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ETA victims relatives call on Spain to unite

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ETA victims relatives call on Spain to unite


Spain’s politicians are being urged to unite over how to proceed following the start of ETA’s first permanent ceasefire. Relatives of victims of the militant Basque separatists’ have issued a statement calling on political groups to end their divisions in order for a peace process to begin. Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, says he wants peace talks to start once he is sure ETA has laid down its guns forever.

Opinion polls suggest most Spaniards want the prime minister to open negotiations with ETA. The opposition Popular Party previously dismissed the ceasefire saying it didn’t signal an end to criminal activity. But communication spokesman, Gabriel Elorriaga, says for now the Popular Party is collaborating in complete trust with the government. The ceasefire declaration has been cause for big celebrations in several Basque cities where many share ETA’s goal of independence but reject the group’s violent methods. The prime minister hopes to ask Spain’s parliament to approve plans to initiate contacts with ETA before the summer. In the meantime, he will visit Dublin to see what he can learn from the Irish peace process.
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