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McCanns' European Campaign - Madrid *

The European campaign continues in Madrid, with a packed press conference, a live broadcast on Spanish TV and a meeting with Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba. 

Kate McCann at press conference in Madrid

Madrid, 31 May 2007 - 01 June 2007

Brief overview of events
31 May 2007
Kate and Gerry leave Praia da Luz for Madrid, arriving in the Spanish capital 'late at night'.
01 June 2007
The McCanns have 'a very busy day in Madrid', taken up with meetings with government and non-government agencies concerned with child welfare and various TV interviews and a 'well attended' press conference.

McCanns travel to Spain to widen Madeleine search, 01 June 2007
McCanns travel to Spain to widen Madeleine search Liverpool Daily Post
by Alan Weston
Jun 1 2007
KATE and Gerry McCann embarked on their second European trip in as many days last night to spread the word about their missing daughter.
It has been exactly four weeks since four-year-old Madeleine was taken from her bed as she slept only yards from where her parents were enjoying dinner in the Algarve town of Praia da Luz.
Intensive searches and a highly scrutinised police investigation have so failed to bring any answers about their eldest child’s whereabouts.
The couple travelled to Lisbon to fly on to Madrid, where they will carry out a series of meetings and interviews.
Liverpool-born Mrs McCann was casually dressed in jeans and a striped beige top, with the green and yellow ribbons she habitually wears as a reminder of Madeleine tied to her belt.
She and her husband were driven to the airport at Lisbon in a silver Mercedes estate car.
During the 24-hour visit, the pair are expected to meet the British ambassador, Denise Holt, before taking part in a television show dedicated to missing children.
Spain has been preoccupied by its own case of child abduction, seven-year-old Yeremi Vargas who disappeared in the Canary Islands two months ago.
He was playing outside his home on the island of Gran Canaria on March 10 when he vanished.
In echoes of Madeleine's case, thousands took part in the search and posters were put up nationwide.
The McCanns want to raise the issue of child abduction generally as well as appeal for information about their daughter.
They hope to meet Alfredo Rubalcaba, Spain's interior minister, as well as representatives from child welfare groups and anti-paedophile organisations.
The couple have decided to leave two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie in the Algarve in the care of Mr McCann's sister Trish Cameron and her husband Sandy.
A family spokesman said Mr and Mrs McCann thought the children would be better off in a stable routine rather than flying around Europe.
"Sean and Amelie are very well cared for on the ground by family members, and Gerry and Kate before each visit very carefully weigh up whether the children should come with them or whether it would be in their best interests if they stayed with the family.
"Any suggestion that they are somehow being left behind is completely untrue. The twins love being with Trish and Sandy, they are like second parents to them."
The spokesman said if the McCanns went on a longer trip, they would probably take them too.
The couple are planning visits to Berlin, Amsterdam and Morocco over the next week.
The cost of the travelling will be paid for by the Find Madeleine fund which has raised £374,000.
Earlier in the week the McCanns went to Rome for an emotional meeting with the Pope, who blessed a photograph of Madeleine and prayed for the family.
As the investigation continues, police in Portugal said they were trawling through hoards of emails and messages from clairvoyants who said they knew Madeleine’s whereabouts.
The Policia Judiciara (PJ) said they had two dossiers, 8cm thick, of apparent visions and sightings of the little girl.
They are trying to find out if one of the messages could be from the kidnapper.
PJ spokesman Olegario Sousa said each clairvoyant claim was being taken seriously.
Asked if he thought they could be from Madeleine's abductor, he said: "That is why we cannot discard anything.
"We must check them all in case it might be from the kidnapper."
Mr Sousa said he did not believe they had heard from Madeleine's abductor: "If it was a message from the kidnapper, it will offer enough clues to help us to go to the right place."
The police spokesman said it was not unusual to investigate the claims of clairvoyants but added it was only one line of investigation.
"In this case the amount of information we have received is huge," he said. "Any information that comes to us, if there is enough to follow, we will check."
He said the visions – which are sent through every day – came from a mix of Portuguese and British sources.
Psychics have also contacted several news organisations in the UK about Madeleine.

