The Basque terrorist group’s announcement that it has ended its campaign of violence should end four decades of division and tragedy. But it also represents an opportunity for the country’s politicians to start showing some badly needed statesmanship.
A year on from the separatist group’s ceasefire announcement, ETA is weaker than ever and a peace process looks highly unlikely. But with the emergence of a new nationalist coalition, the Basque region is politically healthier.
The Basque group’s recent history has been plagued by logistical weakness and political errors. Few are celebrating its latest truce even though it offers real hope of peace and an end to ETA’s campaign of violence.
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.
James Badcock examines the political implications of ETA’s latest ceasefire and sees little room for manoeuvre on the part of the Socialist government.
The Basque group’s much-anticipated announcement of a truce is welcome but does not go nearly far enough to convince the government -or Spanish public opinion- that it is yet committed to peace.