ETA warns of new violence after period of 'reflection'

25th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

In a newspaper interview, the Basque separatist group says it is planning a new and ‘effective’ campaign of violence.

Madrid – The armed Basque separatist group ETA on Monday warned it is planning a new and "effective" campaign of violence after a period of "reflection".

"As an armed organisation, being effective and having an effective strategy becomes the focus and concern of our discussion," an ETA member told the pro-independence Basque newspaper Gara.

"In this regard, before the summer, we will end a process of reflection and assembly, the aim of which is to establish an effective political-armed strategy," he said.

Two ETA members, identified as 'Gaueko' and 'Argi', were interviewed by Gara, which is often used by the group to release its statements. The newspaper translated the interviews into Spanish from the Basque language.

Their statements came less than three weeks after Patxi Lopez, the regional leader of the Socialist Party that holds power in Madrid, was inaugurated as the first non-nationalist head of the Basque government.

Unlike his predecessor, Juan Jose Ibarretxe of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), Lopez rejects any negotiations with ETA.

Gaueko told Gara that the Basque political situation is "very worrying, not because the PNV has lost its power, but because that power is in the hand of the Spanish fascist alliance."

At the end of April Spanish police said they had detained ETA's suspected military operations chief, Jurdan Martitegi, who they said was preparing a bomb attack at the investiture of the Basque government.

The two ETA members also condemned the cooperation between France and Spain, which has led to the arrests of a number of top ETA leader since last year.

"A game is being played between what this (Basque) country needs and what Spain and France needs," Gaueko said.

The ETA officially called off a 15-month ceasefire in June 2007, saying it had grown frustrated with the lack of progress in tentative peace talks with the Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

AFP / Expatica

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