Basque Country (autonomous community)

The Basque Country (Basque Euskal Herria or Euskadi, Spanish País Vasco, full name bask Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa, Spanish Comunidad Autónoma del País Vasco. ) Is since 1979 an autonomous community in Spain, consisting of the three provinces of Gipuzkoa (Spanish Guipúzcoa), Bizkaia ( Basque Bizkaia, Spanish Vizcaya) and Alava (Basque Araba ) is.

The Basque Country is not identical to the Basque Country in the cultural sense of the decision to the Community addition also includes the French Basque country and, depending on the particularly within its northwestern Basque embossed Spanish Autonomous Community of Navarre, whose membership is controversial, and is depending on political preferences completely, partially or not at all attributed to the Basque country.



The Autonomous Community of the Basque Country in its present borders there since 1979. Was one of the three parts of the country, which had already possessed under the Spanish Republic autonomy, she was one of the first regions re- autonomous status, which was adopted by popular vote. The Autonomy Statute in its current form, however, supported only by a part of the political forces in the Basque country. Controversial, both the degree of autonomy or affiliation with the Spanish State in general and the territorial boundaries of the autonomous region. The province of Navarre, together with the provinces of Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa and Araba an autonomous community had claimed the Spanish Constitution may form, was not involved in the referendum on the Statute of Autonomy, but at the instigation of there trendsetting political forces without a popular vote on a stand-alone autonomous community levied.

The autonomy of the Basque Country is not only based on the provisions of the Spanish Constitution of 1978 on the possible establishment of autonomous communities, but also to the historical rights of the foral enacting territories that were explicitly recognized by the Spanish Constitution. This provision is based on full financial autonomy of the provinces of Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Araba and Navarre or formed from the first three provinces today's Autonomous Community, which was never set with the exception of the time of the Franco dictatorship disabled. Accordingly pull these provinces or autonomous communities, the taxes on the area it and run only a fixed sum by a bilateral agreement on the Spanish central government from.

Despite the Statute of Autonomy is an active independence movement in the Basque Autonomous Community. Several Basque parties (such as the now banned Herri Batasuna ) and the terrorist group ETA stand for the independence of a united Basque Country, including Navarre and the Basque historical territories in France.

Since 1979, the Eusko Alderdi Jeltzalea - Partido Nacionalista Vasco ( Basque Nationalist Party ) is the strongest party seeking an extension of the autonomy rights. In the parliament of Spain's Basque country, the Basque- nationalist parties had held a majority to ban the left nationalist parties, but are themselves not always agree, so that they always form coalitions with total Spanish parties.

In the headlines of the media in Western Europe, the Basque Country comes mainly in connection with ETA attacks. In the Basque media activities Basque- nationalist or the ETA of related groups often referred to as " fight against Spanish oppression."

Over the past 15 years, various parties and organizations have repeatedly presents approaches to solving the conflict in the Basque provinces. Many talks were inconclusive. The Spanish Government insists - in the view of critics - to maximum positions, such as the controversial detention conditions for ETA members. This prison conditions and five-day ban on contact under the Anti - Terror Law on the one hand, the violence of ETA on the other hand are regularly assessed negatively in the annual reports of Amnesty International.

  • Basque Country
  • Navarre
  • French Basque Country

Surveys among the population of the Basque country show that the vast majority of the population wants a peaceful resolution of the conflict, but is not satisfied with the level of autonomy. 37 agreed in the Statute of Autonomy competencies have been anyway not transferred to the Basque Government.

The political debate in 2003, in the Spanish Basque country was dominated by the desire of the government of Juan José Ibarretxe to replace the currently applicable statute of autonomy of 22 December 1979 a new statute. The parties of the Basque Nationalist Party ( PNV ), Basque Solidarity ( EA) and United Left ( IU - EB ) formed government has presented this, on 25 October 2003 a proposal for a new Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country, the so-called plan Ibarretxe.

This plan provides extensive rights of self-determination for the Basque Country (including his own deputy in the European Parliament, its own representatives in international organizations ) before and a free association with Spain. According to the Government presents a constructive approach for the political and armed conflict, the plan dar. critics of the so-called Ibarretexe plan, including the People's Party ( PP) and the Socialists ( PSOE) accuse the government of the Spanish Basque country, with the suggestion that to want to achieve independence. The plan is contrary to the Spanish Constitution and divide the country. In December 2004, the proposal was referred to the new Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Parliament with 39 votes to 35 at the Spanish Congress of Deputies. There, but this was expected to be rejected by 313 votes to 29 in January 2005, without any reference was made only to the competent Commission to negotiate.

In regional elections on 17 April 2005 at the Basque country, the ruling PNV of Prime Minister ( lehendakari ) Ibarretxe lost four seats, but remained the strongest party. The result was interpreted as a rejection of the independence plan of Ibarretxe, however, went in the elections the nationalist block out rather strengthened. Because of the criticism of the plan Ibarretxe PSE -EE, the Basque regional party the PSOE was not ready to form a coalition with the PNV. Ibarretxe led a minority government with Basque Solidarity ( EA) and United Left (EB- IU ), which was tolerated by PCTV EHAK.

On 27 June 2008 the Basque Parliament, a referendum on the future of the region decided October 25, 2008 to perform to take with the aim of a political negotiation process, which could potentially lead to a final 2010 referendum on self-determination for the Basque people. On the judicial review of the central government, the Constitutional Court declared on 11 September 2008, the Basque law on the referendum unconstitutional and void.

In regional elections from 1 March 2009 to which candidates of the radical nationalist left ( izquierda Abertzale ) were not approved, the PNV was again strongest force with 30 seats. However, became the Prime Minister Patxi Lopez (PSE -EE, 25 seats) elected, whose government of the PP ( 13 seats ) was tolerated. Thus, since 1979, the Basque nationalists lost the first time the government responsibility.

In spring 2012, the government of Patxi López lost the support of the PP, followed eventually snap election for October 21, 2012 have been scheduled. For these elections, the PNV went with 27 seats again emerged as the strongest force. The left- nationalist community candidacy EH BILDU ( Aralar, EA, Alternatiba ), which was also supported by Sortu (which is under construction and after a ruling of the Constitutional Court of the newly registered party izquierda Abertzale ), was the second largest with 21 seats force. The PSE -EE fell from 25 to 16 seats and the PP from 13 to 10 seats from. The Basque nationalist parties ( PNV and EH BILDU ) won in this election so that 60 % of the vote and 48 of 75 seats in the regional parliament.


The Autonomous Community of the Basque Country consists of three provinces (also called Historical Territories / Historical territories referred to ), which each have extensive self-government rights. The provinces are in turn divided into municipalities.


The biggest cities of the Basque Country are (population figures for 2011 ):


The Basque Country is one of the wealthiest regions in Spain. Expressed in comparison with the EU GDP in purchasing power standards, the region reached an index of 136 (EU -27: 100 ) (2006 ). The unemployment rate was on 30 April 2010 at 10.91 percent. Nevertheless, provided the " per capita " GDP of the same year in the Basque Country with 30,703 EUR per inhabitant a peak among the autonomous communities dar.