"Cycle of violence is history"
17 August 2007, VITORIA (EFE) – The four-decade campaign of violence of Basque separatist group ETA in Spain is over, the leader of the Basque regional government said on Friday.
17 August 2007
VITORIA (EFE) – The four-decade campaign of violence of Basque separatist group ETA in Spain is over, the leader of the Basque regional government said on Friday.
"The cycle of violence of ETA is finished for good", said Lehendekari (regional prime minister) Juan Jose Ibarretxe, member of the pro-nationalist but non-violent PNV.
Ibarretxe added, however, that although ETA's heyday was over that would not prevent "seriously upsetting" terrorist acts.
In a speech, Ibarretxe predicted serious changes in the next four years in the Basque region where he said the society was tired of a lack of a solution to calls for greater independence from Madrid and an end to violence.
He said all the democratic political parties in government shared "fundamental concepts such as saying a clear no to violence and yes to the defence of human rights even to those who have committed tremendous crimes",
They also agreed: "The future of the Basque people is going to be decided here and never in Madrid".
Armed separatists ETA have killed around 850 people in their violent campaign for separation from the rest of Spain which started in the 1960s under dictator Franco.
ETA supporters want an independent Basque Country composed of some of north-west Spain and parts of south-east France.
A number of political parties in the region also favour varying degrees of further autonomy from Spain's central government although the region already has extensive autonomy.
(Copyright EFE with Expatica 2007)
Subject: Spanish news