ETA calls on Spain to respond to ceasefire
23 March 2006, BILBAO — The Basque separatist group ETA urged Spain and France Thursday to respond positively to its declaration of a permanent ceasefire.
23 March 2006
BILBAO — The Basque separatist group ETA urged Spain and France Thursday to respond positively to its declaration of a permanent ceasefire.
In its second statement in two days, the armed group also called for its supporters to help make a peaceful solution to the Basque conflict possible.
ETA's new statement, published in the Basque daily newspaper Gara, said:"It is the moment to speak out.
"All sectors together must make serious commitments so that all together we can construct the democratic solution that Euskal Herria [the Basque region] needs.
"It is the moment to act with courage and take deep decisions, moving from words to action."
It follows the announcement of a permanent ceasefire on Wednesday – a first for the organisation after 38 years of armed struggle.
José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has warned that any peace talks will be "difficult".
Eta has admitted killing 817 people in its fight for independence for the Basque region of northern Spain and south-west France.
The ceasefire will come into effect on Friday.
Some experts say this could be the beginning of the end of violence in the Basque region.
ETA has been badly weakened in recent years.
The last deadly ETA attack was in May 2003.
Some analysts said ETA's campaign became virtually untenable after the Madrid train bombings in March 2004, blamed on Islamists, caused widespread popular revulsion.
Since 1999, Spanish and French police have also carried out a wave of arrests which are said to have hit the organisation hard.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news