Zapatero mocks three-headed opposition after PP decides to by csgirla


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									EL PAÍS, Friday, September 10 2004                                                                                                                                                          NEWS / 3

                                                                                                                                                                      British man
   Zapatero mocks three-headed opposition                                                                                                                             accused of killing
                                                                                                                                                                      partner in Catalan
   after PP decides to honor bygone leaders                                                                                                                           resort hotel
   Conservative party’s new chiefs insist the group is “not ashamed” of the Aznar years                                                                                              PERE LOBATO, Sitges
                                                                                                                                                                      A 29-year-old British citizen was
                                                                                                                                                                      arrested in Sitges Wednesday, ac-
        ANDREW EATWELL, Madrid                                                                                                 opposition to the PP’s support         cused of killing his 19-year-old
   The Popular Party convention in                                                                                             for the Iraq war, domestic politi-     partner in a hotel in the Catalan
   October is likely to lead to many                                                                                           cal tension and a string of poorly     beach resort.
   changes in the conservative oppo-                                                                                           handled crises, such as the sink-         According to Civil Guard in-
   sition force, but none of those                                                                                             ing of an oil tanker off Galicia.      vestigators, the man strangled
   announced so far have elicited as                                                                                               The Socialist reaction, howev-     and stabbed to death the
   much interest internally or exter-                                                                                          er, contrasts with views inside the    Byelorussian woman during a
   nally as the decision to place                                                                                              conservative party, where Az-          fight in their room at the four star
   former prime minister José                                                                                                  nar’s new post is generally being      hotel where they had been staying
   María Aznar in the newly creat-                                                                                             valued positively. “We’re not          for two weeks. A receptionist
   ed role of honorary chairman.                                                                                               ashamed of Aznar,” José María          alerted police after the suspect
       Announced on Wednesday,                                                                                                 Michavila, the PP communica-           came into the reception covered
   the creation of the post will result                                                                                        tions secretary, declared yester-      in blood and confessing the mur-
   in a trinity of leaders in the PP                                                                                           day, stressing that there has never    der. The victim’s two-year-old
   once current secretary general                                                                                              been any intention of “hiding”         daughter and an aupair were
   Mariano Rajoy is confirmed as                                                                                               the ex-prime minister.                 sleeping in the next room when
   president in the convention. Man-                                                                                               Manuel Fraga also backed           the incident occurred.
   uel Fraga, the party’s octogenari-                                                                                          the creation of the position,             Three weeks ago, the victim
   an founder and current premier                                                                                              which, he said, the former prime       had informed Civil Guard offic-
   of Galicia, will stay on as the so-                                                                                         minister “deserves” in recogni-        ers that the suspect, identified as
   called founding president, even                                                                                             tion of his eight years in office.     Chabra S., was abusing her and
   as Aznar’s shadow lingers on.                                                                                               He noted, however, that “there is      claimed that she was being held
       “After our meeting the other                                                                                            only one and only ever will be         against her will. She subsequently
   day Rajoy said he was worried,”                                                                                             one founding chairman” i.e., him-      dropped the accusation and no
   Socialist Prime Minister José                                                                                               self. The roles of honorary and        charges were brought against the
   Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said                                                                                                founding chairman are likely to        suspect. The man has apparently
   yesterday, referring to the talks                                                                                           very similar — more symbolic           been residing in Spain for four
   on territorial affairs held with                                                                                            than practical — but nonetheless       years, frequently staying at luxury
   the opposition leader on Tues-                                                                                              serve to retain Fraga and Aznar        hotels along the Catalan coast in
   day. “I can understand why he is                                                                                            as party figureheads. Effective        recent months.
   worried — managing a party              PP leader Rajoy (right) and former PM Aznar attend a meeting in July. / S. BURGOS   control after the convention will         The killing on Tuesday brings
   with three presidents must be                                                                                               be in the hands of Rajoy, who is       the number of deaths attributed
   complicated.”                           flects widespread derision to-            in the PP’s defeat to the Social-         likely to usher in a series of         to domestic violence to 47 in
       Zapatero’s ironic take on the       ward the former prime minister.           ists in the March 14 election —           changes to streamline the conser-      Spain so far this year, six less than
   possibility of Aznar remaining in       Aznar’s handling of the March             has been under intense scrutiny.          vative force, possibly through         in the first eight months of 2003.
   the upper echelons of the PP re-        11 attacks — which played a role          His last term was also marked by          adopting a more centrist tone.         Most of the victims were women
                                                                                                                                                                      between the ages of 20 and 40.

