Sunday, January 16, 2005

ETA HAS RELEASED a message with a statement calling for peace talks, but it's just like one of these tapes by Osama bin Laden saying: "I'm offering you the chance negotiating how and when you're going to do exactly as I say, otherwise it'll be your fault if I kill you for disobeying, you stubborn infidels!". So this is the same, but with a Basque twist:
The armed Basque separatist group ETA has backed negotiations with Spain in a statement but made no mention of laying down weapons as demanded by the government before talks can begin.

The statement from the outlawed group, published in the Basque newspaper Gara on Sunday, followed remarks by Basque politicians that ETA may be eager to call a ceasefire.

ETA has killed more than 800 people since 1968 in a bombing and shooting campaign for an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France. Spain, the United States and the European Union brand it a terrorist group.

ETA said it backed a November peace proposal from Batasuna, the radical political party banned for refusing to denounce ETA violence which proposed "exclusively political and democratic" talks to "take the conflict off the streets".

ETA said it was "perfectly willing to take part in a process of those characteristics" and that it was "essential that the whole society has a chance to participate in such a process".

Defence Minister Jose Bono dismissed both ETA and Batasuna unless they reject violence, telling Cadena Ser radio on Sunday: "You can't talk to someone with a gun in his hand ... Nobody sensible can sit down with these people."
In the same statement, ETA claims responsibility for the small bombs scattered accross Spain last summer and during early December, but it also denies any involvement in the bomb scare that prompted the evacuation of more than 70,000 people from the Santiago Bernabeu soccer stadium.