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THE END OF ETA

Rajoy seeks to bar ex-ETA members from public office

"What's important is to prevent them from becoming mayors," PM says

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told the executive committee meeting of the ruling conservative Popular Party earlier this week that he was concerned that former ETA members recently released from jail who took part in a public meeting last week could put themselves forward as candidates in municipal elections in the Basque Country and Navarre.

In response to a comment by former Madrid regional premier Esperanza Aguirre lamenting that the law allowed the public meeting of ex-ETA inmates to go ahead, Rajoy replied: "What is important is to try to prevent them from becoming elected mayors. We have to study what legal possibility there is."

Spain's current Electoral Law does not bar people who have been convicted of terrorist offenses from standing for office.

Meanwhile, the High Court public prosecutor, Carlos Bautista, is seeking to have a march organized for Saturday in Bilbao in support of ETA prisoners by the platform Tantaz Tanta (Drop by Drop) barred, it emerged on Thursday. The prosecutor believes the group may be the successor of Herrira, whose activities have been suspended under suspicion that it is an offshoot of the Basque terrorist group.

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