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Some days ago I posted in the comments of the Live Digest that the Lehendakari (President) of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country has called early elections on October 21 for this part, the biggest part of the Basque Country. Then David Nir asked me to write a diary about it, very kindly as always, and also my friend ridemybike asked me to write about my native country. Well, here is the diary.

It is always nice to write about my native country. As a native Basque citizen I have the right to vote in the elections in my native country, but now it is not my turn because I'm from another part of the Basque Country.

The entire Basque Country is a little smaller than New Jersey, so do not be surprised if I also know well the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country where the biggest part of the population of the country lives.


Everything in the politics of the Basque Country revolves around the Basque Conflict and the Peace Process that the country is experiencing now and that has its biggest political expressions in the Donostia-San Sebastián International Peace Conference supported by:

Jimmy Carter (D)
Tony Blair
George Mitchell (D)

and with the support and the presence of:

Koffi Annan
Gro Harlem Brundtland
Bertie Ahern
Pierre Joxe
Gerry Adams
Jonathan Powell

and the ETA's 2011 Permanent Ceasefire and Cessation Declaration of Armed Activity a few days later.

This part of the country includes three of the seven Basque regions: Araba, Biscay and Gipuzkoa. The Parliament of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country has 75 seats, 25 for every territory, despite the big differences of population. The people elect the Parliament with closed candidacies (with a list of candidates fixed previously by internal election inside every party), and later the Parliament elects the Lehendakari, as in many European countries.

That election comes in a political environment influenced by the Spanish Law of Parties of 2002. Martin Scheinin, United Nations Special Rapporteur, criticised this law in his report for the UN.

My opinion about this law is very negative. The majority of the Basque people think the same. The Spanish legislators and justices use it with a partisan interest for manipulating the results of the elections. It is the same as the Republicans are trying to do with the new rules about voter registration and early voting in some states, but on a lot bigger scale in the Basque Country, as you will see. Until now, when the Spanish side is interested in banning a candidacy they do it, and similar candidacies with the same ideological principles do not get banned when they prefer not to. When they ban some candidacies, the people that vote for them must find other options. Those options are:

- To vote for the banned candidacy and the vote is null.
- To stay home without voting.
- To find another not banned candidacy in order to keep the natural majorities (Aralar, EAJ-PNV, or also EA and EB).

We can see it easily in the chart of results of the 2009 elections for the Basque Autonomous Community:


In the image you can see the high number of null votes in a country where the voters did not need to write on the ballot and every party has its own ballot. In the Basque Country the voter needs only to select the ballot and to put it in the official envelope for the elections. Those null votes were votes for the banned candidacy.

The effect of changing the majorities that want the Spanish side is also clear. In 2009 the official result gave to the Spanish parties (PSOE, PP and UPyD) a majority of 39 seats in a Parliament of 75 seats. Counting the null votes as valid and applying the rules, the result in 2009 would be:

EAJ-PNV = 28
PSOE = 23
PP = 11
Null = 7
Aralar = 4
EA = 1
UPyD = 1
EB = 0

And the Spanish parties (PSOE, PP and UPyD) would have 35 of 75 seats, being minority.

The false Spanish majority of 2009 took the government, and the candidate of the PSOE, Patxi Lopez, became the new Lehendakari with the support of the PP.

My opinion about this government is also very negative. It is a government that does not care about the interest of the country and increases the debt in an irresponsible way, not spending enough in stimulus against the crisis, but spending to make the Basque Country more Spanish against our language and our identity and leaving the debt for future nationalist governments. The previous government of the Lehendakari Juan Jose Ibarretxe with the support of other Basque parties of the left has very low debt ratings as you can see here:


The data show the ratio debt/GDP by Autonomous Community and year (quarter for the last years). As you can see the debt/GDP was 2.2% when Patxi Lopez became Lehendakari in the second quarter of 2009, while now it is 10.2%, a rough growth of a 464% in three years (the last data is for the first quarter of 2012). Still it is not a number that puts at risk the Basque economy, because of the strength of the private sector and because we must take into account that the Basque regions (the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country and Navarre) have fiscal autonomy and as a consequence have their own income and the chance to modify this income if it is not enough. The rest of the regions in Spain do not have fiscal autonomy and that makes them a lot more vulnerable to this economic environment. The Spanish government created many of these regions around 1980 for the purpose of diluting the historical specificity of other territories.

That fiscal autonomy is a unique case in Europe, and is very old. It comes from the time when the Basque Country was an independent country (the Kingdom of Navarre) and the economic autonomy was greater still until recent times. The Basque territories had their own currencies until the 1840s and customs with the Crown of Castille. All that was part of the old Basque Foruak that John Adams knew in his travels to Europe, thanks to Diego de Gardoki, and that likely had some influence in the United States Constitution.

But returning to the present, the unpopular government of Patxi Lopez kept the pact with the PP until the last year of his term because if they appeared on the ballots with this pact they would have a big debacle. Many voters of the PSOE in the Basque Country dislike this coalition, because the old Francoism that the PP represents is hated in the Basque Country even by many humble and honest workers that came to the Basque Country from some regions of Spain in the darkest years of Franco. The rupture with the PP is a planned rupture, a rupture forced by the PSOE. The PSOE thinks the PP would keep them in the government for fear of nationalism, but the PP did not do it and Patxi Lopez was forced to call for early elections on October 21.


In the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country there are four big political areas: the Basque right, the Basque left, the Spanish right and the Spanish left. And this time four big political options will run in every area.

When I talk about the Basque right, Basque left, Spanish right and Spanish left we must take into account that the left and the right are different in the Basque Country, in Spain and in the United States. There are three different political balances. The Autonomous Community of the Basque Country would be an 85% Obama country.

Basque right: EAJ-PNV
Candidate for Lehendakari: Iñigo Urkullu

The party of the Basque right is the Eusko Alderdi Jeltzalea-Partido Nacionalista Vasco. That party was born in 1895, after all the wars of the XIX Century where the government of Madrid wanted to destroy the old Basque Foruak. The Basque Nationalist Party has been illegal for more than 50 years of its history (not only during the Francoism). This party was born as a reaction against the centralism of Madrid and against the destruction of the Basque culture, of the Basque historical forms of government and of the Basque language.

It was a Christian-Democratic party in its origin, full Catholic, like the majority of the country. But this position began to fail in the Spanish Civil War when we began to see images like this, of Spanish Catholic bishops doing the fascist salute:


You can find the image in this link. I do not want to blame the Catholic religion, but I think it is necessary for people to know what we have experienced for decades. Despite an important part of the Basque Catholic priests not taking this way (Francoism executed by firing squad 14 Basque Catholic priests, and the bishop Mateo Mugika was expelled into exile), the positions of the Spanish hierarchy since then have had a big effect in the Basque Country and in the EAJ-PNV. Now the relationship of the EAJ-PNV with the Catholic church is cold. The Spanish Catholic hierarchy have the bishops that they want in the Basque Country, and the people in the Basque Country hate them and do not follow them.

The EAJ-PNV always takes part with the right side, with the democratic side. In the Spanish Civil War they sided with the Legal Government of the Republic. In World War II they sided with the Allies. But they suffered a big, a very big disappointment when Dwight Eisenhower, the President of the United States, gave support to fascist Francoism in the 1950s. It was a really bad choice that deeply hurt the big majority of the Basque people, and also the EAJ-PNV that always leads the Basque Government in exile.

In terms of European policy and ideology, the EAJ-PNV is now positioned in the center. The EAJ-PNV is in the European Democratic Party. As you can see in the link to Wikipedia, the ideology of the EDP is centrism, social-liberalism and Christian left. The closest ally of the EAJ-PNV is the French MoDem of François Bayrou, who is a sane Basque neighbor from the Bearn and who endorsed the election of François Hollande, the new Socialist French president. Both parties, the EAJ-PNV and the MoDem, run in coalition in some elections in Iparralde (French Basque Country).

In the European Parliament, the European Democratic Party (EAJ-PNV included) and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (that includes the British Liberal Democrats) join to form the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, where the Liberals are a little to the right of the EDP.

Then as you can see, the Basque right is inside the European center, and is a little to the left of the British Liberal Democrats, surely the most known of these groups in the United States.

Today the EAJ-PNV is an Obama Party. No doubt. The leader of the party and candidate for Lehendakari in 2012, Iñigo Urkullu, supported the election of Obama in 2008, attending at public events. Surely now you can understand better why the Basque Country would be an 85% Obama country.

This party wants the independence of the entire Basque Country. They pursue it by peaceful ways (among the four big Basque political blocks they have the least violent history) and with a controlled and smooth transition. The EAJ-PNV is a party that wants a Basque Country inside the European Union as one more member.

