15 June 2007
Batasuna Negotiating Commission's press conference
1- Beginning of the process
It is evident for this Commission, that the beginning of the democratic process and the creation of a real opportunity to overcome the political conflict through an agreement was possible for a long period of time thanks to the existence of a stable communication channel between representatives of the Basque pro-independence left and the PSOE (Spanish Labour Party).
This communication and exploration channel allowed both parts to understand that existed a real opportunity to overcome the political and armed confrontation and reach an agreed future democratic framework for the Basque Country.
PSOE and Batasuna understood from the beginning, that this agreed future had to be built on the one hand, from the respect to the Basque Country's plurality, and on the other from the overcoming of the structural problems that have fed the political conflict.
The beginning of the process was only possible thanks to the commitment acquired by the parts involved to understand that the political agenda for the change and peace had to be resolved by giving an agreed and democratic solution to both the territorial division problem (partition) as well as to the Basque Country's right to decide its future free and democratically, with no more limits than the free will expressed pacefully and democratically by its citizenship.
2- Development of the process
ETA's permanent truce announcement was the last link that allowed, on the base of the acquired commitments, acceding to a dialogue and negotiation scene between the Basque political forces.
It is evident nevertheless, that from the this cease-fire declaration the PSOE as the PNV have tried to denature the process, trying to transfer it to "antiterrorist" "technical" parameters that denied any political content to the dialogue process.
Meanwhile, the Basque pro-independence left has undergone and still undergoes constant police and judicial harassments which objective is to condition its political position in the negotiation being stopping it from maintaining its political and organizational activity in terms of equality with the rest of political forces.
We can affirm without being mistaken that the process is BLOCKED from the first three months after the cease-fire.
3- First initiative to break the deadlock
Having in mind the seriousness of the situation, the Basque pro-independence left forwards to the PSOE the urgent necessity to close a first political agreement (that will have to gather all the political, social and trade-union formations of the country) to settle a calendar for the beginning of the dialogue process of conversations and at the same time appraises its political agenda.
4 – Second initiative to break the deadlock
The Basque pro-independence left forwards to the PNV and the PSOE the necessity to close a commitment that will guarantee, with strategic nature, the definitive stability of the democratic process and the consequent overcoming of the conflict.
This initiative is developed during the autumn and has the following consequences:
a. – There are some movements on the method, calendar and some contents of the political agreement.
b. - No pre-agreement is reached on the commitment to guarantee a final scene in which to overcome both main knots of the conflict that will guarantee that all political projects can not only be defended but also materialized if that is the desire and the will of the Basque citizenship. THERE IS NO COMMITMENT TO GUARANTEE A FRAMEWORK THAT WILL ALLOW THE CITIZENSHIP TO FREE AND DEMOCARTICALLY DECIDE ITS POLITICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL FUTURE. THE SITUATION IS BLOCKED.
5 – Third initiative to break the deadlock. The proposal.
The Basque pro-independence left perceiving that the blockade is around the lack of commitment on a final scene of equality of opportunities for the set of political projects, decides to put upon the table a proposal that will satisfy all the parts and that will draw a final scene agreed for the four territories of the South of the Basque Country.
This proposal tries to explore a common space where to encounter with the rest of political traditions existing in our country, and therefore:
- Takes off from the present political-institutional reality.
- Raises a staggered process in which each step must count on the democratic adhesion of the Basque-Navarrese citizenship.
- Raises a political status AUTONOMY.
- To start such proposal raises the necessity of democratic majorities both in the Basque Autonomous Community as well as in the Leasehold Community of Navarre.
- Brings up the regulation of mechanisms though which the Basque-Navarrese citizenship can decide its future free and democratically.
- Brings up the necessity of this process to be developed peacefully, without any kind of coercion or interference by any of the parts.
Our proposal obtained diverse answers:
- In one first stage the majority of political parties welcomed our proposal as "positive", "realist"…. The Basque pro-independence left was enormously satisfied by this considerations as if it believed that they were being honest, it was possible to reach a first agreement that approximated us to a future encounter scene. This consideration was still more important in that this agreement would also guaranteed a scene of just peace for the Basque Country.
- Unfortunately these first considerations were untrue and the parties mention tried to conceal the proposal, refuse its public discussion.
PNV (Basque Nationalist Party) AND PSOE SAYS NO TO THE PROPOSAL
Rejection that also worsen when was verified that both formation not only rejected this dialogue and this proposal but that consciously do not forward any other alternative to the negotiation table.
CURRENT SITUATION OF THE DIALOGUE PROCESS
- The present situation obeys clearly to the PNV and the PSOE's refusal to commit themselves with a political future that leaves into the hands of the Basque-Navarrese citizenship the word and the decision. This is the only and main reason that collapses the process from the beginning.
- When the political dialogue is reaching the necessary concretions that can turn it decisive, that is to say, in an agreement that brings the Basque Country into a peace scene, the PNV and the PSOE have abandoned the political dialogue dynamics.
- To refuse dialogue, to refuse the commitment towards a different future is simply to break with the possibility of reaching a decisive agreement to the political conflict. That is the great responsibility acquired today by the PSOE and the PNV.
COMMITMENTS TAKEN BY THE BASQUE PRO-INDEPENDENCE LEFT
- We want to reiterate that peace is today possible in the Basque Country.
- We want to reiterate the existence of a great opportunity to overcome the political and armed conflict that suffers our Country.
- We want to reiterate our total disposition in any circumstance or conjuncture to the dialogue, the negotiation and the Agreement.
- We want to announce that we will redouble our efforts (in the Basque Country as well as the international scope) to reconstruct the dialogue and the negotiation process with all the political forces of our country.
- We want to reiterate again that only from justice it is possible to construct a total scene of peace.
- We want to reiterate again that justice for the Basque Country means to understand that its future must depend only and exclusively on the citizens that live and work in the Basque-Navarrese territories.