Fraga in surprise call for mercy for ETA prisoners

14th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 June 2005, SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA — Manuel Fraga, the only former minister from the Franco era with a major role in Spanish politics, surprised supporters by saying ETA prisoners could be granted mercy.

14 June 2005

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA — Manuel Fraga, the only former minister from the Franco era with a major role in Spanish politics, surprised supporters by saying  ETA prisoners could be granted mercy.

Fraga, the head of the regional government in Galicia, north-west Spain, and a leading figure in the conservative Popular Party, faces re-election on Thursday.

Opinion polls have suggested Fraga may not be re-elected after serving more than 20 years as the figurehead of Galician politics.

In an interview with the Europa Press news agency, Fraga said if the Basque terrorist group were to give up their arms, ETA prisoners could be granted mercy.

He said: "I don´t want vengeance".

Fraga added he had sympathy for a "total amnesty" for ETA members, once a peace deal had been reached.  

He did not say that all ETA prisoners should be released unconditionally as with the case of the Northern Ireland Good Friday peace accords.

But Fraga did say they could be shown a deal of "benevolence".

His comments will come as a surprise to supporters and opponents alike.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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