ETA et le conflit au Pays Basque, un anachronisme ?

Dernière insurrection armée d’Europe occidentale et vestige encombrant d’un romantisme révolutionnaire dépassé pour les uns, résidu d’un groupe plus criminel que politique pour les autres, la vie et la fin de l’organisation indépendantiste Basque ETA paraissent, pour beaucoup, comme une sorte d’anachronisme. Et pourtant, avec ETA on parle ici d’une organisation clandestine qui a été non seulement au centre de l’agenda politique, policier et judiciaire espagnol – d’un régime dictatorial à une démocratie libérale européenne – mais aussi au cœur de la coopération policière et judiciaire franco-espagnole puis européenne.

Présentation d’Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet au colloque organisé par le GEPS et Politeia. GUITTET-Conference Politiea -sept.2016

The Spanish State’s Illicit War with ETA

Contemporary democratic Spain has been plagued with serious campaigns of political violence. Since the end of the Francoist authoritarian regime in 1975 until the announcement of a ceasefire in 2010, the Basque separatist clandestine group ETA (Euskadi (e)Ta Askatasuna, Basque country and Freedom) has unquestionably played a central part in this deadly process. In response to the increasingly violent actions of ETA during the political transition and onwards, Spain has adopted a determined and strong counter-terrorist stance, establishing one of the most impressive antiterrorist arsenals in western democracies, pushing the agenda of a European-wide reformulation of police and judicial assistance between member states and sparing no effort to secure French co-operation against terrorism in general and against ETA in particular. Less known were the extrajudicial strategies Spain used to suppress Basque radical nationalism and eradicate ETA. In the 1980s, initiatives to re-open channels to ETA by the Socialist government (PSOE) of Felipe González (1982-1996) were twinned with a confusing if astute strategy of official enhancement of police and judicial co-operation with France on the one hand and a covert campaign of assassination of members of ETA on the other. Between 1983 and 1987, mercenaries adopting the pseudonym GAL (Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación, Antiterrorist Liberation Groups) paid by the Spanish treasury and relying upon national intelligence support were at war with ETA. Nearly thirty were killed in this campaign of torture, kidnapping, bombing and assassination of suspected ETA activists and Basque refugees. Nearly 30 years later, this campaign of intimidation, coercion, death squads and targeted killings in a liberal democracy continues to grip Spain. The aim of the paper is to shed lights on a fascinating and intriguing case of illiberal practices in a liberal regime where State agencies colluded with French, Portuguese and Spanish mercenaries in order to kill members of ETA and push the French Government towards more cooperation in the fight against Basque terrorism. New research on illiberal practices in liberal regimes continues to emerge at a brisk pace in an increasingly diverse array of regions in the Western world. Gaps and disconnects remain, but together these studies contribute to a more nuanced understanding of “state terrorism”. By offering a comprehensive yet readable understanding of a dark side of the Spanish contemporary counter-terrorist experience, this paper will contribute to this endeavour.

Presentation by Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet at the 11th ECPR Conference in Oslo

A year after Brussels attacks, what’s fixed… and what’s still broken

Everyone in Belgium remembers where they were on March 22, 2016, no matter how far or close they were to the Brussels Airport and Maalbeek metro station.  A year after Brussels attacks, what’s fixed… and what’s still broken by Cathy Buyck, Laurent Cerulus and Cynthia Khroet, published in Politico, March 23, 2017.

veryone in Belgium remembers where they were on March 22, 2016, no matter how far or close they were to the Brussels Airport and Maalbeek metro station. This year, they commemorated the 32 victims, killed by three suicide bombers, and the 320 injured, as well as the emergency and transportation workers, the hotel staff, taxi drivers, cafe owners and simple strangers who rushed to help. “Our land has been targeted at the very heart, but we all wanted to carry on,” King Philippe said as he addressed relatives of the victims Wednesday morning. After ceremonies at the airport and metro station, the King and Queen Mathilde led family members and rescuers to a new memorial by Jean-Henri Compere near Rond Pont Schuman in the heart of the European Union quarter. “It’s the responsibility of each and every one of us to make our society more human and more just,” the King said there, adding, “Let us learn to listen to each other again, to respect each other’s weaknesses. Above all let us dare to be tender.” (lire la suite)

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