                                                                                                                                                                      Spanish government. The dia-
Morocco calls for                                                                                                                                                     logue is open, and the psychologi-
                                                                                                                                                                      cal barrier caused by the bilateral
                                                                                                                                                                      tensions with the former govern-

pan-European action                                                                                                                                                   ment has been broken.”
                                                                                                                                                                          Consuelo Rumí, the Spanish
                                                                                                                                                                      secretary of state for immigration,

on clandestine exodus                                                                                                                                                 also contrasts the attitude of the
                                                                                                                                                                      present Socialist administration
                                                                                                                                                                      with the previous government led
                                                                                                                                                                      by the Popular Party. Explaining
After years of hostile relations between Spain                                                                                                                        a new policy that will offer residen-
                                                                                                                                                                      cy permits to all those who can
and North African nation, cooperation returns                                                                                                                         prove that they have been work-
                                                                                                                                                                      ing in Spain, albeit unofficially,
 E. RIU / C. BLANCHAR, Barcelona          the “criminal networks” which or-                                                                                           Rumí denies that there will be a
For Morocco, the issue of clandes-        ganize these activities is a top pri-                                                                                       “permissive atmosphere or a relax-
tine immigration into the Europe-         ority. She adds that the best solu-                                                                                         ation of the fight against clandes-
an Union is a complex one. The            tion would be to create a situation                                                                                         tine immigration.” Answering the
money sent home by the approxi-           in which “Moroccans don’t feel                                                                                              Popular Party’s claims that this
mately three million Moroccans            the need to emigrate”: “last year,                                                                                          legalization of, potentially, hun-
working abroad (MREs in the               Morocco made the legal provi-                                                                                               dreds of thousands of workers
French-language term used in              sions to criminalize these net-                                                                                             will produce a “pull effect” bring-
Morocco) accounts for around 10           works,” she explains, “but addi-                                                                                            ing more immigrants into the
percent of the country’s GDP.             tional measures are important.”                                                                                             country, Rumí argues that “the re-
    Nouzha Chekrouni, the Mo-                 Among the desired measures,                                                                                             al pull effect is the existence of a
roccan minister responsible for im-       the minister includes better infor-                                                                                         black market economy.”
migration, admits that the remit-         mation for potential emigrants so                                                                                               Referring to co-operation with
tances from MREs “constitute              that they understand the risks                                                                                              Morocco, Rumí said there is “a
the largest source of income for          they are running in making con-                                                                                             long way to go,” but pointed to
the government — much more                tact with people-traffickers and                                                                                            certain examples of where in-
than tourism.” Speaking to EL             crossing by boat into Spain. She                                                                                            creased contact was having posi-
PAÍS while in Spain to participate        points out that the criminal orga-                                                                                          tive results, such as the plan to
in the Cultural Forum in Barcelo-         nizations involved “are not only                                                                                            co-finance “shelter centers for mi-
na, the minister adds that MREs           made up of Moroccan citizens;                                                                                               nors” within Morocco. Many of
“have not forgotten their roots           there are also Europeans. We                                                                                                those who take the risk of cross-
and are contributing to the stabili-      must mobilize all European coun-                                                                                            ing the sea aboard small boats are
ty of the country and the govern-         tries.” Obviously, such a joint mo-                                                                                         young men, even teenagers.
ment’s plans to combat poverty.”          bilization would have to include                                                                                                Nouzha Chekrouni for her
    Although Chekrouni admits             Spain — the country most affect-                                                                                            part admits there are problems in
that most of this money formerly          ed by the arrival of undocument-                                                                                            Morocco regarding immigration,
went directly into goods and gifts        ed immigrants from Morocco.                                                                                                 but she points out that Morocco
for close relatives, now MREs can             In the first eight months of this                                                                                       suffers from being a transit coun-
become, in her words, “investors          year alone, over 10,000 such immi-                                                                                          try for illegal immigrants. A large
and potential tourists,” bringing         grants have been detained in               Nouzha Chekrouni during the interview. / JORDI ROVIRALTA                         proportion of those arriving in
extra wealth into the Moroccan            Spain or in the waters near the                                                                                             Spain are from sub-Saharan Afri-
authorities’ coffers. As for the gov-     Spanish coastline. In the past             tion. There are now joint sea-pa-          been made on the Moroccan side.       ca, and sometimes further afield.
ernment’s fight against clandes-          year, the two countries have be-           trols by security forces from the          Chekrouni says that her govern-       “With all the goodwill in the
tine immigrants departing from            gun to put past differences behind         two countries, while considerably          ment is “optimistic” about bilater-   world, we cannot supervise the
the shores of Morocco, the minis-         them, and now cooperate in the             more arrests of would-be immi-             al relations “because we see good-    3,000 kilometers of coastline
ter claims that the fight against         fight against clandestine immigra-         grants are reported as having              will on the part of the present       which we have,” she concludes.

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