The candidate Iñigo Urkullu is the leader of the party (unusual in this party) and seems a little to the right of the previous Lehendakari Juan Jose Ibarretxe, that has such a big appeal to the most moderate parts of the Basque left thanks to the old coalition with Eusko Alkartasuna (see them below, in the Basque left).

Basque left: EH Bildu
Candidate for Lehendakari: Laura Mintegi

The first party of the Basque left was EAE-ANV. It was born from the EAJ-PNV as a secular party in 1930 opposed to the Catholic dependence of the EAJ-PNV. This party had decent results during the Spanish Republic. It also took a position on the side of the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War with Tomas Bilbao Hospitalet becoming Spanish Minister of Justice in the government of the socialist Juan Negrín. Despite that help and support, the PSOE outlawed this historical party in 2008. EAE-ANV was also part of the Basque government from 1936 until 1980 with Gonzalo Nardiz Bengoetxea. Also EAE-ANV supported the Allies in World War II.

Another nucleus of the Basque left was born in the late 1950s under the name of ETA, again from the EAJ-PNV, and took a clear left-leaning way after the support of Eisenhower to Franco. That choice of D Eisenhower hurt many Basques and gave to the Basque Country 20 more years of Francoism, of National-Catholicism, that is living still, and is still legal because the Spanish law of parties does not prosecute this kind of fascism (even if you do not understand Spanish, take a moment looking at the pictures).

In the end of the 1970s the Basque left began a political organization under different names and coalitions that include the old EAE-ANV and many other groups.

EH Bildu is a new coalition. And it is the biggest Basque left coalition ever. After the end of the violence, even some Basque political parties of the left but against the violence are joining in this big group of Basque left. EH Bildu is a coalition that includes:

- Sortu
- Aralar
- Eusko Alkartasuna
- Alternatiba

Sortu is the biggest group, illegal until now, that keeps the tradition of the Basque left closer to the fight of the ETA. The group was born in the first months of 2011 but did not become legal until June 2012 thanks to the habitual maneuvers of Spanish justice around the Law of Parties. The ideology of the group is still under definition, or at least has not enough spreading. It is to the left of social-democracy, but in line with other democratic European lefts. Looking at the ideology of the entire coalition I would say it follows the basis of European eco-socialism.

Aralar is a group founded in 2000 opposed to the return to violence after the 1998 ceasefire. This party has kept legal status in these years, as you can see in the chart of the results of 2009 that I included before. The ideology of Aralar is defined by eco-socialism. At the European level, Aralar has joined the European Free Alliance that is included in a bigger group in the European Parliament, The Greens-European Free Alliance group, with many European Greens.  

Eusko Alkartasuna is a group founded in 1986 by the former Lehendakari Carlos Garaikoetxea Urriza from the EAJ-PNV. This group never was involved with the violence, but ideologically is in the Basque left. They define themselves as social-democrats. The alignment in the European political environment and the European Parliament is the same that Aralar has.

Alternatiba is a group founded from the group Ezker Batua, leaving this party in the end of 2009 after the last elections for the Basque Parliament (see the chart).

The coalition is creating their ideological basis. Their first documents put the Scandinavian model as their model in social-economic issues. They also want the independence of the Basque country, and the coalition is taking a pro-European way, but defending changes that drive Europe to the Scandinavian model of life and social protection.

The candidate Laura Mintegi is new in the political world. She is a university professor who comes from the world of the Basque culture. She was born not in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. She was born in the same part of the Basque country were I was born.

Spanish left: PSE-EE/PSOE
Candidate for Lehendakari: Patxi Lopez

The PSOE was founded in 1879 by Pablo Iglesias and like the two Basque parties was not a legal party for most of the years of its first century of life. Also until then, the PSOE was not the leading party of the Spanish left. During the Second Spanish Republic, the party leader of the Spanish left was theIzquierda Republicana of President Manuel Azaña, but the PSOE came to be head of the Spanish government with Francisco Largo Caballero (1936-1937) and Juan Negrín (1937-1939). Until then, in the first century of its life this party was a friend of the Basque Country, despite some centralist leaders like Indalecio Prieto.

Historically, the PSOE was a party of honest and humble Spanish workers that came to the Basque Country to find a better life as manufacturing and iron mining workers. It is not surprising that their two leaders until the 1960s in the Basque Country, Facundo Perezagua and Indalecio Prieto, were born outside the country. Historically, the party has done the right things in the Basque Country and that has made them popular in the country in the past (the most numerous and prominent generation of Basque politicians in the PSOE born in the 1940s). They have supported autonomy for the four Basque territories of the South, they were part of the Basque government during the war and during the exile, and they supported the right to self-determination for the Basque Country until the 1970s.

But after the death of Franco (1975) the PSOE took the wrong way in the Basque Country. The first big change was about the territory of Navarre. They changed their internal organization and they decided to support the division of the country. They also decided to refuse the right to self-determination for the Basque Country. They create the GAL as a continuation of the state terrorism that all the Spanish governments conducted until Aznar. They supported pacts with the Spanish right, especially in Navarre, but also in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, even using nefarious ways to change the majorities as I explained previously in this diary.

The governments of Felipe González (1982-1996) never prosecuted the high level members of the dictatorship. His governments were always unconcerned about the victims of the Francoism. There is also some speculation about a Francoist origin of Felipe Gonzalez, around this picture of the Agencia EFE.

In terms of alignment with the European political movements, the PSOE is part of the Party of European Socialists and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. It is a social-democratic party member of the Socialist International.

But I would say in overall terms the health care and social protection has been better in the Basque Country than in Spain, even in the time of the PSOE government. I would say the EAJ-PNV is better than the PSOE on social issues.

The candidate for Lehendakari, and current Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, is highly unpopular because of his pact with the PP and because of his incompetence and inability to manage the country well. The management of the debt is atrocious. For example, now the government of Spain owes €500 millions to the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (€225 per inhabitant, a 0.775% of the GDP of the Community). That means the government of Patxi Lopez fell into debt paying high interest by giving the money to the Spanish government without charging them interest, and without knowing if Spain will return this money. The management of the culture and education in his term is negative for an endangered language like the Basque language, and he was off about the peace process. For example, he was out of the country because of the PP influence during the Donostia-San Sebastian International Peace conference and did not receive Koffi Annan and all the international delegation, provoking acid jokes of the people (if you understand Spanish read some of the comments under the article of the last link).

Patxi Lopez is the son of a former politician of the same party. He is incompetent by nature. He did not finish his university degree, lied about it for many years, and became a career politician before he was 25 years old. His wife, Begoña Gil Llanos, is in the Parliament of Biscay as was his brother-in-law, Melchor Gil Llanos, until recently. The family also has an aura of corruption (link1, link2). Sorry, I can not always find links in the English language.

But the worst thing is the lack of loyalty of the leaders of this party toward the Basque Country, and the submission to the orders that come from their leaders in Madrid, which led to all the changes after Francoism that I explained before. And a large majority of the Basque people hate that.

Spanish right: PP
Candidate for Lehendakari: Antonio Basagoiti

In a few words, this is the party of the old Francoism. After the death of Franco in 1975, seven leaders of the Francoism, six of them among the younger and most prominent ministers of Francisco Franco, founded this party in 1976, then called AP. They were:

Manuel Fraga: (vice president of the dictatorship just after the death of Franco and minister of Franco)
Licinio de la Fuente (vice president and minister of Franco)
Laureano López Rodó (minister of Franco)
Federico Silva Muñoz (minister of Franco)
Gonzalo Fernández de la Mora (minister of Franco)
Cruz Martínez Esteruelas (minister of Franco)
Enrique Thomas de Carranza

Unfortunately I can not find biographies in English for people to understand well the level of these people during Francoism, and their true ideology. Wikipedia has not and in some cases does not give enough importance to the Francoist part of the biography. Many people do not understand well the influence and power of these people during Francoism, but in this list you can find three of the four first ministers of Franco that were born in the 1920s and the first minister of Franco that was born in the 1930s. They were the leaders of the last generation of ministers of Franco. And also many people do not understand the nature of the ideology of these people until they see images like this:


You can find this picture in many links like this. The man in the picture is Manuel Fraga in 1968, when he was minister in the government (many years after the support of Eisenhower for Francoism).

