There is no peace progress with the Basque separatists ETA underway yet, despite their ceasefire declaration last week.
Madrid does not trust them nor want to talk to them yet. but one man who probably will soon is veteran mediator Brian Currin.
“Are we closer to the beginning of a peace process in the Basque country?”
“I believe that the circumstances are such that we are closer to a peace process in the Basque country that will be sustainable, and a critical ingredient of that would be in my view the legalisation of Batasuna. If ETA were to declare an end to their armed struggle then there’s no terrorist organisation that needs to be condemned, and if that is the case there would be no need for Batasuna to condemn violence.”
The Spanish government has heard ETA declarations like this before, and tried fruitless negotiations a few years ago. It wants weapons surrendered and a total abandonment of hostilities before talks.
If anyone can bring them together Currin, a veteran of the aparthide and Northern Irish peace processes, can.
A full version of the Currin interview will be on euronews on Friday.