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The last Lehendakari : assimulation of the Basque

category international | elections / politics | other press author Wednesday May 06, 2009 21:12author by babycham Report this post to the editors

Yesterday the unionist parties of the Spanish state of both ruling leftwing PSOE and rightwing opposition PP, who have never agreed on anything other than pay-rises, united to elect the leader of the Basque branch of the PSOE as first minister of the Euskadi region for their loyalist commitment to the project the PP saw a young up and coming member (before only noteworthy for her thoughts on condoms [she'd never use one]) appointed speaker of the Basque parliamentary house. The Lehendakari (taoiseach) of the last ten years of the PNV majority centre right nationalist party who have always held the post thus passes into history.

The pact between the PSOE and PP was presented by them as one which will bring "change" to the region. Amongst the changes they chose to include in the formally published lists of agreements was : the planned undermining of the EITB, Basque national tv and news network, the policy of promoting the Basque or Euskera language in education, health and other civil services and of course "security".

The Lehendakari was notable in that he so long championed in his own centre right way the Basque "right to decide" and as such formulated on two ocassions the requisite mechanisms for the Basque people to vote in referenda on their self-determination, which for his majority party would always fall short of outright independence in favour of a fudge of "external association" perhaps familiar to those who studied the route from Griffith to De Valera without dwelling un-neccesarily on greater Hungarian territorial aspirations.

As such the lehendakari wasn't too popular with the left wing parties of Basque seperatism but as long as he as sidelined, and all his proposals were ruled unconstitutional by Madrid, he never really got his chance to bring the place and its people to a stepping stone. But even though his party and the tripartite coalition with which he had entered the last regional elections won the most votes, the hitherto unthinkable mathematics of a "grand coalition" which suited Madrid of left or right - have won what can only really be called the first ministership of the basque region Though it can not be denied that such a result was only possible by through the proscription of the leftwing nationalist and seperatist vote and their voters.

the last lehendakari has announced he will now leave the political life .
links in Basque, Spanish & English

author by babycham - (iosaf attempts insightful comment)publication date Thu May 07, 2009 22:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Today Patxi Lopez took the oath under the Gernika oak tree, or rather the sapling (in oak years) which grows next to the original medieval trunk where the freedoms of the Basques and Biscayans was sworn by whoever had the honour of ruling them according to hereditary privilege. (c/f ) He then instead of giving a speech which is generally with natural response of political leaders to so much formal attention (with the notable exception of the Italian reverse engineered gigolo Mr B) decided to read two poems.

Reading one poem to both a captive immediate as well as live telly audience might have been considered to be in utterly bad taste across the civilised world but somehow Obama's little ditty at his inauguration has provided a template for how these people present change

So like school-children the interested were invited to savour the assonance and lyrical value as well as weigh the symbolic and ephemeral message of one poem in Euskera and another in Castillian.

One can only imagine the call centres filling with migrant workers translating each and every syllable.

Oh yep - there was no music from musician playing the traditional txistu or a kind of fipple flute which is just as central to basque cultural identity as the old trunk of tree and all the little acorns that have fallen off its branches. Ever. Instead the new man had an oboeist play the traditional song (about the oak and it being like thousands of years old and plausibly planted by God) and then the traditional dancer did the alarmingly kickabouty dance meets gymanstics routine to melodies rather than halbard wielding or beret twirling which can only answer to the appelation aurresku for indeed the berets stayed on and not one was seen to be flung to either ground or air.

The oath didn't mention God though which is true spanish socialist style and there was probably enough mentioning of God in the song about the Oak.

The Irish Times even did an editorial. But that wasn't either traditional, because they've never written an editorial about the Biscayan taoiseachs or horticulture, music or dance before.

But it might prove good for tourism.
airports with fever scan technology and trains and a jolly decent metro with poems written up inside to keep the travellers from getting uncultured. In many languages. Immersion like.
English language coverage from EITB the Basque national telly station which is very much going to change under the new "regime"
Irish Times editorial at link

Related Link:
author by iosafpublication date Fri May 08, 2009 22:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Without wanting to be read all Kevin Myers the departure of the home rule party from London's Westminster did terrible things to the style of opposition yonder. But the parliament of Euskadi with its dances, music, batons of authority (I forgot to mention yesterday which look like blackthorn-cudgels-meet-sliothar-very-handy-going-equiped sort of readiness gear [made of oak of course]) and hitherto important basque translation of the holy bible - is not Westminster. Nor was is ever the Dail or Stormont.

the place and its problems really are very different.

here you may read the indymedia archive of all things basque by a range of characters who rarely agreed on much except - the place and its problems really are very different & they don't get sorted in any westminster.

Alec Reid, the wellknown cleric commented dryly in the documentary seen by many "the basque ball" (referring to handball which of course they invented before satanta could lose any hound to antisocial wee langers), very specifically decried the policy of the PP to completely ignore and undermine the PNV of the last lehendakari. Their westminster wouldn't even talk to the kind of people FF and FG wean their bebos from. So I popped him in the illustration holding that manifesto in catalan back from 2007 when all the PP could do was block any attempt at dialogue or reconciliation. Of course they've got the ceann chomhairle now, not that she ever used a condom and will probably abstain in favour of the PSOE on the next abortion clinic funding vote.

c/f Dialogue & Peace "The Process must be"

Oh yep there was actually an article years ago, fadó fadó but only a blink of an eye in acorn terms, when the last Lehendakari got his own article back in 2003 ( I wanted him to be as a household a title as taoiseach )

then there was the election day of 2005
and its counting

& then there were all the pages contributed by lots of people, some articles by me many by others. Of all hues which answer to the search word "Basque".

I can write about this political advent without using the three letters e-t-a. Because I'm sure as much as I wrote about the last lehendakari I also tried to get the message across that the basque thing isn't just about those 3 letters - their presence ------- or -------- their abscence.

axuri hadila osoak janen hai /
hazte cordero y te comerá el lobo /
walk around going baa baa and a big bad wolf will have you for lambkin paella.

quite enough said on the matter of the disenfranchisement of basque nationalism and seperatism for the moment. they're all on the same powerless side now.

Alec Reid could never understand why the auld lehendakari didn't a word in.
Alec Reid could never understand why the auld lehendakari didn't a word in.

19th April 2006 Batasuna & the Lehandakari met. All 4 people faced terrorist charges afterwards.
19th April 2006 Batasuna & the Lehandakari met. All 4 people faced terrorist charges afterwards.

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