Spanish History – 2000 to 2005

2000
ETA carry out car bombings in Madrid.
Some 1.1 million people marched in Madrid to protest the recent car-bomb attack by Basque separatists.
A car bomb killed Fernando Buesa, a Socialist Party leader in Vitoria, and his bodyguard Jorge Diez Elorza.
Aznar’s Popular Party (PP) wins landslide in general elections.
Jose Luis Lopez de La Calle, a columnist for El Mundo, was shot and killed in Andoain. The ETA was blamed.
A bus enroute to a summer camp for teens collided with a truck hauling pigs near Soria and at least 25 people were killed.
A car bomb exploded at the entrance of the El Corte Ingles department store in Madrid. 10 people were injured.
Relations with Britain strained after British nuclear submarine HMS Tireless docks for repairs in Gibraltar despite protests from environmentalists.
A bomb exploded in Bilbao and killed 3 suspected Basque separatists, who appeared to be transporting explosives.
A car bomb exploded in Madrid, where 11 people were injured and in Zumaia where 1 man was Francisco Casanova Vicente, army officer, was shot twice in the back as he arrived home in Pamplona. The murder was blamed on the ETA.
A bomb killed 2 Spanish Civil Guard officers in Sallent de Gallego. The ETA was blamed.
Manuel Indiano (29), a councilman in Zumarraga, was shot and killed outside his candy store. The ETA was blamed.
Masked police raided the EKIN offices, the fund-raising wing of the ETA. 20 people were arrested.
Ramon Rekalde, a former Socialist Party official, was wounded with a shot in the head in San Sebastian. The ETA was blamed.
Truckers across Europe blocked highways to protest high fuel costs. Protests hit Spain, Germany, Ireland, Poland and the Czech Republic.
Jose Luis Ruiz Casado (42), a town councilor, was shot and killed in Sant Adria de Besos outside of Barcelona. The ETA was blamed.
Luis Portero, a head state attorney for the Andalusian Superior Court, was shot to death in Granada. The ETA was suspected.
Col. Antonio Munoz Carinanos (58), a military doctor, was killed in Seville by 3 suspected Basque gunmen. 2 suspects were arrested.
Maximo Casada Carrera (44), a prison officer, was killed by a car bomb in Vitoria. The ETA was blamed.
In Madrid a car bomb killed Supreme Court magistrate Jose Francisco Querol (69), his driver and an escort. 35 were wounded and the ETA was blamed.
Ernest Lluch (63), a former government minister, was killed by suspected ETA gunmen in a Barcelona suburb.
The government reported its 1st case of mad cow disease.

2001
Parliament grants political recognition to Republican guerrillas – known as the maquis – who continued resisting the nationalist dictator, General Francisco Franco, after the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939.
A weekend storm killed 7 people, including 5 in the Pyranees.
A commuter train hit a van near Lorca and 12 Ecuadoran farm workers were killed.
A crowd of 10-40 thousand marched in Barcelona to protest a tough new against illegal immigrants.
Two people were killed when suspected Basque separatists bombed a train station in San Sebastian. Separately French police arrested the alleged ETA military chief.
Over 100,000 people protested in Madrid against a $23 billion plan to divert water from the Ebro river to areas in the south.
Santos Santamaria Avedano (32), a police officer, was killed when a car bomb went off as he evacuated guests from a hotel in Roses.
Froilan Elespe, Socialist deputy mayor of Lasarte, was shot and killed. The ETA was blamed.
Manuel Jimenez Abad (52), a politician of the ruling Popular Party, was shot to death in Zaragoza.
Basque elections were held in Spain. Nationalists won the regional elections.
In San Sebastian Santiago Oleaga Elejabarrieta (54), financial director of the El Diario Vasco daily newspaper, was shot and killed. The ETA was blamed.
Thousands marched in Madrid to protest an upcoming visit by Pres. Bush.
Pres. Bush on his 1st major overseas trip met with Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar in Madrid and pushed for his missile defense shield.
parcel bomb in Madrid injured Gen. Justo Oreja Pedraza (63), a defense minister, along with 15 others. The ETA was blamed.
In Madrid a policeman was killed by a bomb. Basque rebels were blamed.
In Spain gunmen shot and killed a police officer, Mikel Uribe (44), in Leaburu and a bomb killed a local politician, Jose Javier Mugica (50), in Leiza. The ETA was blamed.
A Basque rebel car bomb exploded outside 2 resort hotels in Salou.
A Basque bomb went off in the parking structure of Madrid’s main airport. There were no injuries due to a phoned in tip.
A Binter Mediterraneo CN-235 airplane crash-landed near Malaga’s airport and at least 3 of 47 people aboard were killed.
detained 6 Algerians with alleged links to Osama bin Laden and a group planning attacks on US targets in Europe.
In Spain suspected Basque militants exploded a car bomb in Vitoria that caused much damage to the city center.
The EU made a joint announcement with Spain that the Basque ETA would be put on the list of terrorist organizations whose assets would be frozen by the EU.
A bombing caused wide damage in Madrid. Basque separatists were suspected.
In Madrid a rush hour car bomb blast injured 95 people. The ETA was suspected and a man and woman were arrested.
Judge Jose Maria Lidon Corbi was shot to death as he drove out of his garage in Gexto, a suburb of Bilbao. The ETA was held responsible.
Spanish police arrested 11 people with suspected links to Osama bin Laden.

