Plane crash: The press is shocked – Europe united in grief

The search and recovery operation is being coordinated in nearby Seyne-les-Alpes. All 150 passengers died in the crash
The search and recovery operation is being coordinated in nearby Seyne-les-Alpes. All 150 passengers died in the crash

One day after the crash of a Germanwings Airbus A320 flying from Barcelona to Düsseldorf, French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will travel today to the crash site in the French Alps

The press is shocked by the tragedy and sees Europe united in grief.

European family united in grief

After the plane crash President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will meet at the site of the crash today, Wednesday, to pay their respects. Europe is united in its grief, the liberal-conservative daily Corriere della Sera (Italy) comments:

“A good family knows how to come together in times of grief. And the European family – threatened from outside by violent fanatics and disparaged from inside by irresponsible populists – is showing in these hours that it isn’t just a hodgepodge construction but truly stands together. For one day we have forgotten the things that divide us. We have known how to focus on what holds us together. Like in January, after the Paris attacks. We learn from pain.”

Pay tribute, don’t speculate

As long as the cause of the crash remains unclear the only thing to do is remember the victims, the Catholic daily La Croix (France) writes:

“If it did turn out that this tragedy was provoked by terrorists it would of course take on exceptional importance. But as we go to press there is still no proof of that. So the only thing to do is send out our thoughts to the victims. One spring day in Barcelona they boarded a plane to Düsseldorf. A banal trip like thousands of others every day. They came from Germany, Spain, and other countries. According to preliminary information two babies and 16 teenagers returning from a school exchange trip were on board. Since noon the lives of 150 families and their loved ones have been shattered forever. By an absurd accident in a corner of paradise.”

Plane crash shatters trust in flying

Is flying really safe? we ask ourselves automatically after every plane crash like the Germanwings one, the conservative daily Lidové noviny (Czech Republic) comments:

“It is safe, the competent authorities and their statistics reply. And from a global perspective, they’re right. In 1989 there were 35 tragic accidents; last year it was only eleven. … The average person compares planes with cars. The likelihood that you’ll die in a car crash is 75 times higher than the likelihood of dying amidst the wreckage of a plane crash. So why are we less afraid to get into a car? Well, the numbers have a weakness. They don’t take account of human psychology as it has evolved over tens of thousands of years of battling for survival. And that psychology tells us that in a car a human is more or less the master of his or her fate. Unlike in an airplane. That experience trumps all the statistics.”

 

 Check safety of low-cost airlines

After the crash of Germanwings Airbus A320, the liberal daily Savon Sanomat (Finland) hopes for a full explanation of the cause:

“The flying conditions at the site of the crash were apparently perfectly normal.

… Did the plane have a technical or a structural problem? Was it a terrorist attack? Why was it flying at an abnormally low altitude, and why did it deviate from its usual flight route? … If there was a problem it must be brought to light, because similar problems could occur with other Airbus A320s.

… In addition, the safety practices of low-cost airlines must be scrutinised. If cheap flights become unsafe, many customers will presumably be willing to pay more if that means increasing their chances of arriving safely at their destination.”

eurotopics
euro|topics is a service provided by the Federal Agency for Civic Education. Since May 2008, n-ost Network for Reporting on Eastern Europe has produced the press review.