ETA terrorists have been deprived of their political cover. How will they respond?

Basque terrorists got what they wanted: the mass media paid lots of attention to their “actions” in Spanish cities. Five explosions took place last week, during the EU summit in Seville. Fortunately, no one died, but nine people were wounded. The ETA’s political wing, the Batasuna Party, is likely to pay for the terrorists’ activities now.

On June 25, the upper house of the Spanish government passed a law, according to which the Supreme Court of the country is entitled to ban any party the activity of which could be evaluated as “directed at weakening or destroying the system of personal freedom or destroying the democratic system.” It is only enough to get an inquiry from the government, or a petition signed by 50 members of the government.

Spanish Justice Minister Angel Acebes claimed that the new law was a tool that will allow the Spanish government to dissolve parties like Batasuna, or parties that act as mouthpieces for terrorist organizations. The minister mentioned that the document will become the basis for the anti-terrorist struggle, which Madrid announced as the corner-stone of its policy as the position of EU chairman.

The struggle with terrorism is a holy matter. It is not really clear though what the criteria to determine a party as a terrorists’ “mouthpiece” is. What if it is simply an extremist organization, which does not arrange any acts of terrorism, but fights for its race, religion, or any other kind of intolerance? Will that party be dissolved or not? There are more than enough of them in Europe. They are rather legal, and they work on legal grounds. However, people remember them only when they parties succeed in parliamentary or presidential elections or when they come to power.

In addition, we have to mention another thing. Why not imagine that ETA separatists and the Batasuna party are conducting a national and liberation struggle? Their goal is to set up an independent Basque state, and if Europeans are so fond of talking about the fight for independence on the part of freedom-loving Chechens, so maybe, this is another such case. Or maybe, the explosions in Russian cities are not acts of terrorism, but the struggle for independence?

The Spanish government is surely concerned about the continuing acts of terrorism, and the new law will give them more opportunities to the fight terrorism. The main thing is how to avoid the danger of its interpretation. Today, they do not like one party that is connected with terrorism, but tomorrow, they may not like another party that never organized a single act of terrorism. However, if the organization is dissolved, then they might commit acts of terrorism. Therefore, where is the line to separate bellicose terrorist organizations from the “peaceful” nationalists? And who will determine that line?

Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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