Monday, January 14, 2008

Wait a Moment

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has lost all touch with the real world.

Check out this note by Reuters brought to us by Yahoo News:

Spanish PM rules out more talks with ETA rebels

Reuters - Monday, January 14 08:57 am

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's prime minister has ruled out any chance of attempting peace talks with Basque separatist rebels ETA if he wins a parliamentary election on March 9.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, a Socialist who broke off an earlier attempt at negotiations with ETA late in 2006, told Monday's edition of newspaper El Mundo that the organisation's only option was unilateral surrender.

"I don't see any chance, in the next parliament, of a dialogue process like that which took place," Zapatero said.

"The only possibility is a unilateral end to ETA."

The government ended peace talks after less than a year when ETA, which wants independence for ancient Basque territories in Spain and France, bombed a car park at Madrid airport in December 2006 and killed two people sleeping in their cars.

ETA also shot dead two undercover policemen last year.

It was the third failed attempt at peace talks by a Spanish government with ETA. The rebel organisation, whose full name means Basque Homeland and Freedom, has killed more than 800 people since its formation four decades ago in the final days of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

The Basque question is set to be a major issue in March's elections. The conservative opposition, narrowly trailing the Socialists in opinion polls, accuses the government of putting the future of Spain at risk by contacts with the separatists.

Since the end of talks, authorities have arrested leading members of ETA's alleged political wing Batasuna and staged regular round-ups of suspected guerrillas.

Polls show most inhabitants of the Spanish Basque Country, which already has considerable autonomy over areas such as education and health, do not want to split from Madrid.

But the region's government says it wants a debate about its relationship with the rest of Spain.

(Reporting by Jason Webb; Editing by Dominic Evans)

He rules out more talks?

When did he actually talked to them in the first place?

Rodriguez Zapatero squandered a great opportunity of a peaceful resolution of the Basque conflict when he decided to woe the votes of those who fluctuate between the PSOE and the PP depending on which party stages more repressive measures against the Basque right to self determination. This is why Zapatero ordered ETA's negotiators to be arrested during the armed group's ceasefire.

How can you establish a dialogue with someone if you incarcerate that person? How can a negotiator go back to his people and present the result of a negotiation if that person ends behind bars?

The stark truth is that Rodriguez Zapatero torpedoed the Peace Process for the Basque Country because that attitude provides him with political benefits. He was busted lying when Basque newspaper Gara reported that ETA continued its efforts to talk to Zapatero even after the bombing in Madrid's airport in December of 2006, this note by Reuters is nothing else that what politicians call "damage control". They did talk, only that Zapatero was not listening.

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