Madrid tells ETA peace does not come at a price

22nd June 2006, Comments 0 comments

22 June 2006, MADRID — The Spanish government on Thursday rebuffed a new move by ETA to try to force Madrid to take the peace process forward.

22 June 2006

MADRID — The Spanish government on Thursday rebuffed a new move by ETA to try to force Madrid to take the peace process forward.

Interior minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba was responding to the latest statement from ETA in which the separatist group asked the Spanish government to "move from words to deeds".

It came almost three months after ETA announced a permanent ceasefire in March.

Issued a day after the arrests in Spain and France of a dozen ETA members, the statement reaffirmed the ceasefire while also asking Madrid to rescind "all the repressive and emergency measures" deployed against the armed group and its outlawed political wing, Batasuna.

Rubalcaba said: "We have been saying to ETA all along: that it knows perfectly well what it has to do, which is to abandon violence and forsake any hope of achieving its political objectives."

"The peace process has rules" that were approved by parliament in May, Rubalcaba said, the first of which is that "peace does not have, nor will it ever have, a political price."

Another rule, "even more simple, is called the rule of law," the minister said.

ETA said on Wednesday that "peace is possible here and now," but urged the Spanish government to end "the repression that still persists".

"The Spanish authorities must adopt and fulfil their commitments to cease fire, guaranteeing the complete cessation of repression, of attacks against the collective of political prisoners and of the pressure, blackmail and extortion against the acts of the pro-independence left," the statement said.

The government of Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero expects to announce next week the framework for opening a dialogue with ETA.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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