5 December 2003
MADRID – A political row blew up Friday over Spain’s backing for the Iraq war as the country marked the 25th anniversary of its democratic constitution.
Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar was accused of “pulverising” the country’s foreign policy by backing an “illegal war” in Iraq.
The criticism came from the left wing Izquierda Unida (IU) party as the country marked the 25th anniversary of its Constitution which was formed in 1978 – three years after the death of General Franco.
The democratic consitution forms the basis of the modern Spanish state and allowed the country to embark on a process of reconcilliation after the years of dictatorship under Franco.
In a statement marking the anniversary, IU said Aznar’s support for the Iraq war was “pulverising the constitutional foundations of our foreign policy by backing an illegal war and sending Spanish troops to Iraq, ignoring both Parliament and the monarchy”.
IU said they would “continue to emphasise the recuperation of Spanish democracy and the need to develop democratic and social rights”.
But they accused Aznar’s right-wing ruling Partido Popular (PP) of “using our national symbols for their exclusive political benefit – the Constitution, the flag and Spanish unity”.
The opposition IU said the prime minister’s party showed an “unwillingness” to reform any part of the constitution to benefit the autonomous regions of Spain, which include Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia.
It added: “There is nothing is more counter-productive to national unity than out-and-out centralism”.
The PP declined to comment on the claims.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news