Aznar accused of manipulating public opinion

Spain’s most popular radio station, Cadena Ser, has published a scathing attack on the Spanish government’s attempts to make sure the Spanish media supported the thesis put forward by the popular parte that last week’s terrorist attack was carried out by the basque terrorist group ETA.

Cadena Ser has published an unprecedented editorial on its website in which it denounces the government’s tactics, explains how all the major television channels received clear instructions about how to cover events, and accuses Aznar and his government of manipulating the truth to suit their electoral ambitions. Foreign news correspondants say they received phone calls directly from the President’s office claiming that the terrorist acts had been carried out by ETA. According to Cadena Ser, “Aznar’s government has used all the state media, and all the private-sector newspapers, television and radio stations that are ideologically close to the goverment, in an attempt to keep alive their thesis that ETA was responsable for the brutal terrorist attacks last Thursday in Madrid.

Aznar and his government have got involved personally by making telephone calls to the directors of national newspapers and to foreign correspondants in Spain” (El gobierno de Aznar ha utilizado todos los medios de comunicacion publicos y todos los medios privados cercanos ideologicamente al gobierno para tratar de mantener durante tres dias como unica tesis la autoria de ETA en los brutales atentados del jueves en Madrid. Aznar y el gobierno se han implicado personalmente llamando a los directores de los medios escritos nacionales y a los corresponsales extranjeros).

If it turns out to be true, this is a very serious accusation indeed. Not least because if this terrorist act turns out to be the first serious terrorist act carried out by Al Qaeda in Western Europe, the investigations have wasted 4 precious days which could have been used to explore evidence about members of the extremist Islamic group and to involve other EU countries in the process. You can read more about events of the last 24 hours in this article from Deutsche Welle in English or in German.