Talks with ETA will end violence forever: Zapatero

8th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

8 June 2005, MADRID — Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has insisted dialogue with the Basque terrorist group ETA would mean they would end their armed struggle "forever".

8 June 2005

MADRID — Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has insisted dialogue with the Basque terrorist group ETA would mean they would end their armed struggle "forever".

Zapatero was speaking after a huge demonstration involving at least 800,000 people in Madrid last weekend against the Socialist government's recent moves for talks with ETA.

Last month, the Spanish parliament backed for the first time the premier's call for dialogue with ETA.

In an address to the upper house of parliament, Zapatero insisted peace would be "the best tribute" to more than 800 people who have been killed by ETA since it started its campaign for Basque independence in 1968.

But Pio Garcia Escudero, a senator with the opposition centre right Popular Party(PP), accused the Socialist government of shifting its stance, away from supporting the victims.

Zapatero hit back, saying the PP had changed its own stance from when it was in power and secretly held talks with ETA.

He added: "Until today, this is the only government since the transition(to democracy) which has not held talks with ETA. We are clear about the facts.

"If there is any chance that we can begin talks which will lead to ETA giving up its arms, we will do it.

"I feel sure that the majority of Spaniards feel we should talk with ETA so there are no more victims."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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