Spain: Basque independence group cleared for vote

AP News
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Posted: Oct 26, 2011 6:08 AM
Spain: Basque independence group cleared for vote

Spain's justice minister says the government will refrain from trying to bar a Basque pro-independence coalition from fielding candidates in Nov. 20 general elections.

Francisco Caamano said in a radio interview Wednesday that police who investigated the coalition called Amaiur have found no evidence its candidates have links to the outlawed political wing of the separatist group ETA.

ETA last week announced it was giving up violence as a tool for achieving Basque independence, after 43 years of shooting and bombings that killed 829 people.

The center-right opposition Popular Party is expected to sweep the general election next month and oust a Socialist government saddled with a 21 percent jobless rate, weak prospects for economic growth and debt woes.