Skip to comments.Opposition Protest Accuses Spain of ETA Surrender (There's Still Some Courage Left)
Posted on 03/10/2007 1:02:06 PM PST by Pyro7480
Opposition protest accuses Spain of ETA surrender
By Ben Harding
MADRID (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators protested at an opposition rally in Madrid on Saturday to vent their rage at what they say is the Spanish government's "surrender" to Basque separatists ETA.
Angry at a government decision to grant house arrest to a multiple killer from ETA after he fell dangerously ill on hunger strike, protesters waved red and yellow Spanish flags as they marched up Madrid's main 12-lane avenue, shouting for Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to resign.
"This is the last straw. We're fed up with this man trying to dismantle Spain," business consultant Asuncion Casanova, 50 told Reuters. "I used to think Zapatero was an exciting character, with purpose and ideas, but now, no way."
Flanked by Popular Party (PP) councilors from the Basque Country conservative opposition leader Mariano Rajoy marched behind a banner declaring, "Spain for freedom. No more concessions to ETA."
"The government had to twist the rules, trample on procedure and trick the Spanish to free an insatiable terrorist," Rajoy told the crowd.
"They are demands the terrorists imposed on the government to prove its goodwill. This is the toll the government has paid to negotiate. ETA doesn't want peace, it's looking for victory."
The PP leader billed the mass rally as the most important demonstration in Spain's 30-year democracy.
The government called off the peace process after ETA shattered a nine-month ceasefire by bombing Madrid airport in late December, killing two people.
ALL OUT ATTACK
Though government opponents have repeatedly taken to the streets in the past year, Saturday's protest is the first to be organized by the PP. Commentators say that is a further sign the PP has moved to all-out attack over Zapatero's handling of the Basque conflict -- formerly an area of bipartisan consensus.
On Friday night thousands attended smaller PP protests in regional capitals across Spain, capping a torrid week in which PP leaders savaged Zapatero while also laying flowers at the spot where Inaki de Juana Chaos, the prisoner in question, killed 12 police in a 1986 car bombing.
De Juana was moved to a hospital in the Basque Country last week after being chained to a Madrid hospital bed and force fed during a 114-day hunger strike. Once he recovers sufficiently, he will serve the remainder of an 18-month sentence at home.
He has already served 18 years for 25 murders but was given the new jail term for making threats.
The government says de Juana would have starved himself to death if he had not been moved, and on Friday Zapatero said his government would not change its decision.
Opinion polls in both left- and right-leaning newspapers show a slim majority of Spaniards think the government was wrong to grant house arrest to de Juana.
(Additional reporting by Inmaculada Sanz)
Demonstrators crowd Colon square during a demonstration organised by Spain's main opposition party in Madrid March 10, 2007. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators protested at an opposition rally in Madrid on Saturday to vent their rage at what they say is the Spanish government's 'surrender' to Basque separatists ETA. REUTERS/Paul Hanna (SPAIN)
Protestors hold a doll, representing Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, as they gather for a demonstration organised by Spain's main opposition party in Madrid March 10, 2007. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators protested at an opposition rally in Madrid on Saturday to vent their rage at what they say is the Spanish government's 'surrender' to Basque separatists ETA. REUTERS/Sergio Perez (SPAIN)
Zapatero has been intent on breaking up Spain since the day he took office. I think people have certainly had enough of his love affair with ETA (which has long been a darling of the left).
But of course he's also working on another front, trying to build a tunnel directly to North Africa to facilitate the swamping of Spain. This is the man who had his picture taken with the Moroccans in front of a map that had the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla and even the Canary Islands colored in the Moroccan color.
Well, well...... at least there are still a lot of people opposed to Zapatero and his band of socialist weenies...... maybe there is hope for Spain after all!
If Zapatero has his way Spain (and all of Europe) will be dominated by Islamo-fascists with a side dish of ETA terrorism. This guy is a pathetic clown, what is he doing in office?
Thought you may be interested in this. As mentioned before, there are many (in this case hundreds of thousands) Spaniards who are very upset with Zapatero.
Thank you for posting this!