Expatica news

Basque separatist party menaces street violence

11 August 2005

SAN SEBASTIAN – The Basque country could see more street violence after the political wing of ETA warned the police off attending a march it has called for Sunday.

On Tuesday, Batasuna had called for a ‘peace’ demonstration in San Sebastian for the start of the Semana Grande festival, but the following day, the Basque country’s regional government banned it from going ahead.

The government said, as an illegal political party, Batasuna had no right to organise gatherings and that it feared ETA-backed public order disturbances similar to those caused late last month after local festivals. Then, a gang of 50 masked people went on the rampage, damaging businesses and causing a fire at a flat.

On Thursday, Batasuna called a press conference to state that if the Basque police were not present at the march, there would be no incidents. But it threatened, if there was a police presence, it would hold the Basque interior minister Javier Balza responsible for any problems, as well as the party PNV.

Last year, and in 2003, demonstrations were also called in San Sebastian and were allowed to go ahead. Two years ago, one finished with the burning of the Spanish flag by a masked gang with shouts in favour of ETA.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news