ETA 'will declare a truce within three months'
12 September 2005, MADRID — The Basque terrorist organisation ETA is set to announce a truce in the next three months, according to a report in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.
12 September 2005
MADRID — The Basque terrorist organisation ETA is set to announce a truce in the next three months, according to a report in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.
The right-leaning paper said the Spanish government and ETA have been in contact through intermediaries with a view to reaching a truce in the armed conflict which has been underway since 1968.
ETA has murdered more than 850 people in its struggle for an independent Basque Country in north-west Spain and south-east France.
According to the paper, this truce will take place in the next three months unless ETA unexpectedly changes course.
The behind-the-scenes negotiations have been underway since August when ETA signalled it wanted to end the armed struggle.
Since then talks have born fruit and it was now hoped a truce could be reached.
The truce would come despite a series of attacks by ETA on targets which have not caused any injuries.
If ETA gave up its armed struggle, it would allow Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to have open talks with the Basque separatist organisation.
Earlier this year, Spain's parliament voted to allow the government to hold official talks with ETA on condition they stopped terrorist attacks.
Previously this had not been possible and all talks between Madrid and ETA were unofficial.
One of the key points for negotiation, if a truce were reached, would be the status of the 800 ETA prisoners held in jails across Spain.
Batasuna, the banned political wing of ETA, has been putting pressure on the government to come to some deal over the terrorist prisoners.
They have had demonstrations in favour of prisoners.
The Spanish secret services have reports which suggest ETA could carry out their first lethal attacks for more than two years, if no deal were reached on this issue.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news