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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's official: Basques won't have democratic elections


Tonight at 21:00 CET, the especial political tribunal of Spain, Audiencia Nacional, has decreed that Demokrazia 3 Miloi and Askatasuna are illegal and will not be able to run in the upcoming elections in the Western Basque Country.


Nevertheless, the decission was already made: the violent attitude of the Basque Autonomous Police against, then perfectly legal, campaigners was a clear signal that all who mattered was in agreement to make sure that the Basque Nationalist Left could not run to these elections either.

The sentence also rules that the online site of Demokrazia 3 Miloi must be shut down as they were offering ballots to be downloaded online and casted in the upcoming elections (would be considered "null" ballots legally).



The Basque Nationalist Left has a historical support ranging from 12% to 18% of the effective voters, being at times the second largest party nationwide and always among the four largest ones. With this expected, yet pathetic, decission, a major sector of Basques is in practice excluded from the electoral process again, delegitimazing the institutions.

This hurts particularly when the Basque Country is one of the oldest democracies (if not just the oldest one) of Europe, with representative goverments dating from the Middle Ages (if not before). It has to be a foreign invader who deprives us of our traditional democracy.

Source: Gara.
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6 comments:

Manjunat said...

I think solution to Basque issue is Europe becoming single country like India. All the Basque speaking regions then can be merged to create a single Basque state (like in India) or province.

Maju said...

Yah, that would be nice.

But EU is a mere confederacy and the states won't allow such thing... if they can help it (look at Kosovo or all those other nations that became independent in the east recently).

Manjunat said...

Yes, once you become single country you need to get over old nationalist feelings. The inevitability of state reorganization must be realized by the population once they opt for unified Europe (not the confederacy). Here I guess there is less room for egoism.

Maju said...

I understand that India has done that pretty well and is an example to follow. Much like Czechoslovakia or Chechen-Ingushetia are examples of peaceful brotherly separation.

But EU is far from the federative stage and doesn't look like it's going to become a federation any time soon, specially not after ampliation to the NE (all those countries, plus UK and some others are rather anti-europeists and strongly pro-US: they are in this ship because they see it as the US imperial province in Europe, not as a separate power).

Anyhow, even in a federation, the constitution of such entity normally guarantees the states certain rights and their territorial integrity. That happens in the USA (all state reorganizations have been quite exceptional, notably West Virginia) and Switzerland, where Jurans had to keep up their struggle form many decades or even centuries to get their own canton.

In fact it's possible that a federation will only make things more difficult in the political plane, even if it may help somewhat with the human rights matter.

What we really need is something that has not happened in Western Europe for centuries: a major structural crisis. That's how the new states of Eastern Europe became sovereing and that's how the opressed nations of Western Europe will reach their freedom. We need the Pandora's Box of Chaos open to attain our freedom.

And I think this is our opportunity. Maybe our last opportunity to survive as nation and keep our proud milennary language and identity, as well as our equally historical political and civil freedom.

Spain is fragile and France is not invulnerable either. They will fall.

Manjunat said...

I understand that India has done that pretty well and is an example to follow. Much like Czechoslovakia or Chechen-Ingushetia are examples of peaceful brotherly separation.

Anyway, this makes no sense at all. There was no political or geographical separation that India as a country ever faced. India was never a country. However, the idea of India made up of linguistic states faced partition for a revolting reason like religion. I mean if the Basque are fighting for separate country because, say, they are Hindus and Spain and France are Christian countries, I wouldn't have any sympathy for Basque. However, Basque as a linguistic entity resonates with me as part of linguistic states of India. I would think in such situation Europe as a single country makes sense. European as geographical identity (like my identity Indian) and Basque as linguistic identity, like my identity Kannadiga, makes sense.

Maju said...

I was not thinking in the Pakistan/India division but rather in the Chandigahr/Orissa one. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

You know I disagree of making nations out of sects: religion is something you can change every day, ethnicity is normally something you're born with. Religion is an ideology, ethnicity or nationality an important portion of one's identity.

Basques can be and have been along the ages, Pagan, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Atheist, etc. But we are all Basques.

In fact wouldn't it be for the inter-religious alliance between the Muslim Banu Qasi and Christian Pamplona, probably there would not be Basques today. They buffered each other and fought together all the time. The Banu Qasi emirate was destroyed by other Muslims (Zaragoza) and the Kingdom of Pamplona/Navarre was destroyed by other Christians.

Religion sucks.