Madrid conspiracy theories collapse for Spanish right

The Spanish newspaper El Pais has obtained the Judge investigating the Madrid train bombings’ first summary on the conspiracy theories expounded by right-wing newspaper El Mundo and the opposition Popular Party.

The summary reportedly concludes that many of the testimonies used to stack up the conspiracies were manipulated.

For example, one witness whose evidence was used by El Mundo to make the claim that some of the bombers established relations with ETA while in prison, actually said that: “Neither Jamal nor Hicham [members of the bombing gang] told me that Jamal had a relationship with ETA. (…) Neither did they tell me anything about them going to the Basque Country to do any operation (…) From 1994 until 2000 no one showed me anything to say that Jamal had contacts with ETA (…) and from the period of time from July or August 2003 to March of 2004 I haven’t heard any comment in relation with ETA.”

The witness went on to say that “The day that everything came out in El Mundo, I got really nervous and I called the newspaper to say that what they published wasn’t true and that I was going to press charges.” 

Previous polls have shown the Spanish public to be disbelieving of the theories. Now that they are falling apart, the Popular Party (PP), which pushed the theories in Parliament, is starting to suffer electorally. The usually very stable Pulsometro, which came out today, shows the PP down two percentage points to 37% compared to the Socialists’ 43%.

Furthermore, 54% of respondents said that they were satisfied with the change of government last March from the PP to the Socialist PSOE. On the other hand, only 31% of voters would like to see power change back to the PP, while 57% said they would not like to see that happen.

Finally, 74% of Spaniards disagree with the former Prime Minister Aznar’s comments that “Muslims” should apologise to Spain for the eight centuries of Moorish occupation. 15% agreed with him. The Moorish occupation, which began in the eighth century and lasted until the fall of Granada in 1492, is often seen as a period of cultural blossoming and relative religious tolerance.

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