Misc 21/11/2020

Rosa Lluch: "It's a success that Bildu is in Congress"

Interview with the historian and daughter of Ernest Lluch

Mireia Esteve
4 min
Rosa Lluch: “És un èxit que Bildu 
 Sigui al Congrés”

BarcelonaProfessor of medieval history at the UB and candidate for the Girona comuns for the 14-F elections, Rosa Lluch - daughter of Ernest Lluch- has been one of the ETA victims that has been involved in the peace process of the Basque Country.

Ernest Lluch's capacity for dialogue stands out above all. What was your father like?

He was a person who liked to talk, listen, and be listened to. I would highlight his curiosity and his desire to learn. This is one of the reasons why he went into politics.

Why do you think he was ETA's target?

It's one of the things that I'll never know - and it really doesn't interest me much. Looking for reasons for something absolutely irrational and incomprehensible like murder would waste my time, and it is not worth it. That doesn't mean that one day I wouldn't want to know why someone decided that he had to be killed. They were looking for an easy target that would make an impact. And it worked. It seems, however, that within the group that understood, supported, silenced, and concealed the violence, this murder was difficult to digest.

How do you think he would see Sanchez's agreements with EH Bildu?

One of his great disciples and friends, Vicent Soler, says that the fact that Bildu is talking to the government is a triumph of my father's ideas. It is a success that Bildu is in Congress and wants to get involved in improving people's lives. Politically, there are parties that are interested in this controversy, but they are also the ones that for a long time have been saying that they should give up their weapons. Now they have done so. The rules were to condemn violence, to lay down their weapons, to stand for election, to follow the democratic paths. Well, we are on democratic paths now.

How would you evaluate the role of Jesus Eguiguren in ETA's ending?

Very positively, both his and of all those who were involved. It took great courage, integrity and generosity. The price they have paid has been very high, and they have contributed decisively to making violence disappear in the Basque Country and in the entire State. I think my father would value it that way. In Antoni Batista's book titled "ETA i nosaltres" ("ETA and us"), it is clear that there is a different way of doing and understanding things.

What do you think when PP, Cs or Vox make use of ETA's victims to attack the political agreements with Bildu?

I am deeply saddened, stunned, deeply unsettled, and very angry. Victims have suffered a lot, all of us. They are setting themselves up as our protectors when in fact they are attacking us and treating us as if we do not know how to think, and we know how to think freely.

What do you think of the role victims' associations have in the entire conflict?

Victims' associations must exist as long as their aim is to look after the interests of the victims, and I feel that, in some way, they didn't do this. They were not so much concerned with the daily and vital needs of the victims of terrorism as with being a political factor conditioning the general discourse. Since I did not feel comfortable, I never participated.

What led you to meet with representatives of the abertzale left?

The proposal came to me through Antoni Batista at the time of Aiete's declaration, when the disappearance of ETA began to be organized. I accept it because I think it is good that we should begin to sit down with that political party that had, at the very least, remained silent in the face of the terrorist attacks, to begin to listen to them, and above all that they begin to listen.

How did it go?

They were initially very tough meetings, with a lot of nerves. It was a job that I had never done before, and I hope that I will never have to do it again, and because you put yourself in a level of political discussion that was not mine either. The personal relationship, the desire to understand each other and move forward, to look for common points and to leave this past behind, contributed to a good understanding and to the results, small ones, that were appearing. We were all walking together towards the dissolution and disappearance of the violence of ETA.

What did they result in?

Some sentences from some statements, or some answers to some interviews, were tremendously familiar to me. Conflicts are not only solved by force, we need to apply a good dose of empathy and generosity together. I, for example, had never heard victims of the GAL speak for themselves. We all learned a lot.

Should we bring ETA prisoners closer to the Basque Country?

If the law says that they have to serve their sentences in the prisons closest to their family environments, they have to do so. The fact that they are held in remote prisons punishes their surroundings, not them, who are already serving a sentence in prison. It is not pleasant, and the moment you hear the news feelings churn inside you, yes, but in the end the killers are in prison, which is where they have to be because they have received a court sentence. What is the use of punishing mothers, sisters, or children? I think there is none.

Do you need your father's killers to ask for your forgiveness?

No. It wouldn't do me any good. However, if there are victims who need it, it would have to be done.