Opinion articles written in the style of their author." These texts are to be based on verified facts and must be respectful towards people, even though their actions may be criticized. shall feature, along with the author's name (regardless of their greater or lesser renown), a footer stating their office, academic title, political affiliation (if any) and main occupation, or the occupation related to the topic being assessed

The last legacy from the days of Franco

ETA has announced the definitive end to its armed activity. ETA has not announced its dissolution, and it has left a disturbing phrase hanging in the air: the call for dialogue to "overcome the armed confrontation." ETA does not have a single word to say about its victims. In its statement, ETA dedicates several paragraphs to a miserable justification for its own existence. With this text it is legitimate to say, with all the caution that the subject requires, that ETA has brought an end to its 43 years of terrorism.

It's an event: one of the most eagerly awaited pieces of news in democratic Spain, one that opens the door to a new era in the Basque Country. The definitive dissolution of the organization is likely to take place in the future, perhaps in time for the next Basque elections. On reading the statement, I was reminded of the words of Jorge Semprún: "ETA is one of the last legacies that was left behind by Francoism."

Born during the dictatorship, ETA was never able to understand that Spain had entered into a democracy. And as such, it created a great injustice from the transition, which conditioned and weighed down the fight against terrorism. Although we might have disagreed with its methods, we would have believed that ETA was fighting for democracy. But that wasn't true. The political parties that sprang up from the resistance, and a good proportion of the general public thought that with the death of Franco in 1975, and the end of Francoism, that ETA would abandon the fight.

But it wasn't to be, because democracy was not the objective of ETA. That became clear when a branch of the group, ETA-político-militar, abandoned its arms and dissolved in 1982, and the main group failed to follow suit. But dispelling that misunderstanding among Spanish society, that mistaken belief, took too long. Perhaps that delay was decisive in terms of the fact that the history of ETA terrorism lasted so long.

ETA had already spent time on the margins. European terrorism — whether of the extreme left, or of the extreme right, has gradually been disappearing. ETA has been, for quite some time now, a relic in a world that has become very sensitive to the fight against international terrorism.

ETA had got itself into a dead-end alley, and the considerable police pressure exerted upon it in recent years guaranteed that any activist from the group was going to end up in jail. There was a time when its members would be detained after they carried out terrorist attacks. But in recent years they have been arrested before they even got a chance to carry them out.

It was gradually more and more obvious that ETA was becoming a burden even for its own people. Society isolated them. The police pressure managed to corner them, and deprive them of oxygen. The international context left them without a way out.

All that is left now is the last chapter, which is their dissolution. We can now say that the transition in the Basque Country has finished, and that the doors have been opened to democratic normality — a normality that the terrorist anomaly had made impossible.

Tu suscripción se está usando en otro dispositivo

¿Quieres añadir otro usuario a tu suscripción?

Si continúas leyendo en este dispositivo, no se podrá leer en el otro.

¿Por qué estás viendo esto?


Tu suscripción se está usando en otro dispositivo y solo puedes acceder a EL PAÍS desde un dispositivo a la vez.

Si quieres compartir tu cuenta, cambia tu suscripción a la modalidad Premium, así podrás añadir otro usuario. Cada uno accederá con su propia cuenta de email, lo que os permitirá personalizar vuestra experiencia en EL PAÍS.

En el caso de no saber quién está usando tu cuenta, te recomendamos cambiar tu contraseña aquí.

Si decides continuar compartiendo tu cuenta, este mensaje se mostrará en tu dispositivo y en el de la otra persona que está usando tu cuenta de forma indefinida, afectando a tu experiencia de lectura. Puedes consultar aquí los términos y condiciones de la suscripción digital.

Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS