Crisis finally forces Spanish government into Basque peace process
From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 5 November
The Financial Times of 21 October reported that: “The militant Basque separatist group Eta has announced the ‘definitive cessation of its military activity’ after more than 50 years of violence, in a move likely to herald the end of the only remaining sustained armed conflict in western Europe.”
Eta has in fact been calling for dialogue to end the conflict for several years, but clearly the Spanish government has now decided to abandon its traditional stance of refusing to negotiate with ‘terrorists’ and has actually welcomed Eta’s statement. The declaration followed an appeal put out by a group of informal peace negotiators, which included Kofi Annan, the former secretary general of the United Nations; Gro Harlem Brundtland, a former Norwegian prime minister; Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein, which has long had ties to Basque nationalist party Herri Batasuna, and Tony Blair.
With such impeccable support for a peace process, how could the Spanish government refuse? It would seem that the European authorities have decided that for the Spanish government to be spending millions of euros a year at a time of crisis merely to continue harassing an old enemy is a luxury no longer to be indulged, which all goes to prove that every cloud really does have a silver lining.