BASQUE PARTIES DECLARED ILLEGAL

The Cabinet decided at its meeting last Friday to declare two Basque political parties, the ANV (Vasque Nationalist Action) and the PCTV, the Basque Communist Party, illegal because of their proven links with the Basque terrorist group ETA. The police produced evidence last week that both parties had been passing money to the banned Batasuna Party. The government will ask the High Court to take the necessary steps this week. This means that neither party – which have been acting as election fronts for Batasuna – will be able to participate in the general election on March 9th. Security forces have been told to be on the alert for any attempt by Batasuna to conjure up another front before the election. Opposition leader Mariano Rajoy said his party, the Partido Popular, would support the government’s decision, saying it was the right one “even if it came too late”. Sr Rajoy said the government knew about the ANV’s links with Batasuna before the last municipal elections, in which the ANV won some 300 seats on local councils in the Basque provinces. After Batasuna campaigned for the PCTV in the last regional Basque election, it came out of nowhere to win nine seats in the Basque Parliament.

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