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Spain

Yearbook 2006

Spain. The terrorist-stamped Basque separatist movement ETA announced in March a unilateral and permanent ceasefire. ETA had on several occasions previously temporarily ceased its violent actions, but never before talked about putting down its weapons for good. The armed struggle for an independent Basque country had been waged for nearly four decades. The ceasefire message was gently received positively by the Spanish social government. According to CountryAAH, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero emphasized that a long and complicated peace process was waiting, but that no concessions to the demands for independence were not relevant. In June, Zapatero announced that formal peace talks would begin. The Conservative opposition party PP was critical and opposed all talks with ETA before the group was disarmed and disbanded. In December, the first talks were reported to have been held between the government and the separatists. But just before the New Year, ETA took on the blame for an explosion that occurred at an airport in Madrid and lightly injured 19 people. This led to the government interrupting the peace talks.

2006 Spain

A new constitution for Catalonia was approved in June in a referendum in the region, which thereby extended its already extensive self-government. At the same time, the constitution was a significantly watered down version of the proposal adopted by the regional parliament in 2005. writings about Catalonia as a "nation" are faded. Political disagreement over the proposal caused Catalonia's coalition government to split, leading to new elections in the region in November. The largest party, the nationalist party CiU, strengthened its position somewhat, but the three left parties that were part of the former coalition were given enough mandate to form a new government.

During the year, the Canary Islands became a new target for Africans trying to get to Europe to work. More than 31,000 people, according to Spanish authorities, came to the archipelago, often in small and poorly safe boats. The majority were West Africans, but there were also many Asians among the boat refugees. Many hundreds, perhaps thousands, perished on the road. The authorities saw the storm as a growing humanitarian disaster and appealed to the rest of the EU for help. Spain also signed agreements with Senegal on extended patrol of the coast.

Twenty-nine people were indicted in April, suspected of involvement in the terrorist attack against several commuter trains in Madrid in 2004.

In July, more than 40 people were killed and many were injured when a subway train in Valencia derailed. According to the Accident Investigation Board, the train ran twice as fast as allowed when the accident occurred. The driver was among the dead.

Galicia in northwestern Spain was hit unusually hard by forest fires towards the end of the summer. At least 86,000 ha of forest were destroyed in over 100 fires, many of which were suspected of being planted. Several people died in the flames.

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