July 25, 2013

After a horrific disaster in northwestern Spain yesterday, involving the derailment of an express train killing at least 80 people, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is already feeling the heat from angry critics of his message of condolence to victims and their families. The statement appeared to include a section cut and pasted from a statement previously sent to victims of an earthquake in Gansu, China.

 

I would like to express my deepest condolences for the loss of human lives and the material damage from the earthquake that has occurred in Gansu has caused.

In crisis situations such as this speed is, inevitably, of the essence. This is, however, a sad example of a mistake stripping a message of any personal touch in the most sensitive and serious of situations. For the families of victims looking for consolation, this is worse than saying nothing at all.

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