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Basque separatist group ETA says weapons surrender next on agenda after renouncing violence By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, November 11, 12:36 PM MADRID — The Basque separatist group ETA, which renounced violence last month after spending more than 40 years trying to shoot and bomb its way into achieving an independent state, now says surrendering weapons is on its agenda, a newspaper reported Friday. The Basque newspaper Gara, often seen as an ETA mouthpiece, quoted two members as saying that the group — severely weakened by years of arrests — is prepared for the first time to negotiate over its arsenal. “The issue of weapons is included on the negotiating agenda between ETA and the State and we are willing to talk about it and to undertake compromises in line with resolving all the consequences of the conflict,” they said in a long interview with the paper. No such ‘negotiating agenda’ is known to exist and the word ‘consequences’ is often interpreted as referring to the 700-odd ETA prisoners held in Spanish and French prisons. The members asserted that ETA has not renounced its goal of an independent Basque state. Neither was named, because ETA is classified as a terrorist organization in Spain and naming them would presumably have led to their immediate arrest. In a much awaited statement on Oct. 20, ETA declared a halt to its campaign of violence. It said it now backs only peaceful means for achieving its goal. The group has killed 829 people since the late 1960s and is considered a terrorist organization by Spain, the EU and the U.S. In the interview, the ETA members said negotiations it envisions with the Spanish and French governments as part of its Oct. 20 statement should center on three issues: returning ETA prisoners and “Basque political exiles” to the Basque country — they seem to suggest this be done through an outright amnesty — disarming ETA and removing Spanish National Police from the region. The Basque region has its own police force. France is mentioned because the independent homeland ETA wants includes parts of southwest France. General elections are scheduled for Nov. 20 in Spain, and many saw the interview as a way to plug a pro-Basque independence coalition, Amaiur, that is fielding candidates.

11/11/2011 8:48


Basque separatist group ETA says weapons surrender next on agenda aft...

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Ramon Jauregui, outgoing Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s chief of staff, said disarming would be a “definitive verification” that ETA has renounced violence, but said the interview was clearly aimed at reaping an “electoral premium” for Amaiur. The conservative Popular Party, expected to win the elections, has ruled out any negotiations with ETA. It had no immediate comment on the interview. The ETA members reiterated in the interview that the people of the Basque region have the right to decide between independence and remaining part of Spain. It is now up to pro-independence parties to pick up where ETA left off, they said. The Spanish constitution has no clause, however, that would allow the Basque country to break away and form a sovereign country. As was the case in the Oct. 20 statement, the two did not apologize to ETA’s victims — a highly sensitive issue in Spain. They, instead, said both sides in the conflict have suffered. “The armed confrontation of the last few decades has caused much suffering, without a doubt. So have ETA’s actions. We are not insensitive.” The two members referred to assertions that ETA had ended violence because it had been defeated by police action as “propaganda” to weaken the pro-independence cause. ETA’s decades of attacks have made “a major contribution” to where the pro-independence movement is now at, they added. Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Links Hot Stock Alert Company's Breakthrough Technology Makes The Internet Up To 10x Faster. www.TheStockDetective.com

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11/11/2011 8:48


Basque separatist group ETA talks of disarmament | The Associated Pres...

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Basque separatist group ETA talks of disarmament By: DANIEL WOOLLS | 11/11/11 4:10 AM Associated Press

The Basque separatist group ETA, which renounced violence last month after spending more than 40 years trying to shoot and bomb its way into achieving an independent state, now says surrendering weapons is on its agenda, a newspaper reported Friday. The Basque newspaper Gara, often seen as an ETA mouthpiece, quoted two members as saying that the group — severely weakened by years of arrests — is prepared for the first time to negotiate over its arsenal. "The issue of weapons is included on the negotiating agenda between ETA and the State and we are willing to talk about it and to undertake compromises in line with resolving all the consequences of the conflict," they said in a long interview with the paper. No such 'negotiating agenda' is known to exist and the word 'consequences' is often interpreted as referring to the 700-odd ETA prisoners held in Spanish and French prisons. The members asserted that ETA has not renounced its goal of an independent Basque state. Neither was named, because ETA is classified as a terrorist organization in Spain and naming them would presumably have led to their immediate arrest. In a much awaited statement on Oct. 20, ETA declared a halt to its campaign of violence. It said it now backs only peaceful means for achieving its goal. The group has killed 829 people since the late 1960s and is considered a terrorist organization by Spain, the EU and the U.S. In the interview, the ETA members said negotiations it envisions with the Spanish and French governments as part of its Oct. 20 statement should center on three issues: returning ETA prisoners and "Basque political exiles" to the Basque country — they seem to suggest this be done through an outright amnesty — disarming ETA and removing Spanish National Police from the region. The Basque region has its own police force. France is mentioned because the independent homeland ETA wants includes parts of southwest France. General elections are scheduled for Nov. 20 in Spain, and many saw the interview as a way to plug a pro-Basque independence coalition, Amaiur, that is fielding candidates. Ramon Jauregui, outgoing Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's chief of staff, said disarming would be a "definitive verification" that ETA has renounced violence, but said the interview was clearly aimed at reaping an "electoral premium" for Amaiur. The conservative Popular Party, expected to win the elections, has ruled out any negotiations with ETA. It had no immediate comment on the interview. The ETA members reiterated in the interview that the people of the Basque region have the right to decide between independence and remaining part of Spain. It is now up to pro-independence parties to pick up where ETA left off, they said. The Spanish constitution has no clause, however, that would allow the Basque country to break away and form a sovereign country. As was the case in the Oct. 20 statement, the two did not apologize to ETA's victims — a highly sensitive issue in Spain. They, instead, said both sides in the conflict have suffered. "The armed confrontation of the last few decades has caused much suffering, without a doubt. So have ETA's actions. We are not insensitive." The two members referred to assertions that ETA had ended violence because it had been defeated by police action as "propaganda" to weaken the pro-independence cause. ETA's decades of attacks have made "a major contribution" to where the pro-independence movement is now at, they added.

URL: http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/11/basque-separatist-group-eta-talks-disarmament

14/11/2011 22:17


ETA talks of disarmament, daily says - Hurriyet Daily News

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http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=eta-talks-of-disarmament-d...

ETA talks of disarmament, daily says MADRID Friday, November 11, 2011 The Basque separatist group ETA, which renounced violence last month after spending more than 40 years trying to shoot and bomb its way into achieving an independent state, now says surrendering weapons is on its agenda, a newspaper reported Nov. 11. The Basque newspaper Gara, often seen as an ETA mouthpiece, quoted two members as saying that the group, severely weakened by years of arrests, is prepared for the first time to negotiate over its arsenal. “The issue of weapons is included on the negotiating agenda between ETA and the State and we are willing to talk about it and to undertake compromises in line with resolving all the consequences of the conflict,” they said in a long interview with the paper. No such ‘negotiating agenda’ is known to exist and the word ‘consequences’ is often interpreted as referring to the 700-odd ETA prisoners held in Spanish and French prisons. The members asserted that ETA has not renounced its goal of an independent Basque state. Neither was named, because ETA is classified as a terrorist organization in Spain and naming them would presumably have led to their immediate arrest. In a much awaited statement on Oct. 20, ETA declared a halt to its campaign of violence. It said it now backs only peaceful means for achieving its goal. The group has killed 829 people since the late 1960s and is considered a terrorist organization by Spain, the EU and the U.S. In the interview, the ETA members said negotiations it envisions with the Spanish and French governments as part of its Oct. 20 statement should center on three issues: returning ETA prisoners and “Basque political exiles” to the Basque country, they seem to suggest this be done through an outright amnesty, disarming ETA and removing Spanish National Police from the region. Compiled from AP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff. © 2011 Hurriyet Daily News URL: www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=eta-talks-of-disarmament-daily-says-2011-11-11

14/11/2011 22:12


Basque group ETA says disarmament 'on agenda': press - Univision Wires

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http://wires.univision.com/english/article/2011-11-10/basque-group-eta...

