A leading Spanish businessman was kidnapped by gunmen from his home in the Basque town of Bilbao on Friday (20 May).
SV PAN Dolores Ibarruri steps down from plane and is escorted across the tarmac by policemen
SV Dolores Ibarruri greeted by Communist Party Secretary-General of Euskadi region Ramon Orazanbal and wife of santiago Carrillo (Secretary-General of Communist Party) on tarmac
sv Ibarruri and Orazabel walk to car and get in (2 shots)
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Background: A leading Spanish businessman was kidnapped by gunmen from his home in the Basque town of Bilbao on Friday (20 May). Senor Javier de Ybarray Berge was reportedly taken away at breakfast time by four men and a woman dressed as hospital orderlies. The abduction came shortly before the government announced it would pardon political prisoners. The move may help to ease the restless Basques who are seeking autonomy for their region. And on Saturday (21 May), Bilbao welcomed the Communist Party leader, Dolores Ibarruri for her first visit in 40 years.
SYNOPSIS: "La Pasionara" - as Senora Ibarruri is now known - was brought up in the region around Bilbao known as Asturias and it is there that she will stand as a candidate in the forthcoming Spanish General Election. Spain has only just legalised the country's Communist Party. Senora Ibarruri has been living in the Soviet Union since the end of the spanish Civil war in 1939 and returned to Spain just one week before her visit to Bilbao. She was greeted at Bilbao airport by the local Communist Party Secretary-General, Ramon Orazabal.
Senor Ibarruri's return to Spain has been welcomed by many of the country's Communists but may prove an embarrassment to the party leadership. She gained her name as "la Pasionaria" for her fiery speeches during the civil war which attacked the late General Franco. But now the Spanish Communist Party is trying t present a moderate image to the electorate. Communists say their programme is democratic and are urging people to vote for them in the June election.