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Anti-terror reforms promised

Published on 24/05/2004

24 May 2004

MADRID – Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced Monday the government is preparing a series of reforms in the fight against terrorism.

The move came as Zapatero met with the leader of the conservative opposition Popular Party (PP), Mariano Rajoy, at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid

Government sources said that although it was not possible to disclose details of the changes, they would “profoundly affect institutions of government” in the fight against terrorism.

They will be disclosed at the next meeting of the all-party Pact Against Terrorism.

During the meeting Monday, the two leaders discussed international terrorism, as well as the struggle against the Basque terror group ETA.

They also discussed the commission which is to investigate the events leading up to the 11 March terror attacks in Madrid in which 192 people lost their lives and more than 1,500 were injured.

But after the meeting, Rajoy attacked Zapatero, claiming he had not put forward “any proposals or contents” of reforms of the Spanish Constitution.
“There is nothing. We are exactly in the same position as we were after the investiture debate,” Rajoy told a press conference.

He said he has asked Zapatero five conditions to complete any reform of the Constitution.

Rajoy said any reforms should have a “global perspective”, be carried out “by consensus”, be passed by the parliament and regional assemblies, by the government and the opposition and preserve the solidarity of the regions.

The two men failed to reach any agreement on the present government’s efforts to freeze the controversial National Hydrological Plan (NHP) and the Law of Quality, both introduced by the previous PP government.

The NHP would drain water from the River Ebro in Catalonia in the north-east of Spain and pipe it to the south, where there is a shortage. But it has been attacked for causing ecological damage to the river delta.

The Law of Quality would link state schooling to religious instruction, something the Socialists have vowed to stop.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news