Basque group ETA says disarmament 'on agenda': press Basque separatist group ETA is ready to discuss laying down its weapons, it said in comments published Thursday, after last month declaring an end to armed activity. "Disarmament is on the agenda and ETA is willing to accept compromises," the Basque newspaper Gara quoted ETA as saying in an interview with two of its spokespeople, in extracts published on its website. Gara said the interview would be published in full on Friday. ETA announced in a video last month that it had decided to abandon a campaign of violence after more than four decades of bombing and shooting that claimed 829 lives. That historic statement was widely welcomed but met with some reservations since the group said nothing about handing over its arms nor disbanding as Spanish authorities have demanded. The group, which seeks to carve out a homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France, called on the Spanish and French governments to open direct dialogue over "the consequences of the conflict". Neither France nor Spain formally responded to the call for dialogue with ETA, which is classified as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States. Spain's centre-left Socialist government welcomed the declaration but said it will not soften its stance on ETA before November 20 general elections, widely expected to deliver power to the Popular Party (PP). Gara, regularly used as a mouthpiece by the group, said the ETA spokespeople in the interview detailed their proposals to the Spanish authorities and their view on the prospect of the conservative PP coming to power. The leader of the PP who polls show is likely to be elected prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has said he will not negotiate with ETA. gr-rlp/sg/gk

14/11/2011 22:09


ETA : les séparatistes basques bientôt désarmés? - RTBF Monde

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http://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_espagne-l-eta-se-dit-prete-a-s-en...

MONDE | jeudi 10 novembre 2011 à 19h36

ETA : les séparatistes basques bientôt désarmés? Le groupe séparatiste basque ETA s'est dit prêt jeudi à s'engager sur la voie du désarmement, trois semaines après avoir annoncé la fin de 40 ans de lutte armée, dans une interview au journal basque Gara. "Le désarmement est à l'agenda et l'ETA est disposée à prendre des engagements", ont déclaré deux porte-parole du groupe dans cette interview à paraître vendredi, dont le journal basque a publié un extrait dans son édition en ligne. Cette déclaration, nouveau pas de l'ETA à dix jours des élections législatives du 20 novembre, est la première du groupe depuis l'annonce du 20 octobre. Très affaiblie, l'organisation séparatiste avait alors annoncé "l'arrêt définitif" de la lutte armée, après plus de 40 ans de violences pour l'indépendance du Pays basque. L'ETA n'avait en revanche annoncé ni son désarmement ni sa dissolution, et avait assorti sa décision d'une demande de dialogue adressée aux gouvernements espagnol et français, restée sans réponse. Depuis des mois, l'ETA était sous forte pression de la gauche indépendantiste basque, issue de sa branche politique Batasuna, qui a fait le choix des urnes plutôt que de la violence et espère gagner du terrain lors des législatives, en faisant son entrée au Parlement espagnol. Le chef de file de l'opposition de droite Mariano Rajoy qui, selon les sondages, devrait gagner les élections face aux socialistes et diriger le prochain gouvernement espagnol, s'est dit opposé à toute négociation avec l'ETA. Pas à la table des négociations Selon Gara, les porte-parole expliquent dans cette interview "leur position actuelle face à l’État espagnol et plus concrètement face à la probable arrivée du Parti populaire" de droite au gouvernement. "L'ETA ne s'assoira pas à la table de la négociation politique", ajoutent les porte-parole qui se disent convaincus, selon leurs propos paraphrasés par le journal, que la clé des avancées se trouve dans la société basque. Ils évoquent également, écrit Gara, différents scénarios, "par exemple ce qu'ils pensent qui arriverait si l'Etat espagnol choisissait de bloquer complètement la situation". En réclamant dans son annonce du 20 octobre l'ouverture d'un dialogue sur "les conséquences du conflit", l'ETA faisait allusion en particulier à ses 700 prisonniers détenus dans les prisons espagnoles et françaises, dont les familles ne cessent de dénoncer l'éloignement. Cette question des prisonniers, selon de nombreux observateurs, devrait être utilisée par le groupe comme levier pour une future négociation. La décision annoncée le 20 octobre "n'a pas été simple", assurent encore les porte-parole, affirmant qu'elle leur inspire "un grand sentiment de responsabilité". AFP

14/11/2011 22:42


Basque group ETA may be willing to give up weapons

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Basque group ETA may be willing to give up weapons AFP

NOVEMBER 11, 2011

Basque separatist group ETA is considering laying down its weapons, it said in comments published Thursday, after last month declaring an end to more than 40 years of bombing and shooting. "Disarmament is on the agenda and ETA is willing to make commitments," the Basque newspaper Gara quoted ETA as saying in an interview with two of its spokespeople, in extracts published on its website. Gara said the interview would be published in full on Friday. ETA announced in a video last month that it had decided to abandon a campaign of violence after more than four decades of attacks that claimed 829 lives. That historic statement was widely welcomed but met with some reservations since the group said nothing about handing over its arms or disbanding as Spanish authorities have demanded. The group, which seeks to carve out a homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France, called on the Spanish and French governments to open direct dialogue over "the consequences of the conflict." Neither France nor Spain formally responded to the call for dialogue with ETA, which is classified as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States. Spain's centre-left Socialist government welcomed the declaration but said it would not soften its stance on ETA before November 20 general elections, widely expected to deliver power to the Popular Party (PP). Gara, regularly used as a mouthpiece by the group, said the ETA spokespeople in the interview detailed their proposals to the Spanish authorities and their view on the prospect of the conservative PP coming to power. The leader of the PP, Mariano Rajoy - who polls show is likely to be elected prime minister - has said he will not negotiate with ETA. Gara said the interview would expand on last month's declaration which it says it had been building up to for at least a decade and was comparable in significance to the founding of the group. The Oct. 20 announcement prompted hope among Basque separatists that they can now make more progress through political channels, after Basque parties performed strongly in local elections in May. Š Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

