7 Sep 2010

ETA ceasefire not enough - Spain

1:09 pm on 7 September 2010

The Spanish government has dismissed as "insufficient" a ceasefire by ETA, saying the Basque separatist group must renounce violence forever.

Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said the group was weaker than ever and his government would continue to pursue its members.

ETA said on Sunday it would no longer carry out "armed actions".

The BBC reports its campaign for a separate Basque state has led to more than 820 deaths over the past 40 years.

ETA has called two ceasefires in the past, but abandoned them both. It is unclear whether the latest is meant as a permanent or temporary move.

Mr Rubalcaba said ETA had broken too many ceasefires to be trusted and the days of declaring a truce and starting a dialogue had passed.

"I think the word insufficient reflects quite well the position not (just) of the government but of all the democratic parties," he told State television on Monday.

Mr Rubalcaba demanded "a definitive and unconditional abandonment" of ETA's violent campaign.

Ceasefire "dead" - minister

Mr Rubalcaba said the word ceasefire was now "a dead concept" and noted that a 2006 ETA bomb attack that killed two people at Madrid airport had followed a truce declaration.

He said Eta's current weakness was the reason for the video declaration, adding: "We are not going to change a dot or a comma in our anti-terrorist policy."

The BBC reports the video came after the arrests of numerous ETA leaders.