"We are under a moral obligation to honour the memory of the victims of Yak-42" says María Dolores de Cospedal

ollowing the legal opinion issued by the Council of State, the Minister for Defence stressed that the public authorities will recognise their pecuniary responsibility because "this does not only end in guaranteeing the fundamental principles and values of our democratic State, but actually starts with them".

"I would like this administrative procedure to finally be resolved in a healing process and to at least mitigate part of the pain suffered. The victims deserve this, the families need this and society calls for this", remarked the minister during the course of her appearance.

This pecuniary responsibility "is based on a principle of solidarity". This was how María Dolores de Cospedal underlined that the State's pecuniary responsibility lies in redressing the injuries unlawfully caused in the operation of the public services, "which the injured party is not under a legal obligation to bear".

As regards the economic claims, "in full accord with the opinion issued by the Council of State, the Ministry of Defence will act in accordance with the recommendation made by the consultative body, in the understanding that these have been sufficiently met".

"We must learn our lessons"

To end her speech, Minister Cospedal stressed that "this government will continue to take the best decisions possible so that these tragic and unfortunate lessons that life provides us with are not forgotten. This must be done in order for the unfair sacrifice of many to not be in vain and so that, in the end, we can perform the quality public service that we must carry out as efficiently and effectively as possible, in accordance with the means that our citizens make available to us".

In this regard, the minister recalled that the armed forces now have better resources, thanks to investments in their modernisation. Accordingly, the Boeing 707 model has been modified to improve its strategic transportation capabilities, two T-22 (A310) aircraft have been purchased to the same end, the first A400M aircraft has now been received and a study is underway to purchase A330MRTT aircraft when the economic situation improves.

Meeting between María Dolores de Cospedal and the Association of Victims of Yak-42

The Minister for Defence, in her meeting on 10 January with the Association of Victims of Yak-42 personally conveyed her support and her unwavering commitment to the memory of the victims and she told them that she would follow the opinion issued by the Council of State, despite its non-binding nature.

Furthermore, María Dolores de Cospedal passed on to them her full disposition to collaborate with their requests.

Daniel Dixon