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ETA may announce ceasefire over Christmas

Source: El Pais - Mon 20th Dec 2010

ETA are expected to announce a permanent ceasefire over the Christmas period, according to left-wing Basque nationalist groups with close ties to the terrorist organization.

Since September 25, when this political group (known as 'Abertzale') publicly called for ETA to announce a permanent ceasefire, their leaders had been speculating on a date. Last Thursday a senior member of the group, Rufi Etxeberria, announced that ETA are prepared to offer "a positive response" to their demands.

Basque nationalists are pressing for such a statement to be made before January 28, which is the deadline for registering a new political party with the Ministry of the Interior. Supporters of Abertzale have been working for months toward the formation of a new party which can participate in municipal elections next May.

One of the requisites for forming any new party is that it expressly renounces the use of violence as a means of gaining independence. Until now, radical nationalists have avoided making such a statement. Previous ETA-supporting parties, chiefly Batasuna and its offshoots, were successively outlawed by the 2002 Party Law, which prohibited parties from providing political support to terrorist groups.

A previous ETA ceasefire in 2006 ended with a bomb attack against Barajas airport in December of that year.

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