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In people’s memory

Since the beginning of the third millennium, many events have made history in Spain , but only a few will remain forever in people’s memory. Here is a brief outline of the more important:

• As everyone will surely remember, Spain has been target of several terrorists’ attacks. The most important, both for the big amount of lives taken and for its meaning, happened on the 11th of March 2004, when attacks on several commuter’s trains in Madrid killed 190 people. This attack symbolically referred to the 9/11 attack on New York which took place in 2001. Not anyone, nevertheless, would be aware of the attack ETA made in 2006 at the Barajas airport, detonating a van bomb on the new terminal T4, in the middle of a peace process between Spanish goverment and terrorists themselves. It was the 30th of December, but thankfully the bomb killed only 2 men and injured only 20 people.

 

• Unfortunately, Spain has also been victim of several accidents. The biggest was the crash of Spanair 5022 (20th August 2008), when 156 people were killed in the failed takeoff of a flight between Madrid and Gran Canaria. Another plane accident affected a  Yaklovev YAK-42 flight which was carrying 62 Spanish soldiers and 13 Ukrainian equipe members back to Spain from Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. It crashed onto a mountain covered by fog in Turkey. They all died. But Spain was not only affected by flight accidents: on the 3rd of July 2006, in Valencia, a train of Line 1 of “Metrovalencia mass tranist derailed on a curve between Jesus station and station Plaça d’Espana. 43 people died and 47 were injured.

• As far as Spanish’s commercial fleet is concerned, we remember the “Prestige oil spill” (19th November 2002): the sinking of the Spanish tanker has been the third most expensive accident for the humanity so far, It provoked an environmental disaster, specially for Galicia’s shores. The fleet has also been victim of terrorism, ad showed by the “Kidnapping Alakrana” : The Spanish tuna vessel was hijacked by pirates 413 miles from Somalia in October 2009 and released 47 days later.

• How to forget the two big diplomatic accidents of Perejil Island and Gibraltar? The former took place on July 2002, when a dozen of Moroccan soldiers landed on the inhabitated island and raised their national flag (the island was Spain’s property). This led to tensions between Morocco’s soldiers and Spanish Civil Guard, tensions which were solved only after the intervention of José Maria Aznar, Spain’s Prime Minister at that time. As far as Gibraltar is concerned, tensions between Spain and the United Kingdom (Gibraltar is a British territory) occured after an accident suffered by a British “HMS Tireless” Nuclear submarine. Tensions have almost fully disappeared now that compensations for the accident have been extended for one year.

• Finally, let’s end with a sort of funny memory: ‘ Why do not you shut up? ‘. Those words, used by King Juan Carlos while addressing to Hugo Chavez in 2007 became a social and Internet phenomenon.

 

Alejandra Pfernandez

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