ETA 'offers to give up arms in deal with Madrid'

23rd May 2005, Comments 0 comments

23 May 2005, BILBAO — The Basque terrorist organisation ETA offered to end the armed struggle if Spanish prime minister Jose Rodriguez Zapatero would release the group's prisoners, it was claimed.

23 May 2005

BILBAO — The Basque terrorist organisation ETA offered to end the armed struggle if Spanish prime minister Jose Rodriguez Zapatero would release the group's prisoners, it was claimed.

The Spanish philosopher Fernando Savater has claimed Zapatero told him in a private meeting that he had received an offer from ETA a few months ago to give up its weapons.

ETA's condition was that its prisoners should be released from jail, Savater told the Spanish daily El Mundo.

The claim came after ETA launched more bomb attacks at the weekend.

One bomb exploded on Sunday outside the house of a businessman in the city of Zarautz, in Spain's Basque region, but no one was injured, police said.

Earlier the same day, police deactivated another bomb planted near a restaurant in the same city.

Zapatero said, meanwhile, that the only option for the Basque terrorist group ETA was "to break up and put down its arms," adding that in the end there would be "the clear victory of the rule of law."

Zapatero, who was in the southern province of Jaen, expressed his "profound repulsion" over the bombing in Zarautz.

Last Tuesday, the lower house of the Spanish parliament authorized Zapatero's Socialist government to open a dialogue with ETA if the Basque separatist group renounces the use of arms.

The full Congress approved the motion presented by the ruling Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and supported by all the body's political groups except for the conservative Popular Party (PP), the main opposition force.

ETA, which stands for "Euskadi Ta Askatasuna" - or Basque Homeland and Freedom - appears on the EU and U.S. lists of terrorist groups and has killed some 850 people since 1968 in its campaign to create an independent Basque state carved out of parts of northern Spain and southern France.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news


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