12 May 2004
MADRID – The Socialist government and the opposition ratified an all-party Anti-Terrorist pact Wednesday after a two-hour meeting.
Prime minister Jose Lluis Rodríguez Zapatero and opposition Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy also reached an agreement over a bitter political row between the parties.
Interior minister José Antonio Alonso accused the previous conservative administration of “political short-sightedness” over the 11 March terrorist attacks.
The remarks provoked angry responses from the PP, which demanded Alonso apologise for what it called his “despicable” comments.
The conservatives denied the accusations and said they had acted in good faith after the 11 March crisis.
The claims by the former administration that ETA was behind the attacks in Madrid, which claimed the lives of 192 people and left more than 1,500 people injured, were widely seen to have cost them the general election three days later on 14 March.
But the PP has insisted it acted in good faith when it claimed Basque separatists, not Islamic extremists, planted ten bombs on rush-hour trains.
The then government was widely seen to be deflecting public opinion away from its unpopular support for the Iraq invasion.
The all-party Anti-Terrorist pact, which is held twice a year between the government and the opposition, agreed the way ahead in the fight against terrorism.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news