Madrid to start first talks with ETA 'within month'

18th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

18 September 2006, BILBAO — The Spanish government is to start talks with ETA within a month, it was reported on Monday.

18 September 2006

BILBAO — The Spanish government is to start talks with ETA within a month, it was reported on Monday.

The Spanish daily El Pais reported on Monday that Madrid will begin the first talks with the Basque terrorist organisation before the end of October.

The report came after thousands of people took part in a peaceful demonstration in support of ETA prisoners on Sunday.

The protest, in several cities in the Basque Country and France, was called by Etxerat, the association of prisoners' relatives, authorities said.

The five demonstrations were held in Bilbao, San Sebastian, Vitoria and Pamplona in Spain, and in Bayonne in France.

They were supported by the Basque terrorist group's banned political arm, Batasuna.

The demonstrations came after two other protests scheduled for Saturday by the banned Askatasuna and by prisoners' relatives and attorneys were banned by the Spanish National Court, the Basque government's interior department and by the Government Delegation in Navarre.

National Court Judge Baltasar Garzon declared the marches illegal.

They had been called to support the relocation to the Basque Country of imprisoned ETA members, ruling that the demonstrations constituted a challenge to the state.

The relocation of imprisoned ETA members to jails in the Basque Country or in nearby parts of Spain has been demanded by sectors close to the armed band and also by moderate nationalist groups who feel the measure would help push the peace process forward.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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