22 August 2007

Navarre sold to Spanish unionists

Sanz, last week's elected unionist Navarrese president, is congratulated by Spanish conservative leader Rajoy.

Barrena denounces the "gifts" of the PSOE to "extreme right" 17/08/07

The Basque pro-independence left abertzale makes the "PSOE-PSN" responsible for letting UPN (right wing Navarrese party) maintain under its control the Navarrese Government one more a legislature. "The reality is that the party of Chivite, Zapatero and Blanco (PSOE/PSN) has given unlimited power to the most retrograde right of all Europe to continue applying the policies defined these past legislatures: economic planning in accordance with the multinationals, continuous backward movement concerning the social cost, privatization of services, granting the education policies to the private sector…".

The member of the national executive of the Basque pro-independence left, Pernando Barrena, also emphasized that it is not only the management of province what is into the hands of UPN: "it evidences that the PSOE also grants Sanz (head of UPN) the capacity to continue boycotting from the institutional scope the possibility of a process that would allow the people of Navarre to recover our right to freely decide our future".

Barrena considers "evident" that the PSOE "not only has sold its Navarrese militants, but also that has sold Nafarroa in order to alleviate the PP pressure until the Spanish elections of 2008".

Pernando Barrena remembered that, even, the direction of the PSOE "has finally admitted that it never contemplated another possibility of government in Navarre than the UPN because "Navarre is a State subject"", which "sides with the argumentation of the Basque pro-independence left, that many occasions has denounce that a change of government was not possible without a real change in the framework". Barrena actually indicated, "that one has been Nafarroa Bai's great error, to think that a change of government was possible not to change anything".

Barrena affirmed that "in the negotiations with the PSN, Nafarroa Bai only contemplated the historical abertzales vindications in order to reduce them until unsuspected limits: neither change of the Law of the Basque language, nor a debate on the institutional status of Navarre, or a commitment towards the peace process".
The Erzaintza arrests Igor Maiora in Gasteiz (Araba) 14/08/07

The autonomous police arrested a youth in Gasteiz after the Ertzaintza (autonomous police) supposedly found his DNA in the scene of a street attack. Askatasuna (organism of legal attendance to the Basque political prisoners) has denounced his arrest as well as the PNV and the Ertzaintza performances.

The autonomic police searched his house for two hours and a half and confiscated acomputer and several CDs, different neighbours declared that the police left the house in a complete mess. When finished the Ertzaintza also searched meticulously the Pub where he works.

Igor Maiora was sent to the Madrilian prison of Soto del Real after declaring before the judge of the Spanish National Hearing Juan del Elmo. According to what indicated Spanish media agencies, Maiora is accused of a crime of "terrorist damage" related to the burning of a cash machine.

100 kilos of cloratita, two limpet mines, pistols and machine guns found in Biarritz (North of the Basque Country) 14/08/07

The material was found, according to French official sources, after the owner of the garage decided to go inside when got no news of the person who had rented it several months ago. This source affirmed that the tenant had paid the money from 1 st February to 30th July.

The French Police assured to have found about 100 kilos of cloratita deposited in can, five kilos to penthrite, a much more powerful explosive that according to the Police ETA has sometimes combined it with cloratita to harness its impact.

The Police also sayed to have found two limped mines, more than 170 detonators, three pistols and several machine guns. It is being investigated if one of the three pistols belonged to the ones stolen in Nimes in October of 2006.

Some sources indicated that a mobile phone and diverse documentation in Basque was also found in the garage, digital tracks are intensely being searched for in order to identify ETA members.

Seven street attacks against cash machines and another one against the Peace Court of Zornotza (Bizkaia) 15/08/07

Seven cash machines of Zornotza were burned and the Peace Court attacked after street rioting. A similar attack caused damages in a PNV office of Donostia, and to a vehicle of the city council of Gasteiz.

Freed the two youth arrested in Donostia (Gipuzkoa) after supposedly attacking a bus 16/08/07

According to what informed the Home Department of the Government of Lakua both youth arrested by the Ertzaintza after the confrontations in Donostia were freed till trial day. Both arrested, a neighbour of Azpeitia (town of gipuzkoa) 20 years old and a 21 years old youth from Barcelona have been accused of "public disorders" and "attack against agents of the authority".

During the incidents registered by second consecutive night in the Guipuzcoan capital, that celebrates the festivities of Aste Nagusia, groups of youth faced the Ertzaintza with pyrotechnic rockets, crossed containers and tried to burn an urban bus. According to the Home department, an agent of the autonomic Police was hurt.

