RealNews

Spanish Leader Rebuffs Basque

The president of the Basque regional government came to Madrid Thursday to offer a “hand in negotiation” on his sovereignty proposal, but Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero rejected the offer and warned that the plan violated the Spanish constitution. In a 3 1/2-hour meeting, Zapatero told Basque leader Juan Jose Ibarretxe to withdraw his plan, known as the Pact for Free Association with the Spanish state, which would transfer such powers to the regional government as issuance of identity cards and regulation of borders, according to accounts of the talks. The pact is widely seen as a step toward secession, which the constitution prohibits.Full Story

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