go to top

Basque Nationalism at a Political Crossroads

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Political conflict in the Basque Country has entered a new phase. In the past year, a reshuffling of political power in Spain has brought left-wing Basque nationalists to office in some major Basque cities and at the provincial level in Gipuzkoa, while ensconcing their ideological opponents, the conservative Popular Party (PP), in government at the national level in Madrid. Meanwhile, the announcement by the separatist extremist organization ETA in October that it was laying down its arms has raised hopes for an end to decades of secessionist violence.

But tough challenges have yet to be resolved. As long as opposing factions remain entrenched in past antagonisms, the Basque Country will remain stuck at a crossroads. The main political parties must come to grips with thorny outstanding issues and reach a settlement, or else continue a standoff with all the attendant risks of institutional paralysis, social and economic stagnation and, at worst, a possible return to the terrorism that has poisoned life for inhabitants of the region and other parts of Spain and France for more than 50 years. ...

Want to Read the Rest?
Login or Subscribe Today.
Get unlimited access to must-read news, analysis and opinion from top experts. Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 9,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.

YES, I want to subscribe now.