Pressure on Spanish PM after bomb attack

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Pressure on Spanish PM after bomb attack

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Spanish police investigating the bomb that exploded overnight in the Bilbao suburb of Getxo believe it contained 60 kilos of explosives.

The bomb was placed to inflict maximum damage near Getxo’s yacht club, chosen to represent Spain in the 2011 America’s cup. It is the third time the club has been targeted, and the sixth bomb to strike Getxo in the last eight years.

A telephone call claimed the attack was the work of the armed Basque terrorist group ETA.

Spain’s interior minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba says the attack is evidence of ETA’s weakness, despite recent Spanish press claims that the organisation has regrouped and rearmed.

“Whenever ETA has internal problems, when its hierarchy breaks down, then ETA always resorts to violence as a way of restoring unity,” he insisted.

However, Wednesday’s deadly attack on a Basque police station, using an explosive charge of similar size, used a van stolen near Limoge in France. Spanish police believe ETA has rebuilt a bomb-making facility there.

Opposition leader Manuel Rajoy attacked ETA and took a swipe at the government at the same time.

“The top priority is defeating ETA. I want to repeat that my party will back the government if that is its priority too, and nothing else. And only if it doesn’t repeat the same mistakes it has made over the last four years.”

Tomorrow Prime Minister Zapatero meets the moderate Basque leader, reportedly to discuss new talks that might include outlawed radical Basque politicians linked to ETA. His first government attempted to talk to ETA, without success.