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Spain says Basque peace talks could begin in June

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Spain says Basque peace talks could begin in June


Spain’s Prime Minister is ready to start peace talks with ETA next month. Speaking in the Basque country for the first time since the armed separatist group called a permanent ceasefire in March, Jose Rodriguez Zapatero said he plans to consult with all political parties about finding a solution to violence in the region.

But he also stressed that discussions cannot begin until ETA has proved it has given up all its weapons. However the main opposition believes the government should not even be entertaining the idea of negotiating with ETA. Popular Party Secretary General, Angel Acebes, says what Spain is undergoing is anything but a peace process: “The country is being blackmailed by a band of terrorists and the prime minister should not tolerate that.” Opinion among the Spanish public also remains divided. Recent polls suggest the majority of Spaniards are deeply sceptical about the Basque peace process and ETA’s ceasefire.
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