The Communist Organization of Greece unequivocally condemns the arrest, on 13 October, of ten members of the Basque pro-independence movement, including Arnaldo Otegi, leader and spokesperson of Batasuna during the last peace process in the Basque Country, Rafa Diez, former National Secretary of the Trade Union LAB and Rufino Etxeberria, member of the Negotiation Committee during last peace process.

This new, deeply antidemocratic attack against the Basque pro-independence movement is the last in a series of continuous, desperate and impressively unsuccessful attempts of the Spanish State to “resolve” the Basque conflict through the means of increasingly harsh and violent repression.

The consecutive Spanish governments of PP and PSOE should by now have realized that it is not possible to exterminate a historic and always lively movement deeply rooted among the people. No matter how blatantly the Spanish authorities keep violating the fundamental principles of democracy and human rights, the Basque pro-independence movement is always present and with strong influence within the Basque society.

The Spanish state is trying once more to avoid the unavoidable: a democratic solution of the Basque conflict. This is the only real, just and viable way out of a violent historic confrontation. The new attack on the Basque pro-independence movement, which is working under the most difficult conditions in order to offer a democratic scenario, is exactly trying to kill any initiative for a peaceful solution. Once again, those who try to revive Franco’s tactics will fail.

Free the Basque pro-independence leaders and militants!

Support the democratic solution of the Basque conflict!

Athens, 15 October 2009

KOE - International Relations Department