Eight ETA prisoners have said that Batasuna, the political party representing Basque separatists, is looking for ways to permanently end the armed struggle which ETA began under the Franco dictatorship over 40 years ago. However, they warned that some members of ETA are finding it difficult to come to terms with. The group of prisoners who are currently being detained in the Nanclares prison in Alava believe that it is now time to end the violent struggle because Basque terrorism is out of place in today’s society.
According to the daily newspaper Deia, the group of prisoners committed to the irrevsible peace process has eight members: Joseba Urrusolo Sistiaga, Kepa Pikabea, Carmen Gisasola, Jurgi Oteiza, Andoni Alza, Rafa Caride Simón, Ibon Etxezarreta and Josu García Corporales. All of these prisoners agree that ETA and its political wing should decide to call a permanent, irreversible ceasefire.
This group also believes that the failure of previous ceasefires, changing attitudes of society and the Basque nationalist leftwing’s position on armed struggle are all motives that have led Batasuna to begin a period of reflection.
They said that although some people are committed to continuing the armed struggle for independence others have accepted that an end to ETA violence is necessary.
Yesterday the President of the PNV (the Conservative Basque Nationalists), Joseba Egibar, said in an interview with Radio Euskadi that he believed that after previous ceasefires which ended in failure the current ceasefire was a ‘real’ one and there was ‘no way back’.