Wednesday, June 06, 2007

ETA's announcement has been a punch in the gut to the Zap administration. El Periodico's headline today was, "Against the ropes." La Vanguardia calls the announcement "the tipping point" for the administration. Zap went on TV yesterday afternoon and didn't say much, except for his call for support from the other political parties. He was going on again in the evening, but cancelled even though TV1 had been running announcements that Zap would do an interview for several hours.

The PP's terms, as announced by Angel Acebes yesterday, are: Ban ETA front parties PCTV and ANV; fire attorney general Candido Conde Pumpido, an outrageous choice for the position as he used to be an ETA defense lawyer; jail De Juana Chaos and ETA spokesman Arnaldo Otegi. The PP also wants to bring fairly moderate regional nationalists CiU and the PNV into any deal they cut with the PSOE. It looks like Zap is going to give in on the jailings, at least; he is going to turn loose the prosecutors on these guys. Which shows you that Zap was lying the whole time when he said that the soft treatment that De Juana and other ETA prisoners got had nothing to do with any negotiations with ETA. I would demand the head of interior minister Perez Rubalcaba as well.

Judge Grande-Marlaska said he was irritated that Judge Garzon was handling all the ETA cases, and announced that he was opening another case against Otegi for exaltation of terrorism. Again.

And the cops said that ETA has several cells ready for action in Spain, and others in France waiting to cross the border. This is pure wishful thinking optimism about negotiations on Zap's part. ETA's truce, as usual, merely gave them a chance to rearm and reorganize themselves, and Zap did nothing about it. The police must have been telling him what ETA was doing; if they know now that ETA has several cells ready, they must have known that the cells were being organized a long time before this. Zap ignored them.

Francesc-Marc Alvaro, the Vanguardia's best columnist, tears Zap a new one today. He says, "Only the very gullible are surprised at the end of the truce. Unofficially it ended with the Barajas bombing in December. And the signs come from even farther back, from the previous summer. After so many years of activity, ETA has developed a code (of behavior) that experts know how to read: what the gang thinks and what its plans are. Well, the ones who were not being advised by those experts are the Administration, concretely Mr. Rodriguez Zapatero. Or, if he was advised, then he didn't listen, which is even more irresponsible...ETA has taken advantage of such irresponsibility."

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