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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Imaz: key player in pro-Spanish Basque politics.

I remember very well how the now defunct magazine Ardi Beltza (dedicated to research journalism and hence one of the first victims of the
Neoinquisitorial process that began 1998) denounced Josu Jon Imaz as "the man of the Zionist Lobby in the Basque Country".

By that time he was already a rising star within the institutional Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV), that has a soft nationalist discourse but a mere regionalist praxis and which has ruled the region for the last many decades, benefitting from polarization. He became a key member of the Western Basque autonomous government in 1999 and in 2004 he managed to reach the highest position of the ruling party, representing the "moderate" faction.

In 2008 he left for a private (formerly public) company, Petronor, part of the Repsol-YPF corporation, and curiously after an important share (15%) was acquired by Argentine investor Enrique Eskenazi (not sure how Zionist is this guy but the surname is obviously Jewish, so probably a lot, considering he's also a major international investor).

He has kept a low profile since then but he remains quite obviously influential (his ultra-soft current remains in control of PNV, he managed to persuade Athletic football club to accept the sponsorship of his company).

This peculiar far-reaching influence of Josu Jon, as he is often called "affectively", is now again on the spot after he has been apparently appointed as advisor (along with several other high-profile capitalists - but no labor unionists) of the undemocratically elected new Lehendakari, Patxi López (unionist, PSE-PSOE). His party has declined to comment on grounds that is a private activity (is it?)

Gara newspaper dwells on the matter today, including the protest of major labor union LAB against such a spat of corporative appointments, and notices that the unionist proconsul López has several times declared his admiration for Imaz, whom he considers one of "those nationalists we have always had understanding with in the past, and will have in the future".

The newspaper also recalls how Imaz was the head of the representation at the last political negotiations at Loiola, in 2006, and how he seconded the breakup of them by the Socialist Party, ruling in Spain then and now. López has also used the figure of "moderate" Imaz against that of "radical" Juan José Ibarretxe (last democratically elected Lehendakari), much more popular for the electors, obviously. Imaz in turn has got absolutely no problem in showing up along the undemocratic new local ruler in spite of remaining a member, and a very influential one, of the Nationalist Party, now forced to be mere opposition, after some 12-18% of the electors have been deprived of their civic rights.

For me he's nothing but an opportunist squirrel but it seems that he holds some very unusual leverage.

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