The unveiling of a new Basque pro-independence party that rejects ETA violence is a major development. Giving its request to run in local elections a fair hearing would reflect well on Spain’s courts, given the maelstrom of political feeling that surrounds this issue.
While a number of factors influence and complicate current attempts to ensure a lasting peace in the Basque region, the changing relationship between ETA and its political wing is at the heart of this process.
The Basque separatist group wants its conflict with the Spanish state to be an issue with international repercussions. But despite the efforts of a high-profile group of mediators, Spain’s political situation and ETA’s complex relationship with its political support make progress towards lasting peace extremely difficult.