Éire Ghaelach – Éire Shaor
One hundred thousand Basques marched in the city of Bilbao on Saturday demanding the repatriation of Basque political prisoners to their homeland, as well as the release of those who have served the majority of their sentences or are suffering long-term illnesses. Several hundred Basque detainees, most of who are members of the Basque guerilla movement ETA, are held in prisons across Spain and France, normally far away from the Basque Country itself and frequently in poor or isolated conditions.
Euronews carries a report on this unprecedented demonstration that has taken political commentators and the Spanish authorities by surprise. With the cessation of military operations announced by ETA late last year it seems that a growing tide of Basque nationalism has been released, contrary to the line peddled to the domestic and international media by the Spanish government. With the heavy censorship and anti-democratic laws of the Spanish state lifted somewhat in the Basque Country the long suppressed opinions of a sizeable section of the Basque people is finally being given a political airing.