14/11/2011 22:44


irishtimes.com - Basque politics in the post-Eta era - Sat, Nov 12, 2011

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Basque politics in the post-Eta era PADDY WOODWORTH Sat, Nov 12, 2011 THE BASQUE CONFLICT has always reflected the viciousness, intimacy and complexity of a family quarrel. In 2001, I interviewed Loren Arkotxa, then mayor of Ondarroa, an iconic fishing village. He had been a member of Eta – Euskadi Ta Askatuta, or Basque Country and Liberty, the pro-independence armed group – in his youth. He now represented Batasuna, a radical Basque nationalist party that was banned the following year for its refusal to condemn Eta’s terrorism. He was an avuncular man who wore his contradictions remarkably comfortably. He was a Marxist who owned a medium-sized business, and a Basque nationalist whose proudest achievement as mayor was to have commissioned a cosmopolitan new bridge by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. But those were dark times in Basque local politics. Councillors from the big Spanish parties needed 24-hour bodyguards, because they were targeted, often successfully, by Eta. There was just one representative of the Spanish nationalist Partido Popular (PP) on Ondarroa’s municipal council when I interviewed Arkotxa. Threats from Eta had forced Germán Lopéz Bravo to abandon his home place, and he arrived at council meetings late, and left early, so that his movements would not be predictable to potential assassins. “I fully understand why Germán does this, and I take no offence at it,” said Arkotxa, as if this were a generous expression of tolerance. “I would do exactly the same were I in his position.” Biting my tongue, I asked whether he knew the man personally. “I know him well,” he said. “We used to sing in the same choir as kids. It’s unfortunate that his family’s politics led him to join the PP.” “Let’s just suppose,” I asked, “that one day you somehow learned that Eta actually planned to kill him. What would you do?” “I would do everything in my power to save his life,” he answered without hesitation, and with what seemed like real conviction. “Would you do the same for the PP councillors in another town?” “Ah, well,” he said, spreading his hands apologetically. “I don’t know them, do I?” This interview, like many others in the Basque Country over the past 30 years, reminded me of an apparently simple question that had haunted me since I first came across it in Joseba Zulaika’s superb and disturbing study of Itziar, his home village, Basque Violence: Metaphor and Sacrament: “But how is this possible?” The question was asked of Zulaika, a stonemason’s son newly qualified as an anthropologist, by some local women in the summer of 1975. They had just returned from a local shopping trip by bus. On the outskirts of Itziar, two young men rose abruptly from their seats and shouted at Carlos, the driver: “You are a dog!” Then they shot him dead. Carlos was a popular local man, and the women had all known him since he was in nappies. But he had come under suspicion of being a police informer. The women were conflicted because they admired Eta for its armed defiance of Franco’s once omnipotent military dictatorship. But they didn’t want to see a local boy killed. At that moment, however, the answer to the women’s question seemed fairly straightforward, within the

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irishtimes.com - Basque politics in the post-Eta era - Sat, Nov 12, 2011

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admittedly grim logic of Eta’s ideology. Killings like this were possible, even necessary, because the dictatorship’s police suppressed Basque culture and identity with brutality, and denied all Spanish people the most basic democratic and human rights. This was not just the view of the radical left. Across the nearby border in France, the conservative government routinely granted Eta exiles official status as political refugees. Paris saw the group as anti-fascists, heirs to the tradition of their own Resistance against the Nazis. Many democrats, myself among them, had guiltily celebrated Eta’s dramatic assassination of Franco’s hated prime minister, Adm Luis Carrero Blanco, in 1973. What none of us imagined then was that Eta would continue killing for another 35 years, long after Spain became a democracy and the Basques won extensive powers of home rule. We would not have believed that it would be only now, in the autumn of 2011, that we would at last hear Eta announce the “definitive end of its armed actions”. I first came across the name of Itziar in April 1976, a few months after the killing of Carlos. I was having breakfast at a cafe in Bilbao, where I was teaching English, and the village featured in the newspaper one morning as the scene of further grim events. A Basque businessman, Ángel Berazadi, had been held in a farmhouse near the village by an Eta active service unit for several weeks. He was killed when his family failed to pay a ransom. Years later, I learned from Zulaika the intimate details of the tragic story of Berazadi. I met two of the four young men who had swapped cooking tips with him, like good Basques do, in his attic prison, and then killed him. In those days, one could still simply blame the repression – pervasive as ever, six months after the dictator’s death – for Eta’s violence. A quiet German colleague of mine was picked up off the street at random the weekend after Berazadi died, and thrown into a Guardia Civil jeep. “I have a passport,” he querulously told the officer who was kneeling on his chest. “And I have this,” said the officer, reaching for his holster, then pistol-whipping his face until he bled profusely. He was later released without charge, or even questioning. After two years back in Ireland, I returned to the Basque Country in 1978, and began to write about the conflict for this newspaper. Everything seemed to be changing and mostly for the better. Spain voted for a democratic constitution that December, with provisions for extensive Basque autonomy. Education through the once-banned Basque language, Euskera, was becoming mainstream, and banned Basque emblems were suddenly legal. Despite promises from the big leftist Spanish parties, however, the Basque right to self-determination was not recognised. After decades at the forefront of the fight against the dictatorship, many Basques felt betrayed. However, many others felt Spain was their natural home. “The Basque Country,” former Basque PP leader Jaime Mayor Oreja once told me, “is not just part of Spain, it is the heart of Spain.” The divisions here are not ethnic. Members of the same family express opposed identities. A radical sector of Eta remained convinced that Basque identity could be preserved only in an independent state. Just as Spain opened up to democracy, the group launched an unprecedented terrorist offensive, killing nearly 100 people in 1980 alone, six times more than they had in the last year of the dictatorship. How were such things possible? Outraged Spanish politicians and media denounced the group as merely mafiosi, psychopaths or both, with no political support. But in 1978, Basque radicals close to the thinking of Eta had formed Herri Batasuna. This well-organised coalition repeatedly demonstrated that there was significant backing for “armed struggle” among ordinary decent Basques: it took up to 17 per cent of the vote over the next two decades. Part of this support could be explained by the often indiscriminate, and sometimes lethal, response to Basque radicalism by the new democracy. Torture remained a favoured instrument in the repertoire of the

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police. According to Amnesty International, it has still not been entirely eradicated. IN THE EARLY 1980s, the spiral shifted into an even deadlier gear. Eta was killing many civilians, and more Spanish generals than had ever died in a foreign war. The first Socialist Party (PSOE) government in Spain’s history felt badly squeezed between Eta’s terrorism and threatened army coups. Senior PSOE figures decided to reassure the army that they could play just as tough as the dictatorship. They launched the death squads of the Gal (Grupos Anti-terroristas de Liberación), which killed 27 people and wounded 90 between 1983 and 1987. Their victims included a few notorious Eta leaders, but also many people with no terrorist links. In the Basque Country, the Gal’s dirty war offered up just the evidence that Eta propagandists needed. It proved, they told supporters, that the new institutions were a facade for continued dictatorship. Another generation of recruits was guaranteed. That generation’s violence was relentless, pitiless and increasingly indiscriminate. Huge Eta bomb attacks in Madrid, Saragossa and Barcelona took a heavy civilian toll. Then the group’s offensive stalled abruptly, following the arrest of its three most senior leaders, in a single raid in 1992. But Madrid’s celebrations of Eta’s demise proved premature, as it simply shifted its deadly focus to softer and softer targets, such as ordinary Basque journalists and local politicians. Its extraordinary mystique in its heartlands seemed sadly unshakeable. What made the attraction still harder to understand was the dynamism and prosperity of Basque life. Eta’s violence was bred not in socially deprived ghettos or townships, but in one of the wealthiest and most sophisticated societies in Europe. This is the home of the Guggenheim museum. Every second village seems to have a Michelin-starred restaurant, and IT and services industries are booming. Yet Eta continued to attract young people, from all backgrounds. Slowly, however, the influence of the Irish peace process began to percolate through the Basque radical movement, and then 9/11 and the 2004 Madrid bombings stripped any remaining glamour from the political model of “armed struggle”. Veteran Batasuna figures began to ask Eta once-unthinkable questions when the group failed to grasp the opportunities offered by a promising peace process in 2005. As its armed units buckled under police pressure, its political leadership at last grasped what had been obvious to many others for a long time – that an unarmed democratic strategy for independence might be much more effective than a terrorist campaign. The current ceasefire has seen an unprecedented surge in support for Bildu, a coalition that supports Eta’s aims but explicitly rejects violence. One in four Basques voted for Bildu last May, and at least as many again voted for other nonviolent Basque nationalist options. General elections in Spain next Sunday are very likely to return the deeply conservative PP to power in Madrid. Such a government may find a peaceful movement towards Basque self-determination more deeply challenging than a discredited and crippled Eta ever was. One must hope the new government has the wisdom and flexibility to engage positively with the new situation in the Basque Country, one where nobody has to spend their lives shadowed by bodyguards, and all political options are on the table. I never did learn to answer the question from the women in Itziar to my satisfaction. Now I just hope it never has to be asked again. Paddy Woodworth is the author of Dirty War, Clean Hands: ETA, the GAL and Spanish Democracy (Yale, 2003) and The Basque Country (Signal Books, 2007) © 2011 The Irish Times

14/11/2011 22:47


ETA terrorist group finishes its swan song Print version. English pravda.ru http://english.pravda.ru//world/europe/09-11-2011/119565-eta_basque-...