That should help people understand why the People's Party never prosecuted and always protected the Francoism of the law. They are the Francoism. AP was refounded in 1989 and changed its name to PP, but they are the same people. The old Francoism still can be prosecuted, but the PP will continue protecting them. Ten of the old ministers of Franco are living still, but two of them (Licinio de la Fuente and Antonio Carro) are also old high profile PP leaders and a third, Jose Utrera Molina, is the father-in-law of Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, the current Minister of Justice with Mariano Rajoy. What justice can the victims of Francoism expect with them? Spain has not prosecuted (now and in the past) the leaders of Francoism despite Licinio de la Fuente becoming this year one of the protagonists of the facts for the commemoration of the coup of July 18 of 1936 with the son of Augusto Pinochet, and Jose Utrera Molina sending a message of support to the commemoration.

At this point it is clear that Spanish law protects Francoism, as we can see in the case of the magistrate Baltasar Garzón. Every bid for justice gets blocked, as we will see again in this case that affects Jose Utrera Molina.

In the Basque Country Francoism commited a true genocide. Not only during the war, but also after the war. Even Germany apologized to the Basque people because of the bombing of Gernika. On April 26 of 1937 Francoism killed more people in a single little city in a single day than the ETA in all its history. But the Spanish government never apologizes, even with the PSOE leading the government. The Basque people never forget that genocide and still demand for justice strongly.

After the war, Franco's regime promoted a big migration from many Spanish regions so that for some generations in Basque regions like Araba and Biscay, the people that were born in the Basque Country were less than the people that were born outside. But also that backfired for Franco because many of the people that came to the Basque Country were honest workers, poor people, with their lives destroyed because of Francoism in their previous home. They came to the Basque Country for a new life and hated Francoism as much as the Basque people did, and fight against the Francoism together with the people of Basque origin.

The PP won the November 2011 general elections in Spain with an absolute majority, and Mariano Rajoy became the President of the Government. But also in May 2011 the PP won a lot of the regional power in Spain. Their erratic economic policies drove the country toward a second recession and toward the economic rescue from the European Union.

But they arrogantly use this need of the European rescue in a new centralist effort that again goes against the autonomy of the historical regions, even if those regions have better economy than the Spanish government, as is the case of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (remember the debt of the Spanish government to the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country that I explained before). The Spanish government of Rajoy has fixed different debt limits for every region, giving the lower limit to the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, a 10,19% of the GDP, while Rajoy has given to other regions governed by the PP, like the Valencian Community, a limit of the 22,18%.

Since taking the Spanish government, the PP has go down in the voting-intention to the level they have after their 2004 defeat, when Aznar lied to the world and to their citizens about Basques doing the 2004 attack in Madrid.

In terms of European policy and ideology, the PP is aligned with the Christian-Democracy. The party is a member of the European People's Party, the biggest party of the European right. In the European Parliament they are in the group of the European People's Party. And finally the Spanish PP is a member of the Centrist Democrat International, the former Christian-Democrat International.

The candidate for Lehendakari is Antonio Basagoiti. This man is smarter than Patxi Lopez, but always has some incendiary remarks, especially in the issue of the peace. He is a radical nut. He was not born in the Basque Country, but has some Basque ancestors. It has been a family of bankers since the XIX century when his ancestors left the Basque Country for the first time. He is a career politician elected for the first time at 25 years old, by the hand of his aunt Asunción Pastor. His family worked for Francoism and the Spanish right. His father was CEO of some public companies under Aznar, and now is CEO of the Banesto Bank.

The PP is very unpopular with the Basque people, including a large percentage of the voters of the PSOE. Because of that Patxi Lopez distanced himself from the PP before the elections. But the Basque people have memory, and that does not work.

In Europe it is not habitual to ask people about their favorable/unfavorable opinion of a politician, but sometimes the pollster asks about giving a value between 0 and 10 for every politician. As an example, on page 37 of this link you can see some values. The pollster is close to the PSOE and to the PSOE-PP alliance. Still, under a favorable pollster, the politicians of the PP have abysmal values in the Autonomous Community of the Basque country: Basagoiti 2.2/10, Quiroga 2.0/10 and Rajoy 1.7/10.

Little parties

Also we have some little parties that can have some seats because of the lack of love for the Spanish parties.

One of them is UPYD. This party defends an extreme Jacobean Spanish centralism. It is the alternative to the PP for the Spanish military in the Basque Country, and the people of their environment.

Also there are some groups founded recently that come from the previous EB. The party has suffered some divisions since 2009, when they won one seat, and has been plagued by corruption. But also these groups are the alternative to the PSOE for people of the left that do not wish to vote for the Basque left. These groups are to the left of the social-democracy.

Only the weakness of the PP and the PSOE can make these little parties survive by winning some seats. It would be difficult for them to survive in the Basque Country if they do not win some seats.

In the Basque Country there is a big rejection of the support that Eisenhower gave to Francoism and a big rejection of the close relation between G.W. Bush and Jose María Aznar. Both things damaged the image of the United States and the Republicans in the Basque Country, but on the other hand the work of Clinton, Obama, and the support of key Democratic figures like Carter or Mitchell for peace in the Basque Country are changing the situation.

Also what has helped the image of the United States a lot in the Basque Country is the friendship of the state of Idaho. This was boosted in a bipartisan effort by local Basque-American politicians like Pete Cenarrusa (R), very loved in the Basque Country, Ben Ysursa (R), David Bieter (D), with the help of non Basques like Frank Church (D), and finally by more Basque-Americans outside Idaho like John Garamendi (D).

Idaho, being one of the reddest states of the US, is at same time one of the closest friends of the Basque Country. Idaho, California and Nevada are the home of the biggest number of Basque-Americans (Boise, Reno...).


In the Basque Country the people vote not for a single candidate, but for a list of a party. Because of that there is not usually a big difference between the results of different elections.

In 2011 the Basque people had two elections in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. The first was in May for the municipalities and for the parliaments of Biscay, Gipuzkoa and Araba, and the second was in November for the Spanish parliament in Madrid.

We can do the calculation of the number of seats that would have every party for the Parliament of the Autonomous Community in these two elections of 2011.

For the election of May we would have:

EAJ-PNV = 24
Bildu = 22
Aralar = 1
EB = 2
PSOE = 13
PP = 13

For the election of November we would have:

EAJ-PNV = 20
Amaiur = 20
EB = 2
PSOE = 18
PP = 15

(EH Bildu = Amaiur = Bildu + Aralar)

We have these little changes because the first election has a more local focus and the second is more pro-PP vs anti-PP in the Basque Country. And also there are differences because some part of the voters chooses to vote in some election and not to vote in others.

You must remember now that there are three constituencies, and a change of three seats likely means a change of one in every constituency (a lot of easier than the change of three in a single constituency).

The electorate of an election for the Basque Parliament is habitually closer to the first election than to the second when they are near in time like now. Then, at first glance, the result of the elections of this year should be closer to the first distribution than to the second distribution, but with the addition of the changes in the last year (with the PP falling after Rajoy took the government). And that is what we see in the polls.

This would be the polling chart for this election:


La Razón and El Mundo are the media of the Spanish extreme right peace haters. Libertad Digital is internet media of extreme right. El Correo is also the media of the Spanish right (it is a member of the same media group that ABC, and you can see some reference in the last link). The Euskobarómetro is Spanish left leaning but friendly to the PSOE-PP pact. And Gara is the media of the Basque left. Then the poll chart is dominated by the Spanish media (as always), but despite that you can see that there are not big differences and the results are close to the first approach that I gave before seeing the polls.

Looking at that (and still waiting forl some more polls) my prediction (being prudent) would be:

EAJ-PNV = 26
EHBildu = 23
PSOE = 15
PP = 11

Still, I would not be surprised if the little parties win some seats (UPYD can win one and former EB can win until three), but the mix of polls is not clear here. Even giving them one seat or more the polls agree not about the constituency the seats would come from.

In the popular vote the EAJ-PNV will likely win, because their strongest basis is in Biscay, the most populated territory. They can even win the popular vote and get second in the number of seats, because EHBildu is stronger in Gipuzkoa. But the most favored parties by the equal distribution of the seats for every territory are the Spanish parties because Araba is the less nationalist territory and the less populated.

I will update the polling chart and my prediction before October 21. Then you can continue looking at this diary if you are interested.


Surely the candidate of the EAJ-PNV, Iñigo Urkullu, is the person that has a better chance of becoming Lehendakari. Laura Mingegi, the candidate of EH Bildu, has less chance.

I would expect a government in minority in both cases (Urkullu or Mintegi as Lehendakari), that finds external support in the Parliament. For the EAJ-PNV it would be easier to find that external support, while for EHBildu it would be harder, basically because the EAJ-PNV would have enough work digesting a defeat from EHBildu.

Also I think the future government of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country would be a pragmatic government focused on the management of that part of the country. The EAJ-PNV has an historical separate leadership. The leader of the party can not be Lehendakari at same time, and habitually is not the candidate. This means that if Iñigo Urkullu becomes Lehendakari the EAJ-PNV would again have internal elections for a new leader. And EHBildu is also taking this way of a separate leadership.

