Autor: Markham, James M.. 
   Some basques predict civil war as whiff of autonomy fails to stem violence     
 
 The New York Times.    16/07/1980.  Página: 9. Páginas: 1. Párrafos: 28. 

By JAMES M. MARKHAM

Special to The New York Times

BILBAO, Spain, July 12 — On the rainwashed aver.ue at the narrow bridge over the Nervión River, 5,000 Basque Social-ists and Communists demonstrating against terrorism collided with youthful partisans of the separatist organizatkm E.T.A. Some had handkerchiefs tied around their faces in the fashion of banditsor guerrillas.

"Fascists! Fascists!" one side shouted.

"You are the Fascists!" carne the reply.

"Life, notdeath! Life, notdeath!"

"LongliveE.T.A.!"

The shouts and insults soon gave way to fisticuffs.

As Ramón Rubial, a Socialist veteran of Franco´s prisons, spoke briefly from a bandstand, the E.T.A. counterdemonstrators hurled three firebombs in his direction. A man was burned on the leg.

Once united against Madrid in a demand for home rule, the pplitical organizations of the Basque región are sliding into a conflict among themselves that some fear might explode into a kind of civil war.

100 Workers Storm Parliament

On June 26, 100 Bilbao rnetalworkers, locked out of their bankrupt factory for seven months, burst into the regional parliament here and demanded that the largely powerless three-month-old Basque government resolve its problems.

Carlos Garaicoetxea, the president of the regional Basque government, and other leaders of his Basque Nationalist Party were outraged at this profanation of the new institution. They summoned their followers into the street, and a week later 30,000 Basques mobilized here to proclaim support for Mr. Garaicoetxea.

Violent skirmishes with E.T.A. partisans ensued.

Bombs have since exploded in offices of the Basque Nationalists, a largely middle-class party with a sometimes radical base. The party warned last week that if "the new Fascists of our epoch," an allusion to E.T.A.! continued their attacks, the Nationalist Party woirid move from "communiqués to action." Many say that if any Nationalist Party leaders are killed by E.T.A. the party will unleash its own paramilitary forcé.

The Nationalist Party holds 25 seats in the 60-member regional parliament. A decisión by a pro-E.T.A. group, Herri Batazuna, which won 11 seats, to boycott the parliament has given Mr. Garaicoetxea´s party a working majority. The Socialists, Prime Minister Adolfo Suárez´s party and another grouping tied to E.T.A.´s "political-military" branch each have six seats.

President Still Has Littie Power

But the problem of the Nationalist Party is that it has little power to enforce its will. The party is known to have contacted Israeli intelligence operatives for antiterrorist guidance, but the regional president so far commands no pólice forcé of his own.

"No political entity can live without a coercjve apparatus," the 42-year-old Mr. Garaicoetxea said in an interview in a 19th-century palace in the newly declared Basque capital of Vitoria. "But we will use the powers of the state against those who viólate the law, whether E.T.A. or anyoneelse."

A year ago Mr. Garaicoetxea and other Basques appeared to believe that a generous amnesty might end E.T.A.´s violence, which this year alone has claimed the Uves of 26 policemen, 20 civilians and 4 military men. E.T.A.´s political-military branch has for the second summer in a row launched a bombing offensive against Spain´s vital tourist industry.

But now the regional president acknowledges that "a reconciliation or peace plan is remote, and today it seems to me more remote than it was a few months ago. Before we make war, we must make every effort to make peace. Butitisnoteasy."

The Pólice Still Work for Madrid

What Mr. Garaicoetxea appears to need most is a swift decisión from Prime Minister Suárez in Madrid transferring the governmental powers embodied in the Basque home-rule statute the two men negotiated a year ago. Embroiled in their own difficulties and disputes and uncertain about their overall regional policies, Mr. Suárez and his ministers have yielded minimal authority to the new Basque institutions.

