Madrid 'still not convinced' ETA wants to give up arms

17th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

17 May 2006, MADRID — The interior minister has dealt a blow to hopes of peace with the Basque separatist organisation ETA by saying the government is still not convinced the terrorists want to give up the armed struggle.

17 May 2006

MADRID — The interior minister has dealt a blow to hopes of peace with the Basque separatist organisation ETA by saying the government is still not convinced the terrorists want to give up the armed struggle.

Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba admitted that the government has not reached the conclusion that ETA wants to "put an end to the violence".

But he said that there was a "solid basis" for keeping the peace process with ETA alive.

ETA announced a permanent ceasefire in March, raising hopes the terrorist organisation had given up violence for good after 38 years of attacks in pursuit of a separate Basque state.

The government is waiting to assess the situation before asking parliament for its formal permission to begin talks with ETA.

Three police and security service reports have said ETA has stopped all its terrorist activities, including running extortion rackets to fund the movement.

The government has asked for prudence while it tries to verify if ETA is serious about peace.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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