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New Basque separatist party rejects ETA violence

New Basque separatist party rejects ETA violence
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The founders of a new Basque separatist party have condemned the use of violence in the struggle for independence.

The party hopes to take over from Batasuna, the political wing of the terrorist group ETA, which was banned in 2003.

Organisers want to take part in regional elections in May. For that the government in Madrid must give its approval for the new party to be included on electoral lists.

Spokesman for the new party Rufi Etxeberria said: “The left wing separatists reject and oppose the use of violence or the threat of its use to achieve political goals. That include ETA’s violence.’

The party – whose name has yet to be announced – was formed after ETA declared a permanent ceasefire last month.

The terrorists have not carried out an attack since August 2009 but in 40 years of fighting for independence they have killed more than 800 people.