Ibarretxe undaunted by opposition to plan

18th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

18 January 2005, BILBAO — Juan José Ibarretxe, the Basque regional prime minister at the centre of a major political row over his plan for Basque independence, is to seek a second meeting with the Spanish premier.

18 January 2005

BILBAO — Juan José Ibarretxe, the Basque regional prime minister at the centre of a major political row over his plan for Basque independence, is to seek a second meeting with the Spanish premier.

The Basque regional prime minister is to write to Zapatero and the leader of the right-wing Opposition Popular Party, Mariano Rajoy, to propose another meeting to "talk and open the process of negotiation".

Ibarretxe met prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero last week to discuss the so-called Ibarretxe plan.

But Zapatero told Ibarretxe his plan to give the Basque Country more independence from Madrid had no future.

The row over the so-called Ibarretxe Plan was re-ignited when the Basque parliament unexpectedly passed the plan on 30 December.

The Basque regional prime minister claims that if his plan is adopted it will force the Basque terrorist organisation ETA to call a truce.

But ETA has said it will not support the plan as it does not go far enough.

Ibarretxe is determined to hold a referendum amid stiff opposition from the Spanish government and the main Opposition parties in Spain who claim the plan breaks the Constitution.

Ibarretxe wants to create a Basque state "freely associated" with Spain.

Miren Azkarate, Ibbaretxe's spokeswoman said the Basque leader will write by tomorrow to request another meeting.

She added that if the Spanish parliament rejected the plan it will "multiply a million times the Basque political problem".

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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