McCanns take search to Spain, 01 June 2007

McCanns arrive for press conference in Madrid

McCanns take search to Spain BBC News video
The parents of abducted Madeleine McCann are in Spain to continue publicising her disappearance.
01 June 2007
Transcript by Nigel Moore
Steve Kingstone: (voice over) "After Rome on Wednesday, Kate and Gerry McCann have now visited two European capitals in 48 hours. Here they appealed for help from the public and action from the Spanish authorities."
Gerry McCann: "I would like some reassurance, in Spain, that there has been some proactive, errm... investigation regarding Madeleine's disappearance and I think it is at least worth exploring the possibility that Madeleine's disappearance should not be considered in isolation."
Steve Kingstone: (voice over) "As the couple see it, that means cross-referencing this inquiry with other missing children cases throughout Spain and Portugal. In March, 7-year old Yeremi Vargas disappeared, while playing outside his home in the Canary Islands, in what's become a huge story here.
"This afternoon the McCanns met Spains's interior minister to discuss a broader approach to child abduction.
(to camera) "This evening the McCanns are flying back to Portugal to spend the weekend with Madeleine's brother and sister but already they are plans for more visits next week to Berlin, Amsterdam and possibly Morocco. Steve Kingstone, BBC News, Madrid." 

McCanns' press conference in Madrid

Parents of Missing British Girl Appeal for Help in Spain, 01 June 2007
Parents of Missing British Girl Appeal for Help in Spain Fox News
Friday, June 01, 2007
MADRID, Spain —  The parents of 4-year-old Madeleine McCann took their campaign to find her to Spain on Friday, where they met with a government minister and issued an appeal for help.
Madeleine disappeared on May 3, when her parents left her and her 2-year-old twin siblings in their hotel room while they dined at a restaurant in their hotel complex in Praia da Luz, a resort town in Portugal's Algarve region.
Since then, parents Kate and Gerry McCann have launched an international campaign with the aid of celebrities such as soccer star David Beckham and J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, in the hope of finding the girl. The couple had a brief meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday.
Gerry McCann said they traveled to neighboring Spain in an effort to prompt anyone who might have any information to come forward.
"We are here to ask the Spanish public for help and we really are imploring for that help because we feel it is possible that Madeline was moved from Portugal, possibly into Spain, although we are not certain of that," he said at a news conference.
"We do realize that there are other families in Spain that have had similar experiences, particularly the young boy Yeremi from Gran Canaria and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, and any other family that are in a similar situation to us," he said.
He was referring to Yeremi Jose Vargas Suarez, a 7-year-old who vanished in March in the Canary Islands and remains missing.
"We do feel that these type of disappearances should be considered in a pan-European fashion, the same way that other European Union movement of people is considered," McCann said.
He added: "I would like some reassurance in Spain that there has been some proactive investigation regarding Madeleine's disappearance.
"I think it is at least worth exploring the possibility that Madeleine's disappearance should not be considered in isolation and in the context of other disappearances in the Iberian peninsula, even the Canary Isles as well," he added.
The couple unveiled a poster with the now-familiar face of Madeleine and bearing an appeal for information in Spanish. They sat in front of a large billboard showing Madeleine's face and giving the emergency services number 091. Across the top of the billboard were the words "Mirame a los ojos", or "Look into my eyes."
The father said the couple was heartened by the work being done by the children's' ombudsman in Madrid and an association against child pornography, who he said had distributed Madeleine's image and publicized the child's disappearance.
The McCanns, who arrived in Madrid late Thursday, met privately with Spain's Interior Minister, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, after the press conference but declined to speak to reporters afterward. The ministry would not comment either.
Saying they do not plan to return to Britain without their daughter, the parents also plan trips to Germany, the Netherlands and Morocco. The couple are believed to feel these countries are important because they are either close to the Algarve or have a population which travels to southern Portugal for holidays.
Last week, Portuguese police announced they were searching for a white man aged between 35 and 40, who was wearing a dark jacket and light beige trousers and who was possibly carrying a little girl on May 3 in Praia da Luz.

