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Declare independence

Luistxo Fernandez 2008/03/12 12:35

Zapatero got a second term in last sunday's Spanish general election. Results are quite indifferent to me now. Just three days before the polls, ETA killed Isaias Carrasco, a modest Basque worker who had been a councilman for PSOE, Zapatero's party, a few years ago. It's been a senseless crime. Made in our name, in the name of Basque freedom. Please, do not save me, you brave patriots.

And yet, I think we deserve a better future. An independent future.

Last year, in Björk's latest concert in the Basque Country, she chose one particular song to close the show: Declare Independence. Was it a political wink to the local audience? I'm not sure yet. But now I know that Björk does use the song with clear political intentions, at least in other countries.

This report states that in Japan recently, she dedicated the song to Kosovo. And in Shanghai, she cried Tibet, Tibet, after singing it, which will bring her problems if she plans to act again in China.

Besides, it seems that the song itself was written with Greenland and the Faroe Islands in mind, still attached to Denmark: as Iceland was until the 20th century. Formal independence was granted in 1918. Full independence (no further roles for the Danish royals there), with the transformation of Iceland into a republic, happened in 1944.

The song's lyrics say: "Don't let them do that to you. Raise your flag!" There's an interesting point there. Spain has refused to recognize Kosovo's independence in the basis that it is an "unilateral" declaration. Stupid argument, warmly received by Serb hardliners in Belgrad. Of course, Moratinos, the spanish foreign affair minister, is afraid that others may follow up. But, are there any other ways to declare independence? Not letting others decide by you. That's independence.

Recently, one of the prosecuted in the Egunkaria case was asked in an interview: How should Basque authorities and political parties protect you from the Inquisitiorial trial that you are going to face in Madrid? They should do as in Kosovo, declare independence. I think he's completely right.

We should, as well, declare our indepedence of mind from ETA. If we are to survive.

Carsten Agger
Carsten Agger dio:
2008/04/16 11:41

OK, thanks. I read your blog about Egunkaria - really excellent work, which I'd rather hadn't been necessary; if these 12 end up being condemned and jailed with no evidence whatsoever, it will set a really disastrous precedent :-(

best wishes, Carsten

Carsten Agger
Carsten Agger dio:
2008/04/06 23:04

I agree that declaring Basque independence would be a great idea - if supported by a clear majority in the Basque Country and the Basque government as well, it should work out fine (will probably take some years, tho).

It would only solve part of the problem, though - people in Spain would still be stuck with stupid laws which allow media to be closed down and give far too great powers to judges in the Audiencia Nacional, and they'd still have the right-wing nutjobs in PP to take care of.

And I suppose the authorities in an independent Basque Country would still have ETA to deal with - in some form or another.

Regarding Greenland and the Faroe Islands, I don't know: Greenland has special problems due to its immense size and very small population (50,000 people) and would be hard pressed to function as a country without support from Denmark, and up to the fifties, I believe actually up to they achieved self-government in the seventies, the native population was under a very harsh and patronizing colonial policy overseen by Danish civil servants.

The Faroe islands are very isolated from Denmark, and I believe most people here don't really know a lot about them, and vice versa. If they wanted independence I don't imagine people here would oppose the idea, I suspect they wouldn't even care. For the time being, I believe Denmark and the Faroe Islands stick together because both parties have something to gain in the exchange - whereas I believe Greenland will and should get its independence sooner or later.

Deviating off-topic, I'd like to ask something else, though, possibly off-topic for this post: Is there a real possibility that the accused in the Egunkaria case might actually be convicted?

I mean: The public prosecutor has dropped the case becasue of lack of evidence, and the only people pressing the charges are the AVT (and I don't even understand what standing they have to do so, but that's a question of the Spanish legal system - in Denmark, only the public prosecutor can press criminal charges; interested parties may only sue each other in civil cases, where the penal system is never involved), and del Olmo himself seems to recognize there's no evidence?

Could they be convicted simply "as charged", without evidence? But then, the verdict would surely be appealed? And anyway, such a conviction would be a complete outrage and might likely turn out to be very embarassing for Spain; however, the closure of Egunkaria without evidence is already a complete outrage, and nobody really seems to have noticed outside of the Basque Country and Catalonia :-(

How do you see the prospects, Luistxo or other readers closer to the matter hanging around?

Luistxo dio:
2008/04/14 11:28

Prospects are dark. Judge Del Olmo has not dismissed the charges: the prosecutor sees no case, but Del Olmo is the force behind the case, pushing for trial, for reasons that I believed tied to his role in the March 11th 2003 Madrid jihadist bombings of trains. His absolute failure in preemptive counter-terrorism as demonstrated by the 190 deaths in the trains has to be compensated with the jailing of the Egunkaria 12. It's difficult for me to explain it all in English. I'm trying to do so with a blog about Egunkaria in Spanish but I cannot reach much further.

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