat

Behind The News

The Lille flea market, the largest in Europe and welcoming millions each year, has been canceled over a terrorist threat. The event was last time revoked during World War II, French media say.

“The stalls with goods, and the crowds of such size will be impossible to control. It is a painful decision to make,” the mayor of the northern Lille, Martine Aubry, told a press conference on Friday.

She said that even despite the state’s readiness to provide the city with means for ensuring maximum security “there are risks we can’t reduce.”

“I prefer to face the anger of those who lose money than those who lose their child,” the prefect of France’s North, Michel Lalande, who was at the press conference as well, said. “At a certain moment, regardless of our passions or convictions, we have to say stop to a model that overcomes the essential security demands.”

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