The Spanish government believes “it is possible we may soon see the dismantling of ETA”. That is according to unofficial governmental sources. The leak comes a day after the separatist group, which has killed hundreds of people in its struggle for Basque independence from Spain, said it was willing to negotiate with the government.
While in a statement ETA made no explicit reference to an imminent ceasefire it did say it was time for dialogue. Unofficial government sources have said the government is pushing for ETA disarmament in line with conditions for talks set down by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
The separatist group’s campaign has recently been scaled down. It has been more than a year and a half since its last deadly attack. Past attempts at talks, in 1989 and a decade later, have failed.While the sources say Zapatero’s Socialist government considers the circumstances today to be “very different” publicly the government is denying any approach from ETA.