Three devices deactivated, after a warning, in a golf complex in Angelu (North of the Basque Country) 16/08/07

The French Police neutralized three incendiary devices in a golf complex of Angelu. An anonymous caller had previously alerted the emergency services of the positioning of the devices, one of which was a small gas cylinder. One of the devices had been placed in the golf course, another one in a contiguous hotel and the third before a residence of mentioned complex. These attacks are part of an ongoing campaign against housing speculation in the North.

London admits the Euro-order against Albisu, Lopez and Ruiz

The court of London admitted the Euro-order against the three Basques arrested the past April in Sheffield "for not believing Spain will hold them incommunicado". Askatasuna (legal organism in favour of the Basque political prisoners) will challenge this sentence in all the possible judicial scopes.

The sentence believes in the supposed Spanish commitment of not holding the prisoners incommunicado once are handed over to the Spanish authorities; Therefore, and as Askatasuna stressed, "the relation between incommunicado and torture is admited in these declarations"

Askatasuna hardly criticized the decision of handing over the prisoners and once again denounced irregularities committed from the very beginning in the process against the three Basques arrested in Sheffield; the Euro order "is based in lies", it evidences presented were obtained "under torture". They therefore denounced, "The Euro-order is based in torture".

Olano blames the PSOE and the PNV for opening the confrontation route 19/08/07

The spokesman of Askatasuna Juan Mari Olano reprobated the attitude of the PSOE and the PNV, and invited the citizens to participate in the creation of "a social weave, beginning from the work places up to the institutes" for amnesty and self-determination, which he defined as the bases for the resolution of the political conflict.

Around 1,500 people took part in the demo of Donostia to demand amnesty and self-determination, and in defence of the Basque political prisoners' rights.

The Basque pro-independence left "goes ahead with the liberation process"


Convinced that "only with dialogue and negotiation" the solution "to the political and armed conflict" will be reached, the Basque pro-independence left reiterated before 5,000 people its commitment to retake the negotiating process on the basis of the Basque citizens' capacity of decision.

Joseba Alvarez, member of the national executive of the Basque pro-independence left, analyzed the PNV's (Basque Nationalist Party) behaviour these past months, and mentioned the PNV's slogan "Aurrera doan herria / A country that goes forward". Alvarez commented that "the PNV does not care about anything" not the apartheid against the Basque pro-independence left "nor the 600 Basque political prisoners in the Spanish and French jails, some with fulfilled sentences already or, others seriously ill, others like Gatza that have spent 27 years in prison, and others like Arnaldo Otegi that have been jailed for taking part in the negotiation process".

Joseba Alvarez commented that "the only thing that goes forward are the PNV's businesses, the businesses of imposition, such as the HST (High Speed Train), the Incinerator or the Super port of Pasaia".

Alvarez also dennounced the PNV's performance in the negotiations carried out in the Sanctuary of Loiola between the PNV, the Basque pro-independence left and the PSOE. "the PNV said no to both territoriality and to democracy for the Basque Country", next alluded to recent declarations of the former Spanish president Felipe González, who said that "Imaz is the best thing that has happened to the Basque Country". "The main person in charge at the time of the GAL applauds Josu Jon Imaz (PNV president) and says that he is the most intelligent head of Euskadi. It is shameful - continued Alvarez-, the enemy only plays with the traitors, and that is what Imaz is doing at the moment".

Alvarez insisted that "dialogue and negotiation are the only alternative" and placed the Basque pro-independence left as "the alternative" to build another kind of country, remembering that despite the criminalisation campaign, despite the banning of many Basque pro-independence left candidacies by the Spanish state "we reached 190,000 votes" in the last elections held in the south of the Basque Country.

21 August 2007

Great success at West Belfast's Féile an Phobail's Basque Day

Hundreds of people took part at the events organised by the Belfast Basque Committee during the West Belfast's Féile an Phobail's Basque Day. The day started with the unveiling of a solidarity mural on the Falls Road. It was Pat Rice, long live friend of the Basque Country, who had the honnour to do it in front of a 60 people crowd who were displaying flags and banners. The mural was painted by famous muralist Danny Devenny and claims self-determination for the Basque Country.

Afterwards a demonstration walked the Falls Road to Cultúrlann.

There a talk under the title of "Perspectives on the Basque peace process" was launched with a high profile pannel formed by Máirtín Ó Muilleor, Belfast Media Group editor, Eoin Ó Broin political writer and activist and Batasuna's spokesperson Pernando Barrena. 100 people attended the event and did questions about repression, history and future of the Basque Country.

