El Daily Telegraph se pregunta si el PP ha decidido suicidarse.
A juicio de uno de los periódicos conservadores más influyentes de Europa, el comportamiento del PP ante el 11-M lo está precipitando en un abismo imprevisible, “haciéndose añicos, él solo”.
El Telegraph estima que las “teorías” y las “dudas” sobre la autoría del 11-M están hundiendo al PP en un proceso suicida, defendiendo unas posiciones que no resisten ninguna evidencia.
Este es el artículo de David Rennie, corresponsal europeo del Telegraph:
A party tears itself apart
One of the more compelling, if morbid, sights of modern democracy is to watch a once-mighty party committing political suicide, for reasons that to outsiders are a mystery.
The Spanish centre-right Popular Party (PP) is going through just such a grim process right now, as it tears itself to pieces over the “real” truth behind the Madrid train bombings, whose second anniversary fell last weekend.
The bombings, in which 10 bombs on four commuter trains left 191 people dead, occurred just three days before long-planned general elections.
The PP government led by Jose Maria Aznar insisted the bombs were the work of ETA, the Basque separatist group – an insistence that was seen by many Spanish voters as a deliberate, cynical lie, designed to distract attention from the possibility that Islamic militants had attacked Spain, in punishment for Aznar’s alliance with the United States, and involvement in the invasion of Iraq.
Three days after the bombings, the public threw the PP out of power, reversing the trends picked up by opinion polls before the bombs went off.
I was in Washington at the time, and remember the shock and disgust among many American commentators, at what they saw as Spanish appeasement, as massive crowds of protesters blamed the US and Aznar for their suffering, and called for Spanish forces to leave Iraq.
Since then, a mass of evidence, especially from a bomb that did not go off, linked the attacks to a group of Muslim radicals – further damning the PP in the eyes of left-wing voters. No evidence has ever been unearthed linking the attacks to ETA.
Now here is where things get complicated. Because several leading lights in the PP are insistent that the Muslims involved were just pawns of hidden hands.
Add to that gaps and inconsistencies in the police evidence, and you pave the way for all sorts of conspiracy theories, tracing the attacks back to Spanish – or Basque – planners, who somehow took out a contract with Islamic killers for the job.
One PP member of the committee probing the attacks, Jaime Ignacio del Burgo, has written a book raising doubts about hidden Spanish brains behind the attacks.
To true believers, the implication is that ETA, after all, was behind the attacks, and that the PP was thrown out of power unjustly.
According to the theory: the “Moritos”, or little Arabs, as some on the Spanish Right call them, were not up to the sophisticated political analysis required to plant the bombs when they did, and throw the election to the Socialists.
Never mind that ETA has never carried out such massive, simultaneous attacks in its history, and that al-Qa’eda had called Spain a legitimate target for attack.
Earlier this month, Mr Aznar noted pointedly that ETA, at the time of the bombings, “was up against the ropes” as a result of pressure from his government.
In contrast, the Socialist government has pursued dialogue with ETA, even as it continues to plant bombs, extort money and attack the police.
All this might be one for the history books, except that the new leader of the PP, Mariano Rajoy, recently started asking similar questions.
Rajoy was interviewed by a conservative paper, “El Mundo” on Tuesday, in which he claimed that an official probe into the bombings had been “called back into question” by allegations – published in “El Mundo” – that the police had doubts about the authenticity of the bag containing the unexploded bomb.
The bag is a crucial piece of evidence, as it contained a mobile telephone designed to detonate its bomb, whose SIM card came from the same shop as those used in bombs that had exploded. Those SIM cards led police to arrests of the Muslim immigrants who appear to have built the train bombs.
Mr Rajoy seized on the bag inconsistency, saying: “We always said it was necessary to keep on investigating.”
The reaction from the rest of the Spanish media was not good. Even pro-PP newspapers like “ABC” condemned Mr Rajoy, especially when the judge investigating the bombings unsealed testimony from six police officers, apparently blowing a hole in “El Mundo” claims about bags being lost or switched.
ABC called Mr Rajoy’s remarks “extraordinarily irresponsible” and said he was weakening the state, and the rule of law, which was the ultimate target of the Madrid train bombs.
Party barons of the PP were equally appalled, apparently believing that every time the party mentions the whole ETA theory, it hurts itself.
So yesterday, Mr Rajoy recanted, or sort of did. He said his doubts about the mystery bag had been cleared up by the investigating judge, that he had no opinion about the case, and was waiting for “what the judges say” in their final conclusions. A mess, in other words.
Though fairness compels me to note that – so far from the PP inventing the ETA theory in a spirit of pure cynicism on the eve of an election – they appear to still believe it, against all advice.
It’s just that not many other people share their views.