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ETA terrorist group finishes its swan song 09.11.2011 10:48 There will be one less terroristic threat in Europe. Basque group ETA announced a cease of the warfare with France and Spain, and one of its former leaders was sentenced to 105 years in prison. Yet, this does not mean that the Basque separatist problem (especially in Spanish territory) has been solved. On November 7 The National Court of Spain sentenced the former ETA leader Francisco Javier Garcia Gastell to 105 years in prison. He was found guilty of murder of a politician Fernando Buesy and his guard 11 years ago, as well as two counts of personal injury and forgery. Aggravating circumstance was that the politician was killed by a car bomb. Sentences for terrorist attacks in Spain are significant. The sentence was announced three weeks after another major event. On October 20 a message spread by the Basque newspaper Gara got lost in the message flow of the murder of the former leader of Libya Muammar Gaddafi. "ETA is resolutely stopping its military activities and armed struggle for independence and calls on the Government of Spain and France to begin the negotiation process to resolve the conflict," the statement of representatives of the terrorist group read. The reaction of Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero was more than positive. "Let us live with the conviction of the victory of democracy, law and reason," he said in a televised address to the citizens. As a result, the "victory of democracy" was expressed in a very harsh sentence to one of the leaders of ETA. Yet, can the Basque issue be solved solely through a combination of judicial and police stick and calls for democracy? ETA (Euzkadi Ta Azkatasuna, in the Basque language "Homeland and Freedom") is one of the most prominent terrorist groups in Europe. Its ideological basis was the idea of establishing the Basque government independent from Spain and France. In the 19th century Basque nationalists raised the issue of an independent state. It would include modern Spanish provinces of Vizcaya, Guipuzcoa, Alava and Navarre, as well as French departments do Sul and Lower Navarre LabourĂŠ. The Basques is the people whose language is not similar to any other European languages. This people had no need to prove that they are different from the Spanish (Castilian) or French. In medieval Spain they had certain autonomy, but it was eventually reduced. In France after the Revolution of 1789, all residents were declared "French" and no national autonomy was allowed. The French state is much more powerful than Spanish, and no less than 80 percent of the Basques have lived and continue to live in Spain. Therefore, the struggle to a greater extent is directed against Spain. In 1936, the Republicans came to power in Spain and gave autonomy to the Basque country (with the center in the city of Bilbao). However, a Civil War broke out immediately where the General Francisco Franco came out as the winner. He was a supporter of a united and indivisible Spain, while the Basques wanted the opposite. In 1937, troops loyal to Franco wiped out Basque national shrine - Guernica. This horror story has been glorified by Pablo Picasso in his famous painting "Guernica". Franco's iron fist ruled Spain until 1975. The Basque language was virtually banned - education, broadcasting, newspapers were published only in Spanish (Castilian) language. Some concessions were made only in the 1960s. The autonomy was not even discussed. In addition, people from other regions of Spain were resettled in Bilbao, San Sebastian and other cities. The Basques became a national minority in their own homeland. Seeing no way out, the most radical part of the Basque nationalists resorted to terror. In 1958, several members of the illegal Basque nationalist party founded ETA. The party adopted Marxist ideology. There was some logic in it as the Socialists formed a significant part of the Republicans who fought against the right-wing conservative Franco. Yet its goal was not building communism, but the Basque nation-state - Euskadi. After the first acts of violence ETA was subject to government repression. The Spanish authorities refrained from any official contacts with its representatives, even though informal contacts (according to some sources) did take place. With regard to the flywheel of terror, it was launched by radical Basque nationalists by the end of 1960s. ETA terrorists chose officials and law enforcement officers as their main target. Perhaps the most talked about act of the ETA was the murder of Franco's successor as Prime Minister of Spain Luis Carrero Blanco. The militants were able to dig a tunnel in Madrid under the street where Blanco was driving and install explosives. On December 20, 1973 an explosion followed. The car with the official was thrown to the balcony of a nearby monastery, and it took some time before it was found. Police repressions ensued. After Franco's death in 1975, the new Spanish authorities have embarked on the democratization of the country. Basque Country and Navarre were granted autonomous status, the Basque language, along with Spanish (Castilian), received an official status, and the

14/11/2011 22:50


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population of the above mentioned areas gained the right to elect local parliaments. However, ETA insisted on complete separation from Spain. The truce proposed by the authorities was rejected by the radical nationalists. Explosions continued. The "brand" style of ETA was calls warning of a bomb threat made shortly before the explosion. However, there were still casualties. Terrorist attacks occurred in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and, of course, in the Basque Country. ETA militants attempted to blow up the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992, intended to kill King Juan Carlos and former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, but failed. In 1998, the organization announced a truce, but it lasted only 14 months. In addition to terrorism, radical nationalists did not shy away from politics. For many years the Basque Country and Navarre had Batasuna Party represented both in the local legislature and in the European Parliament. However, in 2003 the organization was banned. All attempts to re-register the party have failed. On the contrary - Spanish authorities started the arrests of Batasuna members. When on March 11, 2004 monstrous explosions have claimed lives of up to 200 people in Madrid, Prime Minister Aznar tried to blame everything on ETA. However, it was not true, as the attacks were arranged by "Al-Qaeda." Aznar lost his seat, and the new Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero entered into a dialogue with the banned Batasuna. In the spring of 2006, ETA has decided to declare a "permanent ceasefire". However, the bombings in Madrid airport in December of that year and in Burgos three years later made the negotiations void. The Spanish authorities have embarked on the arrests of militants of ETA. Since 2008, the ETA began to decline. Law enforcement authorities of Spain with the support of their colleagues from France began detaining the organization's leaders one after another - the last one to be detained was Arronategi in February of 2010 in Ibon. At the same time the court banned the activities of the Basque National Action Party that was also considered a political wing of ETA. Under the circumstances when the organization was decapitated, ETA considered it best to abandon the idea of the armed struggle. Such statements were made on January 10 and October 20 of this year. However, the mere disappearance of ETA from the "big game" does not solve the acute Basque issue. In 2008, the Prime Minister of Basque Country Juan Jose Ibarreche proposed the idea to hold a referendum on self-determination and declare the territory an autonomous community that joined the Spanish state. In Madrid, the popular vote was banned. At the same time, surveys showed that the initiators of the vote could have easily gained the required 50 percent plus one vote. Vadim Trukhachev Pravda.Ru Read the original in Russian

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New constitution platform's Özçer: We would be labeled ‘separatists' for asking greater freedoms 30 October 2011, Sunday / YONCA POYRAZ DOĞAN, ĐSTANBUL 1

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Meet the KCK through the eyes of an esteemed intellectual

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Enlistment of Turkish help from a Chinese perspective

NICOLE POPE

Democratic deficit

Akın Özçer (Photo: Today's Zaman, Üsame Arı)

A former diplomat who served in France and Madrid and has written about the Spanish system of fighting terrorism has said the situation in Turkey regarding finding a solution to the Kurdish problem has improved, but there are still more steps to be taken.

MÜMTAZER TÜRKÖNE

Crisis of democracy

LALE KEMAL

Will Barzani’s mediation work?

