The investigations into the Madrid bombings continue

Yesterday the Popular Party released confidential documents which they say prove that declarations made by the party spokesman, the Interior Minister and President Aznar immediately after the terrorist attacks in Madrid last week were based on documents pointing to ETA, and were not an attempt to manipulate public opinion. Whether or not the documents do prove this, depends on which paper you read. El Pais suggests that the documents released yesterday have been carefully selected and this morning Cadena Ser said that whole paragraphs are crossed out in places. El Mundo (whose owner and Editor is a great friend of Aznar and usually supports the Popular Party) limits its leading article to a simple reproduction of the press conference and the contents of the documents, although inverted commas here and there, when referring to “transparancy” and “honor”, suggest it may be adopting a politely sceptical stance.

Papers like ABC and La Razon remain fiercely supportive of the Popular Party of course, and take the documents as firm evidence that party leaders were misjudged last weekend by Spain’s electorate as well as international public opinion.

Spanish police arrested five more suspects in the Madrid train attack yesterday, and this morning police have said that material evidence linked to the attacks has been found in the Lavapies area of Madrid.

Meanwhile, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero continues to form the government which will lead Spain for the next four years. So far he seems to be creating a mixed team of new faces ( Maria Jesus Sansegundo, a University professor, Minister of Education y Carmen Calvo, Minister of Culture…) and of PSOE heavyweights who have been very successful at a regional level (for example the future Defence Minister, Jose Bono, has been the President of Castilla la Mancha, one of Spain’s largest regions, for the past 20 years and continued to be re-elected even during the PSOE’s slump years, and Manuel Marin, future Leader of the House, was one of the key negotiaters of Spain’s entry into the European Union).

Interestingly, according to El Mundo, Aznar’s last visit abroad as acting President of Spain will be to Britain where he will be received by his friend Tony Blair next week. Apparantly they will have a meeting to discuss the attacks in Madrid, followed by dinner with their wives. He will also visit Brussels. These will be his only official visits before he hands the presidency over to Zapatero.

It is Saint Josephs day today (Father’s Day) which is a fiesta and bank holiday in almost all of Spain.

So congratulations and thank you to fathers everywhere, especially if you are called Joseph or Bryan. Anyone who is in Spain and near Valencia should try to check out Las Fallas.