Friday, December 19, 2003

Hacking the Basque Plan

The Australian newspaper The Age is the first one to tell the English speaking world about this dark day for democracy on this note: Law passed to curtail Basque plan:

Law passed to curtail Basque plan

December 20, 2003

Spain's parliament passed a new law on Thursday giving courts the power to jail the Basque region's Premier if he goes ahead with a plan to call a referendum on greater autonomy from Madrid.

Opposition MPs boycotted the vote in protest but the new law was passed by the centre-right ruling Popular Party, which has an absolute majority, amid angry scenes in the lower chamber.

The legislation aims to stop Basque Premier Juan Jose Ibarretxe pursuing a plan to increase Basque home rule by creating a "status of free association" with Spain that would be very near independence. He says that would end decades of violence by separatist guerilla group ETA.

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