ETA Declare Definitive Ceasefire
There was joyful news in Spain last week as the Basque terrorist group, ETA declared a ceasefire which will hopefully bring an end to over 50 years of violence. Three masked representatives made the following statement last Thursday via video.
"ETA has decided the definitive cease of its armed activity. ETA calls upon the Spanish and French governments to open a process of direct dialogue with the aim of addressing the resolution of the conflict."
Spanish PM, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, was quick to praise the declaration as a "victory for democracy" going on to say: "Ours will be a democracy without terrorism, but not a democracy without memory. The memory of the victims, of each of the 829 murdered victims and their families, that of so many injured that bore the unfair and abhorrent blow of terror, will be with us and with future generations of Spaniards forever."
Whilst ETA have declared ceasefires in the past, only to break them, there is optimism in many quarters that this could finally signal the end of the terrorist group whose support is dwindling even amongst Basque nationals. Most likely it will fall to the People's Party leader, Mariano Rajoy (favourite to win power in the 20 November general election) to oversee the peace process. "We consider this to be an important step, but Spaniards will only be happy when there is an irreversible dissolution and complete dismantling of Eta."
For more info on the history of the ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or 'Basque Homeland and Freedom) and the significance and implications of this latest ceasefire declaration then check out this article by Giles Tremlett in The Guardian.