2 July 2008


Basque Info 1st of July
Headlines :
- The Basque parliament of Gasteiz/Vitoria approves the proposal for a consultation on the future of the Basque Country.
-Solidarity with accused in show trial continues.
- The Spanish Labour and Conservative parties refuse to acknowledge the victims of the Spanish security forces.


- The Basque parliament of Gasteiz/Vitoria approves the proposal for a consultation on the future of the Basque country.

34 votes in favour and 33 against the proposal. That was the result.
Next October 25th Basque citizens from the provinces of Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia and Araba, will have to give their views on the way forward in the Basque country.
However the Spanish government has threatened to ban the consultation as according to the Spanish Constitution it is an illegal move.

Last May, Juan Jose Ibarretxe the president of the Basque Autonomous government announced his intention to consult Basques on their views about the future of the Basque Country.

Although most of the parties have supported the proposal the Spanish government rejected it straight away and threatened of vetoing it.

The pro independence movement has also been critical of the consultation.

The pro independence representatives in the parliament, EHAK/Communist Party of the Basque Lands, decided to give one of their votes in favour of the motion so it could be approved. The Spanish government had already made public that they would stop any kind of referendum. The pro independence movement wants to see which is the real commitment of the Basque Nationalist Party to go ahead with the referendum and that’s why they made possible for the motion to be passed. The rest of the pro independence representatives abstained at the vote to show they don’t agree with the motion.

The pro independence movement has criticised the autonomous government and the Basque nationalist Party of using the consultation to their own protect their interests and to remain in power.

They see the consultation as an exercise without any value as in the last 30 years the Basque Nationalist Party has been in power into eh Basque Country and has done nothing to resolve the political conflict.

According to Batasuna this is a unilateral proposal that’s limited to 3 of the 7 provinces of the Basque Country. For Batasuna the proposal does not go further than the constrained powers already contained in the statute of autonomy and doesn’t take into account the other four Basque provinces. The pro-independence party thinks this proposal aims to be just a mere electoral platform for the Basque Nationalist Party rather than a tool to resolve the political conflict.

As previously mentioned, the Spanish government has made it clear that they will ban the consultation. In front of that the Basque Autonomous government has defended their intentions by saying that there is nothing illegal in consulting citizens on issues such as their won future.

We will have to wait and see what happens next October and there is no doubt that we will be talking about this consultation in future bulletins.

-Solidarity with accused in show trial continues.

250 people took part in a public talk during the week and hundreds more in a demonstration last Saturday in Gasteiz/Vitoria to support the 27 activists accused in the last Spanish show trial against the prisoners support organization Askatasuna/Freedom.

The banner, which was carried by most of the accused, stated that “The Basque Country needs freedom”.

At the end of the rally one of the speakers said that the pro-amnesty movement was born with the aim of disband but no one neither a thousand of sentences will make it be disbanded. The pro-amnesty movement will disappear when all Basque political prisoners and refugees are back in home, she added.

The trial just finished last week and the state prosecutor’s petitions go up to 13 years in prison.

- The Spanish Labour and Conservative parties refuse to acknowledge the victims of the Spanish security forces.

Last Thursday the Director of the Human Rights of the Basque government presented its findings on the Victims of Violence which have a political motive.
The document counts with 109 deaths caused by security forces and 583 injured by the police or paramilitaries or right wing groups. But the Spanish labour and conservative parties criticized the document as a humiliation for the victims of terrorism and killed police officers, creating that way a hierarchy of victims.

The Director of human rights also highlighted the fact that the document could not be fully completed due to time constraints, in particular around the victims of torture. The document counts between 5000 and 7000 people who have been victims of torture.

But the pro-Spanish parties dismissed the findings and accused the human rights Director of doing a very poor job based on newspaper articles. They also dismissed the recent findings of the United Nations about the fact that torture exists and happens regularly in Spain.

-Lawyers ask for the reopening of the case around Spanish police massacre.

30 years ago the Basque capital, Irunea/Pamplona was celebrating its worldwide famous festival, the Sanfermines. On the 8th of July, while thousands of people filled the bulls’ arena, dozens of Spanish policemen got in and attacked the public. The excuse for the attack was the exhibition of banners in support of Basque political prisoners. On the day, riots spread around the city very quickly. One young left pro-independence man was killed and hundreds injured.

30 years on no one has been charged with the killing. But that police attack is still alive in people’s minds. Last week more than 70 lawyers signed a petition to ask for the re-opening of the case and bring the people responsible for the killing to court. The lawyers said that the Spanish Justice hasn’t just been blind but deaf, dumb and useless as well.

-Remembering five centuries of Spanish occupation.

Hundreds of people gathered in the streets of, Irunea/Pamplona last Saturday to remember that in 2012, it will be 500 years since the Kingdom of Navarre, the Basque state, was occupied by the Castillian army which made it loose its freedom.

At the weekend dozens of Spanish policemen surrounded the demonstration showing clearly the reality of occupation still live in the Basque Country.

This rally was just one of the many events that have been planned and organised between now and 2012. The campaign intends to create a debate and mobilizations among the citizens. The campaign started with the launch of a manifesto signed by well known historians and writers with the title “Navarre still alive. 1512-2012”.

-Rally in defence of Basque symbols.

Last Saturday a rally took place in Donostia/San Sebastian to protest against the imposition of the Spanish flag in the balcony of the local city hall. Dancers, singers and traditional musicians took part in the event celebrated outside the city hall.

The organisers warned of the many efforts put in place by the Spanish authorities to impose Spanish identity and destroy Basque symbols and called everybody to take part in the many events that will be organised over the summer. They said the Spanish flag represents the imposition and the denial of Basque rights while the Basque flag is accepted by most of Basques.
A petition was launched last week by the popular initiative Bai Euskal Herriari/Yes to the Basque Country and more than 1700 individuals and 100 associations have already signed up to it.


- Critically ill, Basque prisoner Anjel Figueroa has been transferred back to prison from hospital.

Anjel suffers from serious epilepsy and has been hospitalized several times recently.
According to the Spanish law, Anjel should be released due to his illness but the Spanish authorities are refusing to free him.

Instead, Anjel was transferred from the hospital where he was last Saturday back to prison. Although this may sound like an improvement on his health, his supporters have made it clear that Anjel’s health is not improving and that putting him back in prison is actually worse as there are no proper facilities to look after him.

- Meanwhile the relatives of prisoner Nuria Antzugurai from Donostia/San Sebastian suffered a car accident at the weekend when they were coming back from seeing her in Madrid. No one was injured in the accident.

Askatasuna hilghligted that it is the 8th accident this year of relatives going to see their loved one’s in prison.

Over 700 prisoners are currently scattered in a hundred prisons in France and Spain.


Espiga de Trigo said...


X said...

This blog not actualized???

Freedom and justice!