While the Basque terrorist group ETA was urging its supporters and sympathizers to boycott the March 9th general election because it will only serve to “legitimise the Spanish government’s repressive legislation”, an opinion poll showed that a majority of Spaniards want nationalists out of the government altogether. After ETA declared a ceasefire in March 2006, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero started a peace process with the group in the hope of bringing it into the political mainstream. At best, this would have strengthened the nationalist parties in the Basque Country. At worst, it could lead to the Basques breaking away from Spain altogether. And it was another nationalist party, the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), that helped Sr Zapatero to form a government when he failed to win an outright majority in the last election. Opinion polls have consistently shown that most non-Basques and non-Catalans resent the PM’s relationship with the nationalists, a feeling which was underlined by a recent poll. According to this poll, if neither of the two main parties, the Socialists and the Partido Popular, wins an outright majority on March 9th, as is expected, just over 43% of those polled would prefer the winning party to go it alone. Another 28% said they would prefer a German-style coalition of the two main parties to rule the country and only 18% supported another alliance with a nationalist party. Another poll that the Catalan, Basque and Canary Islands nationalist parties are in danger of losing seats on March 9th. It also showed that Sr Zapatero’s other ally, the Izquierda Unida (IU, United Left) may lose one of its five seats and therefore its right to form an official Parliamentary group. In the photo, hundreds of supporters of the ANV (Basque Nationalist Action) party, which supports ETA, turned out last Saturday in Pamplona to back the terrorist group’s call for a boycott of the March 9th election. ETA made its call after a bomb exploded in the doorway of the ruling Socialist Party headquarters in the Basque town of Derio in the early hours last Tuesday. No-one was injured in the pre-dawn blast, which came after a warning call to emergency services. Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba had warned of a surge in violence when the election campaign started, saying the government believed ETA will try to kill before the elections and has mobilizes security forces to protect rallies, party headquarters, shopping centres and other sites.
POLLS REVEAL MOOD AGAINST NATIONALIST ALLIANCES