Dos cuestiones me han llamado la atención del tratamiento de la prensa británica de la reunión Blair-Zapatero. De un lado que se han tragado el supuesto apoyo al mal llamado “proceso de paz”, o han bebido únicamente en fuentes españolas o no se entiende demasiado bien. En cualquier caso el dato más importante es lo reducido del espacio dedicado a esta cuestión llegado a límites sorprendentes como en el caso de THE INDEPENDENT que dedica un párrafo de 79 apalabras. THE DAILY TELEGRAPH comenta “Según fuentes oficiales españolas, Zapatero estima que la reunión con Blair es una oportunidad para recalcar a la nación que el proceso de paz vasco será ’largo, duro y difícil’. Nuestro ‘Presidente Accidental’ quiere convencer, es decir: sabe que no estamos convencidos. Finalmente THE TIMES narra: “El apoyo de Blair contribuirá también a que Zapatero desvíe los ataques de la oposición que dice que las conversaciones equivaldrían a una rendición”. Claro como el agua, ZP pretende usar a Blair, el de las Azores, como tarjeta de presentación, pero no le ha salido demasiado bien. Por cierto la prensa americana ha ignorado por completo la cuestión.
Blair apoya el proceso de paz vasco
A visit by Tony Blair to Madrid yesterday gave a boost to the foundering peace process in the Basque country as the Prime Minister shared his experiences tackling the Northern Ireland situation with his Spanish counterpart.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was keen to discuss Mr Blair's Northern Ireland experiences, as he seeks to broker an end to a campaign by the Basque separatist group Eta that has claimed more than 800 lives over almost four decades.
Mr Blair applauded the Spanish prime minister's efforts to find a solution to the Basque problem and urged him not to be disheartened. "It takes patient determination to succeed in such things,'' he told Mr Zapatero when they met at a palace in the outskirts of Madrid last night. "There may be ups and downs along the way and I wish you every success.''
But Mr Blair warned: "Resolving these very long-standing issues is difficult work. It doesn't happen overnight and there will be constant obstacles that appear on the path to progress. Sometimes there appear to be blockages and this is a natural part of the process.''
He said that at every stage of the Northern Ireland peace process he was beset by negativity much in the same way that Mr Zapatero is struggling to gain outright support in Spain. "People tell us that it's not going to happen, that we are being nave, but if you believe enough, you continue.''
Mr Blair added that things had "come together'' in Northern Ireland. "There was leadership prepared to take risks for peace, there was a sense among the people that they were tired of conflict. Then there was something else - a feeling that in the modern world this type of conflict in which innocent people got killed was just something alien to the 21st century.''
Mr Zapatero thanked Mr Blair for his advice and support. "His expertise has been extremely useful,'' he said.
Una información de Fiona Govan publicada por el diario THE DAILY TELEGRAPH el miércoles 4 de octubre de 2006. Por su interés informativo reproducimos íntegramente su contenido.
World News IN BRIEF - Blair habla sobre el proceso de paz vasco
MADRID Spain ho pesto draw on Tony Blair's experience in dealing with the IRA to help settle the Basque conflict. Mr Blair arrived in the Spanish capital yesterday for talks on the conflict. He and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero had been exchanging ideas throughout Spain's nascent peace process with the armed Basque separatist group Eta. Mr Blair arrived in the early evening and went to talks with Mr Zapatero at a mansion near the residence of King Juan Carlos.
Una información publicada por el diario THE INDEPENDENT el miércoles 4 de octubre de 2006. Por su interés informativo reproducimos íntegramente su contenido.
Blair fomenta las conversaciones de paz en el País Vasco
Tony Blair was expected last night to back Spain's talks with the separatist group Eta, bolstering the fledgeling Basque peace process and aiding the country's leader, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
The Spanish Prime Minister believes that Mr Blair's experience of negotiating a peace deal in Northern Ireland is of "immense value" as his Government begins talks with Eta, according to Spanish officials.
Mr Blair's backing will also help Senor Zapatero to deflect attacks by Spain's right-wing Opposition, which said that the talks amounted to surrender. The two leaders were due to discuss other topics, including the Middle East and Afghanistan.
But it was Mr Blair's role in the Basque peace process that was generating the most interest in Spain yesterday.
Six months after Eta declared a "permanent ceasefire" in its 38- year violent campaign for Basque independence, the peace process has stalled. Some fear that the group could return to violence.
Hooded gunmen appeared recently at a separatist rally. Others have set alight buses and cash machines in the Basque country.
Eta has killed more than 800 people over four decades in its violent campaign for a Basque homeland straddling the border between Spain and France.
In recent years, however, it has been greatly weakened by arrests in both countries, and has not killed anyone in more than three years.
Public revulsion at the March 2004 Madrid train bombs, the work of Islamic extremists, is also thought to have contributed to Eta's decision to end its campaign of terror.
While Mr Blair enjoyed the support of the Conservative Party during the negotiations in Northern Ireland, the Basque peace process is a politically charged issue in Spain. Jose Maria Aznar, the former Prime Minister and a close friend of Mr Blair, is opposed to the negotiations.
Mr Blair visited Spain 10 times during the government of Senor Aznar, who sent troops to Iraq as part of the US-led "coalition of the willing". Mr Blair's relationship with Senor Zapatero got off to a rockier start when the Socialist leader pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq, fulfilling a campaign pledge.
Despite their disagreements over Iraq, the two centre-left politicians have much in common and diplomats say that they get on well. The two spoke often last year during the British presidency of the European Union, especially during the tough EU budget negotiations.
They have discussed the best tactics to use in their respective efforts to end two of Europe's longest-running conflicts.
In an interview in July with The Times, Senor Zapatero said that he would be approaching the talks with Eta "very cautiously and discreetly", adding that "they are two pieces of advice that Tony Blair gave me".
The Spanish Government has been highlighting what it claims is the key behind-the-scenes role played by Mr Blair in getting the Basque peace process to this point.
Mr Blair will also meet with 16 leading Spanish and British business executives tomorrow. Spanish companies including Telefonica and Ferrovial have recently bought British companies including O2 and BAA.
Una información de Thomas Catan publicada por el diario THE TIMES el miércoles 4 de octubre de 2006. Por su interés informativo reproducimos íntegramente su contenido.