Bitter row over terror attacks

28th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

28 April 2004 MADRID - A bitter political row broke out Wednesday over the previous government's handling of the 11 March terrorist attacks. Spain's new Socialist Interior Minister José Antonio Alonso accused the former conservative Partido Popular (PP) government of "poltical short-sightedness". Alonso was referring to the previous government's reaction immediately after the terrorist attacks, when it repeatedly blamed ETA for the atrocity in which 192 people died and more than 1,500 were injured.

28 April 2004
 
MADRID - A bitter political row broke out Wednesday over the previous government's handling of the 11 March terrorist attacks.
 
Spain's new Socialist Interior Minister José Antonio Alonso accused the former conservative Partido Popular (PP) government of  "poltical short-sightedness".
 
Alonso was referring to the previous government's reaction immediately after the terrorist attacks, when it repeatedly blamed ETA for the atrocity in which 192 people died and more than 1,500 were injured.

The move was widely interpreted as an attempt to divert blame for the attacks from Spain's support for the Iraq invasion, which was championed by the government of former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar.
 
Alonso's predecessor, former Interior Minister Angel Acebes, said Wednesday the new minister's remarks showed he was "incompetent".
 
Acebes said the row endangered the political pact against terrorism, in which all parties dismiss political allegiances to act together against terror groups.
 
Acebes, who is now general secretary of the PP, insisted Alonso should take back his remarks.

Acebes added that the remarks showed the "vileness" of the present minister.
 
He said he would like to reveal the contents of a secret report after 11 March so that Spaniards could know who "lied and manipulated" after the terrorist attacks.

He said Spaniards did not deserve an Interior Minister like Alonso.

Mariano Rajoy, leader of the PP opposition, also "expressed his indignation" to the new prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

Alonso has not responded to the claims by the opposition "out of respect for the families of the victims".

The way the former government handled the aftermath of the terrorist attacks was widely thought to have cost them the general election on 14 March, when the Socialists won a shock victory.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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