In This Review

Endgame for ETA: Elusive Peace in the Basque Country
Endgame for ETA: Elusive Peace in the Basque Country
By Teresa Whitfield
Oxford University Press, 2014, 402 pp

Europeans have become accustomed to reports of anti-immigrant protests, threats from international terrorists, and regional separatism. Stories of compromise and integration receive less attention from the news media. But in recent years, a quiet success has taken place in Spain’s historically restive Basque Country. This book describes the peace process that recently resulted in a definitive end to what Whitfield correctly terms “the last organized armed insurgency in Western Europe.” Her account traces the decades-long negotiations between Basque separatists and Madrid, a process that began during the regime of General Francisco Franco. Both sides were frequently intransigent and beset by infighting. And by the time Madrid had become more flexible on the question of Basque autonomy, around ten years ago, violent splinter groups within the Basque separatist movement were launching a last-ditch terrorist campaign, which extended the conflict for nearly a decade. The precise position of the Basque Country within Spain remains unclear, but the two sides will likely be able to settle the remaining issues peacefully.