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Zapatero announces ETA talks
By Renwick McLean International Herald Tribune
Published: June 29, 2006
MADRID In an announcement that will probably fan Spain's bitter debate over how to respond to terrorism, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced Thursday that his government would open disarmament talks with the militant Basque separatist group ETA.
Zapatero had promised to start the talks in exchange for a permanent cease- fire, which ETA declared in March.
Speaking at a news conference at the national Parliament in Madrid, Zapatero stressed that the government would make no concessions to ETA's separatist demands during the talks.
The broad goal is to persuade ETA to hand over its weapons and dissolve, according to Spanish officials. But it is unclear what the government is willing to offer to achieve that objective.
IT GOES ON TO NOTE...
The announcement Thursday opened a lengthy process of discussions over the Basque region that is expected to dominate Spanish politics at least through the end of the year, and probably well into the next.
The Basque region's numerous peaceful separatists and supporters of loosening ties with Madrid have hailed the ETA truce as a chance to aggressively pursue more autonomy, saying that past demands have been unfairly tarnished by associations with ETA.
The cease-fire, they say, will undercut efforts to portray government concessions to their demands as appeasement to terrorism.
Spain Train Derailment Kills at Least 30, Injures 12
Monday, July 03, 2006
MADRID, Spain — A subway train derailed and overturned in the eastern Spanish city of Valencia on Monday, killing at least 30 people and injuring about a dozen, a regional government spokesman said.
The likely cause of the accident was that the train was traveling at high speed and one of its wheels broke off, local government spokesman Luis Felipe Martinez said. A tunnel wall also may have collapsed onto the carriage, investigators said, according to news reports.
MADRID, Spain — A subway train accelerated, shuddered and flipped off the tracks Monday in the Mediterranean port of Valencia, killing at least 41 passengers and injuring 47 in one of Spain's worst rail accidents, officials and witnesses said.
......Justice Ministry official Rosa Sanchez confirmed the driver of the train was among the dead.
......Jorge Alvarez, secretary-general of the Independent Railway Union, said it was too early to blame human error for Monday's tragedy. He said his union repeatedly warned of safety problems on Valencia's 18-year-old subway system, particularly the No. 1 line.
"The train began to go faster than usual and started to move from one side to the other," Cesar Hernandez Nunez, a 21-year-old student traveling in the second car, told the newspaper El Mundo. "Right after that it was chaos."