Zapatero hints Batasuna could join peace talks soon
13 October 2006, MADRID — Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said the banned political wing of ETA would find its path to becoming legalised made easier "if it abided by the law".
13 October 2006
MADRID — Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said the banned political wing of ETA would find its path to becoming legalised made easier "if it abided by the law".
Batasuna had to change into a new political force in order to be legalised, said the Spanish premier.
The party was declared an illegal terrorist organisation in 2003 by Spain's Supreme Court for failing to condemn ETA's terrorist attacks.
Zapatero told reporters Batasuna could take part in the Basque peace process if it complies with the country's Parties Law, which states it must condemn breaking the law.
ETA declared a 'permanent ceasefire' in March, raising hopes it would end nearly 40 years of terrorist violence which has cost more than 800 lives.
But the peace process has been moving slowly.
Recently, street violence by ETA supporters has started again in the Basque Country.
And the main opposition conservative Popular Party refuses to support the socialist government's efforts to start talks with ETA.
A poll published by the Spanish daily El Mundo on Friday found 87 percent of Spaniards were against Batasuna becoming a legal party unless it condemns violence.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news