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ETA’s Weapons Hand Over Is Theater, Spanish Minister Says

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Basque terror group ETA’s surrender of part of its arsenal in front of international observers is an unnecessary “act of theater,” Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said.

A so-called International Verification Commission confirmed today that some arms belonging to the terror group were handed over, Europa Press reported, citing Ram Manikkalingam, who is leading the delegation.

“ETA didn’t need any observers to verify when they guns,” Fernandez Diaz said at a press conference in Madrid today. “The Civil Guard and the Police would be the best” choice to oversee the handover, he added.

Basque Regional President Inigo Urkullu said at a separate press conference that ETA’s decision “is a small step,” the region’s government-owned television EiTB reported on its Web.

ETA, which has killed more than 800 people during its four-decade campaign to win independence from Spain, announced an end to violence in 2011, a month before the general election.

To contact the reporter on this story: Esteban Duarte in Madrid at eduarterubia@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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