Monthly Archives: March 2011

Sortu and the Future of Basque Politics

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According to El País, enough evidence has been found that the rejection of terrorism by Sortu, the new political platform of the leftwing abertzale, is simply empty rhetoric for the organisation to be illegalised.

In fact, all of the evidence since the announcement of the formation of Sortu has pointed to its seemingly inevitable legalisation. It was condemned by both the PSOE and the PP, and its webpage suspiciously disappeared from the internet.

El País has helpfully published the statutes of Sortu. A quick glance through reveals that there are repeated rejections of violence and links with ETA, as well as the recognition that democratic participation is the only way forward. What more do the other political parties want? Whether rhetoric or not, there is a definite attempt to at least portray that they distancing themselves from the terrorist organisation.

Sortu has been hysterically accused repeatedly of being the new incarnation of Batasuna, when (as a few commentators have pointed out) this is completely inevitable. Of course there will be links between the two, but what is more important is working out the difference between the two. Wouldn’t it be better to watch Sortu closely and make sure it follows Spanish law? That would help to distance it from ETA and erode the terrorists’ support.

A simple ‘no’ to any political organisation created by the abertzale runs the risk of making the other political groups appear afraid of losing their electorate and therefore potentially acting undemocratically.

Far more important than short-term party interests is how this will affect the future development of politics in the Basque Country and in Spain more widely. Only time will tell if denying all political participation in this way will hasten or impede the end of ETA.

Welcome back!

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It’s been a while (due to working in the Basque Country, moving across the country, studying, etc), enough for some things to change…

  • There is a new speed limit of 110km/h.
  • I have moved to windy Zaragoza to study a Master’s degree.

and others to stay almost exactly the same…

  • Not only has nothing been done about Camps, he’s been confirmed as the PP candidate for Valencia
  • We still have no idea if José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero will be the PSOE’s candidate for the elections next year.
  • Unemployment is rising.
  • The abertzale’s new political platform Sortu has been widely condemned for being a renamed Batasuna (where else was it going to come from?)
  • The PP blame the economic problems on Zapatero and nothing else.
  • More corruption have come to light (and seem to doom the PSOE’s chances of holding onto Andalucía).
  • The PP continues to rumble on about the caso Faisán.
  • Aznar continues to opine on anything and everything, with varying degrees of success and scandal.

I hope to have some new entries on the way shortly.

Welcome back!