26 June 2007

Government-ETA and Batasuna-PSOE negotiations in the middle of the electoral campaign.

Important delegations of Spanish Government and ETA, on the one hand, and of Batasuna and PSOE, on the other, met practically simultaneously in an European city the past 14 th, 15th and 16th. Encounter that, in all the cases, counted with presence of qualified international observers, in the last attempt to unblock the negotiation process, clogged months back, according to absolute reliable sources consulted by GARA.

These sources confirm that Batasuna's delegation was headed by Arnaldo Otegi, that was later suddenly jailed the end of the cease-fire.

The PSOE's position limited to raise the option of statutory reforms in the Basque Autonomous Community and the Leasehold Community of Navarre, with the maximum position in the possibility of being able to constitute an intergovernmental common organ between both.

The Basque delegations, on the other hand, insisted on the necessity to reach a commitment to overcome the conflict, and to stop its perpetuation. The permanent infringement of the guarantees and the principles of the process were also upon the table, especially in the ETA and the Government board. The armed organization, that was committed to dismantle its military structures if the process was culminated, insisted that the repressive mechanisms had to be deactivated to create a bilateral truce.

As Gara's information reveals, the Government fixed its priority on demanding that ETA explicitly resigned to the "response" right that the armed organization had incorporated to its permanent cease-fire. And refused to deactivate the judicial mechanisms, not even the euro-order or other arrest mechanisms, although it could take to as serious situations as the one that derived in the arrest of Jon Iurrebaso (who was accompanied of another Basque citizen in charge of his security) member of ETA's delegation.

After the contacts and meetings held in March and April between both parts did not go forward, ETA proposed to have a substantial international representation to guarantee the democratic process.

The 21 of May a new and last meeting took place between the PSOE and Batasuna, the Spanish representation did not move with respect to the political agreement, which ended the negotiations initiated after the truce declaration of 2006.

Few days later, ETA forwarded its decision to end the cease-fire, as had previously informed in the mentioned meetings.

Gara's information point out that ETA forwarded an initiative to have European states involved in the negotiations, later the armed organization proposed the constitution, in case the process was politically unblocked, of an international commission composed by those same instances to verify the development of the negotiation between ETA and the Spanish Government.

The two meetings proposal excluded the PNV for considering that the representatives of that party had become an obstacle in all the previous attempts.

The PSOE admitted that the PNV did not want to approach the proposal of four territories because it implied to lose economic power.

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