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CENTRAL government representative Miquel Ramis, who will be leaving his post shortly after 14 months, following the elections, spoke of the events surrounding the Madrid bombings on March 11 and the general elections just three days later.
- Would the Partido Popular (PP) still be in power if the bombings hadn't occurred?
- It's a feasible hypothesis. Facts are facts and the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers Party) must be congratulated, but I think that without the attack, the results could have been different. That attack did not only change the elections, it changed Spanish society. Earlier surveys indicated the opposite result, with the PP seven points ahead of the PSOE, and the postal votes confirm this. Then the opposite happened. However, and this should remain quite clear, the PSOE won the elections and must be congratulated.
- When did you officially know that the chief suspect was not ETA but al Qaeda?
- Events happened so rapidly that I would not know how to answer. I learned about the bombing from the television and radio, not through any official sources, and then I spent the day hooked to the media. They were three days of constant information. The al Quaeda hypothesis gradually took shape and after the arrests it seems that nobody questions it. But it is necessary to wait until the investigation is completed.
- One critical moment was the demonstration outside your office on the night of March 13. Was it illegal? How many photographs were taken from your office?
- No photographs were taken. The media took photographs. It was evident that what was happening could be an administrative infraction, an offence, or nothing. Our duty was to inform the authorities that this was happening on the day of reflection. To question this is not to understand anything... I called the chief of police, and told him if he had to intervene, then to do so prudently, and only if matters were getting out of hand. Most of the demonstrators said what they had to say and nothing happened. For a citizen to demonstrate, that is fine, what I do not think so fine is that political leaders, some of them candidates, should demonstrate on the day of reflection.