As Juan Jose Ibarretxe, of the PNV (Basque Nationalist Party) and President of the autonomous government, began the movement of moderate Basques towards full independence, the scenario was prepared for a confrontation which sooner or later would arise. It has.
The first step after election two years ago was the Agreement of Lizarra, which was a peace agreement signed by ETA and Herri Batasuna. The second was the “Ajurea Enea” agreement, which took the centre of negotiation away from dealing with the Spanish political parties (PSOE and PP) and towards forming a general consensus among all the Basque players.
The decision this week by the nationalist government of the autonomous region of the Basque country not to disallow the demonstrations by supporters of Herri Batasuna, despite Madrid having outlawed the organisation, added to the tension, as did the apology to the demonstrators by the regional government for the excesses of the Ertzaintza (Basque police).
The discourse in the Basque country is now “freedom against fascism” “injustice by Madrid” and “resisting and counter-attacking” this last slogan from Javier Arzallus, leader of the PNV.
As the militant actions of the terrorist organisation ETA become less and less frequent as more and more of their members are arrested, the notion that terrorism has been defeated gives rise to a greater and more threatening spectre of an independent and sovereign Basque State.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
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