Besides their wide impact in the international context, the Madrid bombings of 11 March 2004 have had deep repercussions in both the domestic and the regional politics of Spain. A direct cause–effect relationship between the attacks and the defeat of the governing Popular Party in the general election held three days later cannot be mechanically drawn. However, in many people's minds the horror of the 11 March bombings would not have occurred if former President Aznar had not been so eager to sustain his alliance with George W. Bush and Tony Blair. Likewise, the Madrid bombings have made evident the kind of consequences the Basque terrorists of ETA would face if they were to carry out an action of similar proportions. This article reflects on some of the consequences the attack has had for Spanish national and regional politics. An examination is carried out on the influence the attack had on the outcome of the Spanish general election held on 14 March 2004. After a review of developments in the general process of regional decentralisation in Spain, the situation in the Basque Country and the future action of the terrorist group ETA is also analysed.
Irish Studies in International Affairs – Royal Irish Academy
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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