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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 March, 2004, 22:18 GMT
Excerpts: Spanish leaders' speeches
Spain's king and prime minister both gave nationally televised speeches in the wake of the bombings of trains in Madrid which killed at least 190 people and injured more than 1,200.

King Juan Carlos

Today's terrorist barbarity has plunged Spain into the deepest grief, repudiation and anger. Women, men, children, free citizens of all ages and occupations, even from other countries, who were approaching their destinations, schools and workplaces, were brutally confronted with death and suffering.

Spanish King Juan Carlos
King Juan Carlos said he suffered along with his people
A nightmare scenario took hold of all the homes of Spain, to show the most cruel and murderous face of terrorism.

In these tragic moments, I want to convey to the families of the victims my deepest affection and that of all my family. I would like to tightly hold everybody in an embrace filled with consolation and sadness. We will always be with you, with all those who suffer the consequences of a macabre madness with no possible justification.

These repugnant attacks only merit the most forceful and absolute condemnation.

I also address the wounded and their families to express to them our affection, our closeness and our wish for their speedy recovery.

Your king suffers with all of you, shares your anger and trusts in the strength and effectiveness of the rule of law in order that such vile and cowardly murderers might fall into the hands of justice and serve out in prison all the sentences passed on them by the courts... they will be called to account for their crimes.

Discouragement is not for Spaniards - we are a great country which has amply shown its capacity to overcome challenges and difficulties; a country which knows well that the only thing possible in the face of folly and barbarism is unity, firmness and calm
The public services and the citizens of Madrid, always generous, have risen in face of tragedy to show their solidarity, their endeavour and their co-operation. The security forces and corps are unceasing in their work in defence of your liberties.

Good-hearted Spain has throbbed again, offering its material assistance and moral support. Our deepest gratitude to all.

Discouragement is not for Spaniards. We are a great country which has amply shown its capacity to overcome challenges and difficulties; a country which knows well that the only thing possible in the face of folly and barbarism is unity, firmness and calm.

Unity, firmness and calm in the fight against terrorism, with all the instruments with which the rule of law provides us, redoubling our joint efforts to put an end to this scourge, counting on police action, the work of the justice system and international co-operation.

Unity, firmness and calm, over and above the legitimate differences of opinion, around the firmest wish for peaceful and democratic coexistence, guaranteed by our constitution, the sovereign expression of the Spanish people.

In these hours of immense grief, we Spaniards are called more than ever to reaffirm our determination to put an end to terrorist violence. Let there be no doubt: terrorism will never achieve its aims. It will not manage to break our faith in democracy or our confidence in the future of Spain.


Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar

11 March 2004 already occupies its place in the history of infamy. This morning in Madrid, terrorists exploded several bombs placed in local trains which were travelling full of citizens.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar in front of a flag bedecked with a mourning ribbon
Both the king and prime minister spoke in front of a Spanish flag bedecked with a mourning ribbon
At this time of such deep sadness, my first words are for the victims of these indescribable attacks. Already there are over 100 dead and many more are injured. Hundreds of families are in mourning today without warning.

Thousands are experiencing hours of anxiety and uncertainty. I want to tell them that I feel their terrible anxiety as my own. I want them to know that in these hours of pain and democratic firmness, the national government is with all of them, as is the immense majority of Spanish people.

I know well that today words are not enough to console their grief. We are and will be with them, for all they need, today and always. And we will not forget what has happened.

We are experiencing difficult times but also we have been able to appreciate how the situation has brought out the best in many anonymous people.

This was a mass murder which, like all terrorist attacks, lacked any justification; but terrorism is not blind - they have killed many people just for being Spanish
The response from the citizens has been exceptional. The spontaneous efforts to help the victims, to transport the injured and to donate blood have been worthy of the highest recognition. On behalf of the government, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all those people...

The terrorists wanted to cause as much damage as possible. This was a mass murder which, like all terrorist attacks, lacked any justification. But terrorism is not blind. They have killed many people just for being Spanish...

We will defeat them. Let nobody have any doubt. We will succeed in putting an end to the terrorist band, with the strength of the rule of law and the unity of all Spaniards. We will put an end to them with strong laws, with security forces and courts firmly backed and firmly resolved to apply the law.

I say to all Spaniards that we must not aspire to anything except the complete defeat of terrorism - complete and total defeat
The criminals who have caused so many deaths today will be arrested. They will be tried and convicted by courts which are only subject to the rule of law. They will serve their sentences in full and they will have no other prospect but to see the dawn every day inside prison walls..

So I say to all Spaniards that we must not aspire to anything except the complete defeat of terrorism. Complete and total defeat. Their surrender without conditions of any kind. No negotiation is possible or desirable with these murderers who have so often sown death throughout the geography of Spain..

We shall never allow a minority of fanatics to force decisions about our national future on us.





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