May 21th 2024 | 1:35

Bizkaia

Otxandiano qualifies ETA's terrorism

Jesus Carames

April 17, 2024 | 7:06 p.m.

Pello Otxandiano, EH Bildu's candidate for lehendakari, has generated controversy by referring to ETA not as a terrorist organization, but as an "armed group." His words have revived the debate about how ETA's violent history and its impact on Basque society should be cataloged.

«ETA was an armed group. Fortunately, ETA does not exist and from here we can build the future and memory in a much more shared way and with respect for all the victims., he explained in an interview with Cadena SER.

Implications of your comments

These statements come at a delicate time, as the Basque Country continues to reconcile its past while seeking to move towards peaceful coexistence. Otxandiano's refusal to use the term "terrorist organization" has been seen by many, especially ETA victims and their families, as a minimization of the suffering caused by decades of violence.

Political and social resonance

The response to Otxandiano's comments was immediate. Eneko Andueza, candidate of the PSE-EE, described Otxandiano's statements as "cowardly" and "morally base", reaffirming his position of not allowing EH Bildu to govern in Euskadi. These types of exchanges highlight the deep divisions that still exist in the Basque political landscape regarding ETA's legacy.

Challenge for coexistence

The difficulty of establishing a common narrative about the years of violence underscores the ongoing challenge in Euskadi to build a society that recognizes all forms of suffering and seeks reconciliation. "You cannot speak from condescension or pity about the victims of terrorism without criticizing the terrorists, without saying that it was indecent, without facing your own past"Andueza insisted.

Political future of EH Bildu

Managing this legacy will be crucial for EH Bildu, especially if they seek to expand their electoral base beyond their traditional supporters. Otxandiano's statements could affect the perception of the party as an entity willing to sincerely confront its past and commit to a peaceful and plural future.

The debate over how to address ETA's legacy is indicative of the scars still fresh in the Basque Country and the need for a policy that genuinely promotes healing and reconciliation. The evolution of this dialogue will be fundamental for the stability and social progress of Euskadi.

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