ETA reaffirms their desire to advance in the resolution process.
EH BILDU presents their programme.
The signers of the Gernika Agreement make an assessment of the political course.
ETA reaffirms their desire to advance in the resolution process
The Basque armed organization ETA has sent a communiqué to the public opinion of the Basque Country where they reflect on the events of recent months and give their opinion about the current situation of the process.
The organization considers that the Declaration of Aiete as well as ETA’s own definitive cessation of their armed activities mark an important milestone in the new political cycle of the Basque Country. They are the first steps to cover on the path towards a resolution of the conflict through negotiation and agreement.
Eight months later, ETA reflects on what has happened since then. They consider that the will of Basque society and the commitment from the international community are solid bases on which to set the process.
They warn that the Spanish and French states maintain a negative attitude and, what’s more, their refusal to dialogue is trying to detain and obstruct the process. Together with that they enumerate a number of attacks on the part of the state, of which they list: arrests, judicial decisions against members of the Abertzale Left, the violations of civil and political rights, etc…
They consider it worrisome that many political parties put their party interests ahead of the resolution of the conflict. They make a special mention of the attitude of the PSOE and of the PNV, calling on the latter to clarify what is their proposal and disposition to acquire commitments.
On the subject of Basque political prisoners, ETA believes that there haven’t been any positive steps in respect to their fundamental rights, which they consider to be incomprehensible. However, they applaud the posture that the Basque Political Prisoners’ Collective (EPPK) is maintaining and their commitment to the resolution process.
The measures of exception, the suffering and the violence continue to characterize the political scenario according to ETA. After that reflection ETA made a declaration made up of five points, of which we will present here a few extracts:
1. ETA asserts that a future of peace and freedom in the Basque Country is possible. The overcoming of the conflict through dialogue and agreement is possible and necessary.
2. The resolution of the conflict must be confronted in its totality and profoundly, with seriousness and common sense. It is for that that ETA calls on all agents to act in a constructive manner, to not let go of a beneficial opportunity for everyone.
3. ETA makes a special call for reflection on the part of the PNV and all of their militants. Is it worth damaging the opportunity for a solution for mere party interests? ETA considers that it isn’t, we must all pull together for the Basque Country.
4. Being necessary the participation of all agents, the future of the Basque Country can’t be left alone in the hands of politicians. Pressure and mobilization are necessary from the Basque citizenry to move those who remain immobile.
5. ETA makes known that in these months they have continued trying to promote and structure the process. We are redoubling our efforts to open ways of dialogue, strengthening relations with international agents and carrying out the internal adaptations that the process demands, among others the constitution of a delegation from ETA to face this dialogue. We demonstrate our commitment to continue on the same path, to bring it to a close with the objective of reaching peace and freedom.
From the Abertzale Left, we assess in a positive way the content of the declaration by Euskadi Ta Askatasuna: ETA doesn’t just reaffirm their decision taken on October 20th, it makes an effort to open ways of dialogue.
Facing this desire manifested by ETA and the new scenario open in our country, the PP, the PSOE and the PNV are acting with complete political irresponsibility. They are putting their political interests ahead of the development of a peace process that benefits all of us.
We again reaffirm that there is only one path for democratic resolutions, here and in the rest of the world: respect for everyone’s rights and dialogue.
EH BILDU presents their programme
The coalition of sovereigntist and leftist forces, EH Bildu presented last week their candidate for Lehendakari (president of the Basque Autonomous Community).
In their presentation the writer and professor Laura Mintegi affirmed that dialogue and respect among different parts, the demand for peace, the right to decide and social justice will be the axes of this project.
As they said in the presentation of the candidate, the members of this coalition believe that “it is the moment to change the root of the situation and do so forever.” They aspire to convert themselves into a “common space for all sovereigntists and leftists.”
In her speech, which she made alternating between the two languages of the country, Spanish and Basque; Laura Mintegi affirmed that she faces this challenge with responsibility and hope. She also outlined the axes of work for the coalition among which stood out the construction of peace. In this sense she specified that peace is not synonymous with the absence of violence, but also with justice, the respect for all opinions, to be able to make decisions and have the right to carry them out.
A few days later EH Bildu presented the work group which will be the base of the Government of Lakua in case Laura Mintegi becomes Lehendakari. Something new in politics, presenting the executive team before the legislative or parliamentary ones, but, as the candidate for Lehendakari Laura Mintegi herself explained, the coalition wishes “to begin to change the inertia and the expired models” from the very first moment.
In her intervention she remarked on two clear objectives that propel this project: a policy with leftist values, which goes towards designing a more just society, and laying the groundwork for the future country that we wish to become.
The candidate and the rest of the members of the team pinpointed their proposals and the objectives of each area before the dozens of Abertzales present in the act, among who were found the main leaders of the four formations who make up the coalition.
The signers of the Gernika Agreement make an assessment of the political course
In the assessment made by the signatories of the agreement last week stated that the political course that is ending has brought a clarification to the process of the resolution of the conflict. According to them throughout the course of political events solid political bases have been made for the peace process and political normalization.
They name several positive steps that they consider to be clear in the peace process:
The International Conference of Aiete whose final declaration set a roadmap for the resolution of the conflict.
ETA’s historical decision to end their armed activity, the clearest path in the process of peace and political normalization.
The legalization of Sortu is also a step, although their political activity is still not normalized in the Basque Country.
It is also important that the Basque Political Prisoners Collective have signed the Gernika Agreement. That has put the collective on the front line of the resolution process.
But there are also dark spaces in the assessment they have made.
The arrests of Basque citizens.
The hardening of the penitentiary policy.
The threats of banning.
The formalization of life sentences.
The intentional false interpretations of the political situation we are going through.
They are disappointed by the attitude that the Spanish government is maintaining. But they are clear that they are not going to let this opportunity fail. They affirm that for that the Basque citizenry have the key to the resolution. And they want to advance on the path to peace and political normalization.
It is time for solutions; it is time for peace and political normalization. This is the desire of the majority of the Basque People.
Steps for a resolution in the north of the Basque Country: Diverse political, social and trade union organizations in the north of the Basque Country have shown their intention to promote a wide social movement in favour of an integral resolution to the conflict. They consider the political moment to be important and that with everyone’s contribution it is possible to achieve a just and lasting peace. With the idea of promoting a debate, they announced that next December they will be holding an open forum.
The Sao Paulo Forum welcomes the new political time: The Sao Paolo Forum adopted in their plenary session a resolution about the new situation in the Basque Country. In that resolution they welcome the new political time in the Basque Country. They consider that the International Conference of San Sebastian and ETA’s decision to put an end to their armed activity to be historic acts. Taking in what was said at the end of the International Conference of San Sebastian, they urge the governments and the different political actors to adopt proactive policies tending to face the solution process through the causes and consequences of the political conflict.
Attacks against political prisoners: Three Basque political prisoners were assaulted by guards at the French prison in Villefranche, close to Lyon. The aggression took place after these prisoners protested the denial of a visit by a relative, according to Etxerat’s report. It was an attack made by guards with weapons and helmets.