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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Historical Basque party facing illegalization

Basque Nationalist Action (EAE-ANV) political party created in 1930 and fully legal again (after the Fascist parenthesis) since 1977 is now facing possible illegalization at the Spanish Supreme Court, together with the Communist Party of the Basque Lands (EHAK) that holds significative representation in the Basque Autonomous Parliament.

EAE was already partly forbidden from running in the last municipal elections, what left many Basque towns, including the capital cities, devoid of legitimate governments.

In the closing session of the trial, the accusation dropped several charges, admitting they were not realistic (rather typical hysterical, I'd say). Meanwhile the defense argued that the activities that have founded the charges are not proven, are not severe, are not basis for illegalization, have not been repeated or are supported by the right to ideological freedom.

Most of the charges are based on the alleged relationship with the already illegalized party Batasuna, as well as other illegal organizations such as Segi (youth organization) and Askatasuna (civil rights association), the latter not yet forbidden.

The accusation was based on claims like the bill of a press conference by EAE being paid by members of Batasuna (yet the fact is that these were two separate press conferences) or the opposition by this party to the controvrsial high speed train (which is opposed by a large array of organizations and people).

A major accusation element is the political support given to Batasuna, on the grounds that the law forbids parties that complement or support politically the activity of terrorist organizations. To this the defense argues that Batasuna, while illegal, has never been declared terrorist organization and this is also the case with the other organizations that have signed manifests along with EAE.

Nevertheless it is very possible that the historical Basque party, the first one fusing nationalism and socialism, and an important actor in the Civil War, not just in the Basque Country but also in Spanish lands (EAE did not surrender to the Fascists, as did the conservative EAJ-PNV upon the loss of Bilbao), may be declared illegal anyhow on any pretext. If so, the next elections, will see (again) many Basque citizens unable to vote an will make the Basque institutions even more illegitimate.

Source: Gara.

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