Political row mires Madrid massacre inquiry
2 March 2005, MADRID-The parliamentary commission into Spain’s worst terrorist attacks will delay revealing its findings because of a political row with the leading opposition party.
2 March 2005
MADRID-The parliamentary commission into Spain’s worst terrorist attacks will delay revealing its findings because of a political row with the leading opposition party.
The all party commission, which has been widely criticised for being mired in political infighting, will delay releasing the findings after the Popular Party(PP) refused to agree to its conclusions.
As the anniversary of the 11 March attacks approaches next week, the PP refuses to agree to some of the commission’s conclusions, putting the validity of the inquiry into question.
Mariano Rajoy, leader of the PP and the Opposition, said he would ask his own party if it was “too much to ask” if they do not become involved in a “game” over conclusions to which it cannot agree.
The other parties, among them the governing Socialists, want all parties to agree to the conclusions reached by the commission.
The purpose of the inquiry was to examine the events surrounding the attack on 11 March when Islamic extremists planted ten bombs on four commuter trains, killing 191 people and injuring 1,500 others.
Three days after the attacks, the Socialists won a shock victory in the general elections amid widespread speculation that the then PP government of former primer minister Jose Maria Aznar had failed to be honest with the people over the attack.
Aznar and other ministers repeatedly insisted ETA were behind the attack despite mounting evidence to the contrary, in what was seen as an effort to deflect attention from Spain’s support for the Iraq war.
Commentators believe it was Spain’s support of the US led invasion which provoked the bombings by Islamic extremists.
In order to try to smooth the political row, other parties had agreed to cut out of the commission’s report any reference to how the police and security forces failed to stop the 11 March attacks.
Crucially, they also agreed to suppress any mention of blame directed at the former PP government, in order to get the PP to agree to the commission report.
The PP claim the commission’s remit is not to make recommendations to government, but to investigate.
They also claimed they have been excluded from some of the negotiations over what should appear in the final report.
The Spanish upper house of parliament has said the commission should present recommendations about what went wrong.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news