ETA condemned as it ends all political murders

20th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

20 June 2005, BILBAO — Conservatives and victims' groups have reacted angrily after ETA announced it has stopped attacks on politicians.

20 June 2005

BILBAO — Conservatives and victims' groups have reacted angrily after ETA announced it has stopped attacks on politicians.

The Basque terrorist group ETA called on Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government to distance itself from a multi-party anti-terrorism pact signed five years ago.

An ETA statement published in its entirety on Sunday, a day after portions first appeared in the online editions of the Basque newspapers Gara and Berria, said the government "should distance itself from trying to revive the repressive strategies" of the pact.

In 2000, the then-ruling Popular Party (PP) signed the anti-terrorist state agreement with the Socialists in an effort to eliminate ETA while defending civil liberties in the Basque region.

When the pact was approved in December of that year, the two parties vowed to maintain a constant policy against terrorism outside the political arena and not to use ETA violence under any circumstances to gain a political advantage.

ETA announced on Saturday it was discontinuing "armed" activities against "elected representatives of Spain's political parties".

The decision was motivated by the "political changes" the group had recently observed, ETA said.

But the PP on Sunday called ETA's latest moves a "macabre game".

"ETA is controlling the timeframe and setting the rules of the game," PP secretary-general Angel Acebes said, urging the government to change its anti-terrorist policy.

The Spanish government's position is that ETA must renounce violence once and for all.

Last month, the Spanish parliament passed a resolution urging the government to initiate a dialogue with ETA if the terrorist group laid down its arms.

The PP categorically rejects the offer of talks that Zapatero made to the organisation.

In 1998, ETA declared a cease-fire and met with representatives of then-prime minister Jose Maria Aznar's government.

The talks were inconclusive, and ETA resumed its terrorist attacks in January 2001.

ETA, which seeks to form an independent Basque state from parts of northern Spain and southern France, has killed more than 800 people since it launched its bloody campaign in the 1960s.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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