‘Money Heist’ Actress’ Support of Convicted Terrorist Reveals Government’s Placation to separatists

Politics - February 24, 2024

Since the beginning of Spain’s new legislative term in November, the Socialist government is wasting no time and is quickly cozying up to its most dangerous parliamentary allies. 

Besides its coalition partner, the communist-progressive Sumar party, the Socialist Party (PSOE) has a battery of groups that supported Prime Minister’s Pedro Sánchez’s bid for Prime Minister.

The most vocal one is Junts, the separatist party from the Catalonia region led (remotely) by fugitive Carles Puigdemont. 

A lesser-known separatist party, EH Bildu, is often labeled as the successor to the terrorist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) by its critics. The ETA terrorists aimed for the “liberation” of the Basque Country, aspiring to create “Euskadi,” a cultural region spanning not just the Basque Country but also portions of Navarre and France.

During their 42-year existence, the Spanish authorities estimate ETA murdered over 850 peoples, including politicians, policemen, and members of the armed forces.

The organisation disbanded in 2011, but EH Bildu carries their political legacy. 

As of today, EH Bildu has not condemned ETA’s terrorist activities, leaving many families of victims without a full closure. 

Their refusal to condemn ETA’s heinous acts is only matched by their decision to include several former (convicted) terrorists into their lists for the last General Election. 

To add insult to the injuries, in mid-January Bildu and other Basque separatist movements called for a massive mobilisation to free other convicted ETA members. 

The massive protest took an unexpected turn where Itziar Ituño, the star of the global Netflix hit Casa de Papel (Money Heist) walked to the frontlines to defend the ETA convicts.

Ituño said  she would  continue to  work until the convicted ETA terrorists are free. 

“We have not brought them here to remain in jail”, she added. The actress referred to the movement of ETA convicts from jails around the Spanish territory to jails in the Basque Country.

“We brought them to Basque jails to get them out”.

Ituño’s participation led to a massive backlash. The outcry on social media forced brands like BMW and Iberia—the Spanish flagship airline—to cut all publicity and commercial ties with the actress. The companies justified their decision as they did not want to be “ideologically attached.”

The Spanish cultural establishment seems polarised by the news, with a number of actors both supporting and condemning Ituño.

The bottom line of this issue is that the scars and legacy ETA left remain palpable and still irk (and hurt) many people, from all sides of the political spectrum. ETA did kill people from right and left. 

ETA victim associations are demanding Spain’s Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, to investigate Ituño. 

They requested the government to apply the provisions contained in the Law of Recognition and Integral Protection of the Victims of Terrorism. 

According to this law, the government must defend the dignity of victims by establishing the prohibition of monuments, plaques, and other activities that commemorate terrorists or terrorist organisations. 

It is unlikely the current Socialist government listens to these legitimate petitions. The governability of the country resides on the votes of EH Bildu’s 6 MPs in the Spanish Parliament.

Pedro Sánchez is not expected to antagonise one of its key allies in Congress. In fact, observers say he might side with the demands of the Basque Separatists and set course for a gradual liberation of ETA convicts. 

The Spanish political landscape is being marred by the whims of the separatists and a systematic (government-validated) apology of terrorism. 

The contentious amnesty law for Catalan separatists is poised to free individuals convicted of terrorism charges from imprisonment. Whether pertaining to Basques or Catalans, it appears that the government under Sánchez is becoming more at ease with rewarding actions deemed illegal.

And Europe? Silent.