THE peace process in the Basque Country came under the spotlight again this week with reports which alleged that members of the outlawed Basque terror group, ETA, had stolen weapons in France. ETA have allegedly signed a cease-fire so that talks with the government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero can go ahead. With opposition parties already saying that ETA have not given up their campaign of violence and with the European parliament only narrowly approving the peace process, Prime Minister Zapatero is under real pressure. If there is clear evidence that ETA has not given up its armed fight then he will have no option but to walk away from the peace process. Zapatero's dialogue with ETA was always going to be unpopular but the Prime Minister has shown plenty of courage and is now swimming against the tide of public opinion and the opposition Partido Popular is highly critical. The one mistake that Zapatero made when he announced his peace moves was not to get all-party support. The Partido Popular, who maintained a tough-line against ETA when they went in power, has called on Zapatero to abandon the dialogue with ETA. This week and as a result of the weapons robbery, they have turned around, and said we told you so... Perhaps, Zapatero should have been slightly more careful before he started the peace process.
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