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Ear to the Ground

ETA May Drop Arms

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Posted on Feb 21, 2010
Flickr / kontrainformatu

ETA Basque spokesmen deliver a message on Basque public television in 2006.

In a potentially historic development for Spain, the political wing of the ETA—the Basque separatist group—has announced it will call for the organization to lay down its arms after 40 years. Leaders of the wing are urging the organization, which has been in decline, to focus on bringing the issue of separatism back to the center of Basque politics.

The courts have routinely banned most of the political parties that call for Basque separatism, given their link to armed struggle.

Many in Spain’s Basque area, in the north of the country near the French border, believe the Basque homeland should be given autonomy from Spanish rule. —JCL

The Guardian:

The political wing of Eta, the Basque ­separatist group, will today make a ­historic call for the organisation to lay down its arms after 40 years, so that peace negotiators can get to work.

The call is a further sign of a ­growing rift between Eta and those who have ­traditionally spoken for the terrorist group, as it slides towards insignificance. It is seen as the first time Eta’s frontmen in the nationalist Batasuna party have dared to issue directions to the group.

In an interview to be published today by Berria, a Basque-language newspaper, Rufino Etxeberria, a separatist leader, said that attempts by himself and others close to Eta to bring separatism back to the centre of Basque ­politics included a peace ­process that would require the group to stop its attacks.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, February 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

Am toooootally relaxed. Looking forward to the back-and-forth!

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By gerard, February 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

But it was not “inadvertent” is all I wanted to let you know.  Relax.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, February 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Gerard:

Lighten up!!

You inadvertently posted your first name, that’s all. Sheeesh.

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By gerard, February 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

ridler:  Means what?

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, February 22, 2010 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

too late jean, you’ve been outed!

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By guacamaya, February 22, 2010 at 2:40 am Link to this comment

Spanish, French and Portuguese police have had enormous successes during the past months and arrested dozens of top ETA members. They also seized huge numbers of stored arms, cash and bomb making material. I see this as another ETA tactic and will believe it when I see it working in a few years time.

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By gerard, February 21, 2010 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

Please put up the comment I sent about six hours ago under my unregistered name.  Thanks.

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By jean Gerard, February 21, 2010 at 10:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Guardian articles aren’t usually this vague.  There’s not enough history here to
give us ignoramuses over here a real clue to what it’s been all about for 40 years
or so.  Yet either side taking the initiative toward settlement must be making a
significant move for some reason.  “Separatism” doesn’t quite get it as an
explanation. “Terrorists” making a peaceful gesture is unusual as well.  Please.  A
bit more before soliciting comments?  Or should I know already?h

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