Zapatero determined despite concern over peace talks

27th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

27 November 2006, MADRID — Despite growing concern about the Basque peace process, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he wants to try to end ETA terrorism.

27 November 2006

MADRID — Despite growing concern about the Basque peace process, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he wants to try to end ETA terrorism.

"We're not going to change in our willingness to try," said Zapatero, in reference to the huge demonstration called the day before in Madrid by the Association of Victims of Terrorism and supported by the conservative Popular Party (PP).

At the demonstration, demonstrators accused Zapatero of surrendering to ETA, which declared a cease-fire in March.

But the Socialist leader said "the important thing is not who ends the violence. The important thing is that the violence ends".

He then said that the process under way in Spain "demands effort, intelligence and any help would be very advisable, but we're not going to change in our willingness to try for democratic reasons, because it's an ethical duty and (because we're) thinking about the future of life and freedom".

Angel Acebes, PP secretary general, called upon Zapatero to "come out of your confusion".

The government's dialogue with ETA, which has not yet brought forth any specific fruit, is going through a delicate phase after the group recently stole 350 pistols from an arms factory in France and has continued to stage street violence in the Basque Country.

Statements by the leadership of ETA's banned political arm, Batasuna, recently have become more assertive, but violence perpetrated by the terrorist group - including a number of bombings - has not killed anyone in more than three years.

ETA has killed more than 800 people in its nearly four-decade-long campaign to carve out an independent Basque state from parts of northern Spain and southwestern France.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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