Eta ceasefire: Spaniards react

A frame grab taken from footage shows members of Basque separatists Eta declaring a ceasefire
Image caption The decision "to put in motion a democratic process" was made months ago

Basque separatist group Eta says it it will no longer "carry out offensive armed actions" in its campaign for independence, in a video obtained exclusively by the BBC.

The group said it took the decision several months ago "to put in motion a democratic process". Here people across Spain share their views on Eta's statement.

Juan, Asturias

This is not the first time Eta have declared a ceasefire so we should not trust them at all.

They know that after the next general election in Spain the right-wing party will be in power and they won't have any chance to get what the current Socialist government is willing to give to them.

Any kind of negotiation would give them a victory, and the only thing they deserve is to go to prison. Everyone supporting them must know they have been co-operating with assassins.

We should respect the Basque culture, as we do other cultures in Spain. But we can't negotiate with criminals who are killing people.

So if the Spanish government wants to talk, it should impose negotiations on Eta. We should be making the conditions for them, not the other way around.

Igor, Bilbao, Basque Country

I only partly believe this declaration. I don't believe either Eta nor the Spanish government - both have lied so many times!

I only believe in the Basque people, a great majority of whom want more political power and an increasing majority want full independence.

Now that Spaniards are in the Basque regional government, the Basque people have seen that our "autonomy" doesn't mean much - and so this makes full independence necessary. Of course, people want this strictly by peaceful means.

Many people are claiming to speak for the Basque people. Why doesn't the Spanish government permit the Basques to vote on their own political future? Are they really committed to democracy? They should give the Basque people a referendum on independence.

Isabel Soto, Madrid

News began to filter through on Friday. It is wonderful news.

The choice of term 'democratic process' makes me hopeful - and may well be a first.

It's also interesting that information came via the BBC and not a Spanish, or indeed Basque, channel. Again this gives me hope that this statement is different and Eta wants to place their move in an international context.

My bottom line: even if a future ceasefire is breached, negotiations have to proceed.

I'm also delighted that this has taken place on Prime Minister Zapatero's watch - not under a neo-Francoist Partido Popular government [the party currently in opposition]. Eta is one of the most intractable legacies of Franco's regime.

Deep down I hope that this ceasefire can last. I think one has to be positive in the long term - just look at Northern Ireland - it took years for the IRA to lay down their arms.

Jon, Gasteiz, Basque Country

It's very good news to hear about Eta's ceasefire.

Everybody in the Basque country and Spain has been waiting for this to happen in the last few months.

The conflict must have a political solution, like that of the IRA.

Eta has been willing to disappear for many years but the problem has been that the Spanish government has always refused to give the Basque country the right to decide its future.

For many Spaniards the Basque country must be part of Spain, even if the majority of Basques voted to break apart from it.

That attitude is shamefully undemocratic: you can't force anyone to be married forever when one of the sides doesn't want to.

How lucky you are in Britain, Canada and Belgium, where the state is open to deal with this kind of problem! I wish Spain was forced by the international community to accept a democratic process.

Jon, Pamplona

How many times has Eta declared a ceasefire? Every time, every single time, it has been a lie, a way to gain time.

Why is this time going to be different?

I am Basque person, I speak Basque and I can trace my Basque background for many generations. I point this out because for Eta "purity of blood" is paramount.

I don't feel represented by Eta - an organisation that kills to reach its goal and does not believe in democracy because they are a cruel minority.

They act like any other bloody mafia - that's it. And the international community should be very aware of this.

In Spanish there is a saying: "You give them your hand, and they take your arm."