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Munich shooting Swiss press reflect on ‘summer of fear’, ‘week of terror’

The shooter is believed to have acted alone


The media in Switzerland has reacted gloomily to the latest violent attack to take place in one its neighbouring countries. A gunman opened fire on Friday in the German city of Munich close to a shopping centre, leaving at least nine dead.

The German-language newspaper the Tages-Anzeiger responded in an opinion piece to the “summer of fear”. Like many other news organisations around the world, the paper reflected on the number of incidents to have taken place in the last few weeks – Nice, the Würzburg axe attack, the police killings in Baton Rouge and the politicians also making the news for different reasons: Erdogan, Trump.

The piece commented on the consequences of terror attacks, “shockwaves of panic, hysteria, paralysis”.

“This effect is, from the point of view of the perpetrator, no side-effect, but rather the end-goal….and if citizens respond to this fear with hate and violence, the terrorist’s goal has been achieved.”

Germany now has to be careful that these events do not affect the political leanings of the country, the piece says, concluding that the government has to show “calm and resolve” in these times of need.

A ‘week of terror’

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung paper reflects on how Germany is now also “not immune to lone wolves”. But, even in the event of such a “week of terror”, German society has “stayed true”, a commentator writes.

Acknowledging that violent attacks can lead to a change in a country’s political direction, the paper writes that despite “increasing criticism from the political right” the German state has not been “unsettled”.

Despite major restrictions in Munich on Friday during the shooting, measures taken were “considered, controlled and transparent and supported by political consensus”. Trust in the state and the country remains, Germany is “not in a state of emergency” and that, at least, is “the one good piece of news in this week of terror”.

The Blick newspaper takes a somewhat less calm point of view on Friday’s shootings. Munich, “a city that stands for lust for life, Oktoberfest, a ‘Mia san mia’ mentality [we are who we are]…since yesterday also stands for fear, terror and horror”.

It goes on to add that safety could no longer be guaranteed to society on Friday evening, and though no-one could be “surprised” by that, “everyone who has a heart has to be horrified”.

The paper comments on how Munich is a city that is a symbol for Germany’s “welcome culture”, and that while in the past, asylum centres burned in the east of the country, in Munich, the people stood in long lines to welcome refugees who arrived by train, seeking refuge. Munich “shone then, and Munich will shine again” it concludes.

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