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DATE=11/28/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=SPAIN-ETA (S-L) NUMBER=2-256591 BYLINE=GIL CARBAJAL DATELINE=MADRID CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Spain's Basque separatists have announced the end of their 14-month-old ceasefire. Gil Carbajal reports from Madrid that the announcement follows a stalemate in peace negotiations. TEXT: The Basque pro-independence group ETA says it is ending the ceasefire it has observed since September 18 of last year. ETA says it is ending the truce because the peace process had been -- in its words -- "blocked and poisoned" by the Spanish government and moderate Basques. In a communique published Sunday in the Basque newspaper "Gara", the terrorist group blamed its decision on "repression" by the Spanish and French governments. It also cited the failure of moderate Basque nationalist parties to cooperate in achieving an independent Basque state. The ETA announcement said its commandos would receive orders on Friday -- December 3rd -- when to resume terrorist activity. The end of the ETA ceasefire came as a shock to the Basque country in the north of Spain. After more than a year of peace, people had begun to hope for an end to three-decades of violence that cost more than 800 lives. // REST OPT FOR LONG // Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar responded in a brief statement on national radio and television that -- in his words -- ETA is wrong to put a price on the right of everybody to live in peace. He denied ETA's charge that the government failed to engage in active peace negotiations. The head of the Basque autonomous government, Juan Jose Ibarretxe, said ETA's decision was a step backward for the Basque Country. Socialist opposition leader Joaquin Alumnia said that only ETA was to blame for the end of the ceasefire. State radio called it a dark day for the Basque people. ETA -- which stands for Basque Homeland and Freedom in the Basque language -- complained that while it honored its ceasefire, the French and Spanish governments had continued to crack down on Basque activists, making a number of high-profile arrests, including that of a man alleged to be ETA's military chief. When ETA declared its ceasefire an influencing factor was believed to be the truce declared in Northern Ireland by the Irish Republican Army. Ironically, the ETA announcement ending its ceasefire came as the I-R- A, through its political wing Sinn Fein, moved toward a joint governing agreement with pro-British forces in Northern Ireland. (SIGNED) NEB/GC/DW/RAE 28-Nov-1999 12:30 PM EDT (28-Nov-1999 1730 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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