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Basque party cleared by court

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Basque party cleared by court

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Spain’s Constitutional Court has overturned a lower court ruling preventing a Basque party from fielding candidates in the European parliamentary elections because of alleged links with the armed separatist group ETA. No evidence was found to link Iniciativa Internacionalista with the banned party Batasuna or ETA. Legislation in 2003 sought to ban anyone who does not condemn terrorism.

Spain’s Interior Minister Alfredu Pérez Rubalcaba said: “The police and the civil guard have done their job, so have the tribunals, that’s the way a state of law works — what the government must do in this case here is to respect the ruling.” A new coalition of Socialists with the conservative PP set up in the Basque region last month unequivocally supporting its remaining part of Spain was a sharp u-turn from nearly 30 years of nationalist tradition. But this has not stopped the centre-right opposition and ruling left from launching mutually vituperative campaigns for the EU elections.