ETA 'reached peace deal month before ceasefire'

10th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 July 2006, BILBAO — The Spanish government and ETA reached a peace agreement in February, according to a report on Monday.

10 July 2006

BILBAO — The Spanish government and ETA reached a peace agreement in February, according to a report on Monday.

Gara, the Basque newspaper which acts as a mouthpiece for the Basque separatist organisation, reported that Madrid and the terrorists had reached a secret deal the month before ETA announced its first 'permanent ceasefire'.

Citing various unnamed sources, Gara said the deal had taken eight months to reach and both sides started secret talks outside Spain in June 2005.

The newspaper said a key date was 10 February, when Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said he was convinced Spain had reached "the best moment in many years to start to see the beginning of the end of the violence".

Gara also said Madrid has promised to respect the decisions which the Basque people adopted.

But Diego López Garrido, the ruling socialist party spokesman in parliament, said "a democratic government could never have made an agreement with a terrorist organisation".

Ángel Acebes, secretary general of the conservative opposition Popular Party, said Zapatero should explain "what promises he has made and what accords he has reached".

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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