Zapatero to start talks with ETA after truce 'genuine'

18th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

18 April 2006, MADRID — José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said the ETA permanent ceasefire was genuine and the government could begin talks with the terrorist organisation.

18 April 2006

MADRID — José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said the ETA permanent ceasefire was genuine and the government could begin talks with the terrorist organisation.

In a radio interview with Cadena Ser, the Spanish prime minister said that a report from the secret services found no cause to doubt the terrorist group's determination to give up the armed struggle.

It also said extortion letters sent to businessmen in the Navarre region, which were first thought to have been posted after last month's announcement of a truce, had been sent beforehand.

Zapatero said he would tell parliament that "the government is to begin talks with ETA".

In an interview to mark two years as prime minister, Zapatero said his first action had been to withdraw Spanish troops and the latest has been to read the secret service report on ETA.

He said that although extortion letters sent by ETA were sent some time last month, it was clear they had been sent before 24 March, when the ceasefire came into force.

José Manuel Ayesa, president of the Navarre Business Confederation, claimed last week ETA was still involved in blackmailing the Basque business community to fund its terrorist operation.

Most political parties have asked the government to be cautious about the ETA truce.

ETA announced for the first time last month a 'permanent ceasefire'.

It had made ten truce announcements before, breaking all of them. The last was in 1998 and lasted only 11 months.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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