Finally I do not expect political steps toward the independence in the short-term (I mean one or two years). The country is living the peace process, and surely there are political hidden conversations that I do not know where they are going. But in the future I expect steps because Basque nationalism is the strongest in terms of social support, and the most pro-independence in all Western Europe.

Originally posted to abgin on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 08:36 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent diary (13+ / 0-)

    Really insightful. I hotlisted it since it is a lot to get through for someone who isn´t familiar with Basque politics.

    You had some interesting and tragic history included in the diary, as well. It´s easy to forget that Spain (including the Basque country) was a fascist country until not so long ago.

    In my country Norway we have a little Sami Parlament, but they are so few, less than 10 000 people who voted in the last election.

    The Basques are in a better position by being more people.

    How many do you estimate speak the Basque language ?

    Give a man a pistol and he may rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he may rob the world.

    by Mariken on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 09:52:57 AM PDT

    •  by centuries the basque language was bashed (17+ / 0-)

      and in the XIX and XX centuries suffer strong persecution and ban.

      But the size of the Basque people is not small in European terms, and in the last years the people is defending strongly the Basque language.

      From a down point of over 500,000 speakers, now the number of good Basque speakers is over 750.000 and around 450,000 more with not complete knowledge. The number of total speakers would be close to 1,200,000 persons.

      Most of the new speakers are young people that is learning in home or in the schools.

      This map shows the percentage of students in Basque language in the Basque Country in 2001. Since then it countinues growing.


      The Basque language is still endangered, but it is growing, then the future looks better than the past. Iparrald (French Basque Country) can keep better the lenguage, and the people feel less the need of a education in Basque language, but now is growing so fast there too. The Basque language is now receiving the worst attacks in Navarre, but there is also growing. In the part of the map with less education in Basque language still it is not legal.

      •  Well, it certainly has more speakers than (8+ / 0-)

        Romansch! :)

        By "not legal" I presume (hope) that you mean it's not a language that is allowed for official business, not that it's actually illegal to speak it...

        •  Not legal mean (10+ / 0-)

          That it is not legal an education in Basque language. As example you can not learn maths in Basque language. Or you can not learn history in Basque language. In this part of the Basque Country, the Basque language is treated in the education as a foreign language.

          Still there are in that area some alegal Basque schools, that are private and work without public help only with the help of the people.

          In Navarre (and also in other territories) the people do celebrations one day every year, as a big fundraising event. And every year more than 100,000 people join in a single place on behalf a single Basque school. There are very popular celebrations.

      •  what are some good online resources for... (8+ / 0-)

        .... people who want to become more familiar with Euskadi and possibly learn the language?

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:04:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wonder about this: (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        abgin, ozsea1, FarWestGirl, ridemybike

        There seems to be a correlation between Americans' awareness of other cultures, and the spread of words from those cultures' languages into the English language.  The ease with which words from other languages are absorbed into hybridized forms of English builds some degree of solidarity or common community with the speakers of those languages.

        So I wonder how the Basque people would feel about spreading Euskadi into English, in much the same way as Latino Americanos have done with the spread of Spanish into English?

        To my mind that would spread awareness of the Basque people and culture.  But it's also possible that it might be regarded as a form of cultural over-reach by Americans, in a manner similar to the careless adoption of important symbols of other cultures, for which Americans are often criticized.  

        What are your thoughts about this?

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:47:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In the Basque Country the English is advancing as (11+ / 0-)

          as foreign language.

          Now the children learn three or four languages in the Basque schools. The Basque language, the Spanish, the French and the English. And the level of the English that learn the childs is improving.

          As example the English is my fourth language. I'm learning it more after the school but now the level is improving in the schools. It is not rare to find a little younger people that speaks better than me.

          The Basque education reject not the foreign languages and try to care the learning of them.

          The Basque nationalism want not a involution to a only Basque culture or a only Basque language. It is open to new cultures and it is open to Europe and to the world. But at same time want to keep the Basque language and the Basque culture in the mix as the own and most loved language and culture.

          •  what about music? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It seems to me that music is one of the most contagious ways for cultural memes, including words from languages, to spread across the world.

            Are there any Basque bands whose recordings could be promoted here?  Anything that has even a vague resemblance to other popular music, that could catch on with young people in America?

            And you speak four languages?!   In America it's not even common for people to speak two languages.  The best we usually see here are immigrants who become fluent in English.  The average undocumented low-wage worker in construction or agriculture usually has better language skills than Americans who have gone to college.  

            We have a lot of catching-up to do.

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 02:26:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  foreign language words spread into english (5+ / 0-)

          mainly as a function of contact and proximity. not as a conscious booster project. if there's any local use of euskadi-derived terms, i would look for it in northeastern CA/northern NV/southern ID.

      •  Glad to hear (8+ / 0-)

        that the number who speaks Basque was relatively high. I have visited Bayonne, France and it seemed like they all speak French there, now. Alas!

        It´s always sad when a language disappear, and it would be especially sad if Basque had disappeared since it´s such a special language.

        But from the numbers you give there should be enough speakers  to keep it alive, as long as there is interest to do so. And having children learn it at home and at school seem especially important.

        How is the language situation in the parliament ? Is it bilingual ?

        Give a man a pistol and he may rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he may rob the world.

        by Mariken on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:53:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I glad you know some part of the country (5+ / 0-)

          Bayonne (Baiona) is in the borders of the country and it is not the area where the Basque language is stronger. Also being a turistic area you surely find lots of people from out of the country. But a few km from Baiona you would find villages with high percentages of Basque speakers.

          The Basque language should not diasappear except if dark times return again.

          And yes, the local parliaments are bilingual. Also in Navarre. Navarre has the municipalities with lower number of Basque speakers but also has the municipalities with higher number of Basque speakers (close to the 100% of the inhabitants).

        •  Basque (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          abgin, FarWestGirl, ridemybike, MichaelNY

          in the Basque autonomous region of Spain is an official language. Basque is routinely used in the Basque parliament and all official business can be conducted in either language. Even when you go get your Spanish national I.D. or Spanish passport, if you want to do it in basque you can. In fact, my Spanish national I.D., I have dual citizenship, is bi-lingual.

          Also keep in mind that Bayonne is an urban center and at the edge, meaning close to the border of what the basque consider Euskadi or Euskal Herria, close to France. Particularly in Iparralde, the French-Basque part of the Basque country, Basque is more common in smaller towns and the rural areas. It is also true in the Spanish side but to a lesser degree, that is, more people in the urban centers of the Spanish side speak basque than people in urban centers of the French side.

          "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

          by basquebob on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 01:35:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  About the oficial citizenship documents (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, Christopher Walker

            In Navarre still that works not. The documents are monolingual. In Navarre still it is very rare that Spanish government workers attend you in Basque language.

            •  Navarre (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              abgin, bumiputera, basquebob

              Is the dispute about the status of Navarre only because there are many Spanish-only speakers there, or are there a lot of resources in that province that non-Basque people want to keep for themselves?

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 12:36:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Navarre has not many key natural resources (3+ / 0-)

                There is not strong minning, or other things. The basis of the economy of Navarre is the manufacturing like in the rest of the Basque Country. Also all the Basque territory has very close GDP per inhabitant level. There are not poor or rich areas.

                It is more a political fight.

                In the time of the Spanish Civil War, Iruña-Pamplona and Gasteiz-Vitoria (the capitals of Navarre and Araba) were cities with very important Spanish military prescence that came from the XIX century wars. And that make the Francoism dominated both territories very fast. One of the Francoist coup leaders, the general Emilio Mola, was based in Navarre.

                As you can see in the link about the genocide, in Navarre the 1.13% of the population was executed by the Francoism, and that makes the opposition to Francoism and to the Spanish right weaker.

              •  To add to abgin's information (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                abgin, MichaelNY

                Navarre also has a very important agricultural sector, for example until fairly recently Navarre produced 50% of the sparragus in the world, great artichokes, red piquillo peppers, and much more. It also has an excellent wine producing region.

                There is a clear connection between the Basques from the north and Navarre, but it is the subject of very heated debates if Basques and Navarrans are the same people. The bottom line is that the Kings of Navarre spoke basque, and the kingdom of Navarre was a very strong kingdom and dominated parts of what is today the Basque region. Not only was Navarre strong in that particular region but also in Castille. Navarre played a key role in the reconquista and the famous battle of las Navas de Tolosa against the Almohad Caliphate in which Sancho VII played the key role that won the battle and was also the unifying force behind the Christian Kingdoms of Spain which did not always get along. The Kingdom of Castille would have not survived at a few points in its history if it were not for the intervention of the Kingdom of Navarre.  Castille had a few internecine hereditary disputes in its history and several times these disputes were settled by the Navarrans.

