It is the new workhorse that raises eh Bildu to the Government of Pedro Sanchez: ensure that the more than fifty ETA prisoners in Spain who have already served their sentences in French prisons see their sentences reduced thanks to a legislative change. Something that did not go through the plans of the PSOE a priori, but for which shortcuts are already being sought to a law by Mariano Rajoy, as it is stated that the Executive will need the support of those of Arnaldo Otegi in the near political horizon.
The four years that Sánchez has been in Moncloa have been those of Etarra exodus from Francia to Spain, attracted by the prison benefits that have prevailed for a few years. Never before has there been such a high transfer of convicts, especially since in 2020 it was intensified the policy of rapprochements and in 2021 the Basque prisons were ceded to the Government of Iñigo Urkullu
Today, in Spain there are about sixty ETA prisoners whose prison sheet includes stays in French prisons. A framework agreement of the European Union A decade ago, it opened the doors so that a convicted person in one country of the Union could reduce his pending sentence in another, commuting years. In Spain, the Government of Mariano Rajoy He reacted quickly by putting in place a law that closed that door. Despite the appeals that the affected ETA members presented to the European Court of Human Rightsthe norm was ratified and considered to be in accordance with the law.
All this can change if the PSOE goes ahead with a plan that the legislative plumbers who advise Moncloa are already working on. It is studying, as OKDIARIO has learned from sources who know the details of the plan, how to bypass the blockade imposed by Rajoy’s law. It is a question, they say, of articulating a new mechanism to interpret the law, but never of eliminating it. Discreet formulas are sought that do not alter public opinion but do meet the expectations of its government partner, EH Bildu.
One of the last to benefit from this change would be Soledad Iparraguirre, Anboto, former head of ETA. The same one that “put the batteries” to those commandos that killed little or spent time without committing murders. She has been handed over just a week ago by France after completing her sentence. He is in the Estremera prison and still has trials pending in Spain. An eventual conviction for any of these crimes, with the legislative revision of the PSOE, would benefit from a significant sentence reduction.
Bildu has a year ahead of him, until the next general elections, to complete his electoral project based on the ETA prisoners. The leader of the training Arnaldo Otegihas already openly acknowledged that “if to get 200 prisoners out we have to vote on the Budgets, we will vote on them.”
With the ETA prison population practically close – the process is expected to be completed before the end of 2022 – the next step will be freedom. Some in the form of granting the third degree thanks to the «rooting» that rewards the Urkullu prison model. And others, through sensible reductions in sentences, such as the case of those who served a sentence in France.
That is, in Otegi’s words, the “mother of all battles.” But for this, “Bildu has to force the Executive to change the law,” he acknowledged in public before his own. “The only option that exists is to change the law. But to change that law we have to force a government like this to introduce a legislative change that favors ETA prisonerswith all that that means,” he explained.
Visit to Txapote
Bildu, on the other hand, is finalizing the details of a new tour of the Basque prisons to meet with the prisoners he has approached in recent years, under the excuse of verifying the type of treatment given to them by the Government of Iñigo Urkullu.
On that tour, as revealed by OKDIARIO, Bildu has included among its objectives to visit Javier García Gaztelu, alias Txapote, a murderer among many others of Miguel Angel Blanco. Gaztelu has been one of the last ETA members approached by the Government of Pedro Sánchez to the Basque Country, although the transfer has not yet been carried out. In this way, he has gone from being in Huelva in solitary confinement to living a few kilometers from his family and with semi-freedom on the horizon. He is even considering that he can go on leave this Christmas.