Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"THE HONEYMOON IS OVER", writes the Wall Street Journal in an editorial about last Saturday's demonstration and Zapatero's inclination towards negotiating with ETA. The headline is a tad too optimistic since it'll take a bit more than that to end Zapatero's support: as an incumbent has has all the propaganda machine for him, as well as the helpful help of the country's MSM. Still, there's signs that the events are already taking its toll.

So the headline may be a bit too rosy, but the text is quite good:
Two years ago when Spaniards protested against the war in Iraq, then opposition leader José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero urged the government to listen to the people. And the former conservative government did indeed listen -- Spanish troops were sent to Iraq only after the major combat operations had ended.

One man's demonstrator is another man's nuisance, Prime Minister Zapatero may be thinking now. Last Saturday, around 850,000 people took to the streets in Madrid to protest against government plans to possibly open talks with the Basque terrorist group ETA. Victims of ETA attacks and their relatives led protesters carrying Spanish flags and banners reading "No negotiations in my name."

Mr. Zapatero promised that he will be "listening to the demonstrators with respect." If he did indeed listen, he should consider repealing last month's parliamentary resolution, which gave the Socialist government the authority to begin a dialogue with ETA provided the separatist group pledges to lay down its arms. By stressing that "dialogue" is not the same as "negotiation" and asserting that "violence cannot be rewarded politically," the government hoped to avoid the semblance of appeasement. But the distinction the government was trying to make is rather academic, and the people were not buying it.
Unfortunately the link is only for subscribers, so I can't give you the rest.

UPDATE. A charitable soul has left the full text in a comment on my Spanish blog so you can read it all here, but don't tell Dow Jones...

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