Spanish politics shaken by ETA bombing

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Spanish politics shaken by ETA bombing

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There is increasing political fallout in Spain from Saturday’s car bombing, blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA. Main opposition leader Mariano Rajoy has been visiting the scene of the blast at Madrid Airport, where the body of one of two missing men was found today.

From the start, his conservatives opposed government peace talks with ETA. They say the attack has tragically vindicated their stance. Rajoy is now asking the Spanish Prime Minister to formally outline his anti-terrorism policy to parliament.

With his administration under pressure in the wake of the explosion, Spain’s Interior Minister says he is now holding cross-party talks.

“We are not going to enter into a debate with anyone,” Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba explained.

“We want all political parties to join forces with the government in the fight against violence. And, I am speaking particularly of the main opposition.”

Despite the government’s declaration that peace talks are over, ETA’s outlawed political ally Batasuna sees things differently. For its leader, Pernando Barrena, the process continues. That view is echoed by Batasuna’s branch in France, where the group has not been banned.

Batasuna says it was surprised by the car bombing, just over nine months after ETA declared a ceasefire.

After days of searching at the bomb site for two missing men from Ecuador, crews uncovered one body today. Their efforts had been focussed on trying to find the car in which the pair were sleeping at the time of the blast.