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Spain

Yearbook 2001

Spain. During the year, the Basque separatist movement ETA continued its campaign of violence with explosions and deaths. According to Countryaah, several attacks were carried out against tourist resorts and ETA seemed more indiscriminately to target its terrorists to public figures who have made a critical statement, not only to politicians and representatives of the judiciary. A number of suspected ETA members were arrested during the year, mainly in Spain but also in France, and large quantities of explosives and weapons were seized. In October, ETA indicated that the campaign of violence had failed and that a political solution would be sought instead. The authorities considered it to be a result of the successful proposals.

2001 Spain

In October, police also stated that seven high-ranking members had been arrested and that much of the group's network in the Basque Country had been destroyed. But Prime Minister José María Aznar dismissed ETA's eviction and it was not long before a car bomb in Madrid reminded that Europe's only remaining major terrorist organization was still active. Nearly 100 people were injured in the explosion. Just a day later, a judge was shot dead in Basque Bilbao. ETA and several related groups were included in the list of terrorists agreed by the EU countries following the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11. Most of the 29 people on the list were members of the Basque group.

The ruling Basque Nationalist Party PNV strengthened its position in the regional elections in May, receiving 43% of the vote. However, support for Euskal Herritarrok, ETA's political branch, fell by eight percentage points to 10%.

In March, 400,000 people in Madrid demonstrated plans to build over 100 ponds and divert water from the great river Ebro, which flows through northeastern Spain and into the Mediterranean south of Barcelona. The plan was aimed at improving the water supply along the dry coast in the south-east, an area that is hard pressed by agriculture and tourism. The critics felt that environmental damage would be too great. Instead, the socialist opposition proposed investments in desalination and more efficient water use.

In January, a new foreign law was passed, despite protests and hunger strikes among immigrants without a residence permit. Illegal immigrants were prohibited from attending meetings, demonstrating, striking or joining unions. The opposition also opposed the law, fearing that tens of thousands of people might be forced to leave Spain.

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