ETA to end ceasefire

Basque separatist group ETA will end their cease-fire as of June 6, the group said in a communique released in Basque newspaper Berria on Tuesday.

“The minimum conditions for continuing a process of negotiations do not exist,” ETA said, adding that the Spanish government of Prime Minister Zapatero responded to its cease-fire “with arrests, torture and persecution.”

Zapatero condemned ETA’s move. “ETA’s decision goes totally in the opposite direction of the path that Basque and Spanish society want, the path of peace,” he said.

ETA declared a cease-fire in March 2006 and had insisted that it still held despite killing two people with a bomb in Madrid airport late in December. ETA had warned about the attack but the two victims were not evacuated. In a series of communiques before its last fatal attack in December, ETA had complained of a lack of progress in the talks with the government and police pressure on its supporters. The atmosphere was further soured by the authorities with exclusion of pro-independence politicians from local elections in the Basque country last month. ETA’s supposed political wing, Batasuna, remains banned.

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