“Compared to two years ago, the situation is

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better because at that time when we talked about issues such as the need for Turkey to have

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democratic conditions allowing for the establishment of pro-separatist parties, we would be labeled ‘separatists.' Now those are accepted more readily,” Akın Özçer said in reference to our first Monday Talk with him in September

BEKĐR BERAT ÖZĐPEK

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2009. HASAN KANBOLAT

He reiterated that Turkey needs to go on with its democratization process regardless of the terrorist methods employed by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Kyrgyzstan chooses stability: Atambayev elected president

“What is important is that to allow freedom of space to Kurds. For example, education in

ALĐ BULAÇ

mother tongue is an individual right that should be allowed,” he said. As the Basque separatist group ETA has agreed to end its campaign of violence against the Spanish state -- seen as a significant step toward resolving one of Europe's last remaining

Lessons from the Prophet Jonah who left Nineveh

PAT YALE

armed conflicts -- eyes are on the PKK, which has increased its campaign of violence in the face of efforts started to change the military coup-era constitution to allow more freedoms and rights to citizens.

It’s in the post

FATMA DĐŞLĐ ZIBAK

Answering our questions, Özçer elaborated on the conditions that forced ETA to lay down

Death or murder?

arms and Turkey's Kurdish issue. Why do you think ETA has given up on its armed campaign? Weather First of all, it was militarily defeated both in Spain and France. Their well-known, old leaders have been captured. And the young leaders who replaced the old ones have been captured as

City>>

ISTANBUL

well. According to intelligence sources, they are left with only about 50 young militants. Another important point is that they are no longer able to engage in politics. Batasuna, the political arm of ETA, was banned in Spain in accordance with the 2002 Political Parties Law. However, Batasuna argued at the European Court of Human Rights (HCtHR) that the decision was against freedom of expression and organization. But the European Court of Human Rights did not agree with Batasuna.

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Yes, it did not approve Batasuna's argument on the grounds that Batasuna had organic ties to the ETA, an armed organization. Therefore, no other parties related to the ETA were able to

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participate in the 2009 parliamentary elections in the Basque country. Previously, ANV [Acción Nacionalista Vasca] and PCTV [Partido Comunista de las Tierras Vascas] were banned – ANV represented in the local elections and PCTV in the autonomous parliament. But shortly before

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the election, two parties tied to ETA [D3M (Democracia Tres Millones or Demokrazia Hiru

Syrian opposition deepens Turkish ties, awaits recognition from Arab League

Milioi) and Askatasuna, "Freedom"] were banned by a court ruling from standing in the election. This Basque election increased the number of parties in the Basque parliament to seven. And this election opened the door for a non-nationalist autonomous government. The

Death or murder?

Basque Nationalist Party (PNV)-led government [its government partners for the past decade were Eusko Alkartasuna and Ezker Batua] fared badly. Additionally, the socialists [Socialist

Democratic deficit

Party of the Basque Country (PSE-EE)] gained 25 seats, while the PNV got 30. The ruling party became the socialists supported by the PP [People's Party]. This was a first for the Basque country. As a reason for ETA's decision to give up its armed struggle, you stress in your

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articles that there had been a call from ETA's own base to do it.

Syria apologizes for attacks on diplomatic missions

One of the old leaders of Batasuna, Arnaldo Otegi, had a call from prison two years ago for ETA to lay down arms. Besides, the Basque nationalists, who once went under the name of Batasuna, have been thwarted in their attempt to be registered as a legal party ahead of the May 22 local elections. For terror organizations, local elections are quite important -- as it is

German woman involved in Turks' murder arrested Will Barzani’s mediation work?

also important for the PKK. For the May 22 municipal elections in which mayors are elected, two parties were established. One of them was Sortu, founded by former Batasuna members, which was banned by the Spanish Supreme Court, which said that members of Batasuna were known to have close ties to the terrorist group ETA. Sortu disputed the decision at the Constitutional Court, and at the same time they had a plan B, which was the Bildu. There was a Bildu list consisting of members of the Eusko Alkartasuna, which was found by dissenters from the PNV, Alternatiba -- mostly communists -- and Abertzale Basque nationalists who were not involved in violence. This was a mixed list. Still, the Spanish Supreme Court outlawed Bildu, but shortly before the elections the Constitutional Court approved the Bildu list, and Bildu's mixed list entered the local elections garnering 25 percent of the votes. Batasuna never saw such a success in all its political life. Its most successful rate was 17.9 percent, and this was obtained in an environment of a ceasefire.

‘Turkey needs legislation to enable PKK to lay down its arms' What was the influence of Bildu's success on ETA? First of all, it was about the ceasefire, which has been in effect for the last two years. Bildu said in a way, “If you lay down your arms, we can become successful in elections.” Secondly, Otegi knows that Basque nationalists cannot be organized because of the armed fight. It was obvious that an armed fight was losing -- both militarily and politically -- against the unarmed fight, which was gaining. Political observers have been questioning ETA's decision to lay down arms because ETA has declared permanent ceasefires before and subsequently broken them. The center-right newspaper El Mundo said in an editorial that there is no guarantee ETA will not revert to violence if its goals are not met. What is you opinion about the skepticism? ETA now has two issues: When and where it is going to hand over its arms, and when it is going to dissolve. This is understandable. Because there are about 700 former ETA members who were convicted and who were not given the right to be engaged in politics as a reward for giving up arms. ETA is preparing to ask for their inclusion in politics. Those issues will be negotiated. It is important to note that for the first time ETA does not present conditions in order to lay down its arms. Its declaration does not include their two basic political demands: self-determination and unification of the Basque Country with some of Navarre autonomous community and with the Basque regions in France. In 2005, the autonomous parliament had a decision supported by all nationalists that they demand self-determination. However, according to the Spanish constitution this was taken up in parliament, which rejected it by 321 to 29 votes. When we come to the differences and similarities between ETA and the PKK, there are lots of comparisons made. One is the number of people killed in the conflict. ETA killed 829 people. Stressing the fewer number of people killed in the armed fight of ETA is not important because ETA used guerillas in cities to make selective killings. The PKK uses guerillas in the countryside, so Turkey sends its troops to fight it, and there are a greater numbers of losses. The Basque Country is a very small area. It is not possible to conduct a guerilla fight there, so there is no military involved, there are fewer people involved in the armed conflict. There is one stark difference between Spain and Turkey, and it is democracy. Would you elaborate on that? First of all, the Spanish constitution recognizes the autonomy of the Basque Country, right? The Spanish constitution refers to it as an autonomous community of Spain -- Comunidad Autónoma. Indeed, ETA wants independence. Ahmet Türk [former leader of now-defunct pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP)] had said that they are all for democratic autonomy. But ETA wants independence. When we talk about democracy, we should talk about democratic conditions. For example, Turkey tells the PKK that it should lay down its arms, and in return it can participate in politics. For Turkey to be able to do that, Turkey needs legislation enabling such action. You know what happened at the Habur entry for Kurds coming from the mountains; since there were no laws allowing such an entry, they were put on trial. Secondly, the PKK does not seem to support independence, but it needs a political environment of freedom of expression so even independence can be debated. Turkey lacks that space when it comes to freedom of expression. Thirdly, there needs to be an agreement on what is going to be negotiated with the terror organization. Spain had many talks with its terror organization ETA, but it did not talk about political issues with ETA. With the 1988 Pact of Ajuria Enea, armed groups laid down arms in Spain for the right to enter politics.

