Spanish government rejects ETA “permanent” ceasefire” – update

The Basque comrades  of today look sleeker but still faintly ridculous and much the same as the boyos of yesteryear at home.  

The story has broken of a permanent ETA  ceasefire. As CS Lewis said of Christianity: if  false, it is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” What part did Sinn Fein play? I’m sure we will soon hear the claims.

 Adds. But  successive Spanish governments have always made different calculations from the British and Irish govermments in the past two decades, demanding disarmament and disbanding at once, along with ceasefire.  What can ETA  do now other than soldier or or lose face?

UTV reports  Gerry Adams’s  expected comment.

“Doubts were raised by some as to ETA’s commitment to this strategy and the opportunity for progress was not exploited fully.”

Mr Adams urged the Spanish government to now “grasp the opportunity for a lasting peace and a new beginning in the relationship between the Basque people and the Spanish state”.

Note the casual equation there between “the Basque people”  and ETA. Contrary to that assumption, for the first time in nearly 30 years, a non-nationalist Basque goverment was formed  in the provincial Assembly after the 2009 election, in an admitttedly tortuous process.    Moreover, most Basque nationalist parties are not linked to ETA.

From Sarah Rainsford, BBC Correspondent, Madrid

Eta’s statement has been met with widespread scepticism in Spain, and perhaps disappointment. An announcement had been rumoured for weeks.

But what Eta has actually said fails to convince most Spaniards that anything’s changed. Eta has called “permanent” ceasefires before. The last, in 2006, ended with a bomb at Madrid airport.

And whilst the latest declaration refers to a peace process, there’s no mention of disarming.

What is new is a proposal that the ceasefire is verified by international observers. Spain’s interior minister has already dismissed that, saying the only checking will be done by the country’s own security forces.

The government believes that a series of high-profile arrests has left Eta weaker, militarily, than ever before. It insists that the only statement it will accept from the separatist militants now is one that announces Eta’s definitive dissolution.

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  • Cynic2

    Perhaps in telling them that PIRA were much bigger and better armed in ETA and the British still ultimately beat them, so it was pointless to continue

  • The Word

    “beat” – that’s just an ego uttering its nonsense.

    Perhaps they advised ETA that sometimes you’re pushing at an open door that locks closed with some force when its regarded as doorway to supremacy.

  • Brian

    Those guys look kinda like Cobra Commander from the old GI Joe cartoons.

  • Munsterview

    So when are the UUP / DUP going to admit that they have been retained as advisors to the Spanish Government ?

  • Ceist

    It seems the Spanish government are right when they say that ETA are coming to this from a seriously weekend position. The last few years have seen them limping along without any sense of direction or momentum.

    The fact that they shot and killed a gendarme last year illustrates that whatever easy ride they may have received from the French historically, it is now long gone and effectively ETA have few places left to hide (although and speaking of, has anyone heard of our friend De Juana Chaos?)

    The leadership has been halted at every turn with wave after wave of arrests (mostly in France) and wider sympathy (and the finances that go with it) have been drying up over the last decade. ETA has been forced to rely more and more on extortion as its main form of income. This has resulted in punishment actions for non payment which has painted ETA more and more like an apolitical criminal force.

    Even the kale borroka are more akin to the Ardoyne shops on the 12th then anything else.

    Essentially ETA were beat 10 years ago but didn’t realise it.

  • aquifer

    Very hard for a campaign of vandalism arson murder and extortion to get market share these days. Bankrupt social democracies do not make very good oppressors, and you are finished when you get swatted down by one.

    These guys just look KKKlueless.