Spain raises terrorism alert level; Sarkozy vows to eradicate ETA bases in France

Following the killing of a French police officer by suspected members of the Basque separatist group (ETA), Spanish government announced strengthening of security measures ahead of the Easter holidays in Spain.

On Monday evening the Interior Ministry issued a statement where it informed that the security level would being raised from a “low intensity” alert to “high intensity” within stage 2 of the four-stage alert scale.  This level of alert will be maintained until the end of Spain’s six-month rotating presidency of the European Union on June 30.

French police officer, Jean-Serge Nerin, 52, was shot dead by suspected ETA rebels in a suburb near Paris last Tuesday. According to French police officials, the assailants opened fire on the police officer who tried to stop a speeding car near a garage in Dammarie-les-Lys, east of Paris. However, the terrorist group did not claim any responsibility for the attack on police officer.

Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed on Tuesday to eradicate ETA’s bases in France as he paid tribute to Nerin during funeral ceremony in Melun, southeast of Paris. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero also attended the ceremony.
ETA, designated as a terrorist organisation by both the European Union and the United States, is blamed for 829 deaths in a 41-year campaign for independence for the Basque region.