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Spanish society receives ETA's truce announcement with calm

09-06-2010 07:36 BJT

MADRID, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The announcement of a truce by Basque separatist group ETA on Sunday was received with calm by the various sectors of Spanish society.

The terrorist group, which has caused over 800 deaths in its 40- year campaign, announced it would cease its activity in an attempt to negotiate with the Spanish government.

It is the third time ETA has announced a ceasefire in the past 12 years: A 14-month truce ended with a return to violence in the year 2000, while a second truce in 2006 ended with a bomb attack on Terminal 4 at Madrid's Barajas Airport.

The secretary of the governing Socialist Party (PSOE), Leire Pajin, said the measure was "insufficient," adding that what the society wanted to hear was that the group had said "goodbye" to arms for good and that it was dissolving.

"If they have a will to do that, they should show it once and for all," she stressed.

Antonio Basagoiti, the leader of the Popular Party in the Basque country, where it forms a coalition government with the PSOE, said: "The need is not to suspend the violence, but to finish with ETA."

The party's vice-secretary of politics in the autonomous communities and local policies, Javier Arenas, commented: "The only communique that interests Spanish society is the announcement that ETA has dissolved and definitively left its weapons. These ceasefires have always ended in the same way. They have always ended badly."

Meanwhile, the leader of the Catalan Nationalist's CiU, Josep Antoni Duran Lleida, said he didn't believe ETA's words.

"It is purely and simply another maneuver of the terrorist group. All we have to ask ETA (to do) is that it stops killing people and that it stops issuing communiques such as this. They should realize that Basque society wants nothing to do with them and that they are totally isolated," he said.

The Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) has refused to make any comments until it has celebrated its weekly directors meeting on Monday.

One of the most positive assessments of the truce came from outside of Spain. Gerry Adams, the leader of the Irish republican party Sinn Fein, saw the announcement as offering hope.

"Now it is vital for the Spanish Government to respond in a positive manner and to take the opportunity offered by today's announcement by quickly starting negotiations that are politically inclusive," he told Irish television RTE.

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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