Basque Info 9/06/09
-Great results for the pro-independence left in the European elections.
Despite the criminalization campaign and the initial banning, the Basque pro-independence left supported electoral platform, Internationalist Initiative received 13.5% of the vote (10% in 2004 for the banned Herritarren Zerrenda/The People’s List). In the north, the pro-independence left organised under the Euskal Herriaren Alde (In Favour of the Basque Country) name and achieved a great success with 6% of the vote. Other left pro-independence parties in the north supported Europe Ecologie lead by the French ecologist farmer José Bové and received 15% of the vote.
On Sunday there were numerous complaints about Internationalist Initiative ballots being missing in many polling stations. Others arrived after 5pm. In the early hours of Monday dozens of reports from across the Spanish state emerged with very suspicious news. Thousands of votes for Internationalist Initiative were missing or allocated to other parties. In the Basque Country votes disappeared in 24 towns. In the Catalan Countries the blank and no valid vote’s numbers increased dramatically, in some cases by three to six times. As more and more reports and allegations emerge, there are serious concerns of a historical fraude.
After the election results were released on Sunday night, Basque pro-independence left spokesperson Arnaldo Otegi congratulated the movement for the results obtained and said that there can’t be a solution to the conflict without the pro-independence left. He went on to say that the great result will be used to create movement towards a scenario of democracy in the Basque Country and to get the European bodies and mediators involved in a new process of negotiation and dialogue.
Two alledged ETA members shot a French policeman on Monday. The incident happened after a car was stolen by two people and a police chase begun. Check points have been set up in the south of France and a man hunt is currently underway.
Three pro-independence young people were arrested in the early hours of this morning by French police in the northern Basque towns of Ziburu and Askain. They’ve been accused of attacking an estate agency. House speculation in the north forces young people to immigrate to France. Attacks against tourism interests and estate agencies is very commun in the north of the Basque Country.
Another two pro-independence young people were arrested by the Basque-Spanish police last Tuesday. They’ve been acussed of several attacks in Gasteiz/Vitoria.
-Police harassment and censorship.
14 people were injured and one arrested on Sunday 31st May when Basque-Spanish policemen raided a festival in favour of the Basque language in Galdakao, near Bilbao. The policemen removed prisoner’s pictures and political banners off the open air bars and walls and attacked those who opposed the move.
Next day the Basque-Spanish police harassed a press conference organised to denounce the incidents and entered pro-independence bars in several towns to confiscate Basque prisoners pictures.
Many Athletic Bilbao football supporters have been recently fined 6,000€ for showing Basque prisoners repatriation flags during matches.