ETA political wing calls for end to violence

According to El Pais, one of Spain’s leading national daily newspapers Batasuna, the political wing of ETA, has asked ETA for an unconditional end to its violent campaign for independence for the Basque Country. Furthermore it appears that Batasuna will not make any attempts to become legal until this happens.

Following a meeting last Saturday between the Spanish president, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and the president of the Basque parliament, Patxi López, reports about Batasuna have appeared in a number of Spanish newspapers this morning.

The reports include a statement made yesterday by Jose Blanco, the Minister for Public Works and the Vice Secretary General of PSOE, who says that in contrast to the accusations made by the PP that the government is ‘on its knees in the face of ETA’ it is in fact ‘on the point of bringing the Basque terrorist organization to an end’.

El Pais says that the political wing of ETA wants the terrorist organization to end its violent campaign and call a permanent ceasefire and says that until this happens it will not present candidates in the next local elections due to be held in May 2011 given that it knows that any attempt to do this would be defeated in the courts and rejected by the government.

Both Zapatero and López agreed during their meeting that any move by Batasuna to be involved in politics must be accompanied by a clear unconditional commitment by ETA to end its violent campaign for independence. Zapatero and López also agreed that current anti-terrorist policies should be maintained until this happens.