One of Europe’s oldest and biggest street markets, in the northern French city of Lille, has been cancelled amid fears of more terror attacks.
The Braderie de Lille, which was scheduled for September 3-4, is an iconic event dating back to the Middle Ages – a cheerful maze of more than 100 kilometres of stalls that attracted 2.5 million visitors last year.
For local residents and businesses, its cancellation is heart wrenching.
One woman said “It’s a pity, they (the terrorists) are actually winning: we’re canceling everything. What can I say… there’s nothing we can do about it. I understand the mayor’s decision.”
One shop owner said: “For businesses it’s a catastrophe, for sure. The flea market is a big event each year.”
France-Lille – Security fears prompt cancellation of flea market in Lille https://t.co/4v04jvqgQe— RFI English (@RFI_English) August 5, 2016
Authorities said the decision was a painful one but the risk of more terror attacks was real.
“We have really tried our best, but there are risks we cannot reduce,” the mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry told reporters on Friday.
It’s the latest in a series of events cancelled in France since the July truck attack in Nice that killed 85 people and wounded hundreds.