Monday, 27 October 2008

Rejection for Basque referendum

"An arrogant disregard for the rights of the Basque people."

The words of Basque lehedakari Juan Jose Ibarretxe on the Spanish Constitutional Court's decision not to allow a non-binding referendum on the future of the Basque Country. Here's the question the Constitutional Court rejected as unconstitutional:

¿Está usted de acuerdo en que los partidos vascos, sin exclusiones, inicien un proceso de negociación para alcanzar un acuerdo democrático sobre el ejercicio del derecho a decidir del Pueblo Vasco, y que dicho acuerdo sea sometido a referéndum antes de que finalice el año 2010?

Do you agree that the Basque parties, without exceptions, start a process of negotiation to reach a democratic agreement about the right to decide of the Basque People, and that the aforementioned agreement will be submitted to referendum before the end of the year 2010?
According to the court, it violated Article 2 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978, which reads:
The Constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards; it recognizes and guarantees the right to self-government of the nationalities and regions of which it is composed and the solidarity among them all.
Now, in its ambiguity, this article is a bit like the right to bear arms in the US. You can argue that "indissoluble unity" means that no region can break away - or attempt to - which is what the Constitutional Court said. Or you can argue that "self-government of the nationalities and regions" is exactly what Ibarretxe was trying to do - allow for self-government of the Basque Country.

Obviously the case is much more complicated that nuances and semantics. The demonstrations occuring on Saturday - the day the referendum was supposed to be held - emphasise this point.

I guess the point - for closer to home - is this: If the Spanish Government/ Constitutional Court do not allow the Basques to hold a referendum asking their people if they think they should have another referendum on independence, then how would the UK Government react to a Scottish Government proposal for a referendum on independence?

I'd suggest probably not that well. Testing times ahead for the SNP? Perhaps...


Post a Comment


Feel free to get in touch with me if you have an issue with something you've read here... or if you simply want to debate some more! You can email me at:

baldy_malc - AT - hotmail - DOT - com

Comment Policy

I'm quite happy - indeed, eager - to engage in debate with others when the topic provides opportunity to do so. I like knowing who I'm debating with and I'm fed up with some abusive anonymous comments so I've disabled those comments for awhile. If you want to comment, log in - it only takes a minute.


Regrettably, this is probably required:
This blog is my own personal opinion (unless otherwise stated) and does not necessarily reflect the views of any other organisation (political or otherwise) that I am a member of or affiliated to.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template The Business Templates by 2008

Back to TOP