Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Demand for Dialogue

What you won't find on the local news, you will find at Berria English:

Thousands demand dialogue

Representatives of all the political parties except the PP (Popular Party) took part in the mass demonstration in Bilbo organised by the Elkarri organisation to demand respect for human rights and for the people's will

Aitziber Laskibar – BILBO

Thousands of citizens took part in a demonstration organised in Bilbo yesterday by Elkarri (the social movement to further dialogue and agreement in the conflict of the Basque Country). The slogan was "Giza eskubideak eta herri borondatea errespetatu. Elkarrizketa eta akordioa proposamen guztien artean" (Respect for human rights and the people's will. Dialogue and consensus among all the proposals). But apart from ordinary citizens, representatives of the political spheres turned out in significant numbers and were the main protagonists. In fact, representatives of nearly all the parties in the Basque Country were there: the EAJ, EA, Batasuna, the EB-IU, the AuB, the PSE-EE, the AB, Aralar and the CDN. The Government of the BAC (Basque Autonomous Community of Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa) represented by Idoia Zenarruzabeitia, the Deputy Lehendakari or President, also joined the protest.

As far as the parties were concerned, there were many members of the EAJ at the front of the demonstration like Joseba Egibar, the spokesman for the EBB (National Executive Committe), Josune Ariztondo, the EBB secretary, Iñaki Anasagasti, the EAJ spokesman in the lower house of the Spanish Parliament, Iñigo Urkullu, Chairman of the Bizkaia Executive Committee, and Iñaki Azkuna, the mayor of Bilbo. Representing Eusko Alkartasuna (EA) were the chairperson, Begoña Errazti, party organisation secretary, Rafa Larreina, general secretary Unai Ziarreta, the BAC Government Justice Minister Joseba Azkarraga, and the Environment Minister Sabin Intxaurraga along with Onintza Lasa, in charge of Communications.

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