King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia presided the state funeral of the 154 victims of the Spanair plane crash at Barajas airport on August 20th, which was held in the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid last Thursday It was officiated by the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, Antonio María Rouco Valera. The funeral was also attended by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and his wife Sonsoles, Firast Deputy Prime Minister María Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, Madrid Community President Esperanza Aguirre, Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon and opposition leader Mariano Rajoy. In response to criticisms by the Union of Islamic Communities and the Evangelical Church that the religious ceremony was a strictly Catholic one, the deputy prime minister said that had been the wish of the victims’ families.


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