“Shout, because while you shout you will not kill.” These words were uttered by Ernest Lluch during a truce in 1999, at a PSOE rally in Donostia before hundreds of nationals and ETA supporters. “They don’t know that things have changed, that democracy and freedom have come to this country,” he roared before the crowd. Less than a year after this speech, in which he affirmed that “these are the first elections in which no one is going to be assassinated,” he was killed by the terrorist gang when he was returning home from teaching at the university.
It is 20 years since his murder and the main representatives of the PSOE, in a virtual act, have paid tribute to the politician and professor, now converted into an icon in the fight against terrorism, who is also recognized for his work as Minister of Health and Consumer Affairs during the government of Felipe González, key to the establishment of universal public health. His successor in office, Salvador Illa, has vindicated the merit of his “Copernican turn to the health system” through the General Health Law and the first abortion law.
Lluch was part of Elkarri, a pacifist social movement that sought a dialogue solution to the Basque conflict and stood out as a defender of dialogue and in favor of establishing bridges between the different parties. At his funeral, journalist Gemma Nierga modified the manifesto to say: “I am convinced that Ernest, even with the person who killed him, would have tried to dialogue; you who can, please dialogue.”
His daughter, Rosa Lluch, has never been part of any victims’ association and considers that we are witnessing an attempt to use them in a partisan way. In an interview in elDiario.es, he wonders why the PP now criticizes the approach of prisoners to prisons in the Basque Country when he was in the Government, too, and acknowledges that he felt “a deep annoyance” when he heard Santiago Abascal read the names of the victims during the debate on the motion of censure.
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