August 18, 2017 / 11:04 AM / a year ago

European cities need more money and powers to improve security: Nice mayor

NICE (Reuters) - The mayor of the French city of Nice, where dozens were mown down a year ago by an attacker driving a truck, has said he will convene European counterparts next month to see how they can improve security in the aftermath of Thursday’s van attack in Barcelona.

A police van drives by at Madrid's Puerta del Sol square, Spain, August 18, 2017. REUTERS/Juan Medina

Eighty-six people were killed in the jihadist attack in the French Riviera city, the first of several similar incidents in European cities.

“I am convinced that life will prevail over death and that we will triumph over barbarism and terror,” Christian Estrosi told reporters after honouring Barcelona’s victims on the Promenade des Anglais where dozens died on Bastille Day last year.

“It’s obvious that it is the mayors - be it in Berlin, London, Paris, Nice, Barcelona or Stockholm - that are the first to be confronted with this violence and who manage these public areas ... but we are not the ones who take part in the big national and European reforms,” he said.

Estrosi said he had taken the difficult decision to spend 30 million euros ($35 million) from his budget to protect potential target areas in Nice from possible vehicle attacks, and that cities needed more money to cope with the new threats.

He said the mayors of a number of cities, which he did not name, would meet on Sept. 28-29 in Nice with Julian King, the European commissioner in charge of security issues. They would discuss ways to improve the situation and review national and European legislation and proposals that were at times too restrictive.

“We won’t win the war with the rules of peace,” Estrosi said. ($1 = 0.8514 euros)

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Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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