                "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

                by basquebob on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:32:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I am part "French" Basque (8+ / 0-)

        Is it possible that the Basque Country will eventually include part of France?  

        I doubt it because of the difference between France and Spain, culturally and politically.

        On the other hand, Spain is far more politically centrifugal than most people realize.  There are strong inepennentist feelings in Cataluña and even Galicia, where locals speak a different language.  IMO, the way things are going in Spain with the economy and massive protests, Spain may fragment.

        Spain was consolidated with the victory over the Moors and the unexpected wealth extracted from the Conquista.  But there is no common enemy, no empire any longer so the centrifugal forces may eventually succeed.

        Am I way off?

        Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

        by Shockwave on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:13:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  France (7+ / 0-)

          In the middle age France was the best friend of the old Kingom of Navarre. During the Francoism, France was place for many Basques in the exile. During the peace process France has a lot better attitude than the Spanish parties, as you can see from the support of Pierre Joxe to the process.

          Iparralde, the French Basque Country, was a conservative area by years, but the things are changing, the things are moving. Hollande wins also in Iparralde, in part thanks to the support of the MoDem.

          France is a bigger and more powerful country than Spain, but also is a lot more civilized in political terms. In Spain many people still act as the winners of the Spanish Civil War. France is better friend of the political freedom.

          •  Agreed. There are lots of great people in Spain.. (5+ / 0-)

            ...but the right and the Catholic church are still there with their Francoist tendencies.

            And there is much more cultural diversity in Spain.

            Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

            by Shockwave on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 01:19:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Talk more about this, please (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              there is much more cultural diversity in Spain
              I've spent more time in France than Spain. There is certainly a lot of diversity there, both in terms of immigration and its results (couscous became the most popular "French" dish a few years ago - in other words, considered French by the French) and regional differences. I would imagine there are many more French citizens of color than Spanish citizens of color, and probably a higher percentage of immigrants from former French colonies in North as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, for example.

              How is Spain more culturally diverse?

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 03:40:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  About it (3+ / 0-)

                If we consider the flemish as the own language of Belgium, the most speaked European languages without own state or country would be at this point:


                Three of them are included in Spain. That mean around 14,000,000 of persons in Spain that speak other language. It is a 30% of the total population.

                •  Fair point (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  abgin, bumiputera

                  So linguistic diversity.

                  In France, though, there are people who speak Basque, Catalan, Occitan, Provencale, Nissart, Breton, and Alsatian. I'm sure they're a smaller percentage of the population than in Spain, but still substantial.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 12:38:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Remeber that Enrique III de Navarra, (5+ / 0-)

            became Enrique IV de Francia. They were more than friends.

            "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

            by basquebob on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 02:19:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes and No, (5+ / 0-)

          a lot of it also depends on what happens with the EU. There is also increasing talk in Europe of the post "nation-state" era. Personally I think that is more wishful thinking than reality but it is also is being talked about more and more frequently and by actors that are considered influential. There is also increased talk in Spain of following a Federalist model a la Germany or U.S.

          In any case, the right in Spain, the monarchists. the proto-fascists and the traditional right, will resist vigorously and unfortunately they have the military and big money on their side.

          "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

          by basquebob on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 01:46:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  In the question of the debt limit it's interesting (8+ / 0-)

    to remark that the limit of deb impossed to the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country is the 10.19%, when we can see in the numerical chart that the debt was 10.2% at the end of the first quarter of 2012.

    While for the Valencian Community the limit of the debt is 22.18%, but in the chart we see they have a 20.2% at the end of the first quarter of 2012.

    The Spanish government of Rajoy gives an aditional margin of a 2% of the GDP for debt to the Valencian Community because this region is ruled by absolute majority of the PP since 1995, as price to a bad management and as price to a corrupt government.

    That mean the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country will need to have a more austere government and will have more social cuts that other Spanish regions that favore to the PP.

    And still the Valencian Community asks to the Spanish government for a rescue several weeks ago.

    •  what do you think about the option of... (7+ / 0-)

      ... the combination of a more spartan consumer economy, with stronger investment in civic works of various kinds (such as education and infrastructure)?  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:50:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As a preson that comes from a western european (9+ / 0-)

        political culture of left, I'm more to the left of average Americans.

        I'm a strong supporter of of the public education and health care. I like the European Social Security, and I like a lot the Scandinavian model of intervention of the government in the economy. I think it is the best real model of management.

        I fear not the taxes. I think are necessary.

        More spartan consumer economy likely will be necessary in the future, taking into account the limited resources in the world. With more people from emergent economies acceding to a better economic position that will be likely necessary in the future. But as a person of science, I think it is our challenge to improve the technology for doing better things with lower resources.

        •  YES: and science! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          What I was thinking of when I posted that comment:

          Consumer-oriented economies very often fall into a condition of political and social apathy, because people become preoccupied with consumer goods and services.  

          Also, major civic projects, such as the Apollo mission to land on the Moon, have a way of inspiring people and creating a culture of dedication to these bigger goals.

          Now, put both of those ingredients together:  Envision a culture where people have basic economic security: food, home, education, medicine; but not a lot of frills or baubles; and where there are major civic projects going forward in science and technology, such as for ecology and space exploration.  It seems to me that the result of that would be to remove the consumer distractions from peoples' lives and turn their attention to the "big picture" of the common good and the new scientific frontiers.  I have to believe this would be good for cultural and political progress in a number of ways.   What do you think?

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 02:35:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  In the basque region, (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        abgin, ozsea1, ridemybike, melo, G2geek, MichaelNY

        investment in health services, education, social services, infrastructure, new business development and R&D has always been very strong since the autonomous region was re-established in 1979. That is why the Basque region is way ahead than the rest of Spain in many metrics despite the incompetence of Patxi Lopez in the last 3 years.

        Just as an anecdote, once a represenation from Cordoba or Cadiz, I can't remember exactly, which has been governed by the hard left for many years came to the Basque region to study its public health system. One of the representatives from IU, basically what is the communist or very left party in Spain, said: I thought that the Basque region was governed by right wingers, the PNV. And he was told, "well, that is the case and has been the case since 1980", keep in mind this happened before 2003. So the IU representative went and said, "I wish all my fellow left wingers from Andalucia would come here and learn something from these right wingers because they are to the left of us when it comes to social issues and taking care of their fellow citizens."

        There is an element of solidarity in the Basque culture that permeates across ideological and political lines. I don't know what and why but it is. Perhaps that is why we have one of the largest, if not the largest, rates of organ donation in the world for example. Now don't take me wrong, we also have some bad things and we need to improve.

        "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

        by basquebob on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 02:11:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  so your political right is to the left of... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          abgin, basquebob

          ... our political left.  Interesting.  And your industrial sector is world-leading in certain fields such as automated process-control, without falling into the "race to the bottom" mentality but rather quite the opposite, such as with MCC.

          Cultural solidarity is more readily achieved in small populations, particularly where they have struggled against persistent outside oppression or similar challenges.   Again the Jews come to mind as an example, though the location of Israel amidst other countries that are overtly hostile toward its very existence, has brought to prevalence various Israeli politicians whose political left is in some ways to the right of our political right.  

          So it seems there's a mid-way point here, along the continuum of political and cultural struggle, that optimizes for internal solidarity while at the same time not producing a state of hyper-alertness or persistent fear that is the breeding-ground for the extreme right.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 02:45:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think there are in very close places (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            basquebob, MichaelNY

            I think a standard EAJ-PNV politician would be very close to a standard Democratic politician. But at same time I would find not difficult that a Democratic progressive can see him closer to Eusko Alkartasuna (social-democrat) or other groups of the new EHBildu.

            Surely this difference between the Spanish left and Basque right comes more from economical weakness and from that cultural solidarity than from an ideological position.

            I think the European alignment that I explain in the diary defines well the ideological position of every party in the Basque Country.

            I think Basquebob will agree on that.

            •  I do agree with your general charaterization (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              abgin, MichaelNY

              of how the parties align in the Basque country compared to their European homologues.

              "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

              by basquebob on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 10:17:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Generally speaking, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            abgin, MichaelNY

            you are correct about how the party comparisons align. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to asume that there are not hard-right, comparable to the hard-right here in the U.S., in the Basque country or in Spain. The thing is that, like in the U.S., they are factions inside bigger parties like the PP or very small parties like Fuerza Nueva or movements like Manos Limpias. But to give you a very clear example, Esperanza Aguirre, until recently the President of the autonomous region of Madrid and a top leader of the PP, was advocating for her party to "emulate the Tea Party" in the U.S., those are literal words out of her mouth.

