"Basque government approves referendum plan on self-determination
Vitoria /28/05/ 18:42
The Basque regional government Wednesday approved a controversial plan for a referendum on the self- determination of the northern Spanish region, which was expected to set it on a collision course with the Spanish government.
Voters in the region of 2.1 million residents will be asked whether they would like to see a negotiated end to the violence of the militant Basque separatist group ETA, if it expresses a willingness to lay down arms, regional Prime Minister Juan Jose Ibarretxe explained.
Voters will also answer the question whether they would approve of talks between the Basque political parties on the region's right to decide its own future.
Ibarretxe believes that an open discussion on Basque self- determination would help to solve the problem of ETA.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government regards a regional referendum as illegal, and was expected to take legal action to prevent the vote from taking place.
If the Basque regional parliament approves the draft law on June 27, the referendum would take place on October 25. /end/"
By David Edenden