Thursday, October 20, 2011

ETA (Spain's Basque separatists) stand down their armed struggle

The Basque separatist terror group ETA has announced that it is permanently ending its armed struggle against the Spanish government: ETA pone fin a 43 años de terror El País.

So there is some good news coming out of Europe right now.

I've admired some of the things that Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has accomplished since his Socialist Party (PSOE) won a majority in 2004: his withdrawal from the Iraq war, the legalization of same-sex marriage, his secularist policies to reduce undue influence of the Catholic Church in government, for some examples.

For the most part, though, Zapatero's main legacy in Spain will be that he and his party knuckled under to the bankster-driven austerity policies of the EU, badly hurting the Spanish people. Recent local election saw major gains by the conservative People's Party, including in some of the most secure PSOE constituencies. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for November 20 and they are likely to be a political bloodbath for the PSOE.

But his efforts to persuade ETA to give up armed violence and carry on their struggle through the normal political process has been one of his major goals, and a constructive one. This will be a definite positive side to his political legacy, which will be dominant by his foolish, destructive austerity policies in the economic crisis. ETA is the anagram of Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, the group's name in the Basque language, which means Basque Nationalist Party.

ETA first started its violent struggle against the central government in 1968 under the Franco dictatorship.

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