At least 84 people have been killed and dozens injured when a lorry ploughed into a crowd watching fireworks along Nice’s famous Promenade des Anglais at the close of Bastille Day celebrations (July 14th), reports said Friday. Police shot dead the driver of the lorry. Commenting on the attack in his function as the representative of German-French cultural co-operation and Mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, said: “The terrible attack leaves us sad and angry at the attackers. We stand by our French friends. We sympathise with the victims and their relatives.”
France and Hamburg have traditionally had close ties and in June, Scholz congratulated the Institut Français on its 65th anniversary in the city. During a speech given last month, he noted: “A new chapter opened in Hamburg’s ties with France when the Institut français was founded. The official cultural representation makes our city a place of French culture and people can finally learn French again and rekindle the tradition of peaceful ties with France.”
Contact person for French government
As the authorized representative of German-French cultural co-operation, Scholz is on a par with a German minister in terms of protocol. Scholz represents the German states in the fields of education, media and culture giving the French government just one point of contact instead of 16 state ministers. In his function as authorized representative, Scholz also co-ordinates the states’ views with Germany’s foreign policy objectives in relation to culture with France. In April 2016, Scholz travelled to the French city of Metz to attend the 18th German-French Council of Ministers.