2002
Peseta replaced by the Euro.
Eta suspected of being behind bomb blasts in several tourist resorts as EU summit held in Seville.
General strike by nearly a million people protesting at government moves to cut employment benefits.
Morocco sends troops to counter alleged illegal activities on disputed rocky outcrop of Perejil off Moroccan coast. Spain sends forces to eject them and gunboats to guard its enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. Spain pulls troops out after Spanish, Moroccan foreign ministers agree to restore status quo, leaving Perejil unoccupied. A court suspends the radical Basque separatist party Batasuna for three years because of its suspected links with Eta.
North-west coastline suffers ecological disaster after oil tanker Prestige breaks up and sinks about 130 miles out to sea.
Police discovered at least 19 corpses at the home and car of an ex-funeral parlor employee in Malaga.
A local Spanish official was shot to death by gunmen in the Basque region. Police suspected the ETA.
Spanish police arrested Mohamed Zouaydi on charges of financing terrorist activities around the world.
In Madrid a bomb exploded near a sports stadium and 17 people were injured.
Police arrested 2 suspected ETA members who planned to bomb an upcoming meeting of Latin American and European leaders.
Tens of thousands of people marched through Bilbao protesting the government’s intention to outlaw a political party that refuses to condemn terrorism in the name of independence.
Two car bombs exploded at Spanish coastal resort as a European Union summit got under way about 90 miles away at a heavily guarded convention center in Seville.
Two new bombs rocked Spain’s tourist coasts, making five in two days that the government blamed on Basque separatist group ETA trying to disrupt a European Union summit in Seville.
Tens of thousands of people banged drums, blew whistles and danced their way through Seville’s streets in a rally against globalization. The EU Summit ended with new measures to deter illegal immigration.
A judge froze all bank accounts of Batasuna, the radical Basque political party.
The 14th Int’l. AIDS Conference opened in Barcelona. Estimates said AIDS had claimed 20 million lives to date and threatened 40 million currently infected. African cases were estimated at 28.5 million.
The Spanish government welcomed a British proposal to turn its military base in Gibraltar into a NATO facility, a move that would open it to all alliance members including Spain. Spain and Britain came up with the idea of sharing sovereignty over the Rock. This was rejected resoundingly in a nonbinding referendum in Gibraltar.
In southeastern Spain 2 people, including a 6-year-old girl, were killed and several others were injured when a car bomb exploded in front of a military police barracks. Twenty-five others were injured.
A booby-trapped sign bearing the logo of the armed Basque separatist group ETA exploded, killing one police officer and wounding three others.
Jose Antonio Rodriguez Vega (44), a serial killer sentenced to 440 years in jail for raping and strangling 16 elderly widows, was murdered in prison. Two prisoners with makeshift knives attacked Vega in the courtyard of Topas jail in western Salamanca province.

