3 July 2006


An unprecedented move was made by the Spanish government last Thursday as the Prime Minister Rodriguez Zapatero announced the start of official talks with ETA within the next weeks. It was an expected statement but still very important. What it wasn't so expected was the second part of the statement where he declared that the Spanish government will respect the freely taken decisions by the Basque citizens. He added that it's upon the Basque political parties, trade unions and social organizations to reach an agreement through dialogue without exclusion and equal opportunities for all the different political options.

Batasuna welcomed the announcement as very important and positive and claimed that it is the Basque Country's democratic victory after years of conflict that the Spanish government admits that the resolution will come through negotiation and acceptance of the Basque people's will. They celebrated as well the beginning of talks with ETA and highlighted that this way is the way suggested by Batasuna in November 2004 when was launched their peace proposal Orain Herria, Orain Bakea (Now the People, Now the Peace)where to different negotiation tables where proposed, one between ETA and the Spanish and French governments and the other one among all Basque political organizations.

Batasuna congratulated the pro-independence left wing movement's activists for the determination and courage showed specially during the last few years of illegalitation and brutal repression and their restless defense of the Basque Political Prisoners' rights.

Therefore Batasuna called all Basque political organizations to set as soon as possible a negotiations table and gave great importance to the fundamental role to be played by all Basque people as main protagonists of the process to achieve peace, freedom, democracy and justice.

Despite the important statement made by Zapatero Batasuna asked him to call off all the repression machinery and special laws like the so called Political Parties Law which banned Batasuna and undermined political and civil rights in the Basque Country.

Batasuna called the French government as well to play their own role in the conflict resolution as one of the parts involved and to stop all repression. The French government is actually acting as mere spectator as if it was a Spanish internal problem. Three of the seven Basque provinces are under French administration and their peaceful claims of own institutions, officialness of the Basque language and repatriation of the Basque Political Prisoners have got nothing but contempt.

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