In Spain, several hundred Basque freedom marchers have reached San five group on their may to a mass rally in Pamplona.
In Spain, several hundred Basque freedom marchers have reached San five group on their may to a mass rally in Pamplona. They're just one of five group of demonstrators calling for Basque autonomy and release of political prisoners who are due to assemble in Pamplona at the end of August.
SYNOPSIS: The marchers celebrated their arrival in San Sabastian on Monday (11 July) with a festival rally which bore little resemblance to as political demonstration. But there were protest banners including one demanding the release of a Basque nationalist arrested for murder.
There were few police in evidence and the marchers are being tolerated by the authorities, although the official Basque parties say the demonstration is unnecessary. Those taking part are largely left-wing militants. Aside from the four group setting off through Spain, another column of Basque exiles is making its way south from Brussels. They's mostly political prisoners recently released from jail on condition that they went into exile, but are expected to seek entry to Spain. The other-groups will have 300 miles (482 km) by the time they reach Pamplona.
Monday was a day of rest for the marchers in San Sebastian who'd set off from the seaside resort of Zarauz. They belong to parties further to the left of the region's biggest political groups, the Socialist Party and the Basque Nationalist Party. Although some political prisoners have been released the militants are demanding a full amnesty.
The new Minister for Regional Affairs, Senor Manuel Clavero, has already said that the government is dedicated to granting autonomy to all of Spain's regions and the established political parties in the Basque region are prepared to take the government's word. They say there is no need for marchers to bring any further pressure on the government.