A solidarity picket line was hold afterwards along the Falls Road.

At 5pm was time to fill the stomachs at the Basque food stall in St. Mary's just before taking to the Andytown Leisure Cente were Fermin Muguruza and the Afro-Basque Brigade made dance till late more than 500 people.

The Belfast Basque Committee wants to congratulate everybody for a fantastic day, specially comrades from the Dublin and Cork Basque Committees who attended the events.

1 August 2007

There was not an agreement because Madrid lacks maturity -Otegi


The spokesman for the outlawed Batasuna talked about the so-called "Loiola talks" between PSOE, PNV and Batasuna from the Martutene prison, where he is serving a 15-month sentence.

Spokesman for the outlawed party Batasuna Arnaldo otegi said that the peace process that started after ETA's announcement of a ceasefire has not failed and progress has been made. However, he adds that there has been not an agreement because the Spanish Government "lacked political maturity".

"I am not talking about failure. It can be said that we have made some progress but we have not reached any final agreement because the Spanish Government lacks ambition and political matutity", Otegi said in an interview for the Basque daily Gara from the Martutene prison, in Donostia-San Sebastian where he is now serving a 15-month sentence.

Arnaldo Otegi, the 48-year-old leader of the outlawed Batasuna party, was found guilty by a lower court of defending terrorism - a crime in Spain - through remarks he made in 2003 at a rally in memory of an ETA leader on the 25th anniversary of his death.

The leftist politician said the "process should be taken up again with guarantees and firm foundations" and added that only a "political agreement that places the Basque Country within a democratic framework can solve this conflict".

According to Otegi, the problem that burdened the peace process was the "homogeneous" position of the two majority Spanish parties PSOE and PP.
Two small bombs explode on Tour de France route after ETA warning

No one was hurt. The blast was preceded by a call to the highway authorities in name of the armed Basque group ETA.

Two small explosive devices detonated Wednesday in the Basque Country along a route used by the Tour de France cycling race after a warning call by the armed Basque group ETA, the Interior Ministry said. No one was injured.

The explosions occurred outside Belagua, a town in the Navarra region, the Interior Ministry office in Navarra said, where the race itinerary took cyclists into on Wednesday.

The devices exploded 40 minutes apart on opposite sides of the road after a caravan of Tour-related publicity vehicles, which precedes the riders, had passed. The race's route was not changed, an official with the Navarra office said on condition of anonymity because of department rules.

The devices were inside plastic food containers and involved "a small amount of explosives,'' this official said. They exploded on bluffs overlooking the road and kicked up some earth but caused no injuries, he said.

Spain and France strengthen fight against ETA

The French minister highlighted 23 people have been arrested over the last few months.

French Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie met with her Spanish counterpart Alfredo Perez-Rubalcaba in Paris on Tuesday.

The ministers highlighted their strong will to fight against terrorism and organised crime. Alliot-Marie expressed her country's determination to collaborate with Spain in their fight against the Basque armed group ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) and mentioned the number of arrests obtained since the beginning of this year.

"You were able to see that over the last few months important results were obtained. Since the 1st of January of this year, 23 people were detained, six have been extradited," she said.

Last week, French police detained three suspected members of the ETA .The suspects, two men and a woman, were arrested in the city of Rodez.

They did not immediately release their identities, but Spain's Interior Ministry identified one of them as Juan Cruz Maiza Artola, chief of ETA logistics.

Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba thanked and congratulated French security forces.

British court to rule in August on Basque political refugees

Three suspected members of the Basque armed group ETA will hear on Aug. 17 whether they are to be extradited to Spain to face terrorism charges, a British court said on Friday.

Ana Isabel Lopez, Zigor Ruiz and Inigo Albisu were arrested under a European warrant in the northern English city of Sheffield in April. Askatasuna, the Basque political prisoners and refugees support group, denounced the arrests and highlighted that three of them were living and working in England for a long while and they were refugees escaping from Spanish repression and torture.

The Spanish arrest warrant accuses them of being part of a "reserve" cell of ETA. The three, who remain in custody, seemed relaxed during their four-hour appearance at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London.

Defence counsel Richard Gordon argued there was no detailed evidence against them and that a confession implicating Ruiz in an attack on a Spanish naval base in February 2006 had been obtained from another ETA suspect under torture.

Prosecutor Melanie Cumberland rejected the allegations, stressing that Spain was a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights. She also disputed arguments that the three, all Basques, were being prosecuted for their political beliefs. "Spain is a trusted extradition partner," she said.

Both parties said they would appeal if they lost the case.