Resistance is building in Europe against government attempts to force ordinary people to bailout the failed financial system of “casino” capitalism. After four general strikes in Greece this year, and two more planned, strike action is beginning in Spain against planned attacks on public services and welfare.
After the Supreme Court on May 16 banned the Basque party Abertzale Sozialisten Batasuna (ASB) from contesting the May 27 local and regional elections, more than 82,000 Basques signed petitions for the creation of new electoral lists. However hundreds of pro-independence and left candidates in the Basque Country have also been banned on the basis of suspected links to Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA Basque Homeland and Freedom). Some 133 candidate lists of the legal party Accion Nacionalista Vasca (ANV Basque Nationalist Action), which formed in 1931, have also been banned. A statement on May 23 signed by 17 members of the European Parliament described the bans as a serious attack against the most basic civil and political rights in Europe and called for a political, peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Basque Country.
On March 22, 2006, the Basque organisation ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna — Basque Homeland and Freedom) declared a “permanent ceasefire” after more than 40 years of armed struggle, first under the dictatorship of Franciso Franco and then under his appointed successor, Borbon King Juan Carlos. ETA instead called on Basque society to find its way to self-determination through dialogue.