ETA helped Spain's transition to democracy: writer

12th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

The ETA bomb which killed a former prime minister in line to replace Francisco Franco allowed Spain to transit from dictatorship to democracy.

MADRID – Spain should be grateful to the Basque separatist group ETA for assassinating a former prime minister who was in line to replace dictator Francisco Franco, said top British author Martin Amis.

"There are not many reasons to thank ETA for something, but in this case yes," Amis told journalists at the Hay Festival Alhambra in the southern city of Granada over the weekend.

Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco was assassinated in an ETA bomb blast in Madrid in December 1973 just six months after being named prime minister and a top deputy to Franco.

ETA should be thanked "for assassinating a man who was going to replace Franco," an act which allowed Spain to become a constitutional monarchy, said Amis.

Franco took power at the end of the 1936-39 civil war. On his death in 1975, control of the country was handed to King Juan Carlos, who oversaw Spain's transition from dictatorship to democracy.

ETA, considered a terrorist organisation by both the European Union and the United States, has killed 825 people in Spain in its 41-year campaign of bombings and shootings for an independent Basque homeland.

Amis, who was partly educated in Spain, also said the country's royal family was "more normal" than Britain's but needed to "integrate more into society."

For that, he said Crown Prince Felipe's marriage to a journalist, Princess Letizia, was a good thing.

AFP / Expatica

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