Undoubtedly in shock, the driver may or may not have lied to hide this breach of company regulations but the conductor certainly did. He never mentioned it in his statements to the police and the judge and he initially denied it yesterday, when El País asked him about a call. I assume he'll be arrested very soon, if he hasn't been already.
As we await further revelations, Asdif and RENFE have announced that, even though the crash had nothing to do with their management of the track and the trains, they are revising their safety procedures. Which begs a few more questions, of course.
As with most nationals, I guess, the Spanish can be more acute observers of themselves than foreigners can. Talking to a friend the other day about the way the Spanish media quickly sets up individuals as figures of hate - the captain of the Prestige, Madeleine McCann's mother, the driver of the Santiago train, for example - he commented that this was the most Latin aspect of the Spanish and the way in which they most resembled South Americans. I have no idea whether this is true or not but, if it is, then it must be safe to assume that the government is not only aware of this tendency but capable of using it to manipulate the people at a time like this. Indeed, this is exactly what the Aznar government tried to do in immediately blaming the 2004 Madrid bombings on the Basque terrorist group, ETA. However, these attempts were so premature and so cack-handed they backfired. And an election was lost as a result.
The most obvious of examples of attempted manipulation around the Santiago tragedy were the immediate attempts by Adif, RENFE and the national government to exculpate themselves and inculpate the driver and the attempt by the regional president, Sr Feijoo, to raise the spectre of foreign commercial interests taking advantage of the crash to besmirch the reputation of Spain's high-speed train industry.
One Spanish commentator has made the point that the Spanish people are obsessed with their rights but rather less concerned with their obligations and responsibilities. As he said, no one ever resigns for anything here. Certainly not politicians and, though it's possible that Sr Rajoy will today admit in parliament that he and his colleagues were receiving illegal back-handers for several years from an illegal slush-fund, there's no possibility whatsoever that anyone will fall on his or her sword. As they say, a people gets the politicians it deserves. Something needs to change in the attitudes of the populace here before politicians will change for the better. A small start would be to stop voting crooks back into power.
Finally . . . Eight years after construction began and 2 years after it finished, it's looking like the houses behind mine will finally be occupied. Or at least made ready for sale. Electricity has been connected and a car-park type barrier has been installed on the access road. Which will upset the two 'wild' dogs which have been using it as a sleeping area, conveniently close to the rubbish bins. Progress.