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.

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