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Basque National Party withdraws support for Spain's ruling socialists

Tue 3rd May 2011

Earlier today Spain's PNV Basque National Party declared that it would not support the country's minority government following the decision by the supreme court to ban the Bildu coalition from fielding candidates in the May 22 regional elections.

Consequently, the PNV party chairman, Iņigo Urkullu, informed the deputy prime minister of their decision to end relations with the socialist government. It was, however, suggested that this decision could changes if the Bildu coalition would be allowed to stand in the elections.

"It does not make sense that in the current political and social context, the competent authorities decided to annul all of the Bildu candidatures," said Urkullu. "PNV strongly rejects the Court's ruling against the coalition."

Meanwhile, the Bildu called for a massive demonstration for Thursday in Bilbao. The intended nationwide protest is a response to the authorities' actions which the coalition labeled as a "crime against democracy."

The action is similar to that taken against the Basque separatist group Batasuna which was banned from politics in 2003 after lawyers ruled that the organization had links to the terrorist group ETA.

Earlier this year, Batasuna launched a new political party after rulingout a relationship with ETA, and therefore being eligible for the local elections later in the year. The main opposition Popular Party (PP) disapproved of the new party and expressed doubts over the intentions and legitamacy of the Batasuna group.

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