Bildu leaders attend memorial for ETA victim in Gipuzcoa

Coalition denies ETA association a spot at San Sebastián fiesta

Bildu members from the local council of Gipuzcoa on Monday attended a memorial rally for Basque businessman Joxe Mari Korta, who was assassinated by ETA 11 years ago.

Members of Eusko Alkartasuna, Alternatiba, and the acting mayor of Zumaia, Arritxu González of the abertzale left, were in attendance. Gipuzcoa provincial chief Martín Garitano, who has attended recent rallies by the association of families of ETA prisoners, was not present.

The Bildu coalition has been criticized for its refusal to condemn ETA violence and recognize the rights of victims since it won a number of seats in the May elections.

Accompanying Korta's widow and two children was the regional director of the Office of Victims of Terrorism, Maixabel Lasa, and the president of the Gipuzcoa Basque Nationalist Party, Joseba Egibar, among others.

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Also on Monday, the San Sebastián City Hall, governed by Juan Carlos Izagirre of the Bildu coalition, denied a request by the association of families of ETA prisoners, Etxerat, to set up a stall, a stage and a marquee during the Semana Grande celebrations in the city.

The reason given by the city administration was that a public lunch is due to be held in the space requested by Etxerat on August 20. The Popular Party (PP) spokesman in San Sebastián, Ramón Gómez, had asked City Hall to deny the request as his party considered Etxerat was "evidently planning acts of solidarity in favor of terrorist prisoners."

City Hall spokesman Josu Ruiz pointed out that "Etxerat is a legal association with the same rights as any other to ask permission to stage events."

Izagirre accused the PP of "attempting to build controversy where there is none."

"It is clear that others are trying to politicize the fiestas, not Bildu," he added.

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