Batasuna call on ETA to 'save permanent ceasefire'

8th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

8 January 2007, SAN SEBASTIAN — The leader of the banned political wing of ETA pleaded with the terrorists on Monday to "maintain its ceasefire" despite the bombing of Madrid airport.

8 January 2007

SAN SEBASTIAN — The leader of the banned political wing of ETA pleaded with the terrorists on Monday to "maintain its ceasefire" despite the bombing of Madrid airport.

Arnaldo Otegi, leader of Batasuna, asked ETA on Monday to "maintain intact the contents of its announcement of 22  March" - the date when the Basque separatists said they would give up their armed struggle.

In a a press conference in San Sebastián, Otegi asked the government to "keep the democratic conditions" to enable dialogue to start.

Otegi said it was important talks should take part in the absence of violence.

Until now Batasuna has not commented directly on ETA's role in the bombing, which killed two, nor has it condemned the attack.

Meanwhile, the government will try to form a pact between all parties in the fight against terrorism.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was holding talks with the leader of the opposition, Mariano Rajoy, who heads the conservative Popular Party.

The government wants to united under a joint pact which includes the nationalist Basque party, the PNV, and Popular Party (PP).

The PNV are a key ally for the socialist government in the Basque Country, while the PP are the main opposition.

Meanwhile, on Saturday police dispersed thousands of people in San Sebastian, who took part in an illegal  demonstration prohibited by Spain's high court.

The rally was organized by the so-called Pro-Amnesty Movement, which, according to the judge who issued the ban, is a front for the illegal group Askatasuna which  demands amnesty for ETA prisoners.

Similar illegal protests were staged last year to demand the relocation to the Basque region of ETA members jailed in other parts of the country.

The organizers decided to hold Saturday's demonstration despite the judicial ban and several thousands of people arrived in the vicinity of this northern city's Anoeta Stadium, among them leaders of Askatasuna and members of the outlawed Batasuna, ETA's political wing.

Demonstrators chanted "No amnesty, no peace" and "Fighting is the only way".

The incidents came on a day when rescue workers recovered the corpse of a second victim of last week's car bombing at a parking garage at Madrid's Barajas Airport.

The body of the 19-year-old Ecuadorian was flown - along with his loved ones - to his homeland later Saturday.

Another Ecuadorian was found dead earlier in the week amid some of the 40,000 tons of rubble created by the powerful explosion.

The men became the first fatalities in an ETA attack in over three years, while the 30 December bombing was the first terrorist action mounted by the group since it  announced a cease-fire in March 2006.

ETA has killed more than 800 people in its four decades-old campaign to create an independent Basque nation from parts of northern Spain and southwestern France.

Police earlier this week found bomb-making material and an almost-complete explosive device thought to belong to ETA in the Basque region, stoking fears that the group could carry out more attacks.

Spain's Basque region enjoys significant autonomy and is governed by a moderate nationalist party that, like the great majority of Basques, rejects ETA and terrorist violence.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject Spanish news


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