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Spain's ETA declare ceasefire


Sync

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Armed Basque separatist group Eta says it will not "carry out armed actions" in its campaign for independence.

The group said it took the decision several months ago "to put in motion a democratic process".

The Spanish government has previously said it will only negotiate with Eta if it renounces violence and disarms.

Eta's violent campaign for Basque independence has led to more than 820 deaths over the past 40 years
BBC News - Spain's Eta 'declares ceasefire'



Fantastic news for Spain and the people of Bilbao. Hopefully this signals an end to the violence that's plagued the region for the last few decades.

"Eta confirms its commitment to finding a democratic solution to the conflict we call on all Basque citizens to continue in the struggle, each in their own field, with whatever degree of commitment they have, so that we can all cast down the wall of denial and make irreversible moves forward on the road to freedom.
 

edifice.

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It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If Euskadi are modelling this initiative on the Provisional's scenario then the return of armed conflict is inevitable. We shall wait and see.
 

GreenBack

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Does the move have anything to do with the fact that their structure has been almost completely destroyed?
 

alonso

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Jaysus, all it took was Spain winning Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup....
 

GreenBack

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Are these the only three ETA members not in prison?
And how many people have they killed since their last ceasefire and for what?
Hasn't the Basque country had far more autonomy than NI for sometime?
 

Sync

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Does the move have anything to do with the fact that their structure has been almost completely destroyed?

Certainly part of it, but another part is that when you're in Spain, you get the feeling that the build for Catalan and Basque independence is growing rapidly, as seen by the recent million man march in Barcelona. So you've got a choice to make, do keep using violence and remain a distraction in the larger discussion, or do you put the guns away because you know that will further your goals better in the long term?
 

GreenBack

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Certainly part of it, but another part is that when you're in Spain, you get the feeling that the build for Catalan and Basque independence is growing rapidly, as seen by the recent million man march in Barcelona. So you've got a choice to make, do keep using violence and remain a distraction in the larger discussion, or do you put the guns away because you know that will further your goals better in the long term?
I certainly agree that Spain is a divided nation/state but I feel that radical nationalism in the Basque country has wanned recently (although it could pick up) and the extremists in ETA have been well out of tune for a very long time. Perhaps ETA have finally realised this but if you're an extremists you dont do rational very easily.
 

Scipio

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Certainly part of it, but another part is that when you're in Spain, you get the feeling that the build for Catalan and Basque independence is growing rapidly, as seen by the recent million man march in Barcelona. So you've got a choice to make, do keep using violence and remain a distraction in the larger discussion, or do you put the guns away because you know that will further your goals better in the long term?
Bang on the money.
 

Thac0man

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I certainly agree that Spain is a divided nation/state but I feel that radical nationalism in the Basque country has wanned recently (although it could pick up) and the extremists in ETA have been well out of tune for a very long time. Perhaps ETA have finally realised this but if you're an extremists you dont do rational very easily.
I would not be so optomistic about ETA realising anything. All that has dawned on them is that Herri Batasuna is being marginalised. ETA and in particular its political wing are no longer the chief banner holder for Basque nationalism. Many other parties in the Basque country are equally nationalist and pro-independance, only ETAs ability to murder adds weight to Herri Batasuna. In reality they are a minority party now, powerless and marginalised even in the line up of pro-Basque political parties.

Another aspect of this is that like most simular terrorist organisations ETAs fighters and in particular leaders are unwilling to make major sacrafices for the cause. France is no longer a safe haven and facing an increasing crack down few ETA fighters are going to risk a show down with the Spanish authorities. The Spanish government should not respond to this ceasefire, they should crush ETA once and for all. Engaging in any talks with ETA only invites them to rearm and break off talks at a time of their choosing with a bomb. The current Spanish government let ETA off the hook once and it cost innocent lives, they should not make the same mistake again and in doing so also give credabiltiy to ETA and Herri Batesuna, who are a minority voice in the Basque nationalist cause.
 

picador

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Spain's ETA Declare Ceasefire

Who comes up with headline's like that?
 

eoghanacht

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Spain's ETA Declare Ceasefire

Who comes up with headline's like that?
Yeah, it's a bit like Britains IRA.

I'd say this move although welcome has more to do with ETA being decimated by Spainish authorities then a resolute turn away from violence
 

deirdrem

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Who are ETA?

ETA's actions have long been questionable.
Think yer man Donaldson who was killed in Donegal a few years back; Stakeknife, etc.
Many people think that ETA was far more riddled with Spanish agents than the IRA was, to the point that over the past 20 years, it was actually hard to say who was actually running it.

It's been a long road to get this far, but don't be surprised if there is a split/continuing actions by ETA under that or a different name.
The Spanish secret services don't want to see it go - it's a major piece in their strategy to control Euskadi, and without it they'll have to invent another pseudo-group.
 

Cato

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ETA's actions have long been questionable.
Think yer man Donaldson who was killed in Donegal a few years back; Stakeknife, etc.
Many people think that ETA was far more riddled with Spanish agents than the IRA was, to the point that over the past 20 years, it was actually hard to say who was actually running it.

It's been a long road to get this far, but don't be surprised if there is a split/continuing actions by ETA under that or a different name.
The Spanish secret services don't want to see it go - it's a major piece in their strategy to control Euskadi, and without it they'll have to invent another pseudo-group.
 

Ramzi Nohra

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This is good news. I hope it is encouraged. A return to a Franco style crackdown is the last thing that is needed.

There could well be splinter groups. The history of variants of ETA (eg Militar and Politico-Militar) makes Irish Republicanism look like an unchaning monolith.

Euzkedi does have a fair amount of autonomy, but to my knowledge has never been allowed a plebiscite as to whether they want to stay in Spain. I think the Basque regional parliament is now dominated by non-nationalist parties, so its not clear one would be won.

I would also agree the ceasefire is due to their effective military defeat. Given the way the Spanish government has perpetrated violence on the basque people I dont thin ETA would have had moral doubts about the efficacy of violence itself.

By the way, I would heartily recommend " A basque history of the world" by Mark Kulansky, about anyone wanting to read more about the Basques - an absolutely fascinating people.
 

Thac0man

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The Spanish government has stated the obvious; a ceasefire is not enough:

BBC News - Spain dismisses Eta ceasefire as 'insufficient'

That makes alot of sense. Without disarming ETA could take time to re-arm, as they did before during ceasefires. If ETA are serious, then they have to disarm. If they do not then the retention of their arms lends weight to Herri Batasuna over its other Basque Nationalist rivals, which is unwarrented and undemocratic. Herri Batasuna and ETA are not the only forces for Basque freedom. In retaining arms they put a gun to the head of Basque nationalism as much as they do the Spanish government.
 

Ramzi Nohra

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The Spanish government has stated the obvious; a ceasefire is not enough:

BBC News - Spain dismisses Eta ceasefire as 'insufficient'

That makes alot of sense. Without disarming ETA could take time to re-arm, as they did before during ceasefires. If ETA are serious, then they have to disarm. If they do not then the retention of their arms lends weight to Herri Batasuna over its other Basque Nationalist rivals, which is unwarrented and undemocratic. Herri Batasuna and ETA are not the only forces for Basque freedom.
I can understand why you are saying this, but I should point out they have a track record of manufacturing their own arms (including sub-machine guns I think) so any decommissioning could be fairly meaningless given how easily they could re-arm
 

Sync

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They're right, but that's not helpful language. First thing you do is welcome it, then you start talking about decommissioning.
 
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