Every time the anniversary of the 2004 Madrid terrorist attack looms, we are reminded of how it not only destroyed lives, but also further divided a society deeply split along political lines. Iberosphere originally published this article in 2010 (thus the reference to Miguel Hernández), but little has changed since then on Spain’s political landscape.
The former Spanish prime minister is enjoying life as a high-earning poster boy of neo-conservative values. But having put his famed austerity behind him, Aznar is in danger of remaining a divisive political figure, who refuses to embrace the statesmanship befitting a retired national leader.
Bilateral tensions, rather than police abuses, are what sparked the recent crisis between Spain and its North African neighbour in an episode that embarrassed the Spanish government and made the opposition look crudely opportunistic.