Interview with Carlos Iturgaiz, president of the Popular Party

Ten years ago, the terrorist group ETA announced that it was laying down its arms. In commemoration of the anniversary, the president of the PP in the Basque Country, Carlos Iturgaiz talks to our colleague, Federico Quevedo, about the memory of the victims and the last words of Arnaldo Otegi (general coordinator of EH Bildu parliamentary group).

The memory of ETA

Iturgaiz argues that we must continue to remember what happened “with the truth” so that it is not forgotten. The politician explains that the terrorist group ETA existed to make many people physically and politically disappear. Also he added that the terrorists have had a great deal of help from part of Basque society. However, he stressed that thanks to the governments such as that of the PP, which outlawed ‘Batasuna’ (nationalist politic group in the Basque Country), the terrorist group has been weakened. Iturgaiz acknowledges that although ETA does not exist today, there is still another ETA, the political one, which is in the institutions.

Spain has been free of attacks for ten years, something which, according to Iturgaiz, is thanks to the people who were on ETA’s lists and who can now live with a little more peace of mind. However, he acknowledged that ten years later, freedom is not guaranteed in the Basque Country because threats continue to be made.

Life in the Basque Country today

The Basque Country continues to have a hatred climate, for example, a few days ago a young member of the New Generations of the Popular Party was assaulted. Carlos Iturgaiz insists that the closest environments are the perfect weapons for some young people to still have hatred for Spain or the Popular Party.

Carlos Iturgaiz accuses the Government of making a ‘media circus’, just as Arnaldo Otegui (general coordinator of EH Bildu and former member of the terrorist group ETA) would have done. According to Iturgaiz, Arnaldo Otegui’s statements are a way of making fun of the victims, as there is no repentance or forgiveness. According to the MP, he had to do so in order to justify the fact that the EH Bildu parliamentary group has a pact with the central government in which they are only interested in ETA prisoners and not in the victims.

Firm terrorism condemnation

According to the PP member, the President of the Government, in order to stay in power, will do anything. Moreover, he once again refers to the words of Arnaldo Otegi, who acknowledged that in order for ETA prisoners to leave prison, his parliamentary group (EH Bildu) has to support Pedro Sánchez for another term in office. Iturgaiz adds “it is the Sánchez-Otegi, Otegi-Sánchez duo”.

The president of the Basque PP informs that his parliamentary group will bring a condemnation of ETA to the Basque Parliament. However, he knows that EH Bildu will not subscribe to this declaration, which must be unanimous. Iturgaiz wonders: “how many political parties in the European Union are presided over by a person condemned for belonging to an armed gang like Otegi? Surely none”.

Listen to the full interview in the audio below:

Full interview with Carlos Iturgaiz, president of the Popular Party in the Basque Country and of the PP+Ciudadanos coalition in the Basque Parliament.

Through ‘El Balance’, a program hosted by Federico Quevedo on Capital Radio, Influence Spain is able to expand its network of contacts within the national, regional and municipal spectrum.