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Spanish PM: Basque Reform Must Enjoy Widespread Support


Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero says any reform of the Basque region's constitutional status must have the complete support of parties represented in the regional parliament.

Mr. Zapatero's remarks appeared in a statement issued by his office Thursday after talks in Madrid with visiting Basque regional President Juan Jose Ibarretxe.

The statement said Mr. Zapatero insisted on the need to work within the framework of the Spanish constitution.

Their meeting came less than three weeks after early Basque regional elections, in which Mr. Ibarretxe's party lost seats to Mr. Zapatero's Socialists and to candidates endorsed by the outlawed Basque nationalist party Batasuna.

Mr. Ibarretxe called the elections after Madrid rejected his plan for greater Basque self-rule as unconstitutional. That plan would, among other things, create Basque courts and representation in the European Union.

Some information for this story provided by AP and Reuters.

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