Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero met with the Opposition leader for talks aimed at forming an all-party pact against terrorism. It was their first meeting since a bombing in Madrid nine days ago killed two people. The government, after planning talks with Basque separatist group ETA, had called off the peace process in response to the attack.
Popular Party leader, Mariano Rajoy, called for renewed efforts to overcome ETA, saying the bombing showed negotiations were impossible. The leader of ETA´s so-called political wing pleaded with the militants to “maintain their ceasefire”. Batasuna chief, Arnaldo Otegi, called on ETA to “keep to objectives and commitments set out in its statement of March 22” – the date the militants had vowed to give up their fight.
The banned organisation, Batasuna, had not before condemned the attack, nor commented on ETA´s role in it. Forensic work continued at the airport, where a car bomb went off on December 30, destroying a multi-level parking garage. Two Ecuadorian immigrants who had been sleeping in cars inside were killed.
Around the capital, people stopped for a five minute silent vigil in the memory of Carlos Palate and Diego Estacio. Their bodies have been sent home for burial. ETA has not yet claimed responsibility for the blast but the man who made a warning call said he represented the group. The bombing has shattered a nine month ceasefire that ETA had described as permanent.