Yesterday ETA the Basque terrorist group declared a 'permanent and internationally verifiable ceasefire'. Just thought I would inform the interested minds of the Arrse. Obviously it isn't that simple, especially as they have declared ceasefires before and undercover of the letting up of pressure gone on to rearm, regroup and business as usual. This time the governments of France and Spain are having nothing of it and the Spanish especially are saying that the only thing they want to hear is that ETA are disbanding. This morning two further arrests of ETA computer experts took place. ETA managed to remain in being while they had hideaways in the mountains, but especially on the French side of the border, where they lived and trained for years with the French authorities turning a blind eye. Once the French started to really collaborate with the Spanish and to be serious about it they started to make ground, until then there was no way to really defeat them. In the last couple of years ETA has suffered a continual series of reverses, botched operations, and a multitude of arrests, especially of the leaders. The declaration shows that they are effectively without options and that either they are defeated or that they desperately need to regroup. Either way the news is positive. The key points to my eyes were the Franco/Spanish collaboration and not so long ago when Spain looked beyond the terrorist organisation and arrested a number of lawyers and financers who were the real brains and backing of ETA. For all the misplaced idealism of the members of the group without serious backing and direction from people in suits and offices they would never have lasted so long. It isn't over yet, there is still a long way to go but perhaps we can hope that the last major european terrorist group is about to go under. Positive news for us all.