Aznar accused of 'distorting' Madrid train bombings

22nd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 June 2005, MADRID — Spain's much-criticised inquiry into the Madrid train bombings accuses the former conservative prime minister Jose Maria Aznar of 'manipulaing' and 'distorting' the tragedy for electoral ends.

22 June 2005

MADRID — Spain's much-criticised inquiry into the Madrid train bombings accuses the former conservative prime minister Jose Maria Aznar of 'manipulaing' and 'distorting' the tragedy for electoral ends.

Only the Popular Party (PP) members on the inquiry refused to agree to criticism of Aznar's role during and after the bombings in which 191 people were killed.

Aznar, whose PP was in charge when the Islamic terrorists struck on 11 March last year, initially blamed ETA — provoking a backlash from voters in the general three days later.

The Socialist opposition party won a shock victory, against all predictions.

Many voters believed Aznar was trying to deflect blame for the attacks because his government had supported the US invasion of Iraq.

Among other conclusions of the inquiry, which has sat for more than a year, are that all parties should form a pact against international terrorism.

The commission has yet to vote on its recommendations, which include at least 30 put forward by the PP.

Despite party-political bickering, all groups on the inquiry have agreed to new measures to help victims of terrorism and greater cooperation between different police, security forces and the judiciary to combat terrorism.

Alter disagreeing for weeks, the PP has backed the pact against terrorism.

Smaller parties on the inquiry said it should not just make a pact against international terrorism, but the domestic variety too represented by the Basque separatist organisation ETA.

The inquiry has been heavily criticised by victims' groups who said it was mired in party political in-fighting.

Pilar Manjon, president of the Victims of the 11 March, said the inquiry had degenerated into an arena for "playground politics", forcing many members of the inquiry to apologise for not addressing the problem.

Manjon, whose own son was killed in the Madrid bombings, recently said she has had to leave Madrid because of death threats from far Right figures.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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