Expatica news

France vows to ‘finish off ETA’

21 January 2004

MADRID – French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Spain Wednesday for talks on continuing cooperation between the two countries in cracking down on the Basque terrorist organisation ETA.

ETA has killed more than 800 people, mostly members of the Spanish security forces, in its 36-year armed campaign to create an independent Basque state.

The terrorists use France as a planning, logisitics and training base for their attacks in Spain.

Last year, French anti-terrorist police rounded up 48 alleged ETA members or supporters and there are 130 people linked to the organization currently jailed in France.

“No one can doubt that France wants to finish off ETA,” Sarkozy said in an interview published Wednesday in the Spanish daiy ‘El Pais’.

“There can be no compromise with ETA,” he added.

Sarkozy is hold a working lunch in Madrid with his Spanish counterpart, Angel Acebes, to discuss the joint fight against the separatist group, police cooperation in other matters and illegal immigration, the Spanish sources said.

Accompanying Sarkozy on his visit are France’s top anti-terrorist magistrate, Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere, and the directors of the French National Police and the Gendarmarie as well as other senior security officials.

During his stay, Sarkozy is also to receive the Grand Cross of the Order of Carlos III from Spanish Prime Minister José Maríá Aznar in appreciation of his efforts against ETA in France since he was appointed interior minister in May, 2002.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news