Victims say 'most' politicians heeded criticism

15th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 December 2004, MADRID- One of the relatives of a victim of Spain's worst terrorist atrocity who delivered a withering criticism of the parliamentary inquiry into the Madrid attacks has said most politicians listened to her "without their party-political glasses on".

16 December 2004

MADRID- One of the relatives of a victim of Spain's worst terrorist atrocity who delivered a withering criticism of the parliamentary inquiry into the Madrid attacks has said most politicians listened to her "without their party-political glasses on".

During an emotional appearance before the commission into the inquiry, Pilar Manjon said politicians had tried to profit from the Madrid bombings by playing "school-yard" politics in the inquiry.

After her testimony, Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced a separate body would be set-up to examine how victims of terrorism are treated.

Manjon said after her appearance, she was personally contacted by the Kind of Spain Juan Carlos and Zapatero.

She said on Thursday: "I felt most, though not all, politicians, were listening without their party-political glasses on." 

The parliamentary commission, which is investigating the events surrounding the bombings in which 191 people died and more than 1,500 people were injured, has been criticised before for being bogged-down in party-political squabbling.

Manjon, whose own 21-year-old son was killed in the attacks, gave a televised account to the commission, saying she wanted to bring the "voice of the absent" to the hearing.

"Don't use our pain for party-political gains," she said. "This is what we ask you."

"We came to reproach you as members of the public. You treat the commission as if it were a game of football.

She asked for transparency and warned that the commission may not find out what errors were made before 11 March.

"We don't know what happened between the 11 and 14 March(the date of the general election) because we were crying, burying our dead and caring for our wounded," she said.

She demanded an apology from the politicians sitting on the commission and a more responsible attitude.

After her appearance, many politicians asked for forgiveness and pledged to support her call for a separate commission free of party-political issues.

She complained that her appearance was originally going to be heard behind closed doors.

"We urge that you do not try to shut up the voice of the absent," she said.

"The 11 March did not make us shut up and we want to prevent this from happening a second time."

The commission later decided that Manjon's appearance should be made public.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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