**Following the publication of the decision by the PP-controlled congressional steering committee to reject the formation of a parliamentary group by Amaiur, let’s look at some of the first quotes and opinions published in response to the decision.**
(ABC’s front page tomorrow: “Democracy stops Amaiur”)
ABC in its editorial reaffirms its opinion that Amaiur’s proposal was a “legal fraud” and says:
> The pro-ETA left always wants to play their advantage, when it means to bend the rules and take advantage of them. Amaiur’s members of parliament have the constitutional right to appeal the steering committee’s decision. They will be within their rights, as the steering committee has been in its obligation to comply with and enforce the law.
El Mundo, also in its editorial tomorrow, reminds us that it has been 18 years since a representative of the radical Basque left had been seen greeting the King at Zarzuela palace and says that:
> The mos realistic option now open to Amaiur is to join forces with the Geroa Bai member in Navarra, copying what UPyD has done. That would make it impossible to deny them a parliamentary group, given that they would bring together eight members of parliament and more than 15% of the votes in each seat. But there is no reason for other political parties to be overly generous with a radical Basque left which refuses to condemn violence and holds ETA prisoners to be heroes.
In its online edition, EL Mundo quotes the First Vice-Chairwoman of the steering committee, the conservative Celia Villalobos, [who defends the decision]:
> “We would make a terrible mistake and we would damage our democracy if we treated Amaiur differently”, she pointed out. Villalobos confirmed that the legal report is “exactly the same” as other previous reports and that the decision has been made because the regulations “didn’t allow any other”. “Anything else would have been misconduct”, she added.
Público reminds us that the rules that have been applied [are flexible]:
> The PNV has seen, since 1982, how Congress showed them a more benevolent attitude. It did not take into account that they didn’t reach 15% of the vote in Navarra, where they ran. The situation was repeated until 2004, from when it has formed part of a coalition (first, using the Nafarroa Bai brand, and in the last general election with Geroa Bai). The PP also turned a blind eye in 1996 and in 2000, when they had an absolute majority.
Libertad Digital [puts it all down] to Rajoy’s personal initiative:
> And his first step couldn’t be more conclusive: slamming the door in Amaiur’s face by not allowing it to form its own parliamentary group in Congress, by following the letter of the law. The order came down straight from Rajoy; in fact, “nothing happens” in the PP if he doesn’t give the okay. Neither will there be a family photo taken with the coalition, which has been excluded from the round of contacts the future primer minister has been organising with political groups. It is, in fact, an attempt to exclude them from political life, without making too much noise about it. The move has Rajoy’s fingerprints all over it.
ABC [reports] on PNV’s reaction, in the words of its spokesman:
> Erkoreka regretted that a majority of the steering committee had chosen a “strict interpretation of the rules” and insisted that such an interpretation should be “more relaxed, like on other occasions.”
Yahoo Noticias [gives us] Amaiur’s reaction, via the words of the Amaiur MP for Guipúzcoa, Xabier Mikel Errekondo:
> In statements in Congress, Errekondo has pointed out that the steering committee’s decision is “exclusively political”; (…) “The PP accepts responsibility for something which the rest of the committee’s members haven’t wanted to accept,” said the Amaiur MP, who believes the PP has tried to force a reading of congressional regulations that agrees with its aim of preventing the group from forming.
Yahoo Noticias [also gives us] the Galician BNG reaction to the decision:
> The BNG spokesman in Congress, Francisco Jorquera, has accused the PP of making “arbitrary and restrictive use” of the chamber’s regulations by vetoing Amaiur’s parliamentary group. (…) “This is a very bad way to start the parliamentary session in terms of democratic manners and in terms of respecting political pluralism”, said the Galician nationalist spokesman in a statement.