by Alexandra in WMass
Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 03:31:25 AM EST
Some recent development related directly and indirectly to the Basque peace process in Spain.
Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero with Nafarroa-Bai, deputy, Uxue Barkos on Wednesday April 26 2006. [update] Important clarification: Nafarroa-Bai (Navarre-Yes) is actually a coalition of Basque Nationalist parties (PNV, EA, Aralar)
From the diaries ~ whataboutbob
Basque nationalist sentenced to 15 months in prison:
The secretary of state for Communication, Fernando Moraleda, has insisted that the future of Navarra will not form part of Basque peace talks, and president Zapatero, who met with Nafarroa-Bai MP Uxue Barkos earlier today, has said that he has not ruled out a meeting with Navarran president, Miguel Sanz, "when he recovers from his anxiety attack." Mr Sanz said yesterday that the peace process should be suspended following last weekend's violent episodes.
Mr Zapatero has now completed his round of meetings with representatives of all parliamentary parties following the announcement of the ceasefire, whom he thanked for their unanimous support and trust.
Meanwhile, Batasuna spokesman, Patxi Urrutia, has declared that Navarra is the "backbone" of the conflict, without which a solution "will not be possible." Mr Urrutia indicated that Batasuna will be organising a protest march in France under the slogan "Reunite Navarra to build a Basque homeland from the left." As far as Batasuna is concerned, "Navarra is the axis, the spinal column of Euskal Herria (the Basque homeland), without it Euskal Herria disappears from the map." Source
Update [2006-4-27 16:44:45 by Alexandra in WMass]:
The Spanish National Court on Thursday found the prominent Basque nationalist politician Arnaldo Otegi
guilty of praising terrorism and sentenced him to 15 months in prison and seven years and three months banned from voting, and from being a political candidate himself for prising terrorism in the tribute for dead ETA member José Miguel Beñaran Ordeñana, alias Argala on December 21, 2003.
The National Court gave the sentence to Arnaldo Otegi, leader of the outlawed Batasuna party and considered a key figure for possible peace talks between the Spanish government and the armed Basque group ETA, which declared a permanent cease-fire last month. Source
Thanks to Migeru's comments below here are some more specifics:
Otegi is a former ETA member and his role in the peace process is expected to be negotiating with the other Basque political parties on reconciliation and such like, while ETA negotiates with the National government on disarmament and the status of ETA prisoners. The apparent leader of ETA is Josu Ternera. Otegi (or batasuna generally) is not supposed to negotiate with the Spanish goverment: that's what ETA will do.
For more articles in English here
are the google news search results. Le Monde has the French version of this news item
I wonder what effect this may have on the peace process and how this fits into the internal Spanish politics.
For previous background on the Basque peace process and politics (updated):
* The lies of March 11 and the Basque situation. by ManfromMiddletown Wed Apr 12th, 2006
* Spanish-Basque peace process newsby whataboutbob Sat Apr 8th, 2006
* The Basque Political Spectrum by Migeru Mon Mar 27th, 2006
* Ser: 80% of Spaniards favor dialogue with ETA. by ManfromMiddletown, Mar 25th, 2006
* Basque peace process: from the horse's mouth by Migeru Thu Mar 23rd, 2006
* Breaking: ETA announces indefinite ceasefire by Migeru, Mar 22nd, 2006
These stories are also all in wiki now waiting for future additions...