Kate McCann at Madrid press conference, 01 June 2007

Kate McCann at Madrid press conference

Kate McCann at Madrid press conference

Kate McCann at Madrid press conference

"We pray Madeleine is being looked after...", 02 June 2007
'We pray Madeleine is being looked after...' Daily Mirror
' someone who wants a little girl of their own' - Dad Gerry McCann yesterday
Vanessa Allen in Madrid, 2/06/2007
THE parents of Madeleine McCann said yesterday they hoped her abductor was someone who longed for a daughter of their own - and so would never harm her.
Dad Gerry, 38, told a press conference in Madrid: "We are not blinkered to the possibility of her not coming back.
"We pray she's being looked after and it's someone who wants a little girl of their own and would look after her well.
"But we don't know who's taken her and it doesn't help us search for her. It's the most terrible, terrible pain imaginable."
Gerry and Kate gripped each other's hands tightly and struggled to answer when asked if they thought Madeleine, four, had been snatched by a paedophile.
Kate, her face pale, said: "It's a more upsetting scenario than any other.
"It's one of several scenarios. We have considered all scenarios, as everyone has. We have no evidence to suggest that there has been any harm to Madeleine, that she isn't alive and well."
Kate, 38, nodded as Gerry intervened to add: "We believe that Madeleine's alive. That's the key thing."
He said: "We also pray that whoever has her gives her up voluntarily. We haven't ruled out the possibility that whoever has her just drops her off at a church or at a safe place."
The couple, from Rothley, Leics, called for Madeleine's disappearance to be considered alongside the cases of other missing children.
Gerry said: "We do feel that perhaps these types of disappearances should be considered in a pan-European fashion."
Kate and Gerry fought tears as they were handed a moving letter from the family of a missing seven-year-old boy whose disappearance has shocked Spain. Yeremi Vargas vanished from outside his home in Gran Canaria on March 10.
The letter, from Yeremi's 24-year-old mum Ithaysa read: "Dear Madeleine's parents. We wanted to send you this message because there is no one better than us to know what you are living in this hard times.
"Don't you ever lose hope, which is what is left to us. While there is no proof about how Madeleine is, we can only believe she is just missing. Count on us for anything that you may need. Be strong and keep the family together, which is the best thing that we have.
"May God walk along with you in this hard road. Many kisses, Yeremi's family."
Kate and Gerry were in the Spanish capital as part of their campaign to highlight Madeleine's case across Europe.
She was snatched from the family's apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz 30 days ago.
The family believe Madeleine could have been sneaked across the border into Spain within 90 minutes of her abduction.
The McCanns plan to visit Berlin, Amsterdam and Morocco next week.
They are using the Find Madeleine fund, which has raised £581,813 from public donations, to pay for their travel and other costs.
The couple yesterday said their toddler twins had helped them carry on despite the nightmare they were enduring.
Kate said: "Sean and Amelie are a real strength for me. They're only two, they don't have much concept of what's happening. They're aware that Madeleine isn't with us, they're aware something's missing in their life."
Gerry said: "There's no doubt that if Madeleine were an only child this would be even more difficult for Kate and I to cope with. We love Sean and Amelie very much and of course it does help us focus.
"If all three of the children had been taken we don't know how we would have coped."

Kate and Gerry make Spain plea, 02 June 2007
Desperate... the McCanns appear in Spanish TV appeal
Desperate... the McCanns appear in Spanish TV appeal

Kate and Gerry make Spain plea The Sun
From LUCY HAGAN in Madrid
Published; 02 Jun 2007
MADDIE'S parents made an appeal live on Spanish TV yesterday for her safe return, pleading with her captor to leave her at a church.
Gerry and Kate McCann told a press conference in Madrid they believe that Maddie may be in Spain.
Gerry said: "We know the Spanish love children. We think it is possible she was bought here."
He added: "We pray she is looked after and that whoever has her gives her up voluntarily and drops her at a church or a safe place."
The McCanns are in Madrid to publicise the disappearance and urged Spanish cops to launch an investigation. Next week they visit Berlin, Amsterdam and Morocco.

Gerry's blogs
31 May 2007 

Press conference in Rome went very well giving us an excellent forum to ask for help in the search for Madeleine. We told people about the website, how to download posters and ask people to print them and take on holiday wherever they are.
We arrived in Madrid late last night and have a series of meetings arranged with government and non government agencies concerned with child welfare. We will also be hosting a press conference again to raise general awareness of Madeleine“s disappearance and ask for the public“s help in our search for Madeleine. We may also do a few very short interviews for US news stations which are widely broadcast in Europe, N.Africa and Asia, particularly in English speaking hotels and other outlets. Will update after meetings.
01 Jun 2007 

With the help of the British Embassy we had a very busy day. First of all we had a short briefing from the ambassador and her staff. We then had a series of meetings with: multiple non-governmental agencies involved in child welfare, did a TV programme akin to Crimewatch focussing on Madeleine's disappearance, a press conference which was well attended, a couple of short US news channel interviews with European coverage and finally met with the Spanish Minister for the Interior (Home Secretary equivalent). We left Madrid feeling as if the Spanish were treating Madeleine's disappearance like one of their own.
Meanwhile in Portugal Phil arrived with thousands of posters in different languages. Most of these have been delivered to the Irish centre at Fatima and more at Lisbon airport. Planning a family day tomorrow. Will weigh up next phase of the search over the weekend.

Kate's diary
01 Jun 2007 

Quite fed up...I can't stop thinking about Madeleine, about her fear of pain. How can I go on knowing that her life could have ended like this?
This week I have been quite overtaken by black thoughts. Please, God, bring her back.
Bedtime is becoming more and more of a challenge.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files


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