ETA Peace Declaration "Not Enough"

In Spain, people give a cautious welcome to the announcement by the Basque separatist group Eta that it will cease its paramilitary campaign Link to this video Spain's socialist government today ruled out negotations with the armed Basque separatist group Eta, claiming the organisation had announced a ceasefire purely because it was too weak to carry out terrorist attacks. "Eta kills in order to impose itself, so that means one cannot dialogue," said the interior minister, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba. "Eta has stopped because it cannot do anything ... and also in order to rebuild itself." The government declined to comment officially, but was busily repeating the message that it did not believe in Eta's ceasefire. "The Eta terrorist group is very weakened," said the transport minister, José Blanco. The government was only interested, he said, in "a definitive laying down of arms and end to violence". The momentary excitement caused by yesterday's video message from Eta had almost entirely dissipated today, although some radical separatists in the Basque country welcomed what they called a "unilateral, unconditional and indefinite" ceasefire. Analysts gave little credence to the idea that the ceasefire might mark the end of four decades of violence that have claimed more than 800 lives. They said the group had been forced to stop planning attacks six month ago after a series of arrests left it leaderless and disorganised. "The statement aims to give political meaning to a strategic rest decreed by Eta's leaders six months ago in order to reorganise internally to cope with police pressure," wrote Florencio Domínguez, an Eta expert, in La Vanguardia newspaper. Dominguez pointed to the arrest in February of Ibon Gojeaskoetxea, a senior Eta commander, as the key moment. That arrest was hailed as the fifth time in two years that police had detained the person directly in charge of Eta's handful of remaining armed units.