ETA ends 40 years of terror with permanent ceasefire
22 March 2006, SAN SEBASTIAN — The Basque terrorist group ETA declared an end Thursday to nearly four decades of violence with a permanent ceasefire.
22 March 2006
SAN SEBASTIAN — The Basque terrorist group ETA declared an end Thursday to nearly four decades of violence with a permanent ceasefire.
The organisation, which has killed more than 800 people since taking up arms in 1968 during the Franco dictatorship, announced its "permanent ceasefire" in a communique sent to the public radio and television network of the Basque Region.
The organisation said the ceasefire, to take effect on Friday, is intended "to promote a democratic process in the Basque Country to construct a new framework in which the (Basque people's) rights will be recognised".
It advocated conditions in which "the possibility of development of all political positions is assured."
At the conclusion of a period of political exchange of ideas, "Basque citizens must have the last word and decision about their future," the statement said.
The regional Basque government is headed by moderate nationalists who repeatedly over the years have condemned ETA and the use of violence for political ends.
But the moderates also are seeking what they call "sovereignty" without a complete break from Spain, and have vowed to hold a referendum on the way to attaining that goal.
In response to ETA's declaration, the Spanish government advised the people to take it with "caution" and "prudence".
Even so, Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega called it "good news".
Last month, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said conditions were ripe for expecting "the beginning of the end" of ETA violence.
He noted that the group had not carried out any fatal attack in nearly three years.
The government had previously announced its willingness to talk with the organisation once it declared an end to its armed campaign.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news