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Council of Europe hails ETA laying down arms

Published on 21/10/2011

The announcement by the Basque separatist group ETA that it was laying down its arms after more than 40 years shows that "terrorism can never win," the Council of Europe said on Friday.

“I agree with Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s statement that this is a victory for democracy,” council General Secretary Thorbjorn Jagland said in a statement.

“ETA’s announcement shows that terrorism can never win. A society where terror is present cannot be free, and Spain has suffered the tragic consequences of terrorist violence for far too long,” he said.

“I would like to honour the memory of the many victims in Spain and France and their families, who have endured so much suffering in the last decades. I also wish to express my support to Spanish society and the authorities, which have upheld the principles of democracy and the rule of law against horror.”

ETA announced on Thursday that it was ending Western Europe’s last major armed separatist campaign, which has been blamed for 829 deaths since it began in 1959.