March 23, 2006
JUST GIVE US THE DEAL CATALONIA GOT AND WE GO AWAY:
Basque terrorists lay down their arms after 40 years (Graham Keeley, 3/23/06, Times of London)
Unlike the previous conservative government, Señor Zapatero’s administration has signalled its willingness to talk to Eta. Last May the Spanish parliament passed a law allowing it to negotiate with Eta if it renounced violence. Yesterday’s ceasefire was warmly welcomed by Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president whose republican movement has had close links with Eta.
“Eta’s announcement provides all sides to the conflict with an opportunity of historic proportions,” he said. “There is a particular onus on the Spanish Government to respond positively and creatively.”
One figure who appears to have played an intriguing backroom role is Father Alec Reid, the Belfast priest who helped to prepare the ground for the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland. Since last year, he has been involved in talks between Basque nationalist parties and the main political groups in the region.
On the one hand, the Madrid bombings hurt their popular support, but on the other they brought in a government that is happy to give in to their demands. Posted by Orrin Judd at March 23, 2006 7:05 AM