Basque separatist group Batasuna launches new political party

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BILBAO, SPAIN: The Basque separatist group Batasuna on Monday announced the launch of a new political party and remarked that it rejected all forms of violence including the ones from the Basque group ETA.

According to the Gara newspaper, prominent Batasuna member Rufi Etxeberria unveiled that the new leftist party will be registered with the Spanish interior ministry in the coming days.

Etxeberria added that the party's statutes will be also submitted shortly and the name of the faction will be unveiled on Tuesday. He remarked that the new political party rejects the use of violence for achieving political goals.

The Batasuna group was banned from politics in 2003 after Spanish authorities determined that the organization had links to the Basque terrorist group ETA. After the new Batasuna party is confirmed, it will be eligible for the spring municipal elections.

On January 10, The Basque separatist group ETA announced a permanent ceasefire to the armed conflict as part of its commitment to reach a definitive solution. ETA decided to commit towards a peaceful solution with the Spanish government and announced the ceasefire as proof of its intentions.

Spain refused to engage in a dialogue with ETA after the separatist organization announced a ceasefire in November 2010. Spain said that the group had broken two similar agreements in the past and did not trust the organization anymore.

Authorities believed that the announcement was made in order to allow the ETA political wing Batasuna to participate again in the political process. After Monday's announcement, many politicians said that authorities have to confirm that Batasuna does not have links to ETA to participate in the process.

The main opposition Popular Party (PP) disapproved the new party and expressed its doubts over the intentions of the Batasuna group. The PP proposed to legitimate the group after the ETA terrorist group is completely disbanded.

On the other hand, Etxeberria assured that the group seeks a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the Basque-Spanish conflict based on the resolutions gathered in the Zutik Euskal Herria document.

(BNO NEWS )

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