One year after truce, Batasuna blasts Spanish government

5th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

ETA's outlawed political wing, Batasuna, Monday accused Spain's government of failing to make any constructive moves toward peace in the one year since the Basque separatist group announced a ceasefire.

"We have to enter into this new period with a constructive will," said Txelui Moreno, the head of the radical nationalist Basque Left, an informal grouping of militants from Batasuna.

He told a news conference the government had failed to take "a single constructive step in this direction."

ETA announced on September 5, 2010 it had decided several months earlier that it would "not carry out armed offensive actions."

Four months later, on January 10, it declared a "permanent and general ceasefire" to be verified by the international community.

But Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero rejected the declarations, saying he wanted nothing less than ETA's dissolution.

Interior Minister Antonio Camacho said last week that ETA "has not renounced violence" and reiterated that the government "will maintain the same policies, and the one who has to take the step is ETA."

Moreno urged Spain's Socialist government to be "open to paths" to verify the ETA ceasefire.

Batasuna was banned in 2003 because of its supposed links with ETA, which is held responsible for 829 deaths in a four-decade campaign of bombings and shootings for independence for the Basque Country of northern Spain and southwestern France.

ETA, weakened after years of arrests of its senior leaders, has not committed an attack on Spanish territory since August 2009.

© 2011 AFP

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