Saturday, March 13, 2004

ETA Says No to Authory

One more today at Berria English:

ETA announces it is “in no way responsible” for the attack

A representative of the armed organisation read out a brief statement over the phone to the Gara newspaper and the EITB television corporation

Editorial Staff – DONOSTIA (San Sebastian)
A representative of the armed organisation announced yesterday that ETA had had nothing to do with the attack in Madrid. In two phone calls made to the EITB and the Gara daily the ETA representative read out a brief statement: “The ETA organisation wishes to announce that it is in no way responsible for the attacks yesterday [the day before yesterday] in Madrid.” Nevertheless, in declarations made during demonstrations held in the cities of the Basque Country and Spain Spanish Government ministers and PP leaders stuck to the version they had hitherto been favouring, and confirmed that the main hypothesis pointed the finger at ETA as having been behind the Madrid attack.

The EITB received the call from the ETA representative at its Miramon headquarters in Donostia at around 18.00 hours and Gara received the call at about the same time. The EITB said that the person who phoned on behalf of ETA had asked the person who took the call to record it, in order to be able to verify that his voice was the same as that of one of the two ETA members who had announced the cease-fire for Catalonia on a video. The EITB explained that at that moment they had been unable to make the recording, but said that the voice of the person who phoned coincided with that of one of the two who announced the cease-fire for Catalonia on February 18 [see news item in this English Edition: “ETA suspends armed action in Catalonia” of 19-02-04].

According to EITB sources, the Spanish Interior Ministry and the Interior Department of the Basque Government were informed about the phone call.

After being told of the ETA statement the Spanish Government and the PP stuck to the version Aznar and Acebes had been offering throughout the day. Jaime Mayor Oreja, the PP’s Deputy General Secretary, for example, did not take ETA’s statement into consideration in his declarations during the demonstration in Gasteiz (Vitoria). “Logic indicates that it was clearly ETA,” he said. When ETA announced its cease-fire for Catalonia Mayor-Oreja himself said that ETA never told lies.

Javier Arenas, the Spanish Government’s second deputy prime minister, said in Seville that the ETA statement was “of no value whatsoever”. And Francisco Alvarez-Cascos, the Minister for Public Works, Cristobal Montoro, the Treasury Minister, and Juan Jose Lucas, the Speaker of the Spanish Senate or Upper House, spoke in the same vein.

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