‘Education in mother tongue is a basic right' What did the pact say in that regard? The pact said that political issues could be negotiated only with the elected representatives of

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the people. As you know, the prime minister [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] said in regards to solving the Kurdish problem that there should be negotiations with political parties and a fight with terrorism. What is going to be negotiated? It is of course possible to talk with the BDP [Peace and Democracy Party] about what needs to be in the constitution, but this should not be in relation to laying down arms. What is important is to allow freedom of space to Kurds. For example, education in mother tongue is an individual right that should be allowed. This is easy to solve; it is a basic right. But the issue of decentralization is more complex; there are many models that could be suitable for Turkey. Do you think the conditions are ripe to discuss all of those issues in Turkey to solve the Kurdish problem? Compared to two years ago, the situation is better because at that time when we talked about such issues such as should Turkey have democratic conditions allowing for the establishment of pro-separatist parties, we would be labeled ‘separatists.' Now those are accepted more easily. ETA has been supporting independence for a long time, but what would you say about the Basque people's support for independence? They are extremely nationalist. There are three regions in the autonomous community of Spain: Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa and Araba. In the first two, support for independence would exceed 50 percent. The Basque nationalists also demand land from an autonomous community, Navarre, in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country. The Basque Country also includes some northern provinces of France. Still, support for independence would not exceed 50 percent. When we go back to what the Kurdish people of Turkey want… Their mutual demand is the right to education in their mother tongue; this is the basic demand. The BDP supports autonomy, while HAK-PAR [pro-Kurdish Rights and Freedoms Party] and KADEP [Participatory Democracy Party] support a federal system. Of course, Turkey should adopt a form of decentralization. Most people [in Turkey] liken the Turkish system to the French system and desire decentralization as France practices it, but what we lack is that we don't take democratic steps as France did.

‘State should not have an ideology' You're active in civil society working on the constitutional change. Now there is the Constitution Compromise Commission in Parliament. Are you hopeful about it? I would like to be hopeful. The new constitution should make the 1982 constitution of the military null. If not then that would mean another military coup in Turkey. The unchangeable articles of the constitution should be changed to ensure that the country isn't taken into a new coup era. A state should not have an ideology. Right now, the state has an ideology that is Atatürkist nationalism. This is not in line with Article 10 of the constitution that considers all citizens equal without differentiating their political views. These are contradictory. What do you think about the CHP [Republican People's Party] support for a new constitution? I am not hopeful about the CHP. Ergenekon [shadowy crime network with alleged links within the state suspected of plotting to topple the government] seems to have taken the CHP prisoner. My family supported the CHP for generations, but now the CHP is lagging behind when it comes to democracy and human rights.

‘Parties take timeout with ETA until general elections' Neither Spain's conservative Popular Party – which is expected to win the Nov. 20 general election – nor the ruling Socialist party [PSOE] seem to be taking action in regards to the demands of ETA. What is your opinion about the issue? The Basque nationalists increased pressure on PSOE officials. PNV General-Secretary Iñigo Urkullu recently had a tête à tête meeting with Prime Minister [José Luis Rodríguez] Zapatero and had some demands concerning prison conditions of ETA members, etc. But Zapatero did not do anything related to the issue, and the socialist candidate, Alfred Pérez Rubalcaba, said there is nothing to do until Nov. 20. On the PP front, candidate Mariano Rajoy said that they did not have a roadmap yet regarding the issue. So it seems like the parties have taken a timeout until the elections. They avoid polemics. On the other hand, politicians under Bildu were allowed to run in local elections in May and did very well. There is a similar, new party called Amaiur running for seats in the national parliament in Madrid in the Nov. 20 general elections and could also do reasonably well and voice more of their demands.

PROFILE Akın Özçer

As a former diplomat who served in Somalia, Iran, France (2001-2005 Lyon consul general),

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Spain and the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, he was also the first department head of the European Union General Directorate in Ankara, formed to prepare Turkey to meet the Copenhagen political criteria. He entered the Foreign Ministry in 1978 and retired in 2006. His first book, on the history of Basque nationalism, was published in two volumes in 1999. His second book, which was published in 2007, elaborates on the pluralist Spanish constitutional system, which has been effective in fighting separatist terrorism. Currently a columnist for the Taraf daily, he is also part of the New Constitution Platform (YAP), which in May prepared the “Essential Report for Turkey's New Constitution,” penned following 24 YAP meetings organized in various cities and involving close to 6,000 people.

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Basque separatist voters grow after ETA ends violence Sat, Nov 19 2011

By Inmaculada Sanz and Arantza Goyoaga BILBAO, Spain (Reuters)- A new leftist Basque party with a goal of independence from Spain looks like making a strong showing on Sunday when people vote in elections without the threat of violence for the first time in more than 40 years. In most parts of Spain, the election build-up has been dominated by worries over the country's economic plight, especially high unemployment and cuts in public spending. Mariano Rajoy of the centre-right People's Party is expected to win the contest and usher in an era of even more hardship. But in the Basque Country, traditionally one of Spain's more prosperous regions, unemployment is relatively low and people are enjoying a new political scenario. The armed separatist group ETA announced an end to decades of armed struggle in October and the new party, called Amaiur, is pursuing its quest for an independent Basque homeland through peaceful means. "While the rest of Spain talks about unemployment and the economy, the Basque Country is also talking about Amaiur and what it means, peace or ETA," said Ivan Redondo of the Redondo political consultancy based in Madrid. "Amaiur is positioning itself as the party of peace." Amaiur, a new coalition of Basque left-wing parties with separatist sympathies, won unprecedented control of city halls under the name of Bildu in local elections in May. Bildu was the second-most popular party in the Basque Country, taking a quarter of votes after winning support throughout the fractured left and from separatists disillusioned with the moderate Basque Nationalist Party, which some saw as too willing to strike deals with the central government. Polls show Amaiur could win five seats in the lower house, the same number as the long-established Basque Nationalist Party, a strong enough representation to be able to present bills and have a voice in weekly debates with the prime minister. But it is unclear how the new party, some of whose members have scarce political experience, would take their separatist agenda to Madrid. Amaiur has also called on the government to release ETA prisoners or move them closer to their families, and to cut the military presence in the Basque Country, home to more than 2 million people. "We will confront projects democratically and look for agreement, but we won't spend all day (in Parliament) because the two-party system won't approve anything that we could try to present," Inaki Antiguedad, who heads Amaiur's ticket in the Basque province Vizcaya, told Reuters. Rajoy, tipped to be the next prime minister, was adamantly opposed to separatist talks with ETA but analysts now see political dialogue with parties such as Amaiur as inevitable. However, given Spain's high unemployment and the risk that it will become the next victim of the euro zone debt crisis, Rajoy is likely to focus his agenda on more economic issues. If Amaiur does achieve a positive outcome on Sunday, the party is likely to set its eyes on the presidency of the Basque autonomous community and could call for regional elections, not due for another two years, to be brought forward. ETA cast a dark shadow over the Basque Country and the rest of Spain with a campaign of shootings and bombings that killed more than 800 people. Its fight began in the days of General Francisco Franco's dictatorship, when Basques faced state repression. But as the Basque region gained more autonomy in democratic Spain and the violence continued, its support waned. A wave of arrests, including of senior leaders, has also weakened it. In October, it declared an end to its armed struggle and called on the Spanish and French governments to start talks to resolve the conflict. (Writing by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Catalan, Basque parties win votes but lose punch in Spain Mon, Nov 21 2011

