Zapatero says no ETA violence will be tolerated
24 April 2006, MADRID — Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero says no violence would be tolerated in the wake of two attacks one month after ETA's ceasefire.
24 April 2006
MADRID — Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero says no violence would be tolerated in the wake of two attacks one month after ETA's ceasefire.
Zapatero's remark came after an arson attack on the business of a councillor from the conservative UPN party, an ally of the national opposition Popular Party (PP).
Police have attributed the blaze to ETA.
In another incident, hooded figures attacked the offices of a building company in Getxo, in the Basque Country, throwing fire bombs.
"In no case, in no location, no matter where," will violence of any kind be tolerated, said Zapatero during a huge Socialist Party rally in Madrid to mark the second anniversary of his government.
"Making peace demands as much courage as it does prudence, as much firmness as generosity, as much unity as loyalty," and it also includes honouring the memory of the victims of terrorism, he said.
The ceasefire which started on 24 March had held until the fire on Saturday gutted the ironmongers store owned by councillor Jose Antonio Mendive, of the Union of Navarre Party, or UPN, ve in the town of Beñarain.
According to the official version, the fire started at the store at about 4.30am on Saturday, after someone broke a window, entered and splashed inflammable liquid around and set it alight. The blaze spread rapidly, fed by the paint and solvents in the store.
The flames were put out an hour later, after which three policemen were hospitalised for inhaling smoke but were soon released, while a 10-month-old child was kept at the hospital under observation as a precautionary measure.
Fifty-six apartments were evacuated in the building, but most returned home a short time later.
All parties including the main opposition Popular Party have given their support to Zapatero over trying to find peace with ETA.
Before the summer recess, Zapatero plans to ask parliament for authorisation to open a dialogue with ETA, provided that the terrorist group adheres to its declared intention to completely halt all violence.
ETA has killed 817 people in a 38-year campaign to create an independent Basque homeland from parts of northern Spain and south-western France.
Meanwhile, among the achievements during his tenure, Zapatero pointed to the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq; raising the minimum wage, the amounts of pensions and scholarships; and approving laws to protect women from domestic violence and legalising marriage between gay people.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news