Expert Explains What Future Holds for Spanish Politics After ETA Dissolution

© REUTERS / Vincent West / A municipal worker paints over graffiti reading "ETA, The People Are With You" in the Basque town of Guernica, Spain.
A municipal worker paints over graffiti reading ETA, The People Are With You in the Basque town of Guernica, Spain. - Sputnik International
With the Basque militant group ETA disbanding, many within Spain and the EU are hoping that this could usher in an era of political stability in the Iberian Peninsula amid ongoing uncertainty in Catalonia. Sputnik spoke with Dr Andrew Dowling, lecturer in Hispanic studies at Cardiff University for more.

Sputnik: How much of an impact will the disbanding of ETA have on Spanish politics?

Dr Andrew Dowling: ETA has had an enormous impact on Spain until the recent past and its impact was particularly dramatic in the 1970’s until the late 1990’s, when it still had an effective military capacity to disrupt the general atmosphere in Spain.

ETA hasn’t done anything effective since 2011, so what has happened this week just confirms something that we already know and it’s been received in Spain in a remarkably low key way because the organisation has been inactive for so long.

Sputnik: Are there any parallels between the Basque and Catalan independence campaigns?

Dr Andrew Dowling: The Catalan independence movement has never had any association with violence, so the atmosphere has always been very different. It’s probably better to look at what happened in Northern Ireland; as ETA bears a close resemblance to the IRA, whereas Catalonia is more like Scotland.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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