Monday, February 18, 2008

An Independent Kosovo

The Basque news outlet EITb has published the Basque Autonomous Community's government reaction to Kosovo's independence:



Basque Government: "Kosovo, the example of how to solve problems"


Executive in Gasteiz has underlined that Kosovo’s independence means "a new example in Europe in which problems can be solved through democracy and dialogue, respecting citizens' wish".

Basque Government Spokeswoman, Miren Azkarate, has declared today that Kosovo’s independence, which will be proclaimed in “a few hours”, means a "lesson of how to solve identity and belonging conflicts in a peaceful and democratic way".

In her opinion, "XXI century is identity and nations century, the century of respecting citizens’ wish", and in this context, self-determination right is "the key" to give a "definitive" solution to Basque political conflict.

Azkarate has stated that Kosovo’s independence means "a new example in Europe in which problems can be solved through democracy and dialogue, respecting citizens’ wish".

Moreover, she has emphasized that "mainly all European States, except for Serbia, Russia and Spain", are in favor of Kosovo’s independence", which "is not the first, but a new example and way to solve problems".

"That problem is also in Belgium, Scotland Basque Country and Catalonia", she has added.

And here you have some more international press coverage of the issue that for good or for bad mention the Basque Country.

Javno from Croatia:

Kosovo Starts a Wave of Separatism

The Spanish Basque region, Southern Ossetia, Abkhazia and other regions, will follow Kovo’s example and ask for independence.


The declaration of Kosovo’s independence will strengthen separatist intentions in many regions in Europe and the world, backed by Kosovo’s example, Blic reports.

Spannish Basques to follow Kosovo’s example

The regional authorities of the Spanish Basque area have estimated that Kosovo’s secession from Serbia is an example to imitate. Spain stated that they will not recognise independent Kosovo, which is logical, as the country has similar problems with the Basque region and Catalonia, who have been fighting for independence. Also today, Spain repeated that they will not back a unilateral declaration of independence.

- The declaration of independence is an example to imitate in when it is about solving a problem of identity and belonging in a democratic and a peaceful way – said the spokeswoman of the Basque authorities, Miren Askarate, during a press conference in San Sebastian. The Basque region is ruled by the Basque National Party, a Christian-democratic national party.

Let us remember that Croatia got its independence from Serbia not too long ago.

Here you have the one from the Independent in England:

A flag, but no UN seat for a country still lacking full sovereignty

By Anne Penketh, Diplomatic Editor
Monday, 18 February 2008

The second bone of contention preventing all 27 EU states from recognising Kosovo is the unilateral border change, which could serve as a precedent in other "frozen conflicts", as Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, has pointed out.

He has accused Europe of double standards for backing Kosovo's independence but not supporting independence for the Basque country and for Turkish northern Cyprus. But advocates of Kosovo's independence argue that the UN-administered Serbian province was always a special case, and that comparisons with other separatist conflicts are not valid.

How cute of those independence advocates to discriminate against other nations longing for self rule, as they say, money talks.

And here you have one more from England, the Times:

Europe's Newest Nation

An independent Kosovo faces challenges at home and abroad

European Union foreign ministers meet today to give broad endorsement to the plan for “supervised” independence drawn up by the EU's special envoy, Martti Ahtisaari. In concert with Washington, Britain, Germany, Italy and France are to recognise Kosovo and authorise the deployment of a 2,000-strong EU police and judicial team intended to underpin the 120-day transition to full independence, after which Kosovo will adopt a new constitution. Several EU members, however, will not follow suit. These include Spain, which fears that the breakaway state will set a precedent for the Basque country. Kosovo's immediate neighbours also have doubts: Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus share with Serbia an Orthodox heritage and are wary of emboldening their own secessionist fringes. Indeed, Cyprus, which voted for a new President yesterday, is unlikely ever to recognise Kosovo, fearing that this will entrench its own division.

Throughout all these years I've heard people stating with righteous solemnity that the Basque Country shall not achieve independence until the Basques renounce violence. Well, every single article about Kosovo mentions in one way or the other that there is a clear and present danger for the Serbian inhabitants of the brand new country, not to sound like Vladimir Putin but, talk about double standard. And they don't even mention what could happen to the other ethnic minorities.

By the way, stay tuned, the UCK will soon strike in Macedonia's "ethnic Albanian" region of Ohrid, unleashing an spiral of violence yet again. Greater Albania, here we come.

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