11 July 2007

Reactions to ETA's press release

ETA announced on the 5th of June that at 12 am on the 6th of June the indefinite cease-fire came to an end. We will not mention the official notice since its content has had an ample echo in the international press. The armed Basque organization justified its decision on the grounds that the conditions to take ahead a peace process did not happen. ETA blamed the Spanish Government not to have fulfilled the previously agreed commitments, in the same way ETA accused the Basque PNV of behaving like a mere PSOE's servant.

After the official notice, the post-electoral pacts went to a second place. The ETA's press release, although everybody had supposed to happen so, provoked an avalanche of reactions with few new elements, and many of them very opportunists. Many political and social agents had scandalously and irresponsibly behaved during the months of the truce. They had been blind, deaf and dumb with the demolishing attitude of the PSOE and the PNV; they did never denounce the non stop aggressions that both parties made in all the fronts to the third interlocutor. It is only now, when ETA is the one to open all the fronts, that they have raised a cry of horror and alarm. We have witnessed another new expression of thought and unique speech: ETA and its accomplices, the Basque patriotic left wing, are the only responsible agents for the failure of the peace process. ETA's enemies have brought to light all the speeches and strategies that they had beforehand prepared. We summarize in this bulletin some reactions that deserve to be taken into account.

The Government of Madrid bets on the repression

President Zapatero made an official appearance on June 5 directing his reflection in four directions: he warned that ETA is wrong again; he also addressed to the Spanish citizenship to keep calm since the situation is under control, according to Mr Zapatero; he also spoke to to the Basque citizenship to explain that he had done everything that was in his hand to obtain Peace; finally, he did asked to the rest of the political forces to be united against terrorism. These explanations are not able to clarify a very serious doubt: a Government who had carried out a great activity before the cease-fire by ETA; why did it change its attitude once ETA interrupted its armed activity?

Zapatero himself gave the answer to this question in an interview on television: he did not try at any moment to solve the political conflict, the only thing that he tried was the end of ETA without making any substantial modification within politics; ETA had to surrender to seductions Zapatero's ways; at the same time, the Spanish Government added that it was going to undertake the strategy of repression against the Basque patriotic left wing (but the question is: has the Spanish government ever interrupted that violent strategy?). What Zapatero had meant was that he was to harden the repressive measures and, saying so he said the truth: Iñaki de Juana, who continued in the Hospital of Donosti, was transferred to the jail of Aranjuez to complete the one year sentence that he has still to serve; the Spanish judge Garzón prohibited to two leaders of Batasuna to travel to South Africa to attend a Congress where they were invited; the spokesman of Batasuna, Arnaldo Otegi was imprisoned once again, new arrests in France, a refugee was transfered from Mexico... In the week from the 11th to the 18th, Zapatero met all the political forces to try to incorporate them to the Antiterrorist Pact that he is reactivating.

The PP bets on repression

Nothing new. The president of the PP accepts the invitation that Zapatero had made to him in order to meet and to approximate strategies in the fight against the Basque fight for independence. In spite of it, he takes advantage of the new situation to continue striking Zapatero. According to the PP, the facts have given the reason to this political party: the only effective strategy to exterminate "the terrorism" consists in closing any route of dialogue and in fighting that claim for independence with all the possible arms; they asked to Zapatero to rectify his antiterrorism policy by going into action. As usual, Rajoy considered that the first measures taken by Government were insufficient: they demand the illegalization of ANV and prevent their candidates to take up the of their post of city council the citizens have granted to them; it did also asked Zapatero to harden the prison sentences... After the meeting on June 11th , Zapatero and Rajoy projected an image of greater antiterrorism consensus.

The Basque Government, rejection to other people's violence and a bet on dialogue

This institution waited several days before making an assessment of the new situation. In order to do so, it reunited the Political Council conformed by three people: the President and a member of each one of the partners of the Tripartite. Its answer consists merely in retaking the Plan for Peace that agreed a few months before, and that was forgotten. The grounds of their positioning were these: a complete rejection of violence, a bet on political dialogue, to reactivate the peace and coexistence plan, and to have total confidence in Basque society.

The PNV, faithful squire of the PSOE, bets on repression

During the talks, the PNV has behaved like an unconditional servant of the PSOE. After the decision of ETA, its servility has become serious: its speech is full of insults and disqualifications against Batasuna, the Basque patriotic left wing; the PNV exculpates itself and the Spanish Government of the failure of the negotiations, holding just Batasuna responsible of what happened. As the PNV has done throughout the peace process, it is preparing the context so that Madrid should act with total impunity against Euskal Herria; on this particular case, it is preparing the Basque society so that it could assume the repressive big wave that the Spanish Government, with the complicity of the PNV, is going to untie against the Basque patriotic left wing.

The opportunism of other social agents

The Basque political parties betting on a policy of reform have followed the path marked by their ship standard, the PNV. They do not use the same degree of belligerence in their speeches, but they all agree in repudiating the only violence that according to them does not exist: the one of ETA. It is curious fast answer by ELA, the trade union, in rejecting ETA's decision: on the very same day, June 6th, it organized a concentration against the armed organization.

From the beginning of the cease-fire, ELA knew the continuous aggressions that the Basque patriotic left wing was undergoing and how risky these aggressions were for the good result of the process. In that case it never summoned a similar concentration; it has only demonstrated initiative to condition the weakest negotiating partners.

Groups sympathizers to the Spanish constitution, like Gesture of Peace initiated their mobilizations against ETA; although, in this case, they could not be the first ones: ELA and Nafarroa Bai were first. Very quickly the Basque Church as well as the Spanish one has taken position against ETA. They are not worry at all about torture and the steps taken to make illegal legitimate political parties. In the case of the Spanish church, they has been actively sabotaging the process.

The Basque left demands the continuity of the process

On June 5, Arnaldo Otegi, spokesman of Batasuna and nowadays in prison, made the first assessment. He pointed out that only ETA is responsible for the breaking-off of the truce. But PSOE and PNV are responsible for the collapse of the process. He did not just look the past, Arnaldo was also confident that a solution will be find. He reasserted what he said on October 2004 regarding the efforts to find a solution to the conflict. He committed himself to redouble the efforts to recreate, with other agents, the necessary conditions that they should allow to reactivate a democratic process. The popular claim to keep on the process to get a negotiated solution is not only possible but also very necessary; there is no another alternative. It is extremely necessary to keep a huge calm and tranquillity in these delicate moments. Some days later the very person passing on this message of serenity was imprisoned.

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