PP video nasty stokes flames of election ill will

1st April 2005, Comments 0 comments

1 April 2005, MADRID-Spain's conservative opposition Popular Party (PP) stoked the lingering resentment over last year's Socialist general election victory by claiming in a video that their opponents won power through underhand means.

1 April 2005

MADRID-Spain's conservative opposition Popular Party (PP) stoked the lingering resentment over last year's Socialist general election victory by claiming in a video that their opponents won power through underhand means.

The PP had been set to win the 14 March poll but the blasts which killed 191 people three days earlier bolstered participation as some voters felt misled over the then government's insistence that armed Basque group ETA was behind the outrage rather than Islamic extremists.

The video, entitled "After the massacre," was put together by the PP's "FAES" foundation, created and chaired by the then prime minister Jose Maria Aznar.

The 14-minute video was shown to a select audience on Wednesday but the media got wind of it and the content made front page news Thursday.

According to several national newspapers the video contains a series of collages, montages and superimposed images whose underlying message is that the Socialists exploited the frenzied atmosphere in Spain which followed the bombings to win power with the PP engaged in tracking down the culprits.

Most of those held on suspicion of carrying out the worst terrorist attack Spain has known are Moroccan Islamic radicals, but the video returns to the PP's original insistence that ETA carried out the coordinated attacks on four suburban trains.

"All of Spain thought ETA was responsible," the video claimed, justifying Aznar's initial stance which some voters saw as an attempt to deflect criticism of his pro-Washington stance over Iraq as an Islamic connection to the bombings swiftly emerged in the hours following the attacks.

The video goes on flatly to accuse the Socialists of using "anti-democratic" methods to win the election.

Speaking in Colombia, where he is on an official visit, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero slammed the video, telling Radio Caracol that "this kind of thing proves the PP has no project to offer its citizens."

He added the party would face a long struggle to win back its damaged credibility.

New PP leader Mariano Rajoy said Thursday that Zapatero "is reaping what he has sown", attacking his style and for appearing on his current South American tour beside "intellectuals" such as former footballer Diego Maradona and "dictators," his term for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The centre-right Spanish daily El Mundo blasted the video as an exercise in "sheer propaganda," identifying "Aznar (as being) uniquely responsible" for its
content.

El Mundo said the video was an initiative "which sabotages the strategy" of Rajoy, "who has recognised the legitimacy of the election victory" of the Socialists.

"This video is a serious political mistake which harms the credibility of Mariano Rajoy," El Mundo added.

For centre-left El Pais, the film was an exercise in "classic Stalinist socialist realism, or rather Aznarist realism."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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