            About cultural solidarity, it is important to note that a large segment of the population of the Basque country are Spanish immigrants. This is particularly true in the larger urban and industrial centers. What it is even more interesting is the high percentage of these immigrants that have adopted the Basque culture as their own and have fully integrated into Basque society. This, of course, has been a key aspect of the economic success of the Basque region. Perhaps the "smallness" of the place is an important component of why it has worked out this way.

            And as for MCC, it is a success story because it is a story about solidarity with a very clear goal of the success of the whole, as in all the members of the community, and not just the success of individual members. But going further, the basque regional government also adopted whole heartedly the concept of the "Clusters" as developed by Prof. Michael Porter of Harvard University, and invested heavily in making it work through funding and developing agencies like SPRI, local Chambers of Commerce, and direct government participation in key areas. This is not very different from what Clinton was talking about, of all places, on the John Stewart show a week or two ago. He basically was describing the cluster concept and how clusters lead to economic success, but these clusters also require the participation of government, industry and academia in tightly balanced and well choreographed collaboration.

            "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

            by basquebob on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 10:59:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Autonomous region of Madrid (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              basquebob, abgin

              It's fascinating that the capital of the country has its own autonomous region. How does that work in practice?

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 12:41:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Madrid is a city (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                abgin, MichaelNY, bumiputera

                in the province of the same name Madrid, in other words the seat of the province of Madrid is the city of Madrid.

                This is also one of the big issues in the Spanish economic crisis. Most people from outside Spain, understandably,  do not appreciate this fully. Madrid at least eliminated the "diputación" shortly after it became an autonomous region but the autonomous government also took on a bigger role than the "diputación" used to have.

                The layers of government that exist in Spain is a big problem, financially speaking, and the Germans are practically demanding that Spain streamlines its governmental structure in order to get more help from them. Spain has as many as 3 times the number of public officials than Germany does with half the population of Germany, it is kind of maddening if you really think about it.

                Except for Madrid, Navarre and Murcia, because they are single province entities, Spain is divided into, with some exceptions, into Autonomous Regions, Diputaciones (Provincial government), and Municipalities. Add to that the "Delegaciones del Gobierno" which are representations from the central government and play big roles with large bureaucracies in the provinces and autonomous regions.

                Also keep in mind that in Spain you have towns with very small populations but full blown government structures that are financed by the governments of the region or the central government in Madrid. At the same time, in fact often, governmental functions are duplicated and even tripled, creating very inefficient government structures and often conflicting. I don't know if you ever heard the expression: Spain invented bureaucracy and Napoleon perfected it. The truth is that Spain had to invent a very big bureaucracy after the reconquista to keep all those warriors busy when there were no more Moores left to fight. It is not a joke. That is also the reason why the archives of Seville are so fabulous and even today those archives are being used to find sunken treasures and what not.

                The current fiasco at the administrative level is the byproduct, in my opinion and that of others, of an ill conceived arrangement during the negotiations of the 1978 Constitution. During those negotiations it became obvious that the four historic regions of Euskadi, Catalunya, Navarre and Galicia would have to be granted their own autonomies to keep the peace. But in a kind of Solomonic justice it was decided that the rest of Spain would also have to be divided into regions that were culturally different but did not have that tradition. This was done without eliminating other layers that the new arrangement made unnecessary and the net result is that Spain finds itself with a structure that is too expensive and politically dicey to modify. Using the terminology that it is currently used in Spain, the Barons are not going to let go easily of their "fiefdoms" and cottages of corruption.

                It is complicated and convoluted. The autonomous arrangement has worked quite well in some places and has been a disaster in others. Keep in mind that all autonomies were not created equal and this is also a big part of what you see happening today and the big contrasts between say Euskadi and Catalunya. For starters, the financial arrangements between these two regions and Madrid government are quite different. The Basque region basically administers over 80% of the taxes collected from the Basque people while Catalunya depends almost entirely from Madrid for this process.

                "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

                by basquebob on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 01:43:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks for your response (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  basquebob, abgin

                  All of this sounds extremely complicated.

                  I recall that Andalucia also agitated for autonomy and received it.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 02:07:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It is. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY, abgin

                    I think Spain will end up having a Constitutional crisis before this is all over. Look at France, they are on their fifth Republic since 1792. The last one was in 1958.

                    "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

                    by basquebob on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 02:18:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  very interesting diary, thank you (5+ / 0-)

    I have not visited the Basque region of Spain, so I am not really familiar with the region.  Perhaps one day I hope to visit.

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:41:36 AM PDT

  •  With the massive surge (7+ / 0-)

    toward separatism in Catalonia, do you think this will impact politically in the Basque country?  Or does the stronger financial autonomy of the Basque region reduce the sort of pressure the Catalans are feeling?

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:47:15 PM PDT

    •  Yes, no doubt (5+ / 0-)

      That is having and will have an important effect in the Basque Country.

      The Catalans now are very, very angry with the Spanish government because they pay the taxes to the Spanish government and the Spanish government return not the money to the government of Catalonia. That is leading to a situation where Catalans are paying the biggest level of taxes, and at same time, they are suffering the biggest level of spending and budget cuts. And to complete the abuse the Spanish government is focused in a centralist effort against the autonomy.

      In the Basque Country that happen not, and the issue is different.

      But all that leaves a strong conclussion and is that the Spanish political system failed big. And that conclussion affect big to the Basque Country. Maybe we see some aditional increase of the support to the Basque nationalism, but the polls still reflect not it.

    •  Iñigo Urkullu, (6+ / 0-)

      who abgin mentions in the diary and probably the next Basque president, has already said that the main priority is to put the ETA issue behind, so that is his priority and code for saying not yet.

      Truth be told, and I know from my connections in the EAJ-PNV, among other things, they are anxiously waiting to see what happens in Scotland and how the EU reacts to it.

      Also, Artur Mas and Iñigo Urkullu met yesterday and some of the declarations after the meeting were very interesting. For starters Artur Mas said yesterday that his quest for independence will depend greatly on the outcome of the coming elections in November. Some have interpreted this as a little bit of softening in his position from what has happened recently. I think it is pragmatism settling in and I am sure Urkullu has something to do with it. The PNV is a very pragmatic party and Ibarretxe already tried to have a vote on the independence issue and had to back down under the threat of criminal and political prosecution. That is why the PNV is trying to channel the issue through Europe and see if Europe can force Spain to allow a peaceful vote on these matters, but that will take some more work.

      "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

      by basquebob on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 02:33:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary (8+ / 0-)

    I really feel for you, abgin, and the rest of the Basque people. The treatment of the Basque people has been monstrous. I don't think that justifies the terrorism of the ETA, of course -- but it's a gross sin in its own right and there's no place for it.

    I hope the Basque parties win. Maybe they'll form a unity government, depending on how the chips fall, and box out the Spanish as best they can.

    Keeper of the DKE glossary. Priceless: worth a lot; not for sale.

    by SaoMagnifico on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 01:10:59 PM PDT

  •  Thank you very much to DailyKos (6+ / 0-)

    Thank you for fixing the diary in the frontpage of DailyKos, in the COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT.

    I glad you liked this work.

  •  Thank you abgin for your work to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, ridemybike, basquebob, MichaelNY

    introduce some of us to Basque country and the Basque people.

    Many years ago I enjoyed a book of short stories written by Trevanian

    who left the U.S. and lived in the Basque region of France for several years.

    It was a very charming book written with great warmth.

    Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

    by eve on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 03:38:10 PM PDT

  •  Terrorism is the issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This report presents a very biased view of the Basque Country situation that by and large misses the most serious problem confronted by this society: the persistence of a group that terrorized the population, killed almost 1,000 people (most of them after democracy arrived in the Basque Country) and forced thousands of Basques into exile.
    The Spanish government reaction included some criminal activities (GAL, etc) and some dubious laws which restricted the participation of those who directly supported the terrorist activities of ETA. But there is no question on what side any decent person should stand.

    There is still a lot to do in the Basque Country and Spain:

    1. ETA's cease fire is not enough. The group must disappear.
    2. No changes to the Basque Country status are morally allowed for at least one generation, until the wounds of terrorism can only by found in the history books and the exiles feel free to return.
    3. The right to self-determination is not as fundamental as the right to free speech or due process. Nevertheless, if a qualified majority of the Basque Country wants to form an independent country, they should be able to do so in free elections, and the Spanish Constitution must be changed to allow for such elections.

