Majority in Spain would support negotiation with ETA

According to a survey published this morning by Cadena Ser, 53 percent of Spaniards would support negotiations with ETA if the Basque terrorist group declares a ceasefire. 34 percent would not support negotiations. However only 44 percent of Spaniards would be in favour of the Spanish government making some kind of concession to the terrorists in exchange for the ceasefire, and 39 percent would definitely oppose the idea.

One of the themes being discussed in the Spanish media lately is whether or not the government is likely to agree to regrouping convicted ETA terrorists in prisons near or in the Basque country.

Current policy means that the prisoners are dispersed in prisons all over Spain, which makes it difficult for them to receive visits from families. One of the constant demands of the armed and political wings of ETA has always been for convicted terrorists to be imprisoned nearer home. The majority of those questioned for the Cadena Ser survey would not be in favour of any concession in this sense.

On a more pressimistic, some would say realistic, note, over half of Spaniards do not believe that the end of ETA in sight. Just 37 percent believe that the end my be near.