Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the Popular Party (PP) leader in the Basque Country, Antonio Basagoiti, are to seek a cross-party pact in the northern region to push through the definitive end of ETA.
Basagoiti, speaking of the common ground between the PP, the Socialists and the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), highlighted the determination of the three to take the “good news” laid out in ETA’s non-violence statement further. His meeting with Rajoy was preceded by tête-a-têtes with the leader of the PNV, Íñigo Urkullu, and the Socialist regional premier, Patxi López. All three politicians noted that Rajoy, who privately believes the peace process is now irreversible, was “receptive” to altering prison policy regarding ETA inmates. But before considering any form of concession, there is consensus that the organization must disband entirely.
“Bringing Basque prisoners closer to the region is not a priority for the PP,” said Basagoiti, adding that some early releases are possible when the law allows “as with a rapist or the mafia.”