Spanish president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero seems determined to deprive the Basque left of a voice ahead of elections due to take place on 9 May 2008. Interviewed on Spanish radio, (Cadena SER), Spanish vice-president María Fernández de la Vega confirmed that Nationalist Basque Action (NBA) could face a ban “at any time,” after the mayor of Hernani (Guipuzkoa) paid “homage” last Saturday to two detainees accused of carrying out the Madrid Airport bombing in 2006. The mayor apparently dedicated a round of applause to the two detainees.
Moreover, sources from within the Spanish government claim to have considerable evidence linking ANB and Batasuna, considered to be the political arm of the armed separatist group ETA.
Apart from ANB, the Communist Party of the Basque Countries (CPBC) is also at risk of being made illegal.
Tensions are high before the election campaign has even begun
Tensions reached breaking-point last week when two suspected members of ETA were detained, accused of being behind the Madrid Airport bombings that ended peace talks with ETA. A medical report for one of the detainees revealed that he had suffered injuries while in police custody. Amnesty International asked for clarification. The Spanish Interior Minister backed the official version of events, according to which Igor Portu sustained injuries while resisting detention.