A key issue is formation of an autonomous Basque pólice, which would permit the gradual disengagement of Madrid´s Civil Guards and national policemen, who are regarded by many Basques as an occupation forcé. But building a Basque pólice will take several years, and Mr.

Some Basques Predict Civil War as Whiff of AutonomyFails toStem Violence

THE NEW YORK TIMES, WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 1980

A9

By JAMES M. MARKHAM

Special to The New York Times

BILBAO, Spaín, July 12 — On the rainwashed avenue at the narrow bridge over the Nervión River, 5,000 Basque Socialists and Communists demonstrating against terrorism collíded with youthful partisans of the separatist organizaron E.T.A. Some had handkerchiefs tied around their faces in the fashíon of banditsor guerrillas.

"Fascists! Fascists!" one side shout-ed.

"You are the Fascists!" carne the reply.

"Life, not death! Life, not death!"

"Long Uve E.T.A.!"

The shouts and insults soon gave way to fisticuffs.

As Ramón Rubial, a Socialist veteran of Franro´s prísons, spoke briefly from a bandstand, the E.T.A. counterdemonstrators hurled three f irebombs in his direction. A man was burfted on the ieg.

Once united against Madrid in a demand for home rule, the pplitical organizations of the Basque región are sliding into a conflict among themselves that some fear might explode into a kind of civil war.

100 Workers Storm Parliament

On June 26, 100 Bilbao metalworkers, i~ir«ri nnt Of their bankrupt factory for

Garaícoetxea has suggested that in tne meantime he might be willing to deploy units of the national pólice if they were clearly attached to the Basque governinent.

This would be a momentous shift in attitude toward the national pólice, which brutally suppressed Basque national sentiment during the Franco dictatorship. But the pólice nave started behaving with relative restraint; they ha ve killed only one person, an E.T.A. suspect, this year.

This slightly more benign pólice posture has coincided with signs of división, disarray and even fatigue in the ranks of Herri Batazuna, the above-graund political arm of E.T.A.´s hard-line military branch.

"E.T.A. has achieved a certain success in direct action, raising money, access to means of communication," said José Ramón Recalde, a respected psychologist in San Sebastián. "But their mobilirations in favor of amnesty have become ridículous and people are getting weary of so manydemonstrations."

E.T.A., whose initials in the Basque language stand for Basque homeland and liberty, calis itself Marxist-Leninist and proclaims as its goal an independen! nation comprising the Basque provinces of northern Spain and southwestem France.

A growing number of Basques appear to have decided that this dream is futile.

"E.T.A. ´s idea of a military solution is crazy," said Gregorio Monreal, a historian and one of 33 prominent Basque intellectuals who in May signed an open letter denouncing terrorist violence.

"Unfortunately Basque nationalism has not yet reached the level of maturity that is necessary for a people that lives in Europe. Here we have 20 camouflaged civil wars — the Basque Nationalists against the Socialists, the Basque Nationalists against Herri Batazuna, E.T.A.-military against E.T.A.-political military, and so on."

Mr. Monreal has concluded that "a limited civil war is the only solution," a showdown between E.T.A.´s gunmen and their Basque foes.

Danger of Confrontation Grows

Posítions are hardening on all sides, particularly as few believe anymore that negotiations with E.T.A. would lead anywhere. "I don´t think we can talk aoout a political solution in the Basque country when E.T.A. is killing, and kilíing more, much more, than the Red Brigades," said Txiki Benegas, the 32-yearold secretarygeneral of the Socialist Party here, referring to the Italian terrorist organization.

Like many others here, Mr. Benegas is sharply critica! oí the "insensitiviíy" of the Suárez Govermnent and foot-dragging on the transfer of power. "We have lost two or three years," he said. "We could already have a local pólice by> now."

Many here say indecisiveness in Madrid could undermine the credibility of Mr. Garaicoetxea´s fledgling modérate govemment and drive milítants of his own party tato the arms of E.T. A.

Unemployment in the Bilbao área has reached about 17 percent, and this economic crisis also is fumishing potential recruitsforE.T.A.

 

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