Sat Apr 8th, 2006 at 09:20:24 AM EST
An interesting piece from this morning's European Breakfast: Spain names Socialist heavyweight to ministry
MADRID (Reuters) -- Spain's Prime Minister named a heavyweight Socialist as interior minister in a surprise Cabinet shakeup on Friday, a move likely aimed at providing safe hands for peace talks with Basque guerrillas ETA.
Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, amongst the party's most agile negotiators, will take up one of the most prominent posts in a government that has focused primarily on domestic issues.(...)
Rubalcaba will be a central player in any advances towards peace after a ceasefire announced last month by armed Basque separatists ETA. He has already played a key role in negotiating expanded autonomy for Catalonia.
"For the government the (Basque) peace process is a priority and they're putting the ship's captain at the helm," Gaspar Llamazares, the leader of the United Left, told reporters, referring to Rubalcaba.
"He had a role in the initiative to open the Basque peace process," he added.
Comments about this development from our Spanish community members are invited.