By Elisabeth O'Leary MADRID (Reuters) - Catalan and Basque regional parties won more votes than ever before in Sunday's Spanish parliamentary election, but their ability to wring funds out of the central government will be stifled by the conservative party's control of parliament. Spain's central government is often at odds with the fiercely distinct Catalan and Basque regions and political tensions are bound to rise after the election bolstered parties that promote autonomy from the rest of the country. Mariano Rajoy's center-right People's Party -- opposed to more powers for autonomous regions -- won an absolute majority in the lower house of parliament as Spaniards punished the outgoing Socialists over 21.5 percent unemployment, huge debt and for taking the country to the brink of a euro zone rescue. That means the PP, unlike most Spanish governments before it, will not need to court the votes of Basque and Catalan parties to pass laws. In the past those regions -- already among Spain's wealthiest -- won financial concessions as a way to secure their support. But such deals, always opaque, were resented elsewhere in Spain where Catalan and Basque independence movements are regarded with suspicion. "I promise to govern without sectarianism ... Nobody need be worried. My only enemies will be unemployment, excessive debt and economic stagnation," Rajoy said in his victory speech, a clear wink to autonomous political movements. The incoming government has a tricky political job on its hands if it wants to keep peace with regions after decades of mistrust. The PP has its roots in old centralist Spain and the repression of Catalans and Basques under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco until his death in 1975. Some of the party's most vociferous members have made statements perceived as anti-Catalan or anti-Basque. Xavier Vidal-Folch, political commentator at newspaper El Pais, said that even with a huge national majority the PP was still only the third most voted-for party in Catalonia and the fourth in the Basque region. He said the PP would have to make overtures to Catalans and Basque leaders or "live with a latent conflict which gets deeper and will worsen the bad mood on the streets." "Rajoy mustn't forget that the crisis is unforgiving. (Former Greek PM) Papandreou only lasted two years and he won an absolute majority too." ETA EBBS Something that could help keep the political peace is the fact that Spaniards everywhere are overwhelmingly more worried about the economy than they are about nationhood, said Carlos Barrera, politics professor at the Navarre University. "But the strength of the victory of (left-wing) Amaiur must be taken into account," he said. Amaiur, a regrouping of former supporters of the violent Basque separatists ETA, won an astounding seven seats in parliament on Sunday, surpassing moderate Basque nationalists PNV in its ballot debut. Weeks before the election ETA renounced its four-decade armed struggle to form a Basque homeland, an era of bombings and shootings that blighted the whole country. Amaiur still favors independence for the Basques. The political climate in the Basque region is also different from the rest of Spain because its economy is relatively better off. Basque unemployment is only 12 percent compared with 21.5 percent in Spain as a whole. Overspending in Spain's 17 autonomous regions is at the center of investor doubts about the country's ability to pay its debts. But the Basque region is on target to reach its budget deficit target this year. Fitch's credit ratings agency gives the autonomous region's long term debt an "AA" rating, better than Spain's own "AA-." Catalonia has a lower "A-" rating and, although the regional government, run by the nationalist party Convergencia i Unio, is set to bring down the deficit dramatically this year, they will not reach targets. Unemployment is also closer to the national average at 19.4 percent. CiU won Sunday's vote in Catalonia by around 2.5 percentage points despite controversial cuts in health spending which have prompted street protests and a health workers' strike. (Additional reporting By Jonathan Gleave; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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A new Basque separatist party, Amaiur, will enter Spain's parliament after winning at least six seats in elections Sunday, said an exit poll by public broadcaster RTVE. Amaiur, a coalition of left-wing Basque parties, seeks Basque independence by political means after armed separatists ETA announced on October 20 the end of a 40-year campaign of violence blamed for 829 deaths. The new coalition includes members of former political movement Batasuna, banned in 2003 because of supposed links with ETA, which is listed as a terrorist group by the European Union and United States. Amaiur won 3.05 percent of the national vote, enough to deliver six or seven seats, the exit poll predicted. That would be enough to form a parliamentary group with the authority to present amendments to proposed legislation. The leftist Basque separatist parties, which reject violence, had not been represented in the lower house Congress of Deputies since 1996, when two members were elected before boycotting debates. The Basque leftist parties had ramped up pressure on ETA over the past year to abandon the armed struggle and hand over the fight to politicians. ETA, weakened after years of arrests of its senior leaders, has not committed an attack on Spanish territory since August 2009.

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Sorpresa vasca obliga a hablar de ETA Por: Anna Cuenca

Madrid - El anuncio del cese de la violencia de ETA contribuyó a la fuerte entrada de los independentistas vascos en el Parlamento español, pero queda por resolver el fin de la organización armada, un tema que la derecha dice no querer negociar, pero que, según los expertos, se impondrá. El fuerte apoyo de los votantes vascos a la coalición independentista Amaiur en las elecciones del domingo confirma que la «lucha por la autodeterminación» se afianza definitivamente en la vía democrática, tras el fin de la violencia de ETA, cuya desaparición deberá gestionar el próximo Gobierno. Un mes después que ETA anunciase el «cese definitivo» de los atentados, Amaiur, coalición independentista que incluye a miembros de la antigua Batasuna -su brazo político ilegalizado en 2003- se convirtió el domingo en la principal fuerza nacionalista vasca en el Parlamento español (tendrán siete diputados). «El proyecto de Amaiur en el Parlamento y el de ETA son el mismo», opinó Mikel Buesa, catedrático de Economía del Terrorismo en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Apuntan a lograr un referéndum de autodeterminación -ilegal según la actual Constitución- y la excarcelación de sus cerca de 700 miembros presos, condición que ETA ya ligó a una eventual negociación para la entrega de sus armas. Sin embargo, el conservador Partido Popular (PP), y su líder, Mariano Rajoy, gran vencedor de las legislativas del domingo, dejaron claro que no negociarán. «No se tomará ninguna medida derogando la ley o modificando la ley para adaptarla a las pretensiones de los terroristas», explicó Leopoldo Barreda, portavoz del PP en el País Vasco. Para la formación conservadora, lo único aceptable es una desaparición de la organización sin contrapartidas. No obstante, según Gorka Landaburu, director de la revista política Cambio 16, el nuevo Gobierno español no tendrá más remedio que «buscar soluciones» para poner fin definitivamente a más de cuatro décadas de violencia. «El próximo presidente del Gobierno se va a encontrar con un pastel para poner fin a ETA», explica. «Estoy convencido de que habrá generosidad porque acabar con ETA ha sido el deseo que han tenido todos los presidentes del Gobierno español y ahora a Rajoy le viene con todo el trabajo hecho», afirma. En cuanto a los presos, «no va a haber amnistía porque no está recogida en la Constitución,

29/11/2011 18:42


Sorpresa vasca obliga a hablar de ETA

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http://ambito.com/noticias/imprimir.asp?id=612376

pero sí habrá indultos», considera. «Me da la impresión de que para la primavera boreal que viene habrá acercamiento de presos (a cárceles del País Vasco) y podrá haber salida de algunos presos que hayan cumplido las tres cuartas partes de su condena», afirma. «Después quedará el problema más complejo de los presos con delitos de sangre», es decir los responsables de atentados mortales, agrega. Responsable de la muerte de 829 personas en más de 40 años de atentados por la independencia del País Vasco, ETA había anunciado el 20 de octubre el «cese definitivo de su actividad armada». «ETA dio este paso forzada y con cierto fastidio» por el creciente distanciamiento de la violencia expresado públicamente por su brazo político, explica Florencio Domínguez, redactor jefe de la agencia de noticias Vasco Press. Pese a su oposición a una negociación colectiva de la situación de los presos etarras, el PP deja una puerta abierta al diálogo individual. «Si ETA se disuelve, dejará de pretender controlar a los terroristas presos», dice Barreda. «Cada penado tendrá derecho a ejercitar sus peticiones y a relacionarse individualmente con la Justicia como todos los demás condenados», agrega. La política penitenciaria española tiende a encarcelar a los detenidos en prisiones cercanas a sus ciudades de origen. Sin embargo, para impedir que los presos de ETA se organicen políticamente, desde hace décadas los Gobiernos españoles los han dispersado por las cárceles de todo el país, obligando a sus familias a recorrer cientos de kilómetros para visitarlos. De momento, la desaparición de la organización armada está por resolverse, advierte Buesa. Agencia AFP Copyright © 2008 ámbito.com - Todos los derechos reservados.

