The banned political wing of the Separatist group ETA said it had formed a new party which would condemn the violence for the first time.
The representative of Batasuna – the banned political party since 2004 because of its links to ETA – Rufi Etxeberria said in a press conferenceon Monday, to explain the ideological principles and political objectives of the new political project that the new party’s statutes “rejects and opposes the use of violence in all its forms , including that of ETA.”
He added that the new party which will be presented next Wednesday in the Spanish Interior Ministry will have fully self-governing and will be free from any kind of interference and dependence, showing that, this new party, represents the desire of (Batasuna) to return to the scene of the Spanish democratic political life in order to run in Basque local elections next May.
For his part, the lawyer and spokesman (Batasuna) Inigo Iruin, said that the new party will be “in accordance with the law governing political parties in Spain, including the condemnation of violence and rejection of all its forms and uses”.
He explained that the new party’s goals are to achieve Basque independence and to promote peace on the principles of democracy and political legitimacy, adding that it will not be a simple restructuring of (Batasuna), but an independent party in ideology, principles and goals.
ETA is responsible for 829 deaths in a four-decade fight for Basque independence in northern Spain and southern France, but analysts say that the arrests of several members and political leaders of ETA in the past year by the Spanish and French police have put the group under pressure.
Those analysts say they believe that the group has also been weakened by an internal struggle between hard-liners who want to continue the campaign of violence and those who want a political solution.