News Lehendakaritza

“It concerns me that ETA may be viewed as a romantic movement in other countries”

2011 January 20

The Lehendakari called for prudence with respect to the communiqué in an interview with Al Jazeera

Taking advantage of his official visit to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, the Lehendakari visited the studios of the international channel Al Jazeera in Doha to answer questions on the current political situation in the Basque Country, terrorism and various other issues related to the region and its history. The Lehendakari gave a detailed account of the history of the birth of ETA and the evolution of nationalist movements in a 30-minute interview that will be broadcast within the next few days.

When questioned on the credibility of ETA's communiqué, the Lehendakari stressed that it was important to be cautious, although "the difference between this ceasefire and the others is that the left-wing Abertzale now wants to go its own way". Mr López expressed his concern that ETA may be viewed in other countries as a "romantic movement" whose purpose is to liberate oppressed people, when in fact it does precisely the opposite. "ETA is not only a terrorist group, but is also totalitarian and fascist," stated the Lehendakari, for their purpose is to "silence the voices of anyone who thinks differently to them."

In addition to the issue of terrorism, Patxi López answered questions on nationalism and the role that a region such as the Basque Country plays within the framework of the European Union. The Lehendakari explained that whilst in the past the practice was to turn your back on your neighbours, now the trend is to open your doors to them. We have done so by creating the first Euro-region with Aquitaine, because "common problems must be managed via common solutions". The difference between the trips now taken by the Lehendakari - accompanied by 80 companies, and with a mission to promote business and open doors to new markets - contrasts with previous trips, where the only intention was to discuss political projects "that no one understood", the Lehendakari explained.
The interview came to a close with the Lehendakari reaffirming the Basque Government's commitment to Open Government, transparency, participation and collaboration via platforms such as Irekia and Open Data. The Lehendakari responded to the question about whether his presence on social networks is political or personal by saying: "It is first and foremost personal, but our government has also made a political commitment to Open Government."

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Politicians attending the event
(IX term 2009 - 2012)