INTRODUCTION: France has promised to stop Basque guerrillas attacking Spain from havens in French territory.
SV PAN Spanish Prime Minister Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo and French Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson leaving Elysee Palace.
GV French coast. (2 SHOTS)
SV Roadsign to Spanish border.
SV Sign 'Asgain' & GV PAN square in town and restaurant. (3 SHOTS)
SV INT Bar Basques talking and playing cards. (3 SHOTS)
SV Basque literature in Biarritz bookshop, with music on track.
SV INT Family seated around radio listening to Basque programme.
SV INT Schoolteacher teaching children in Basque language. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: France has promised to stop Basque guerrillas attacking Spain from havens in French territory. Prime Minster Leopoldo Sotelo made the announcement on Thursday (2 July) after talks with French President Francois Mitterrand at the Elysee Palace. French Foreign Minister Claude Cheyssen said France was combatting Basque terrorism with the same determination as Spain.
SYNOPSIS: The meeting at the Elysee Palace was reported to be cordial on both sides. Spain wants France to extradite Basque militants whom the Madrid Government wants to put on trial. President Mitterrand has opposed their return but Mr. Calvo Sotelo said he hoped the deadlock on the issue would be broken shortly. About 15 Basques are in French jails while the courts hear the Spanish extradition proceedings against them.
Spain has complained for years that Basque guerrillas were acting with impunity from the French Basque territory. The particular area cited was the Bayonne-Biarritz - St. Jean de Luz triangle where the Spanish Basque refugees are traditionally concentrated. Spanish militants operating from France are estimated to number about two hundred.
There's no doubt they have long benefitted from tacit sympathy and in some cases aid from their cousins north of the Pyrenees.
Basque literature is openly on display in the book shops of Biarritz. The 100,00 French Basques are a minority in their own region and are predominantly farmers living in small mountain towns. Their Spanish cousins estimated at 2.5 million, live mainly in urban industrial clusters such as Bilbao.
In both countries every effort is made to make sure that the children grow up Basque-speaking. Families gather round radio sets in France for a Basque programme. Whether Government efforts can stamp out the across the border co-operation remains to be seen.