Tributes to ETA prisoners 'an insult' to victims

12th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 August 2005, MADRID – The awarding of honours in the Basque county to two serving ETA prisoners was on Friday branded "an apology for terrorism" and a "humiliation" for its victims.

12 August 2005

MADRID – The awarding of honours in the Basque county to two serving ETA prisoners was on Friday branded "an apology for terrorism" and a "humiliation" for its victims.

Montse Canive, conservative PP spokesperson on the town council in Amurrio, said that during the launch of the town's festival, cardboard cut-outs of José Ángel Biguri Camino and Santos Braganza were wheeled out and a tribute was paid to the pair.

The first was hung with a garland of flowers and a ribbon carrying the title "Maid of Honour, while the second was also given flowers and the title "Queen of the Festival".

"These people are in prison for belonging to a terrorist group that has murdered people who were our colleagues and who have made life impossible and tried to kill people in the PP, the PSE, and also the PNV," said Canive.

"To pay tribute to these people is abandoning and humiliating their victims and constitutional representatives."

Canive blamed mayor Pablo Isasi Aguirre, a member of the Nationalist Basque Party (PNV), for the event, adding that the garlands were hung by members of the Eusko Alkartasuna (EA) party, which is an ally to the PNV.

The ceremony came just several days after both conservatives and socialists on the town council decided to boycott a lunch held by the mayor for the festival because a representative from Batasuna – the illegal political wing of ETA – was invited.

It also comes the week a demonstration called by Batasuna under the slogan of "now the people, now the peace" was banned. The Batasuna leadership has warned the march called for Sunday at San Sebastian, timed to coincide with the start of the Semana Grande festival, will go ahead and it has threatened trouble could follow if the police attend.

On Friday, in an interview on the radio station SER, the Basque interior minister Javier Balza said it wasn't up to Batasuna to say where the police could and couldn't go. "What the Basque police is not going to do is recognise no-go zones on the streets of Euskadi (the Basque country)," he said.

He said the police would be present on Sunday and would use force if it was necessary to protect ordinary citizens from criminal activity.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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