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04 febrero 2005

Ibarretxe (2)

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Más repercursiones del debate del otro día. Por ejemplo, el editorial del Financial Times de ayer:
Breakaway Basque

Spain is confronting its most difficult Basque crisis in its post-Franco history. This is not because of the Eta separatist group, whose violent activities seem to be waning. Rather, the problem is precisely that separatist demands are coming in peaceful political form, giving them a dangerous allure.

In late December Juan José Ibbaretxe, leader of the Basque regional government, won narrow approval in his regional assembly for a plan to turn the three Basque provinces into a "free state associated" with Spain. The reaction of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the prime minister, was very different from the dismissive attitude of José Maria Aznar, his predecessor, to any Basque demands. Mr Zapatero, whose parliamentary dependence on Catalan regional votes also requires a certain sensitivity to regional issues, let the Basque plan come to a vote in the Spanish parliament where it was this week heavily rejected as unconstitutional. Nonetheless, Mr Zapatero offered talks on improving Basque sovereignty but Mr Ibbaretxe still threatens to put his plan to a Basques-only referendum that Mr Zapatero judges equally illegal.

What is driving Mr Ibbaretxe on to demand autonomy for Basques in the judicial, police and social security systems on top of the autonomy they already have in taxation, education and health? It may be that nationalist movements feel that if they ever stop feeding popular dissatisfaction with the political status quo they will lose their rationale. But Mr Ibbaretxe is also facing regional elections in May. He wants to exploit the military weakness of Eta and the political vacuum left by Mr Aznar's banning of the Batasuna leftwing nationalist party a couple of years ago, and he believes his "free state" plan is just the thing to win the votes of these groups' supporters.

Even if one were to concede Basques the theoretical right to self-determination independent of the rest of Spain - as Québécois have been permitted in Canada - it is far from clear that Mr Ibbaretxe has a mandate to put secession to a vote. His plan passed only with the votes of three ex-Batasuna deputies. It artificially turns cultural identity into a political project, making Basque the official language when a smaller proportion speak it than speak Welsh in Wales, and ignoring all those "Spaniards" that have come to work and intermarry in the Basque country over past centuries. The plan is ambiguous in suggesting some kind of negotiated independence without stating it. It would also deliberately create instability by suggesting the Basque majority municipalities in Navarre could join the Basque free state.

In short, Mr Ibbaretxe is over-reaching himself. It is far better for Basque nationalists to pursue their aims through the ballot box than bombs, and Mr Zapatero's offer of autonomy talks is an appropriate response to this switch. But given what Basques already have, there is little more Madrid can give.
Lo más interesante puede ser la última frase, que viene a decir que poco más les queda a los vascos que conseguir que la independencia.

También interesante este blog: Bye, bye, Spain (RSS) que analiza la influencia de los nacionalismos en España desde un punto de vista no nacionalista.

    Blogosfera La Tierra de Uel


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