Just minutes after the King appeared on Spanish television last night to wish the nation well at Christmas, a bomb exploded in the Basque country following a telephoned warning from ETA, the Basque terrorist group. There were no victims, and little damage in the blast, which targeted a meeting place for local Socialist party workers.
At nine pm King Juan Carlos spoke to his people, and his squabbling politicians;
“We need as soon as possible a culture of unity that delivers on the committment of all democrats to definitively bring terrorism to an end”, he scolded.
In recent months Spain’s two main parties, the governing Socialists and the opposition Popular party have clashed over how to deal with ETA, with the left especially upset that the solidarity it showed with the PP when in opposition is not being reciprocated.
The last big anti-ETA demonstration was earlier this month, and the opposition is attempting to make the most of marches and similar events to ram home its criticisms of the Zapatero government. “Zapatero resign” is an often-heard refrain on these occasions.
Spain goes to the polls in March.