Victims stage mass protests against ETA talks

12th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

12 July 2006, MADRID — Terrorism victims' groups staged demonstrations across Spain on Wednesday against government plans to start peace talks with ETA.

12 July 2006

MADRID — Terrorism victims' groups staged demonstrations across Spain on Wednesday against government plans to start peace talks with ETA.

The Association of Victims of Terrorism joined with the Ermua Forum, the Foundation for the Defence of the Spanish Nation and White Roses of Dignity.

The staged rallies in 21 Spanish cities.

Under the slogan 'Surrender in my name, no!',  the organizers condemn what they consider the "process of capitulation to the terrorist band ETA".

The demonstration was timed to mark the ninth anniversary of the murder by ETA of councillor Miguel Angel Blanco in the Basque town of Ermua.

Blanco, a conservative Popular Party (PP) councillor,  was kidnapped and 48 hours later was murdered despite highly emotional demonstrations all over the country pleading with ETA to release him.

The killing in 1997 led to mass demonstrations against ETA which saw six million Spaniards take to the streets.

It led to the decline of the Basque separatist organisation.

Last month, the National Court jailed Javier Garcia Gaztelu and his girlfriend Irantzu Gallastegi to 50 years in prison for Blanco's murder.

The demonstration is the first to be called by AVT - the largest association of ETA victims - since Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced the beginning of talks with the terrorist organization last month.

AVT has promoted several demonstrations over the past year and a half, with the support of the opposition Popular Party, against   the anti-terrorist policies of the government and the prospect of a dialogue with ETA.

In a statement, the AVT said the dialogue was the start of a "long, hard, difficult road toward the fragmentation of Spain as a nation" and called it a "frontal and irreparable attack against our rule of law".

"Giving in to terrorist blackmail as the government of Rodriguez Zapatero proposes means legitimizing the killings and extortion of the murderers while completely snubbing the victims."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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