Police bar Basque radical from TV debate

5th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

5 April 2005, SAN SEBASTIAN- Police prevented the spokesman of banned radical Basque party Batasuna from entering a Basque television debate on the April 17 regional election to which he wasn't invited.

5 April 2005

SAN SEBASTIAN- Police prevented the spokesman of banned radical Basque party Batasuna from entering a Basque television debate on the April 17 regional election to which he wasn't invited.

Police and a security guard refused to allow Arnaldo Otegi into the Basque television studios minutes before the debate recorded Monday afternoon for evening transmission.

Otegi slammed the station for not allowing a legislator to contribute to a broadcast by a station "paid for with the taxes of all citizens ... including thousands of people who vote for the pro-independence left."

Basque regional government president Juan Jose Ibarretxe, a moderate nationalist, took part in the programme along with three mainstream Basque party opponents.

Batasuna, banned two years ago over alleged links with armed group ETA, is barred from fielding candidates at the poll as is another pro-independence list, Aukera Guztiak, for the same reason, following court rulings.

ETA, regarded as Batasuna's military wing, is held responsible for the deaths of more than 800 people in a four-decade struggle for independence for the northern region.

The Spanish government has refused to enter into talks with ETA unless it lays down its weapons.

Opinion polls show Ibarretxe's coalition is heading for an absolute majority, unprecedented since the first regional poll 25 years ago.

Batasuna had seven lawmakers elected to the 75-strong outgoing regional
parliament, Otegi being one of them.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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