Sortu puts a price on Sánchez to continue in Moncloa: free all ETA prisoners
The abertzale left launches its challenge: if Pedro Sánchez wants to continue at the head of the Government the next legislature, and the votes depend on Bildu, the price is set: the nearly 200 ETA prisoners have to take to the streets. It should not be an amnesty, according to his criteria; “But the State has tools, such as pardons, to make that possible.”
This is confirmed by sources from the nationalist left consulted by ABC, who insist: “We all have backpacks. The socialists, of course; but so are we. Let no one forget that.” And the same sources add: «Private conversations on this subject come from afar, and that is why now it can be said publicly; It’s up to them to decide
although you have to give them time.
Therefore, from the pro-ETA perspective, the equation is clear: Moncloa by prisoners. That, and no other, is the situation to which Sánchez may be led, who in view of the political balance that emerges from opinion polls could only continue in office if he agrees to the demands of the toughest nationalism.
The PSOE has a poisoned ballot, because it knows that it can only continue in government if it maintains the support of radical nationalism and Podemos. But his government partner is also in favor of taking ETA prisoners out onto the streets, which leaves him little room for manoeuvre. At the same time, Sánchez is aware that if he makes public any indication that he is going to take ETA prisoners out onto the streets, the bleeding of votes will be irreversible.
Between the bad and the worst, the equation is even more complicated because the rest of the pro-independence supporters, Catalans and Galicians, with whom Pedro Sánchez maintains his ‘Frankenstein government’ –Rubalcaba ‘dixit’–, is in the same key, always according to the sources of the abertzale left consulted by ABC. “We are not alone in demanding that our prisoners take to the streets,” these sources insist.
It is in this framework that the first official meeting held yesterday by Sortu and the Basque Socialists took place. Both are interested in a certain understanding: the PSE, because it is one more step in the whitewashing strategy of the pro-ETA members, thanks to whom Sánchez remains in government, as well as María Chivite in Navarra; to those of Otegi, because they know that to the extent that they maintain the current executive they will be able to have an influence on State policies that does not correspond to their electoral weight.
Sources from the nationalist left consulted explained yesterday: «Let no one expect spectacular results from this first official meeting; what has value is that it has been produced. We must go step by step”. “There is an evolution”, indicated sources of Basque socialism, who do not hide the need to issue warnings to the PNV so that it does not continue with its strategy of agreeing to one side and the other, but always with profits for them.
In both considerations -Moncloa for prisoners, movement of the axis of political power in the Basque Country-, a disturbing weakness of the Executive is discerned, which will have to explain at the time why it governs, either with direct support or with abstention, with the proetarras. “We already have that collaboration in Navarra and nothing has happened,” official socialist sources from the regional community explain to ABC, not enthusiastic about the current drift of this party. And there are motions of censure in a couple of towns in Guipúzcoa in which there has been an agreement between socialists and pro-ETA members to dislodge supposedly moderate nationalism.
Following on from the first meeting with light and stenographers yesterday between Sortu and the PSE, a double message is launched from the nationalist left: one from within, for the Basque Country, and another for the rest of Spain. Internally, the main idea is that the paradigm according to which only the PNV can reach agreements on the right and on the left, with the PP and also with the PSOE, has ended. For the rest of Spain, the image is that the independence movement, paradoxical as it may be, is an essential part of the governability of the State and “trustworthy people”, which gives them a more legitimate position when it comes to negotiating.
«ETA has disappeared for more than ten years. Sortu has accredited a coherence in his speech from that moment”, they explain from the nationalist left, adding: “The parties that remain immobile will pay for it.” Sources of Basque socialism, critical of the new leadership of their party, respond: «We have not demanded enough of them; Actually, we have not demanded anything from them. They say one thing and on a day-to-day basis they act in the opposite way. And what is worse, there is an obvious error of strategy. The young people think, the same as the self-conscious veterans that we have, that there may be a fishing ground for votes for socialism in that sector, when the facts show that it is uncertain.
Both the nationalist left and official sectors of the current PSE coincide in glimpsing a future in which the nationalist/non-nationalist axis will break, in the style of what happened years ago in Catalonia. “It is more than likely that in the medium term –never before the next five years– a coalition government with the socialists in an ideological key, beyond identity, can be seen in the Basque Country”, explain the sources of the nationalist left ; “In the internal organs it has not been raised, but another thing is the specific agreements,” clarify the sources of the Basque socialists consulted by ABC.
The important thing, for both, is that the PNV has ceased to be the central element in Basque politics: “They have governed with the socialists, but also with the popular”sources from the nationalist left insist; “They have taken advantage of that and squeezed us; You have to give them a warning, ”the socialists reproach.
The pro-ETA sources consulted by ABC admit that the issue of the terrorist prisoners is nuclear for this sector, above all because they cannot allow that the most radical dissidence – even more radical, one might add – can gain strength in the heat of that claim. “They are few, their weight is minimal, but it exists,” they explain. And they go further: «We are what we are, and what we are not is a gang of traitors; we assume our past”, they affirm. They add that «the majority of the population is in that key, because ETA has disappeared a decade ago. The parties that do not know how to adapt to this new reality are doomed to disappear.
“We are very undemanding with them –explain Basque socialist sources critical of the current drift of the PSE–. The young people who have come to the leadership, and the self-conscious veterans, believe that they are going to get votes in the pro-independence fishing ground, when it has already been shown that this is not going to be the case. It’s more; since we have that strategy we lose votes. That, of course, if you ignore what it means to whitewash those who applauded the murders of our colleagues.
The Sortu congress this weekend will add, only in the short term, elements of concern for socialism that wants to come to terms with Basque secessionism. The arrival at the leadership of that party of the former head of ETA David Pla and Elena Beloki, head of the gang’s international apparatus at the time, sends an obvious message, according to the sources of the nationalist left consulted by ABC: “We are the that we are, not a gang of traitors; They are ours.”
In addition, with these designations of terrorist meanings, according to the same sources, an attempt is made to turn off the voices of the most radical dissidence – “it is a minority, but it exists”, they acknowledge – and it is once again made very clear that there is no regret for the savagery committed by the terrorist group, which were supported by the pro-ETA members at the head of which is Arnaldo Otegi. A «man of peace», in the words of Zapatero».