Zapatero takes lead in EU 'pact against terror'

9th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

9 December 2004, MADRID- Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will propose the creation of an EU-wide pact designed to combat Islamic terrorism when he appears Monday before a parliamentary inquiry investigating the Madrid bombings, it was reported.

9 December 2004

MADRID- Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will propose the creation of an EU-wide pact designed to combat Islamic terrorism when he appears Monday before a parliamentary inquiry investigating the Madrid bombings, it was reported.

Zapatero's office did not immediately confirm the report in the Spanish daily El Pais, which is close to Zapatero's ruling Socialist Party.

The newspaper said the prime minister would "invite" Spanish parties to join a state pact underlining their commitment to preventing terrorism and then extend the idea to "all EU countries."

Zapatero would base the mooted pact around a solidarity clause embodied in the European Constitution which Spain is set to approve next February by referendum, while also encouraging the creation of a common justice and security area across the 25-member bloc, according to El Pais.

According to the report, the basis of the pact would be modelled on an existing Spanish pact rejecting the violent campaign of armed Basque separatist organisation ETA and which also stresses the commitment of parties across the political spectrum not to use terrorism as a party political issue.

El Pais said the Zapatero government hoped to see the proposed pact written into the conclusions of the inquiry into the 11 March bombings, in which suspected Islamic extremists killed 191 people and injured some 1,900 in the country's worst ever terrorist attack.

Zapatero, who was leader of the opposition at the time of the bombings, will appear before the commission on Monday at his own request as the inquiry seeks to draw out what lessons can be learned from the blasts.

Zapatero agreed to appear after his predecessor Jose Maria Aznar gave evidence on 29 November.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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