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ETA prisoners to study at university

Published on 05/07/2004

5 July 2004

MADRID — The prisons authority has approved a plan to allow ETA prisoners to study at a university in the Basque Country, it emerged Monday.

The plan comes despite alleged threats to teachers at the same university from the Basque terrorist group.

At present, former terrorists are only allowed to study through the Spanish equivalent of the Open University, called the National University of Distance Education.

The director general of prisons, Mercedes Gallizo, who announced the plan Monday, said she would try to reach agreements with other Spanish universities to allow ETA terrorists to study.

The move comes after a plan to let former prisoners study at university, agreed by the former Popular Party (PP) government and the then opposition Socialists party during the last parliament.

The agreement was reached with the University of the Basque Country (UPV) after support from nationalist and Socialist parties in the Basque regional parliament.

The move was opposed by the PP, which has urged the Interior Minister José Antonio Alonso to explain to the national  parliament about the plan to allow ETA prisoners to study at UPV.

The PP said that this move goes against the spirit of the reform agreed when it was in government and also breaks the principal of the all-party Anti-Terrorist Pact.

Gallizo said the teaching of ETA prisoners would be carried out with “strict security”.

Gallizo said it wanted to prevent alleged threats made to teachers who had refused to teach at the university because of the plan to allow ETA terrorists to study courses there.

Gotzone Mora, of the Teachers for Freedom, claimed that teachers had stopped teaching because they objected to the plan or had been threatened by ETA.

The new scheme could start in October.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news