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However, ETA is indeed an increasingly isolated gang of thugs.

When it comes to violence, yes.  But it's important to note that ETA supposes a demcratic process in which the Basque country will have a referendum to decide whether or not to the Basque country will be independent.  When the you start banning parties because you don't like what they have to say, people question whether the state sans democracy is legitimate.

Batasuna for its links to ETA, wasn't banned because of those connections. It was advocacy for an indendent state that caused that to happen. Remember how Aznar threated to throw Ibarratxe in prision when he refused to unseat the elected representatives of Batasuna?  Or the vitriol launch against the man when he said he wanted a referendum on the status of the Basque country?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 11:29:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I mean is that the public pronouncements of everyone except for Batasuna (and PCTV), especially of moderate Basque nationalists, have been sounding increasingly annoyed that ETA did not give up its arms to allow a political process.

Then again, just because you can pass an ad-hoc law making Batasuna illegal with what is basically guilt by association, doesn't mean that they don't retain a hard core of 10% to 15% of voters in the Basque Country. Indeed, just the endorsement by Batasuna's leader when they were made illegal just days before the latest regional election was enough to give the hitherto unknown and tiny PCTV eight (out of 75) seats in the regional parliament. Quite a feat.

So, there is clearly a National Liberation Movement, but people are largely annoyed that ETA kept at it.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 11:36:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
National Liberation Movement

You remembered that, hmm.....

I think what's important here is that the Zapatero's efforts to recognize the validity of the concerns that ETA capitalizes on while condemning violence won out, while Aznar's years of hard repression (banning newspapers, torturing the editors, Jesus Christ.) did not end ETA.  There's a lesson here.

If you are serious about peace you have to be willing to recognize seperate the sympathizers from the pathological core, and recognize that in democracies sometimes people disagree ferociously , but that doesn't give you the right to make their opinion illegal.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 11:52:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They do call themselves MLNV (Movimiento de Liberacion Nacional Vasco or Basque National Liberation Movement), don't they? Just because I disagree with them doesn't mean I am not aware that they perceive some unsolved grievances. In these matters perception is as important as reality.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 11:56:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No my diary, with the harshness.

Moving on.

This puts the PP in a real bind.  

Is the problem the PP has with Batasuna and Basque nationalists that they have resorted to violence or that they favor an autonomy or independence for their regions?  The ETA communique makes clear that they expect that there will be a referendum  a la Ibarratxe in which independence is an option.  That's going to be a very close vote if it happens. And it only validate the hardliners story that only through violence can they have their voice heard.  

On the other hand agreeing the the consituent peoples of the Iberian peninsula have a right to self determination undermines the position of the PP.

"One, Grand, and Free"  Maybe 2 out of 3 ain't that bad.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 12:17:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a real chance that the PP with trainwreck any peace process. My sister points out that the PSOE may be able to make agreements with the Basque nationalists, but that these may have to be implemented by the PP in the future.

The PP will run a panic "Spain breaking up" campaign in 2008 and probably lose the elections badly, but after as little as 4 more years, especially if the Catalan estatut is generalized, there may be a backlash. And then the PP may be the ones in charge of the Basque peace process.

Hopefully by then the Aznarite wing will have imploded under its own weight and someone civilised, like Ruiz Gallardon, will be at the helm. One can always dream...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 12:36:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
National Liberation Movement

You remembered that, hmm.....

I think what's important here is that the Zapatero's efforts to recognize the validity of the concerns that ETA capitalizes on while condemning violence won out, while Aznar's years of hard repression (banning newspapers, torturing the editors, Jesus Christ.) did not end ETA.  There's a lesson here.

If you are serious about peace you have to be willing to recognize seperate the sympathizers from the pathological core, and recognize that in democracies sometimes people disagree ferociously , but that doesn't give you the right to make their opinion illegal.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 11:53:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, for those who might need a little more background on the Law of Political Parties that MfM and I are talking about, here is a recent thread on it, including a link to (in Spanish) the infamous 'Article 9' which is used to ban Batasuna.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 11:40:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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