29/11/2011 18:42


Página/12 :: El mundo :: “Ya no existe la lucha armada en Euskal Herria”

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http://www.pagina12.com.ar/imprimir/diario/elmundo/4-181732-2011-...

Imprimir | Regresar a la nota El mundo | Martes, 22 de noviembre de 2011

Entrevista con el diputado electo de Navarra por la coalición Amaiur, el abogado Sabino Cuadra

“Ya no existe la lucha armada en Euskal Herria” La izquierda vasca fue uno de los grandes ganadores de los comicios del domingo. Cosechó el mayor número de diputados en el País Vasco (seis) y uno en Navarra. Página/12 dialogó con el diputado electo de Navarra, Sabino Cuadra. Por Mercedes López San Miguel Desde Madrid Amaiur, coalición integrada por la izquierda abertzale (independentista), Eusko Alkartasuna, Aralar y Alternatiba, irrumpió con fuerza en las elecciones del pasado domingo. Cosechó el mayor número de diputados en el País Vasco (seis) y uno en Navarra, lo que le permite formar grupo propio en el Parlamento e interpelar al futuro jefe de gobierno Mariano Rajoy. Página/12 dialogó con el diputado electo de Navarra, Sabino Cuadra, abogado de 62 años oriundo de Pamplona que se define como internacionalista y tiene una larga trayectoria como activista social. –¿El buen resultado en los comicios se debe a que Amaiur apostó a la no violencia? –El abandono de la lucha armada por parte de ETA influyó de modo Sabino Cuadra celebra en Pamplona los importante en el escenario político global de Euskal Herria (País Vasco) resultados electorales del domingo. y en todos sus ámbitos. Queda aún que por parte del Estado y de sus principales valedores políticos, PP y PSOE, se den también pasos en la misma dirección, como ser la libertad inmediata de los presos y presas políticas gravemente enfermos, la excarcelación de quienes han cumplido ya las tres cuartas partes de sus condenas y el acercamiento de todos ellos a Euskal Herria. Igualmente tendrían que ser desactivados todos los mecanismos como leyes y tribunales de excepción, juicios pendientes y abrirse un proceso de diálogo que permita que nuestro pueblo pueda conseguir el derecho a hablar y a decidir sobre su futuro sin injerencia ni imposición externa alguna. En cualquier caso, el buen resultado electoral de Amaiur tiene que ver, sobre todo, con el respaldo a una firme apuesta de unidad entre todas las fuerzas de izquierda, soberanistas e independentistas vascas, y al evidente apoyo que éstas ya tenían antes del anuncio de ETA de abandono de la lucha armada. –¿Este buen desempeño podría impulsar a Amaiur al gobierno vasco en un futuro próximo? –No es algo que nos hayamos planteado de momento, pero es evidente que los resultados alcanzados van a situar el panorama político vasco en unas coordenadas diferentes. Las puertas de un futuro asentado en firmes pilares de justicia social, libertad, soberanía y plena democracia para nuestro pueblo están hoy abiertas en Euskal Herria. Lo próximo es acumular fuerzas en una triple dirección. En primer lugar, para dar un fuerte impulso al proceso de paz y normalización democrática abierta en Euskal Herria a fin de conseguir un marco político de diálogo, negociación y acuerdo que permita abordar las causas del conflicto vivido. En segundo término, reforzar, ampliar y profundizar el marco de unidad de izquierda soberanista e independentista alcanzado y, por último, hacer frente a los brutales recortes sociales y ataques neoliberales que, iniciados por el PSOE, tendrán sin duda alguna una profundización con la llegada al gobierno del PP. –¿Qué rol van a jugar en una futura negociación de paz con ETA?

21/11/2011 21:19


Página/12 :: El mundo :: “Ya no existe la lucha armada en Euskal Herria”

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http://www.pagina12.com.ar/imprimir/diario/elmundo/4-181732-2011-...

–ETA ha afirmado recientemente de forma tajante que no tiene intención alguna de condicionar ni influir en el proceso de paz y normalización democrática que se ha iniciado. El diálogo entre esta organización y el gobierno tendrá que centrarse por tanto en los distintos aspectos relacionados con el conflicto armado, es decir, presos, armas, pero el proceso político que ya se ha abierto debe ser impulsado y llevado a cabo por los distintos agentes políticos y sociales de nuestro pueblo. –¿Piensan asumir los cargos?, dado que en épocas de Herri Batasuna no reconocían al Parlamento nacional... –Seguimos sin aceptar el Parlamento español y el marco institucional, pues en el mismo nos impusieron normas como la Constitución y la OTAN. Nuestras prioridades, órdenes del día, ritmos de trabajo, presencias y ausencias en este Congreso serán marcadas por nuestro pueblo y nuestros electores. Nuestra referencia no será el Estado español ni su gobierno, sino Euskal Herria y sus sectores populares. –En Amaiur, ¿cómo conviven fuerzas que condenan la violencia con otras que participaron de la lucha armada? –La lucha armada ya no existe en Euskal Herria pues ETA la ha abandonado. En Amaiur miramos hacia el futuro y esto es lo que nos pone de acuerdo. Es preciso atender ahora a las causas que estaban debajo de la existencia de ese conflicto, como la negación a nuestro pueblo del derecho a decidir y a abordar todas las consecuencias que se han derivado del mismo. –¿Qué significa el Partido Nacionalista Vasco para su coalición? –Su significado es doble. Por un lado, se trata de un partido nacionalista cuya apuesta actual carece de sentido por defender un Estatuto de Autonomía completamente agotado y puesto en cuestión por la mayor parte de la ciudadanía vasca. Se trata así de un partido autonomista, pero que cuenta también con bases populares que van bastante más allá de lo planteado por sus dirigentes, para quienes solamente existe la política del pasilleo y el plato de lentejas. Nuestra apuesta va así por tratar de que se incorpore a la nueva dinámica abierta en Euskal Herria. –¿Cómo cree que va a actuar el gobierno de Mariano Rajoy con Amaiur? Varios dirigentes populares habían pedido la ilegalización de su alianza. –Euskal Herria ha sido el único lugar del Estado español en el que las formaciones de derechas PP y (su aliado) Unión del Pueblo Navarro han sufrido un claro retroceso, así como también el PSOE. Son las fuerzas nacionalistas y abertzales de izquierdas las que irrumpieron fuertemente en el panorama político. Todo esto unido al alto nivel de reconocimiento internacional realizado el pasado octubre en la Conferencia de Paz de Donostia-San Sebastián, hace que no sea éste, quizás, el escenario más probable. En cualquier caso es evidente también que si se pretende avanzar de nuevo por esta vía ilegalizatoria la respuesta política y social que va a darse en nuestro pueblo va a subir muchos enteros y el descrédito y rechazo internacional a un gobierno que está hoy bastante necesitado de un arrope en este ámbito, va a ser otro importante elemento a considerar. © 2000-2011 www.pagina12.com.ar | República Argentina | Todos los Derechos Reservados Sitio desarrollado con software libre GNU/Linux.

21/11/2011 21:19

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