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Monday 5 June 2023 Dublin: 15°C
Eta ceasefire ‘insufficient’ says Spanish government
Spanish interior minister says government need Eta to renounce violence before negotiation can begin.

THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT has branded a ceasefire announcement by Basque separatist group Eta “insufficient”, demanding a complete renunciation of violence from the group.

Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, speaking to BBC News, said that a ceasefire is now “a dead concept” after previous violations of truce declarations.

“I think the word insufficient reflects quite well the position not (just) of the government but of all the democratic parties,” he told Spain’s TVE television station on Monday.

Mr Rubalcaba demanded “a definitive and unconditional abandonment” of Eta’s violent campaign.

Rubalacaba added “I don’t trust this one bit” when speaking to the New York Times. “The only facts are that there is an ambiguous statement from ETA. We have not changed by an inch our stance because this is reversible.”

Commentators have been quick to try to pin down reasons for the timing of the announcement, but this morning transport minister José Blanco said “the Eta terrorist group is very weakened,” before reaffirming that the government was only interested in “a definitive laying down of arms and end to violence”.

Some believe that Eta are trying to persuade Spain to let its political wing, Batasuna, back to the negotiating table. During a statement read out in the below video, the group seems to allude to political negotiation.  ”Eta confirms its commitment to finding a democratic solution to the conflict.”