TOWARD THE END OF ETA

PP to embrace Socialists' rehabilitation plan for convicted terrorists

Victims’ groups criticize conservative government’s commitment to meetings between affected relatives and prisoners

The Popular Party (PP) government seems set to embrace the ETA convict rehabilitation plan initiated by the previous Socialist administration, despite its heavy criticism of the scheme while in opposition. The Interior Ministry has stressed things will be “different” from now on, although it remains unclear what those differences are.

For instance, the PP will keep organizing meetings between survivors of ETA attacks and the terrorists jailed for them. These face-to-face meetings were started by the Socialists, and criticized by several victims' associations. Sources at the Interior Ministry claimed that from now on victims would play a bigger role in these voluntary meetings, which would no longer be organized by the Basque regional government, but by the ministry.

"It will be our program, but similar to the previous one," said a ministry source.

The biggest victims' association criticized the ministry's announcement of two new face-to-face meetings in June, following 11 others that have taken place since May 2011. Ángeles Pedraza, president of the Terrorism Victims' Association, expressed disappointment at finding out about it in the media.

"The minister personally told us a few weeks ago that we would be informed about measures of this type, yet once more, we found out in the press."

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