    •  I disagree on some things (3+ / 0-)

      I think I miss not important issues. This is the fourth diary that I writed about the Basque Country and two of them want to help finding the peace for my native country.

      Today I explained lots of things in the diary, basically trying to tell why some parties will have more votes than others on the election day, and why a majority of the people will support the nationalist parties in the following elections. Because there are real reasons for that support, that many readers here would not understand if the narrative gets only around ETA.

      I think it is a good goal for a diary about the elections in the Basque Country. And I think the people appreciate it.

      Your comment begins from a false presime: ETA is the action, and the state terrorism (BVE, GAL...) is the reaction. That is false. I think I give in this diary lots of details that proved it. The Spanish right always want to close their eyes to fact like the Bombing of Gernika. Maybe you want to close your eyes with them. But then the Francoism kill in a single day in a single little city of less than 10,000 inhabitants more people than ETA in all his history.

      If the things are as you explain, as the Spanish narrative explains, why will have EHBildu or the EAJ-PNV as big number of elected people in the parliament? Your comment answer not to that. My diary answer to this question. Also your comment answer not to why the majority of the Basque people want the independence as strongly. And your comment answer not to why the PP politicians and the Spanish king have that abysmal approval numbers in the Basque Country.

      I think there are very important questions that get without answer if we reduce the narrative to the ETA question. And many people here wish to know the answer to these questions too.

      Talking about the abysmal image of the King Juan Carlos in the Basque Country maybe that video help you understanding the reason of it (if you understand French or read Spanish):

      I also disagree with your comment about the Spanish law "which restricted the participation of those who directly supported the terrorist activities of ETA". Also this is not righ. The law restricted nominally the participation of those who reject not ETA publicly. It is not the same to support publicly and reject not publicly. They impose a public rejection of the actions of ETA to the parties (while they impose not a public rejection of the fascist Francoism and cause of that there are legal fascist webs in Spain) but even that was not respected by them, because the kept as illegal groups like Sortu, that born in February 2011 that was outlawed in April 2011 but becomes legal in 2012 with the same redation of its statuts. Even some times we see the spectacle of a candidacy partially outlawed, that can run for some offices but not for other.

      Their bid for changing the majorities in the country works just as I explain with the numbers. If you want to apply the D'Hont Law I would give you the data of the 3 constituencies for you can see it by yourself.

    •  So, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What about the terrorism that Spain inflicted on the Basque for over a 100 years? And you would punish the whole population in the Basque region for the action of a few ETA members? You ignore the fact that the majority of the Basque people rejected the ETA since day one. The ETA was a very small group of young fellows that splintered from the PNV because the PNV always rejected violence.

      Your draconian proposal of punishing a whole population for a generation is tantamount to the collective executions that the Germans would carry on French townspeople when the partisans killed German soldiers. Your proposal is not justice but vengeance, perhaps you should learn the difference.

      And sure ETA was not good, particularly after the 1977 general amnesty, but have you ever consider the thousands that died after the civil war, not during the war, at the hands of military and the security forces in Spain? What's your proposal for avenging those deaths since you are so much into that kind of "justice"? It's a slippery slope, isn't it? And when you say "morally allowed", what or who's morality are we talking about? The morality of those that ordered the execution of 50,000+ spaniards after the war and all armed conflict had ended including 6,000+ basques? You want to argue morality? The morality of the regime and members of the regime that went on to serve in political positions till this day and that used the garrote vil as their preferred method of execution for political prisoners until the last days of their vile regime in the 1970's? You want to talk about morality? Let's talk about morality, but all of it, the convenient and inconvenient parts, O.K.? Sorry if I get testy about this but it gets quite tiresome and repugnant when some defend the "morality" of the victors and the losers are always the "immoral" ones. Let me tell you clearly my position, all deaths through violence are immoral, and vengeance is repugnantly immoral.

      BTW, ETA is done, finish, kaput, nada. That the ETA has not officially put down its weapons is a mere formality. No one is even sure if there is anyone left there to announce such a surrender. All the ETA leaders that had any real power are already in jail, and the people left outside are third rate operatives incapable of carrying any operations. It is a well known fact that all the announcements that ETA has made since the end of the conflict, not cease fire as you mis characterize it, are the same three people, one male and two females, their identities are well known and their orders are coming from inside the jails with the full knowledge of the Spanish government. So when you say "a cease fire is not enough" you really don't know what you are talking about or use very bad sources of information. The ETA already announced the permanent end to armed violence, not cease fire mind you, on October 21, 2011. The only ones that don't accept this as good enough are the raunchiest of the right wingers in Spain. But hey, that's always been the mindset of the totalitarian types, until vengeance is exacted we will not stop.

      "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

      by basquebob on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 12:49:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I of course agree that terrorism is terrible (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abgin, fearlessfred14, basquebob

      and that acts of violence after the return of democracy were unjustifiable.

      However, would it be worth comparing the situation in Northern Ireland with the situation in the Basque Country? The IRA had to decommission their weapons. Did they have to disappear? And did Sinn Fein have to declare that they suddenly condemned all the acts of what they would term armed struggle by the IRA in order to be legalized, or did they merely have to renounce support for a continuation of the armed struggle, just as the Protestant Unionist party led by Ian Paisley had to renounce his support for a continuation of terrorism (defense or whatever he would call it) by the Protestant militia he had led?

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 03:54:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it is right to compare the case with the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        irish case.

        And I think many of the higher level international politicians that are supporting the peace process understand the trouble by this way. As we can see very prominent English (Blair, Powell) and Irish (Ahern, Adams) politicians are in the international delegation that supports the Peace Process in the Basque Country. They have a big knowledge of the Irish problem from both sides and they agree supporting the Basque Peace Process as the right way to let back the violence in the Basque Country.

  •  Very interesting, thanks (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, ridemybike, basquebob, MichaelNY

    This is a good detailed look at the current situation. Could you provide a big picture context? Also, who are considered Basque? As noted upthread, French Basques seem to be more fully integrated in their country (with a fair bit of intermarriage) than in Spain. Can one be Basque without Basque parentage (that is, can one be "nationalized")? In La Liga some Basque teams only play Basque players there was recently a bit of controversy involving a black player with one Basque parent playing for one of the Basque sides (I think it was the parentage, not the fact that he was black, that just made it obvious). Also, what are the differences among the Basque countries, culturally and linguistically (that is, why are there separate Basque countries? Also, Navarre seems to be something of the odd one out).

    •  yes, of course (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, basquebob, MichaelNY, alefnot

      Who is Basque?

      For the majority of the voters of the PP and for somo (not many) voters of the PSOE, Basques are the people that follow the Spanish citizenship rules and is living in the Basque Country.

      For the big majority of the voters of the EAJ-PNV, of EH Bildu and the rest of the voters of the PSOE, Basques are the people that is living in the Basque Country. It is not important where the people born. It is the same an inmigrant that born in Madrid or in Ciudad de Mexico. For the Basque nationalism it is not important the origin, the Basque nationalism accept the inmigration. It is Basque who want to be Basque and lives in the Basque country.

      I would tell there is more people inmigrant at least historically in the southern part of the country than in the northern part of the country and the intermarriage is very common. I have some uncle and aunt that born in different parts of Spain.

      When I talk in the diary about the massive inmigration to the Basque Country promoted by Franco, and how it backfired him I was talking about that. Many people that born in Spain fight togheter with the people of Basque origin, even inside ETA.

      As example, it is very known the case of the last ETA prisioners executed by firing squad during the Francoism, Txiki and Otaegi. Well, while Otaegi was a Basque of Basque origin, Txiki was an spanish inmigrant that born in Extremadura. And it is not an isolate case.

      Now there are political leaders of the Basque left that are Spanish inmigrants and that want the independence, like Txentxo Jimenez, that born in Jaén, Andalucía.

      I never knew troubles of racism in the sport of the Basque Country. As example, now Jonas Ramalho is playing in one of the teams that promote the Basque sport playing only with Basque people. That mean he is considered Basque as the rest of the players of his team.

      About the issue of who is Basque it is very interesting to see like Patxi Lopez select the care of the illegal inmigrants (from Latin-America and from Africa) as the top issue for distancing himself of the PP before the elections. In the Basque country it accepted by the people the health care for the illegal inmigrants, but the government of Rajoy try to impose to quit the health care for illegal inmigrants as one of his spending cuts.

      Differences among the Basque regions.

      There are differences, the Basque regions come from the middle age, Araba, Biscay, Navarre are concepts that have more than 1,000 years of history. The Basque Country can be perfectly a federal country by himself.

      Also, the Basque language is very old. It is the alone pre-Indoeuropean language surviving in Europe. Then also has thousands of years of evolution, and there are some local differences, but I never had trouble understanding to another Basque in Basque language. The Basque language it is one lenguage.

