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Spain Says ETA's Declaration Insufficient

Monday, 10 Jan 2011 11:28 AM

MADRID — Spain’s interior minister said on Monday that a cease-fire declaration by the Basque separatist group ETA was not sufficient to guarantee an end to Spain’s four-decade fight against the nationalist group, The New York Times reports.

Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, the interior minister, was responding to ETA’s call on Monday for “a permanent and general cease-fire which will be verifiable by the international community.” The group made its declaration in a statement posted on the Web site of the Basque newspaper Gara. “This is ETA’s firm commitment towards a process to achieve a lasting resolution and towards an end to the armed confrontation.”

In a brief televised statement, Mr. Rubalcaba said that the government would continue to demand an unconditional surrender. “ETA continues to pretend that the end of the violence has a price,” he said. “If you ask me whether I am more relaxed today than yesterday, honestly I would say yes. If you ask if this is the end, no. Is this what Spanish society expected? Clearly no.”

In September, the government rejected a similar though less wide-ranging cease-fire declaration because ETA, which the European Union and the United States consider a terrorist organization, had not offered to hand over weapons nor had it described the cease-fire as permanent.

Read the entire story at nytimes.com

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