Sunday

23rd Sep 2018

EU declines peace talks bid by Basque seperatists

  • Spain's Supreme Court banned Batasuna in 2003 on grounds that it was part of ETA (Photo: EUobserver)

EU justice and home affairs commissioner Franco Frattini has rejected a call from outlawed political Basque group Batasuna to negotiate a peace agreement in the Basque country and has reiterated the EU's support for the Spanish government.

The Basque separatists urged Brussels on Wednesday (6 June) to step in and help re-establish the peace process with the Spanish government, after pro-independence terrorist group ETA announced an end of its 15-month ceasefire on Tuesday (5 June).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Batasuna's representative in Brussels, Gorka Elejabarrieta, said that the EU "could and should" help restore the peace process in the Basque country and therefore solve the conflict, writes ADNmundo.

Mr Elejabarrieta, who was speaking to journalists in Brussels, said that "the resolution of the Basque conflict should be a priority in the agenda of the EU," but added that Brussels policy has been so far to endorse "the interests of the Spanish state and not those of the Basque country and the EU itself."

It was this stance that Mr Frattini restated by saying that "we respect the initiatives of the Spanish government and we will keep working with them in order to defeat terrorism," according to El Correo Digital.

Spain's Supreme Court banned Batasuna in 2003 on grounds that it was part of ETA, leading to its members being barred from engaging in political activity. It remains legal in France.

ETA said it ended the ceasefire claiming "minimum conditions for continuing a process of negotiations do not exist" and blamed socialist prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero for ruining the peace process by continuing to arrest and try ETA members and by barring some pro-independence candidates from Basque local elections last month.

Despite announcing the self-imposed "permanent cease-fire" in March last year, ETA detonated a car bomb at Madrid's international airport in December, destroying a five-story car park and killing two people, leading Mr Zapatero to end the peace negotiations.

The group – which is classed as a terrorist organisation by Madrid, Brussels and Washington - is accused of killing more than 800 people since 1968 in the fight for Basque independence from Spain.

Basque threat of 'second front' for independence

Last weekend some 175,000 people in the Basque country demanded a 'right to decide'. For some, it means more autonomy from Spain, others independence. "We want to open a second front within the Spanish state," says one Basque politician.

Opinion

Building a Europe more resilient to terrorism

One year to the day since the terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, the commissioner for home affairs spells out what action the EU is taking now to protect against further attacks.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us