Spanish parties, victims urge ETA to disband

5th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Spanish political parties and a victims' group Sunday urged the Basque separatist group ETA to surrender its arms for good and disband, calling its ceasefire announcement inadequate.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialist government had yet to react formally after ETA said it had decided several months ago to halt "armed offensive actions". But Spanish newspapers including El Pais cited sources as saying the government was being cautious and showing scepticism.

"This announcement is clearly insufficient," said the ruling Socialist Party number three, party secretary Leire Pajin.

"We again demand that ETA do what most of Spanish society wants: disband and abandon arms once and for all," she told the private radio station Cadena Ser.

The head of the right-wing opposition Popular Party in the Basque country, Antonio Basagoiti, said the ETA statement was insufficient.

"The declaration we want is the definitive dissolution (of ETA)," he told the same radio.

The ETA announcement "had all the signs of a tactical manoeuvre" ahead of Basque municipal elections in 2011, he added.

"We must not forget that we are a few months away from the municipal elections in which they (the Basque separatists) want to come back at any price," he said.

ETA's political wing Batasuna has been banned from running for office since 2003 because of its ties to the armed group.

Angeles Pedraza, head of the Association of Victims of Terrorism, denounced the ETA statement.

"It has no credibility because ETA has already had several truces and continues to kill," she told Cadena Ser radio.

"The only thing that matters to us as victims is their total defeat, the surrender of arms and disbandment of the group," she added.

ETA is held responsible for the deaths of 829 people in more than 40 years of attacks.

© 2010 AFP

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