Pablo Munoz: If Northern Ireland is a model, Basques need a Gerry Adams to call order

Share
Related Topics

A lot of people are asking what Eta needs to make its ceasefire permanent and credible. The answer, I believe, is a Basque Gerry Adams, a leadership figure with enough authority and courage to stand up and say, it's time to turn the lights out, and turn the page.

That's never an easy thing for an armed organisation to do. But the problem is that Eta currently lacks that sort of Adams figure – even though they have had such leaders in the past. But after so many recent arrests in the last year, the group's high command is young, inexperienced and hasn't shown they have the strength of personality required.

Yet, this truce still matters. Why? It is the first time in the history of the 50-year armed conflict that ETA has let itself be influenced by the broader radical left-wing nationalist movement, which has been demanding a peaceful solution. Until now, Eta has always considered itself the spearhead of those forces, political and otherwise, seeking independence. Now it is following somebody else's line.

At the same time, this is a ceasefire, temporary or not. For anybody who is currently under threat from Eta, in need of bodyguards just to go about their normal daily lives, that is hugely important.

Spain's main Madrid-based political parties have expressed dissatisfaction and called the truce insufficient, and in some ways it is. What's particularly noticeable is that ETA doesn't renounce its self-appointed role as "guardian of the Basque Country". Nor does the statement Eta issued say that the truce can be verified by international observers, as happened in Northern Ireland, because they know that if a ceasefire is verifiable, it quickly starts to be irreversible.

If you look at other conflicts worldwide, I believe there's no way that Eta, after 50 years, is going to surrender and hand over its weapons without getting something in return. And the Madrid-based political parties know that, even if they can't say it.

Eta is a terrorist group but its members are living under the illusion that they are freedom fighters. So even if they know they've lost the battle, they can't admit the defeat, particularly – as is the case right now – when they lack a personality capable of bringing the fighters into line and telling them that it's time to call a halt.

Pablo Munoz is editorial director of the Grupo Noticias media group

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: will this be the election result? And other Questions To Which The Answer Is No

John Rentoul
David Cameron visiting a primary school last year  

The only choice in schools is between the one you want and the ones you don’t

Jane Merrick
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn