The Spanish Prime Minister has announced the suspension of the peace process with the armed Basque separatist group ETA after an explosion at Madrid’s main airport.
A bomb ripped through a multi-storey car park in Barajas international airport on Saturday morning, bringing down several floors. At least 19 people were injured, six of them seriously. Two people are reported missing. Several phone calls were made, allegedly by ETA, warning of an explosion and then claiming responsibility.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said that the government considered the attack to be completely incompatible with the ceasefire ETA declared nine months ago. He added: “The consequences of not respecting this is that I have asked for the suspension of all the initiatives in the development of the peace process.” Zapatero’s statement follows one by Arnaldo Otegi, the leader of ETA’s political ally, the outlawed Batasuna party.
He said as far as he was concerned, Spain’s peace process continued despite the bomb attack, saying that not only was it not over but it was more necessary than ever. He called it the only sensible, democratic and efficient solution for lasting change. Police did not evacuate the terminal until after it filled with smoke from the blast. All flights were suspended for several hours.