News, March 2004
March 26th, resumé.
(Church and Sport news click more) Another 5 Moroccans detained re 3/11; German intelligence show the bombings possibly planned in Germany, where some of the most recent arrested lived; Zapatero will soon be ready to make official statement re. Iraq troops - could mean stand-down; EU summit today -Aznar attends- anti-terror plan adopted, including new commissioner appointed; Aznar and Zapatero met yesterday to prepare EU summit and discuss transition of power; 11 now unconditionally held under anti-terrorist laws
3/11 investigations, resumé end March
Just over two weeks after the terrorist bombings in Madrid, the Spanish police have made good progress in their investigations: 20 have been arrested, including (as accused) the man who stole the explosive, the man who made the bombs, who also placed some and another who placed the bombs, plus the location where they were made and the vehicle they used to get to the start of their rail journey. Three key suspects, including the supposed gang leader, are still missing.
Evangelical doctor recalls those dreadful hours in Madrid
MADRID, 16-03-1004 (ACPress.net). Pedro Tarquis, Director of A.C.Press and medical practitioner at Clinico Hospital in Madrid, watched and worked as the trickle of victims being brought in from the Spanish capital's worst-ever terrorist attack became a flood. This is his personal recollection of March 11th, 2004, a day which will be etched onto the memories of Spaniards for many years to come.
Election Special - Socialists win to take power from PP.
14th March. With reliable results (97%) a marginal victory has been won by the Socialist PSOE in the general election. This leaves the small parties to get involved in stabilising the new parliament. This victory of the PSOE is against all the prospects prior to the 3/11 bombings.
3/11 (`11 M`) Terror bombings in Madrid: 200 dead
Click more for updates. 4 Bombs went off at about 7.39 local time this morning in trains at three Madrid rail stations: Atocha, the main station in the south of the city and therefore an interchange point for hundreds of thousands of commuters daily and also two suburban rail stops, El Pozo and Santa Eugenia. The fourth bomb went off in a train 500 metres from Atocha station. A two minute delay in its arrival at the station prevented even more being hit by the blasts. A total of 13 bombs were placed in the trains. The current death toll is 190, with many suffering all levels of injuries. Santa Eugenia and El Pozo are both high density housing areas. El Pozo is also the station for the Madrid regional Assembly. The Basque terror organisation ETA was at first suspected of having placed the bombs.
Written by a pupil at Stanta Eugenia
PSOE plans to keep Religious Education option,...
but not impose it as under the current government's law. RE teachers, including Evangelical ones, will be goverened by normal laws of government employment. This means they will become state employees, rather than employees of the churches.
News Theme: general election, 14th March
On Sunday 14th March a general election was held. 34.5 million voters were called to the polls. Due to the significance of the event, comment is available on news items and in 2 items on the comment column: http://www.prayforspain.com/comment/index16.html and http://www.prayforspain.com/comment/index6.html . Full results are available from the news items. In a nutshell, the Socialists got a surprise victory. What follows is comment prior to the event, which continues to be of background interest.
ETA bombing thwarted in Madrid with discovery of explosive-laden van
1 March 2 ETA terrorists were detained on Saturday night (28th Feb) after the discovery of 532kg explosives in a van in Cuenca, headed for Madrid.
Government website to help immigrants
Madrid, February 25th, 2004 (from ACPress.net).The Spanish government has opened a website, with information in English and French, to help those who wish to move to Spain legally.
News theme: Basque politics and ETA
During July and August (2003) many of us were concerned by the numerous attacks by ETA terrorists, for foreigners and Spaniards at large,most notably the hotel bombings in Alicante and Benidorm. In early December, four of the band's top military leaders were arrested in France, thwarting an imediate pre-Christmas campaign of murders and possibly limiting ETA for the future. However, while concern will remain about the threat of ETA attacks, political interest is now mostly directed at the regional president's proposals for extending autonomy to become a 'free associated state', rather like Puerto Rico.
News theme: Spain and Iraq
This item has not been updated since 3/11 It is clear that the new government will have a different stance to the situation. See later news!
News Theme: Big events in 2004, Holy Year for Santiago and Forum of the Cultures in Barcelona
This year, two major long-running events will dominate the Spanish 'cultural diary'. They are the Año Jacobeo, or Holy Year of Pilgrimage to Santiago in Galicia and the Forum of the Cultures in Barcelona. Both will draw many thousands of visitors, curious to see what is going on or perhaps committed to a particular expression of spirituality.
A few more news items and where to find more news about Spain: