ETA truce causes political war in Spain
19 February 2004
MADRID – The row over the ETA truce in Catalonia escalated Thursday with the government criticising the opposition socialist party’s stance on terrorism.
Eduardo Zaplana, spokesman of the ruling conservative Popular Party (PP), claimed the opposition socialist PSOE party should distance itself from Catalan politicians linked to the terrorist group.
Jose Lluis Carod-Rovira, leader of left-wing nationalist ERC and former deputy leader of the Catalan regional government, resigned last month after his secret meeting with ETA was exposed by a newspaper.
The scandal has damaged the Left in Spain in the run-up to the general election on 14 March.
After ETA declared a truce in Catalonia Wednesday, right-wing politicians claimed this was the result of Carod’s meeting with ETA.
The PP has claimed Jose Luis Zapatero, leader of PSOE, should distance himself from the Catalan government, which is run by a three-party pact which includes the socialists and ERC.
Zaplana said Thursday the socialist group should break links with ERC.
Zaplana denounced the PSOE for being “in with the ERC” which “had formed a pact with ETA so the terrorists could kill in all Spain except Catalonia”.
But Zapatero urged the PP to call the all-party Anti-Terrorist Pact to discuss in what way his party had failed to abide by its principles.
In Spain, there is an all-party agreement against terrorism.
Zapatero added that it needs to be the president of the Catalan regional government, Pascual Maragall, who decides what political implications the ETA truce has for his authority.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news