Basque police official optimistic about ceasefire
28 March 2006, BASURI, SPAIN – A senior Basque police official said Tuesday that he was "optimistic about the permanent ceasefire" announced by the armed separatist organization ETA and said that if it leads to the end of terrorism, security in the three-province region would benefit.
28 March 2006
BASURI, SPAIN – A senior Basque police official said Tuesday that he was "optimistic about the permanent ceasefire" announced by the armed separatist organization ETA and said that if it leads to the end of terrorism, security in the three-province region would benefit.
Chairman of the Basque Association of Local Police Chiefs, Cesar Perez, told reporters that the ceasefire “was a historical act which has nothing to do with other truces” announced by ETA over the years.
ETA, which has carried out a bloody campaign to establish an independent Basque state in north-eastern Spain and south-western France since the late 1960s, announced the ceasefire last week.
Perez noted that because of ETA’s attacks, the Basque regional police were forced to carry out bodyguard duties and other anti-terrorism related tasks, and so those officers were unable to assist municipal police in the fight again common crime.
With the end of terrorism, the region’s police forces would be able to concentrate on common criminals, he said.
ETA’s principal targets were members of the Spanish security forces, followed by politicians and journalists who were against the group’s aims and methods. Three years ago, the terrorists killed a municipal policeman in the town of Andoain.
Although municipal police were not involved in anti-terrorism operations, which is the duty of the Basque regional Ertzaintxa police, Spanish National Police and the Guardia Civil, the local officers would be called to provide support following attacks or bomb threats, Perez said.
The chairman also noted that as most of the association’s members were in their late 40s and early 50s, “that with the (Franco) dictatorship and then ETA, we have never lived in true freedom”.
(Copyright EFE with Expatica)
Subject: Spanish news, ETA