In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the centre of gravity of the Francoist regime shifted from the army to the central administration. The goal of these technocrats was to prepare a peaceful evolution following Franco’s death by promoting minimal reforms and a continuation of the regime in a modernised fashion. After the end of Francoism, Spain faced a new political landscape where it had to adapt to the transformations of the global economy and the western democratic model.

Against a background of political reforms, ETA and the abertzale left struggled to promote a complete rupture with the Francoist regime, based on the recognition of basic democratic rights (such as freedom of speech, political participation, amnesty, etc.) and the right to self-determination of the nations under Spanish rule. This process was fraught with internal divisions, leading to ETA’s
split but also the creation of new political coalitions and alliances. Although the abertzale left failed to integrate its proposals into a new constitutional framework, eventually elaborated without its participation, the bases for continuing the struggle were established because a large segment of Basque society supported its political positions.

Reorganisation of ETA during the last years of Francoism

From the Burgos trial to the last executions of Francoism
ETA’s split

From the Law for Political Reform to the Spanish Constitution

Spanish and Basque opposition forces
The division of the Southern land
The patriotic front: Txiberta meetings and the failure of unity
The constitutional process and the creation of Herri Batasuna

Conclusions: unfinished business