News, October 2004

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11 September, a day to remember

While the Catalan people have been celebrating 11th September for years, the rest of Spain now joins in taking this day to remember its almost 200 dead at the hands of international islamic terrorism on 11th March this year. It also remembers from a greater distance, the dead in the many other related attacks around the globe since even before 11 September 2001.

A number of major reports are contained within these pages on the 3/11 terror attacks on trains in Madrid in which almost 200 workers on commuter trains died and two thousand needed emergency treatment in the city's hospitals. The event not only affected those directly hit, their families and frineds, but caused a landslide victory for the Socialist underdogs in a general election three days later.

Six months on, there remain many questions, especially in the political arena. A parliamentary commission is finding it difficult to come to a conclusion about what really happened, particularly how and why the government reacted the way it did. There have been suggestions of an attempted 'coup d'etat' (by which they mean the government wanting to postpone the election), of the different police forces refusing to share vital and urgent information due to petty jealousies and political leanings, etc.. Some of this may be true, but what is clear is that the electoral victory for the socialists meant many changes in internal as well as foreign policies within Spain.

Among the dead and wounded were a particularly high proportion of foreign workers.Some of these still had no papers allowing them the right to reside and work in Spain. One of the good side effects for these people has been that the government decided to award them immediate permission to stay. 78 have now been given their papers.

El Mundo has produced a multimedia clip comparing 9/11 and 3/11 which may be viewd at: