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Spain and France together against ETA

brussels bureau

Spain and France together against ETA


Spain and France have put the seal on a new joint anti-terrorist operation. The full-time unit will concentrate on ETA and other terrorist groups. President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Paris were holding the first Franco-Spanish summit since Sarkozy took office last Spring.

They also revived a deal to almost double the electricity flow between the two countries. On the police cooperation, Zapatero said: “This agreement signed today is fundamental. It’s about warning each other… The most effective way to prevent terrorist attacks and violent actions.”

Last month, two Spanish officers were murdered in France by ETA. Paris and Madrid also intend to work more closely against illegal immigration, and drug trafficking. Sarkozy defined ETA, which stands for Basque Freedom and Homeland, as “a band of murderers.”

He said: “We don’t let them have their way, either in France or anywhere. And Spain has paid a heavy enough toll — the heaviest of all Europe. So whoever is governing Spain can count on France’s support.”

Environmental concerns accompany the power project, but Madrid has said the partly buried high tension lines in the Eastern Pyrenees could be running within three years. The two days of meetings conclude this Friday, with a ceremony in recognition of the officers who arrested two of the ETA murder suspects. A third is still free.

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