THE BASQUE ISSUE
The recent liberation and declaration of independence of Kosovo has indeed brought about a surge in countries that have been voicing their right to secede and gain independence as a separate state. The long awaited approval of the European Union has been received amidst cheers and joyous welcome, from the people of Kosovo.
With the United States and other countries backing the region’s call for independence, the region did receive it finally after a long period of awaiting. This, however, has brought a number of questions and demands out in the open. Many regions that have been facing problems of disparity and other internal conflicts; and have been constantly demanding secession and independence. This victory of Kosovo have spurred them no to become more forceful and focussed no obtaining their demands.
One such region is the Basque region, which lies between France and Spain. The region has been the victim of constant internal strife, owing to the invasions and the constant struggle for recognising their independence and freedom from external interferences. The Basque region comprises the Basque population, who are very historically and culturally bound. In fact, they had been a part of the Roman civilisation and are, therefore, tribes with rich heritage value.
However, as the years passed by, the region came under conflicting situations with Spain. “ The Basques had been some of the fiercest opponents of Franco’s Nationalist troops during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. During Franco’s 40-year rule, he punished the region for its opposition. He declared two provinces ” traitor provinces.” Franco believed in one, unified Spain and opposed any kind of regional diversification.
Franco, like many before him, had found it difficult to suppress this proud nation and the movement for an independent Basque homeland began in the late 1950s. The separatist group, ETA, began its violent campaign 10 years later. While support for an independent homeland remains strong, it is by no means overwhelming. Many Basques are happy with the large degree of autonomy they have been granted by the central government in Madrid.” (BBC NEWS : http://news. bbc. co. uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/548545. stm, Published: 1999/12/06 13: 16: 31 GMT)
On comparing the Basque issue with the Kosovo issue, I think it is not completely justified that the Basque region obtains complete autonomy. This is due to the fact that such a system would spoil the unity of the Spanish world and in fact create differences and give rise to a great number of units breaking away. The cohesive force would be lost and therefore, it would create more harm than good. In addition to this, it has been mentioned above that the Basques are not completely dependent no the freedom and autonomy to stay happy. In other words, they are pretty content with the level of autonomy granted to them, by the Central Government. Therefore, it is not really necessary for the region to attain autonomy.
The repercussions of the autonomy would be bad for the region, since Spain would be demarcated and completely fragmented. It would also egg the other regions on to ask for and fight for autonomy as well. This, very evidently, is quite harmful to the unity and the binding force that exists within the Spanish land.
Thus, in my opinion, degree of autonomy can be increased, but absolute autonomy can harm the interests of Spanish unity and lead to fragmentation and chaos in the region.
© BBC MMVIII, BBC NEWS, Serbia faces crossroads over Kosovo, By James Robbins, Diplomatic correspondent, BBC News
BBC NEWS : http://news. bbc. co. uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/548545. stm, Published: 1999/12/06 13: 16: 31 GMT
THE BASQUE ISSUE