Basque newspaper shut down


Madrid - A leading Spanish investigating magistrate, Mr Baltasar Garzon, yesterday ordered the provisional closure of a daily newspaper and its sister radio station which are accused of having links to the Basque separatist group ETA.

The Interior Minister, Mr Jaime Mayor Oreja, told reporters that Egin newspaper and Egin Irratia radio were shut down yesterday morning as part of a series of raids and the arrest of 11 people accused of helping the radical separatist group.

"There is proof that there are close and stable ties between ETA and Egin," he said. Egin, which has a circulation of 50,000, publishes ETA communiques. Its closure was attacked as another instance of the ruling Partido Popular's repressive policies by the legal coalition which supports ETA, Herri Batasuna.

The entire leadership of the coalition was jailed last year for collaboration with terrorism.