Saturday, October 22, 2011

Spain: Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Eta) lays down its arms for a definitive cessation of its armed activity

After more than 40 years of violent struggle for independence in the traditional Basque homeland in Spain and France, the separatist group ETA declared a unilateral end to its campaign of bombings and shootings on Thursday, saying it wished to seize a “historical opportunity to reach a just and democratic resolution to an age-old political conflict.”

The group’s announcement of “the definite cessation of its military activity,” and its appeal for a “direct dialogue” with the governments in Madrid and Paris, came in the form of a written statement and an accompanying video posted online, which were sent to news organizations.

The renunciation of armed struggle went a step further than previous cease-fires the group has declared, and often broken, over the years. It was perhaps an acknowledgment that the group had been badly weakened by a crackdown by Spanish and French security forces.

Spanish leaders, facing a debt crisis and severe austerity measures, welcomed the rare bit of good news with relief and cautious optimism.

The News:
http://www.nytimes.c … html?_r=1&ref=europe



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