Why has Eta given up its weapons?

The Basque underground organisation Eta has given the French authorities details about where its weapons are stored, with the result that French police have confiscated 3.5 tonnes of firearms, explosives and other materials. Five and a half years after renouncing violence the move is regarded as another milestone in the history of Eta, which is held responsible for the deaths of 829 people. But commentators doubt that this is really the end of Basque separatism.

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Jutarnji list (HR) /

Political battle continues

Eta has not given up its fight by a long chalk yet, Jutarnji list believes:

“Eta has not been beaten with violence. Its form of campaign simply became pointless when post-Franco Spain granted its Basques the autonomy that the French Basques are still denied today. … The confederative Spain that had offered Eta amnesty in the 1980s could no longer be regarded as an occupier in the fullest sense of the word. … But Eta has given up neither its demand for independence nor the idea of unification with the French Basque Country. So far it has waited in vain for the EU to define the criteria for it to have the right to independence. ”

Frankfurter Rundschau (DE) /

Not a heroic deed but a cowardly act

Revealing its weapons caches is not a heroic deed on the part of Eta, Frankfurter Rundschau comments:

“This was just a last bid for attention before it makes its final farewell. If the remaining members of Eta had any courage they would have given themselves up to the police and mentioned in passing where their weapons are stored. They could have helped the investigators to clear up the more than 300 Eta killings (out of a total of 829) that remain unsolved. That would have been the honourable way of doing things. Instead they're just spouting big words. However because the constitutional state is a constitutional state and not an avenging angel, it is time to transfer the Eta prisoners who are currently all over Spain to Basque prisons. … If the Spanish government insists on waiting for the dissolution of the organisation before returning to the standard imprisonment policy, it will be doing Eta a great favour: it will give it a measure of importance that it no longer possesses.”

El Mundo (ES) /

Eta wants to cover its trail of blood

Under no circumstances should the ex-terrorists be depicted as peacemakers and heroes now, El Mundo stresses:

“The main thing is not to fall for Eta's latest ploy, which consists in disguising its defeat by whitewashing its image in the media. Its tactic is an intolerable insult to the many victims Eta has left in its bloody wake. But this tactic arises from Eta's need to conceal its end by spreading a narrative that the Basque nationalists euphemistically and insultingly describe as the 'normalisation of coexistence'. … With its operations deactivated, the group's main obsession now is to twist language in order to hide its terrible past. It is our duty to ensure that the memory of the terror and the eternal support we owe to the victims is not sullied by the false rhetoric of these bandits.”