Whilst the announcement that Basque separatist group ETA will end its violent campaign has been seen as a positive step, there are those who believe this is not enough.
The conservative Popular Party, Spain’s largest opposition party, say they will not be at ease until ETA disbands. However, Prime Minister Rodriguez Zapatero said he is convinced that people will no longer have to live with fear and intimidation and could focus on liberty and peace.
This definitive ceasefire comes 10 years too late for Manuel Gimenez. His father, a leading politician in the Popular Party, was shot dead by ETA during a family outing. “I am happy to know that no more families are going to go through something similar to what my family and other Spanish families had to experience,” he said.
Away studying in France when his father was killed, Manuel said he sees ETA’s declaration as a necessity caused by changing times: “I think it is the real end of ETA, but it wasn’t their choice. It is the end thanks to the effort of all Spaniards, and also because nowadays ETA is an anachronism in a united and modern Europe, where ideas are defended in parliaments and not with pistols.”
The announcement puts an end to an operation that has killed 829 people since the late 1960s.
The message coming from both sides, and written outside the Basque parliament in both the Spanish and Basque languages, is ‘We Need Peace’.