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Europe’s Top Flea Market Cancelled Over Terror Fears

The Lille flea market that was to be held on Sept. 3-4 has become the latest public affair to be cancelled amid fears it may be targeted by terrorists. Some 10,000 exhibitors, including 300 antique dealers were expected to display their goods during the 2-day affair.

Considered one of France top annual events and one of Europe's biggest flea markets, the annual market attracted 2.5 million visitors over two days in 2015.

Mayor Martine Aubry said Friday, “We have really tried our best, but there are risks we cannot reduce. Therefore I think we must cancel the 2016 flea market.” She described it as “a painful decision” and a “moral responsibility.”
Michel Lalande, the top government official in the region, said, “There comes a time, despite our passions and our convictions, when we have to say stop.”

It is just the latest in a growing list of summer events in France that have been scrapped due to the unprecedented terror threat. The Town Halls of Brittany, Avignon, Collioure, Chambery, La Baule, and Cannes have cancelled their annual August 15th fireworks. A number of events have been cancelled in France’s second largest city, Marseille, including the flyover of the Patrouille de France air team on August 13. The European Road Cycling Championships on September 14-18, were called off by Nice Mayor Philippe Pradal.

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said last week that France had to take the threat seriously. “We are in a situation of war. Everyone has to understand that we are in this situation and that it brings constraints,” he said.


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