More than ten thousand supporter of the extreme Basque movement Herri Batasuna staged a rally in Bilbao on Saturday (20 October) calling for total independence for the Basques.
More than ten thousand supporter of the extreme Basque movement Herri Batasuna staged a rally in Bilbao on Saturday (20 October) calling for total independence for the Basques. People of the Basque provinces of Northern Spain are undecided on the referendum to be voted on this Tuesday (25 October). The Madrid government needs a fifty per cent "yes" vote in the referendum in order to grant home rule to Guipuzcoa, Vizcaya and Alava -- three Basque provinces.
SYNOPSIS: Telesforo Monzon is one of the leaders of Herri Batasuna, the political front for the Basque organisation -- ETA. He along with his party oppose the referendum and are holding out for total independence.
But the Basque Nationalist Party -- the PNV, stands firmly behind the referendum which would bring autonomy to the three Basque provinces. According to a public opinion poll carried out by the Bilbao daily newspapers Correo Espanol and El Pueblo Vasco the results showed twenty percent of voters have still not made up their minds. But the poll also suggests the Madrid government may not get the needed fifty per cent vote in the referendum.
Sr. Monzon and his followers oppose the terms of the Basque autonomy statute - they believe the plan negotiated between Basque politicians and the Madrid government is too moderate. Guerrilla activities of ETA have continued as the referendum approaches. A month ago (23 September) ETA claimed responsibility for the killing of the military governor of Guipuzcoa -- one of the provinces included in the present autonomy plan.