Spain acts against Basque separatist political parties

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The supreme court has started the process of liquidating the assets of two outlawed parties - Basque Nationalist Action and Communist Party of Basque Lands.

MADRID – Spain's supreme court Monday began the process of dissolving two Basque separatist parties considered fronts for the banned political wing of the armed group ETA.

The Basque Nationalist Action (ANV) and Communist Party of Basque Lands (PCTV) were outlawed in September but continue to run about 100 Basque municipalities and hold seats in the Basque parliament.

The supreme court gave the two parties 10 days to state their case and started the process of liquidating their assets while freezing their bank accounts.

The move followed an outcry in Spain over the killing early this month of a 71-year-old businessman by suspected gunmen from the armed separatist group ETA in the small Basque town of Azpeitia.

The town's ANV mayor and councillors refused to condemn the attack.

Both parties are suspected to have served as a front for ETA's banned political wing, Batasuna, in elections.

Spain's top anti-terrorism Judge Baltasar Garzon suspended their activities for three years in February, barring them from running in Spain's legislative elections in March.

ETA, considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States, is blamed for the deaths of 825 people in its 40-year campaign of bombings and shootings to carve a Basque homeland out of parts of northern Spain and southwestern France.

[AFP / Expatica]

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