9 January 2004
SAN SEBASTIAN- The speaker of the Catalan parliament was at the centre of a row over a visit by ETA supporters to his private office.
Ernest Benach, the speaker in the regional parliament of Catalonia, had a 15-minute meeting with a group representing ETA prisoners.
The group had staged a hunger strike protesting at the treatment of ETA prisoners.
But Benach was labelled “immoral” and the visit condemned as “an insult” by members of a group for victims of ETA attacks.
The Collective of the Victims of Terrorism in the Basque Country (Covite), said in a statement: “Those prisoners are prisoners because they have killed or helped other people to Hill innocent people”
They asked Benach “when they form an association of wife-beaters, will he receive them?”
They claimed the meeting was “an insult to the memory of the victims of terrorism” and “only served to breath life into the world of ETA.”
They said that if justice had been exercised properly in the last few years, many members of Covite, would not have lost their relatives at the hands of ETA.
The group added: “The only proof. that that we have of the extinction of ETA is that murders and aspiring murderers are sent to prison and that last year, there were the least amount of murders in the history of Spain.”
Benach has defended his meeting with the prisoners’ group in Barcelona.
ETA, which is fighting for an independent Basque Country, has been responsible for some 800 murders over the 30 years during their terrorist campaign.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news