EH Bildu unsettles the PNV with its initiatives for prisoners


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On January 8, when the independence movement was preparing to make a show of force with more than 200 demonstrations in the Basque Country and Navarra in favor of the ETA prisoners, the PNV dropped the hook and announced that it would no longer participate in acts in favor of prisoners. With this gesture he gave a blow of effect and bet on a “political negotiation” against the street demands. But EH Bildu could have taken the lead on this issue as well by promoting a legislative change that allows to shorten the sentences of terrorists.

PNV sources deny that there is any type of rivalry with the abertzale formation. “The relationship is carried out discreetly,” they point out. But the truth is

that the nationalist leaders have not hesitated to throw darts against the pro-independence coalition in their latest appearances. The Lendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, recalled this Thursday that the Abertzales not only have not recognized “the damage caused”, but have also included a former ETA chief, David Pla, in their new address. “If the nationalist left wants to recognize a path to the future, it cannot forget what is behind it,” he warned.

It was nothing more than a repetition of the message that the PNV president had already insisted on this week, Andoni Ortuzar. He considered this appointment “a mistake”, and also used an unusual tone in the nationalist formation to refer to Arnaldo Otegi. Ortuzar criticized that the leader of EH Bildu is playing “a commercial role for the brand”, recognizing that it was a tactic to “dispute the PNV for political hegemony” in the Basque Country.

All this at a time when the PNV-PSOE marriage is experiencing an obvious crisis. Urkullu recognized yesterday that the relationship with Pedro Sánchez is “manifestly improvable” and did not hesitate to criticize the “short-termism and tactics” of the coalition government. Disagreements have multiplied in recent weeks. The nationalists have even come to warn that the counterparties will have to be closed “by law and now” to gain their support for major projects such as labor reform.

The ordinance of the PNV in Madrid also comes at a time when it is losing the institutional comfort it has enjoyed in recent legislatures. The possibility of a tripartite left is increasingly real. In addition, one of the star measures of the Urkullu Executive for this legislature was the updating of the so-called ‘new status’. However, the reluctance of the PSE, a partner of the regional Executive, to address this issue, has meant that the project remains, for the time being, in a drawer. The PNV also tried a gesture with the independence movement by receiving the transfer of the prisons. However, the movements of EH Bildu have caused him to lose strength in his roadmap to facilitate semi-liberty regimes for ETA prisoners.

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