Spain: ten years without Eta
Ten years after the former terrorist organisation Eta ended its armed struggle for an independent and socialist Basque Country, representatives of left-wing Basque parties expressed sympathy with the victims on Monday. Over five decades, Eta killed more than 850 people, including members of the military, politicians and policemen, as well as journalists and civilians. The press takes stock.
The right is running out of enemies
The fight against terrorism can no longer be used as an excuse for anti-democratic policies, ctxt writes in delight:
“For years, the Basque conflict and Eta's violence not only dominated the daily lives of many victims, but were also used to justify a whole series of exceptional measures that were in continuity with the Francoist state and prevented the democratic normalisation of our country. ... Eta collaborated with the most reactionary forces to obstruct the development of the democratic transition. ... It also served the interests of many politicians of the [conservative] People's Party who refused and still refuse to condemn Franco's dictatorship, allowing them to consider themselves defenders of democracy because they denounced the 'dictatorship of ETA'.”
Politics better than its reputation
El País thinks that Zapatero's Socialist government from 2004 to 2011 and its dialogue partners in the Basque Country deserve most of the credit for the successful peace process:
“Eta would have come to an end anyway, but without Zapatero's vision and determination the end of the terrorism would have been even more agonising. ... Eta was an anachronism in 21st century Euskadi [Basque Country], a piece of the bloody past in the midst of a prosperous society. Of all the armed groups that emerged in Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, only Eta had survived all the way to our times. Although politics has such a bad reputation, the end of Eta was made possible by a political impulse. It is good that this is acknowledged.”