Spain says the arrest of a suspected Basque terror cell at the weekend may have foiled an attempted attack against the new regional government. Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said Jurdan Martitegi and other suspects seized in France were planning an attack against the Socialist-led administration.
“The police are working on the theory that the suspects were planning to explode a car bomb during the swearing-in of the new Basque regional government,” claimed Rubalcaba. Basque Socialist leader Patxi Lopez is set to lead the new government. He is the first Basque Country leader to support unity with Madrid since the region won wide autonomy in 1979. Martitegi is the third senior ETA official to be arrested in the last five months. He is suspected of staging a number of attacks in Spain, one of which led to the death of a policeman in May last year. Madrid said the terrorists are growing ever-weaker and are on the brink of collapse.