Contenido en inglés

The purpose of this brief publication is to offer concise, simple and highquality information to people observing from abroad and who have a hard time understanding the paradoxical and complex reality of Basque politics.


The purpose of this brief publication is to offer concise, simple and highquality information to people observing from abroad and who have a hard time understanding the paradoxical and complex reality of Basque politics.

That the maximum authority of a region in one of the oldest nations in Europe makes a case for the right to self-determination with a view to secession is very hard to understand. That, at the same time, both he and his collaborators cast doubts on the impartiality of the justice system, criticise, together with terrorist violence, the force that has to be legally wielded to combat it, and consider that any idea, as aberrant as it may be, has the right to be constituted in a legal party, must also lead to confusion, since it represents a part of the State which discredits itself. Consequently, it is understandable that the well-meaning foreigner is immediately tempted to think that, from the perspective of democracy, things have not changed enough in Spain since Franco’s death, that Spanish democracy, relating it to all the black legends and romantic visions, does not exist, and to take as true that a small but indomitable people, defending their ancient liberties, are combating a cruel oppressor – straight out of a screenplay from the golden years of Hollywood.

Following the title of a book by our unforgettable companion Mario Onaindia, we have looked to create a “guide to the Basque labyrinth”, with the collaboration of top university specialists in different areas. Those same specialists which Basque nationalists systematically question or combat through their propaganda and through the significant, although sometimes subtle, social coercion of the so-called moderate nationalists. And through bombs and gunshots to the back of the head by terrorist nationalists. Those specialists wanted to contribute their arguments in the task of dismantling the defamation of the Basque reality, so widespread in certain sectors abroad and also within Spain, since one of the main disseminators, the Basque government, should in principle be a credible source.

In addition to the nine articles by specialists in Basque issues, we have included an annex containing extensive references to reports on the situation in the Basque Country prepared by the Commissioner for Human Rights for the Council of Europe. And to provide a more vital and up-close vision, we have included the conference given at Stanford University in early April by Joseba Arregui, spokesman for the Basque government prior to the pact between institutional nationalism and violent nationalism in 1999, the so-called Pact of Estella.

Fundación para La Libertad con only express its gratitude to all who have participated in this document for their collaboration and for the immense efforts made to condense in six pages the sixty that normally would have been used to explain the situation. We hope that the desired objective has been achieved.

Bilbao, 1st May 2008

The complete dossier (2,5 MB)


1. The autonomy of the Basque Country. Singularities. The autonomous tax system. The basque tax contribution The agreement State government-basque authorities. By Javier Corcuera.

2. The nationalist canon. Argumentation of the basque conflict. By José María Ruíz Soroa.

3. The Basque Country, a plural society. By Francisco Llera.

4. The economic situation in the Basque Country. A powerful financial tool: the economic agreement State Government- basque authorities. By José Ignacio Martínez Churiaque.

5. The fundamental points of the ‘Plan Ibarretxe’: The right to self-determination and the example of Quebec. By Alberto López Basaguren.

6. ETA, a terrorist organisation within a democratic society. By Florencio Domínguez.

7. The closing of the newspaper EGIN, the “fourth front” of the terrorist organisation ETA. By Javier Tajadura.

8. All ideologies and political projects are not legitimate. Political parties that feed off or use terrorism to achieve political goals. By Carlos Fernández de Casadevante.


1. Report by Alvaro Gil-Robles, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, issued after his visit to Spain and the Basque Country in february 2001.

2. The human rights situation in the Basque Country. Chapter IX of the report by Alvaro Gil-Robles on his visit to Spain in march 2005.

3. An alternative vision of the Basque Society. Conference pronounced by Joseba Arregi at Stanford University the 3rd april 2008.