      •  Thanks! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        As a group that has sometimes been marginalized (sometimes on their own volition and to their benefit) it is good to see them reach out to others.

        As for regions, it does seem like Navarre is something of the odd one out, at least as far as engaging the rest of Europe. You hear about the Kingdom of Pamplona involved in Spanish politics in the Middle Ages, the Bourbon dynasty in France later, but not so much about, say, Bilbao or San Sebastian. Someday I'd like to learn more about the region.

  •  excellent, my friend. excellent!! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, ybruti, Mariken, basquebob, MichaelNY

    and you are in the community spotlight!!!
    wohoo :-)

    well deserved for this deep, thoughtful diary
    chock full of info and links.

    abgin, you are the undisputed king of the links!! :-D

    thank you for sharing this and for your hard work.
    now I will go and read it more thoroughly.

    Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle. -Helen Keller

    by ridemybike on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 04:49:16 PM PDT

  •  Wow, extremely extensive and fun to read. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, basquebob, MichaelNY, abgin, ybruti

    I learned a lot here.  I see the parallels to the remaining acolytes of Franco being protected from prosecution to the continued freedom allowed in the US to Donald Rumsfeld, et al.  They deserve to be behind bars for the rest of their lives, but it's a futile effort as there's too many people out there to protect them.  Also found it interesting that Eisenhower supported the Francoists.  Why did he do that?  Did he want to prevent a Basque secession?  I guess it goes in with his other bad choices like Operation Ajax, Operation PBSUCCESS, and propping up the corrupt government of South Vietnam after the French gave up their colonial claims there.

    Also, you said some parties were banned.  Which ones are banned?  Do they tend to be ardent nationalists?

    Hail to the king, baby.

    by KingofSpades on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 09:38:21 PM PDT

    •  I'll be interested in abgin's answer (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abgin, KingofSpades, ybruti

      But my answer is that during the Cold War, American governments supported and in some cases, engineered the takeover of right-wing dictatorships anywhere where they were - Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guatemala, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, Iran, you name it. It was all about fighting Communism and making things easy for US-based multinational corporations.

      Also, I thought of the fact that Bush Administration war criminals are unprosecuted, but the difference is that the Spanish criminals ran a murderous dictatorship in their own country, whereas the Bush Administration was committing war crimes mainly in foreign countries - Iraq, Afghanistan, and Cuba (Guantanamo), mostly. Unless you blame the Bush Administration for the 9/11/01 atrocities in any way other than merely through ignoring intelligence warnings and then decorating and promoting the incompetents who ignored those warnings after the fact, nothing the Bush Administration did domestically is anywhere close to the systematic, sustained state terrorism the Fascists perpetrated throughout Spain from the 1930s to the 1970s.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 04:06:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah yes, I forget to comment about Eisenhower (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Surely as native Americans you know better than me the reasons that Eisenhower gave inside the United States for this support.

        I can tell that it was the environment of the Cold War, and surely he fear the Spanish left.

        Then, in the Basque Country, the Basque left was not as strong as now. Then the Basque right was a traditional Christian-Democratic right and lead clearly the Basque government. I think the political position of the Basque country would not be bad for Eisenhower, but surely he know not enough about it.

        Then the EAJ-PNV was looking to some external help from the Allies against the Francoism and they get very sad when the Francoism wins the support of Eisenhower.

        •  Probably the Cold War (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          abgin, ybruti, MichaelNY

          Eisenhower's first priority in foreign policy, often to the exclusion of others, was to weaken the strategic position of the Soviet Union. He supported African independence, but that was mainly so that pliable governments could be put into place instead of Marxist resistance movements. He backed and even installed a number of downright fascist governments in Latin America (Somoza for example) that were cooperative with him.

          So maybe he was a bit scared of the Spanish left. Remember that he was somewhat conservative, and the American right had been pro-Franco all along- Texas Oil routed its tankers to Francoist ports (but not Republican ports) during the war. And during that era, people didn't have to be genuinely Marxist to be blacklisted as communists. The Spanish left would certainly have qualified.

          Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

          by fearlessfred14 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 09:06:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thank You I glad a lot you like ) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, MichaelNY

      I glad you find as long diary interesting and you have fun reading it.

      Yes, I think you are right. Maybe a close attitude. But in the United States, even talking about Republican justices, there are some procedures that they can not stop and some actions are prosecuted, even in issues that affect to the military people. But in Spain that exist not. And they do all their commemorations remembering the coup or remembering the death of Franco like always.

      The alone daughter of Franco was appointed by the current king duchess of Franco. That means a lot about the general attitude on this issues.

      The banned parties where parties of the Basque left. They were of course full nationalist.

  •  I lived in Donosti for a year... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, MichaelNY, abgin

    I lived in San Sebastian (Donostia in Basque) for a year in college.  That was 18 years ago. I've been back a few times since then, and I'd like to go back again. I still have a few friends there - one friend of mine was a city councilman and mayoral candidate there.

    I love the Basque Country - its people, mountains, beaches, and especially the food. I miss it and I can't wait to return.

    Yes, Virginia, there is an alternative to the death penalty!

    by econlibVA on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 01:43:37 AM PDT

    •  I glad you like the Basque Country (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Surely you find so good changes in the last 18 years in the country and in the city.

      In this link to one of my previous diaries about the Basque Country there you have nice aerial images of Donostia and other places of the country. Surely you can remember some of the places that you know in Donostia.

  •  Cross-post request (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, abgin, ybruti

    Excellent work!

    May I suggest that you cross-post the diary on European Tribune? (

    Accunt creation is unrestricted, but post a comment in an open thread or email site admins to get diary-posting permissions (which are restricted to new accounts as a result of a massive spam attack we had a couple of years ago).

    Can the last politician to go through the revolving door please turn off the lights?

    by Migeru on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 03:01:35 AM PDT

  •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, abgin

    abgin, you taught me a lot. This is a wonderfully detailed diary. We are lucky to have you here.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 04:07:01 AM PDT

  •  About Basque music (0+ / 0-)

    For you can see some examples of the current Basque music I select some video on youtube.

    This would be the sound of modern Basque folk. Kepa Junkera is the autor of the music of these two videos:

    (I see this video with better image, but now I find not it)

    (The second link let not me insert here the video)

    Also related to the Basque folk, this year a Basque group called Kalakan is going with Madonna by the world. Maybe some one of you see them with her.

    I hope you like

  •  More Basque music (0+ / 0-)

    This group is Zea Mays:

    (Here also you can see like sound the Basque language comparing it with the writed language)

    This other group is Ken7 (or KenZazpi):

    (Also has the letter writed)

    And finally this group is Gose:

    Also I hope you like

    •  There is also a curious linguistic fact (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When you hear a Basque using the word eta, the 95% of the times he or she is not talking about ETA.

      In Basque language:

      eta = and

      and there are some meaning more difficult

      Then eta it is a word used lots of times in many sentences.

      Also there is a contraction of the word very used: ta = eta

  •  Thank you for posting this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, MichaelNY

    I have not finished reading it all — it's quite the masterwork — but I look forward to coming back and finishing soon. You really took my suggestion to hear!

    Political Director, Daily Kos

    by David Nir on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 11:16:09 PM PDT

    •  Thanks to you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, David Nir

      My wish was to give the all the necessary information for the readers can understand the political breakdown in this part of the Basque Country, and the historical reasons that created the current political situation.

      Unfortunately I can not find english links for all, but that mean this diary is exceeding the literature about the Basque country in english. At least some of the readers, including the DailyKos founder are fluent in Spanish and that assure that you can follow the whole article as it is.

      Thanks to all you because of this kind reception.

  •  Polling chart and prediction updated (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    New recent polls for this election get included in the polling chart, and lead to a little change in the prediction.

    The PP losing one and the EAJ-PNV winning one.

    EAJ-PNV = 25
    EHBildu = 22
    formerEB = 1
    PSOE = 15
    PP = 12

  •  A great article/Un gran artículo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Congratulations on this great article. The best thing you've read in a while. We would love to contact the author.

    We have discussed the article on our website

    Greetings from the Basque Country

    El mejor resumen de la situación política en Euskadi, en la web progresista más importante de los USA

    Felicidades por ese gran artículo. Lo mejor que hemos leido en mucho tiempo. Nos gustaria mucho entrar en contacto con el autor.
    Lo hemos comentado en  neustra web

    Un saludo desde el País Vasco

  •  The prediction gets updated again (0+ / 0-)

    EAJ-PNV = 25
    EHBildu = 23
    formerEB = 1
    PSOE = 14
    PP = 12

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