Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/22 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/22 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/22 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/22 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 05/20 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 05/20 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/22 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/22 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 05/20 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 05/22 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 05/20 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 05/20 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Afp

Basque separatist group ETA apologises for 'harm' it caused

By AFP
media Spain's 2.2-million-strong Basque region is now gearing up for ETA's dissolution AFP

The Basque separatist group ETA apologised Friday for the "pain" and "harm" it caused during its decades-long campaign of violence, and appealed to its victims for forgiveness.

"We have caused a lot of pain, and irreparable harm. We want to show our respect to the dead, to the wounded and to the victims of the actions of ETA... We sincerely regret it," it said in a statement released in the Basque newspaper Gara.

The statement came just days before ETA is expected to announce its dissolution.

"We know that, forced by the necessities of all types of armed struggle, our actions have harmed citizens who were not responsible. We have also caused serious wrongs which are irreparable. We ask forgiveness to those people and their families", it said.

The government in Madrid said the apology was the result of "the strength of the rule of law that has defeated ETA with the weapons of democracy".

"ETA should have asked for forgiveness a long time ago", it said in a statement.

ETA waged a nearly four-decade campaign of bombings and shootings to establish an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southern France.

At least 829 people were killed before the group announced a permanent ceasefire in 2011.

Last year it went a step further and began laying down its arms.

In its statement to Gara, its traditional mouthpiece, ETA said it was not alone in being responsible for the violence in the Basque Country.

"Suffering existed before the birth of ETA and continued after it ceased its armed struggle," it said.

Without specifically mentioning the Madrid government, it called for "all to recognise their responsibilities and wrong caused" and to open the way to reconciliation.

"ETA, the national Basque socialist revolutionary liberation organisation, wants to acknowledge by this declaration the harm caused by its armed course, and demonstrate its commitment to definitively overcoming the consequences of the conflict and avoiding a repetition."

The group has been severely weakened in recent years after police arrested hundreds of its members, including its leaders, and seized several of its weapons stashes.

Spain's 2.2-million-strong Basque region is now gearing up for the dissolution of the group created in 1959 at the height of Francisco Franco's dictatorship.

On Thursday, an international mediator, Alberto Spektorowski, said that "failing a last-minute surprise" ETA would announce its dissolution on May 5 or 6.

"The declaration that ETA no longer exists will be very clear," the Israeli academic, a member of the International Contact Group, told Basque radio EITB.

"I cannot say what words they will use but no one will be left in any doubt," he said, adding that the announcement would be made across the border, in the French Basque region.

 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.