Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ibarretxe and His Referendum

This note appeared today at EITb:
Interview on TV3

The Basque PM said he was "totally convinced" that "he will go to the polls next October, 25th. About the likely banning of ANV, he said "the exclusion is not the solution."

Basque Prime Minister Juan José Ibarretxe said he was "totally convinced" that there will be a referendum in the Basque Country and that he will go to the polls next October 25th and he will cast his ballot "at 9:30."

"The proposal is legitimate, democratic and will be the way we will walk in the future".
Ibarretxe said in an interview on the Catalan TV3's "La nit al dia" program.

Concerning the refusal to the referendum of the Spanish PM José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Ibarretxe said he defends "he is ready to negotiate with the Spanish President" and "to respect the Basques' will" opposite to Zapatero's "we won't negotiate" or "I won't respect the Basques' will".

The Basque PM added he was against the possible banning of the Basque left-wing party ANV. "The exclusion is not the solution", Ibarretxe said.

Ibarretxe also said he "will never question Zapatero's negotiation with ETA" but remarked he does "not accept or understand that the Spanish President refuses to negotiate with the Basque PM and the Basque democratic institutions the issues he has been negotiating with ETA five months ago".


The president of the Basque country announced a referendum on the region's future some months ago. The Spanish government quickly rejected the idea on grounds that under the constitution only Madrid, not a regional administration, can convene a referendum.The Basque president said the referendum on Oct. 25, 2008, would be based on two principles: rejection of violence by the armed Basque group ETA and what he called the right of the Basque people to choose their future.

Ibarretxe said that, if approved, the referendum would issue a mandate for the government to undertake new peace talks with ETA. He said he would seek support from Madrid for holding the vote, but go ahead with it no matter what the Spanish government decides.
Good luck to him, with Zapatero out of touch with reality and Rajoy salivating over the chance of becoming Spain's next prime minister there is good chances that Ibarretxe will be joining Otegi pretty soon.

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