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20 April 2006
MADRID — A new draft law could give victims of terrorism help finding jobs and homes as well as cash compensation.
The government is seeking to put the law before parliament at the same time it is hoping to ask for backing for possible talks with the Basque separatist organisation ETA.
Last month, ETA declared a permanent ceasefire for the first time, raising hopes of an end to its 38-year campaign of violence.
The law would offer financial compensation for victims of ETA and Islamic terrorists.
But it would also give victims or their families help in finding work and housing, reported the Spanish daily El Pais.
The law is intended to reduce opposition from victims' groups to any concessions the government may make to ETA – particularly with regard to terrorist prisoners.
The possible release of ETA prisoners in a similar manner to what happened in Northern Ireland with IRA and Unionist terrorists, is still political unpalatable.
José Manuel Rodríguez Uribe, director general of the Commission for Victims of Terrorism, said: "The experience of years of terrorism tells us that the problems of victims are not just economic and social, but affect many areas.
"A integral law is therefore needed."
But Mariano Rajoy, leader of the conservative opposition Popular Party, said ETA should hand in its weapons to show it really is giving up its armed struggle.
The draft law is expected to come before parliament in the summer.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news
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