ETA show of force puts the peace process in doubt

25th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

25 September 2006, BILBAO — Three hooded and armed ETA terrorists said the Basque terrorist organisation 'will fight until independence'.

25 September 2006

BILBAO — Three hooded and armed ETA terrorists said  the Basque terrorist organisation 'will fight until independence'.

The message, first published in the Basque newspapers Gara and Berria, was read the day before by three men carrying weapons in the Basque town of Aritxulegi during the Gudari Eguna ceremony, in which homage was paid to fallen ETA fighters.

"The struggle is not the past; it is the present and the future," said the message, reported on Monday in most Spanish dailies.

The move came just days after the six-month anniversary of the ceasefire declared by the separatist group, which has been trying to carve out an independent Basque state from portions of northern Spain and southwestern France for four decades.

More than 800 people have been killed during that time in the campaign of violence.

In June, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced the start of talks with ETA, which had declared a permanent ceasefire on 22 March for the first time.

ETA has declared ten previous 'truces' but had always broken them.

On 22 September, six months after the start of the ceasefire, ETA's banned political arm - Batasuna - urged the Spanish government to accelerate the peace process, even as Madrid was calling for "serenity" and "prudence".

Zapatero announced that at the end of the month the government would report on how the peace process was progressing.

The premier said the government would continue "with firmness" along the road to peace with ETA, and he asked the nationalist group "to only do politics and nothing more than politics," during a socialist party event in the Catalan town of Gava on Sunday.

"We're going to continue down the road with firmness, and ... (all) those who support or practice violence should know that the rules of the game are ... clear: legality and peace," he said.

The hooded ETA terrorists called for "ceaselessly continuing the struggle until Euskal Herria (the Basque Country) is free," adding that "firmly confronting the oppression experienced (here) is an essential task for guaranteeing the survival of our people."

In addition, the trio called for the commitment of all to that effort, saying that "we will build the independence of Euskal Herria with our daily actions".

Street violence in support of ETA has been mounting in recent week in the Basque Country.

On Friday night, a radio station in Pamplona and a cash machine were attacked with Molotov cocktails.

Another firebomb attack was staged against a courthouse in the town of Markina, in Vizcaya province.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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