2003
A motorized rubber boat carrying 41 illegal immigrants sank off the southern coast of Spain, and six passengers drowned.
The European Union’s Court of Justice ordered Spain and Italy to drop national rules on what constitutes chocolate, saying they can no longer bar British and Irish confections made with vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter.
France and Spain opened the new 5.3-mile Somport tunnel through the western Pyrenees mountains.
a female doctor described as mentally unbalanced stabbed several people at a Madrid hospital, killing a colleague and a patient and wounding six others.
62 Spanish peacekeepers returning from Afghanistan killed in plane crash in Turkey.
ETA committed its final fatal attack. A car bomb, placed by Basque separatists, killed two police officers in Sanguesa in northern Navarra region.
a head-on train collision near Chinchilla in Albacete province left at least 11 people dead and another 16 missing.
In Barcelona, Spain, more than 7,000 people gathered at daybreak and shed their clothes to take part in artist Spencer Tunick’s largest work yet, an installation featuring a sea of nude bodies covering a central Barcelona avenue.
Grenada, Spain, unveiled its first mosque since 1492 when the Moors were expelled.
Spain agreed to send 1,300 soldiers to Iraq.
Spain’s new Madrid-Leida bullet train made its maiden journey. The train had an average speed of 108 mph, with a peak of 124 mph. This was slower than the intended average speed of 186 mph with peaks of 217 mph.
In northern Spain 2 bombs exploded in a parking lot, destroying 11 freight trucks. No one was injured in the blast blamed on the armed Basque separatist group ETA.
Spanish authorities closed the border with the British colony of Gibraltar before the arrival of a virus-stricken cruise ship carrying some 2,000 passengers. More than 400 passengers on the ship fell ill with a norovirus after the ship left Southampton, England, for a Mediterranean voyage on Oct. 20.
The world’s richest lottery spread $2.2 billion in Christmas cheer throughout Spain, including to a village whose name means luck.

2004
The armed Basque separatist group ETA unilaterally declared a cease-fire for the northeastern region of Catalonia, but the move was immediately criticized by Spain’s prime minister and politicians who refuse to negotiate with the militant group.
Spain averted a bombing by the Basque separatist group ETA after the Civil Guard stopped a small truck and found about 1,100 pounds of bomb-making chemicals.
Islamic terrorists attack the Atocha train station in Madrid with bombs; 191 people killed and hundreds injured.
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (PSOE) elected Prime Minister.
Spanish troops leave Iraq.
A Spanish railroad inspector found a 26-pound bomb hidden in a bag on a busy high-speed line. Police said the device may contain the same dynamite used in last month’s Madrid train bombings.
In Spain Sarhane Abdelmajid Fakhet (35), a Tunisian national and the alleged ringleader of last month’s train bombings in Madrid, was among 5 suspects who blew themselves up as police raided their apartment.
The Barcelona city council passed a resolution condemning bullfighting and declaring the city Spain’s first to come out against the centuries-old sport.
Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe married former TV anchorwoman Letizia Ortiz, the first commoner in line to be queen in Spanish history.
Animal rights activists protested in Pamplona, Spain, on the eve of the start of the famous running of the bulls ‘San Fermin’ festival.
Close to 5,000 ‘cybernauts’ gathered for a weeklong computer party in Spain’s southeastern city of Valencia.
Bombs injured at least 18 people in 7 cities following warnings from callers claiming to represent the Basque separatist group ETA.
The Spanish government has reached an agreement with unions and employers to raise the minimum monthly wage by 4.5 percent to euro512.90 ($699) on Jan. 1.
Spain approved new guidelines on immigration, including a partial amnesty aimed at giving papers to some of the 800,000 illegal immigrants estimated to be living in the country.
An explosion killed seven workers at a warehouse in the northern city of Burgos. A gas leak was suspected.
The bodies of 18 victims of carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty gas heater were found at a cottage near the village of Todolella in Spain’s Castellon province.

2005
Madrid car bombing kills 40.
Spain begins the process of granting legal amnesty for up to 800,000 undocumented immigrants.
Voters approve the EU constitution in a referendum.
Government offers peace talks with Eta if the group disarms.
Parliament defies Roman Catholic Church by legalising gay marriage and granting homosexual couples same adoption and inheritance rights as heterosexual ones.
At least 11 die and many more are injured in a series of mass attempts by African migrants to enter the enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta from Morocco in a bid to reach Spain. Spain reviews decision to deport those who do get through back to Morocco after expressions of international concern.
Spanish authorities said police had arrested 16 Islamic terror suspects in raids in several cities, including 11 men accused of having ties to Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi’s group al-Qaida in Iraq and recruiting people for suicide attacks there.
ETA announced it will no longer kill elected members of political parties.
Voters in Spain’s northwest Galicia region were deciding whether to extend the 15-year rule of Manuel Fraga (82), the last surviving politician of Gen. Francisco Franco’s regime.
In Madrid a Tibetan group presented a criminal case against top Chinese officials for genocide and crimes against humanity, seeking to take advantage of Spain’s laws on international human rights crimes.
In central Spain 11 firefighters trying to extinguish a forest fire sparked by a smoldering barbeque were killed.
Spain banned lighting fires in open spaces nationwide until November. This was Spain’s worst drought since 1947. Spaniards will no longer allowed to smoke as they take a Sunday stroll in the woods, under new government rules aimed at curbing the risk of fires such as a recent one in which 11 firefighters died in Guadalajara.
France Telecom bought an 80% stake in Amena, Spain’s 3rd largest mobile telephone operator.
Two helicopters carrying NATO-led forces to prepare for next month’s elections crashed in the desert in western Afghanistan, killing at least 17 Spanish troops.
In Spain tens of thousands of people armed with 100 tons of plum tomatoes took part in the “Tomatina,” joyously splattering each other in the town of Bunol.
Hundreds of African migrants charged a razor-wire border fence at a Spanish enclave in northern Morocco before dawn, and five people were killed and 50 injured, prompting Spain to send troops to secure the frontier.
Catalonia’s parliament approved a new charter that called the wealthy region in northeastern Spain “a nation,” wording that has some worried that the region is heading toward a break with Spain.
More than 300 Africans tore through a razor-wire fence separating Morocco from the Spanish enclave of Melilla, clashing with police in the latest wave of undocumented immigrants seeking a foothold in Europe.
Spain said it will build a third high-security fence between its Melilla enclave and Morocco after undocumented immigrants repeatedly stormed two existing barriers.
Some 500 African immigrants defied increased security and tried to surge across razor-wire fences separating Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, the 5th such rush in a week. The assault in a week prompted Spain to announce plans to expel the illegal migrants.
Spanish authorities said police have seized 3.5 tons of cocaine in a fishing boat bound for Spain from Venezuela after tip-offs from U.S. authorities.
In northeastern Spanish at least 5 north African men were killed, four were injured and one was believed still trapped under rubble after a three-storey 17th century building collapsed in the town of Piera.
A court officials said a Spanish judge has issued an international arrest warrant for three U.S. soldiers whose tank fired on a Baghdad hotel during the Iraq war, killing a Spanish journalist and one other. Jose Couso, who worked for the Spanish television network Telecinco, died April 8, 2003, after a U.S. army tank crew fired a shell on Hotel Palestine.
In Spain the Basque country’s ruling party called for new initiatives to end violence by ETA guerrillas in Spain and break a political deadlock over the region’s status.
The Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica announced an agreed $31.5 billion takeover of mobile-phone operator O2, to be paid in cash.
A section of a bridge under construction in southern Spain collapsed on workers, killing at least five of them.
Spanish police arrested 11 people suspected of financing and giving logistical support to an Islamic extremist group linked to al-Qaida.
Spain agreed to sell 12 military planes and eight patrol boats to Venezuela in a $2 billion deal that the United States has threatened to block.
Spain announced it plans to sell planes and helicopters to Colombia.
In western Spain officers of Seprona, the environmental unit of the paramilitary Civil Guard, arrested hunters skinning a Bengal tiger. Agents also found another tiger and lion in cages waiting their turn to be hunted. In the 1st half of the year officers confiscated 678 illegally imported live animals.
Spanish authorities arrested former Gen. Ante Gotovina, the top Croatian war crimes suspect, after four years on the run. He was captured in the Canary Islands when special police agents surprised him as he dined in a luxury beach hotel.
A lottery known as “El Gordo” — the Fat One — sprinkled more than $2.4 billion in Christmas cheer around Spain, with this Catalan town known for its churches and convents blessed with a quarter of the windfall.
In Spain a new law that took effect ordering government ministries to close no later than 6 p.m., part of a broad package of measures that are geared to help Spaniards juggle their jobs and families.
Spain unveiled a Renewable Energy Plan.
Some 650,000 people arrived in Spain pushing the total population to over 44 million. Some 700,000 illegal immigrants were granted amnesty.

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