Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Pact Against the Pro-Independence Left

Just yesterday the president of the Basque province of Nafarroa, Miguel Sanz, announced a new political pact with the Navarre Socialist Party (the PSN, a satellite of Spain's ruling party) that, at first glance, constitutes flagrant evidence that is nothing more that a call to act against the Basque pro-independence left in every single possible way, including the displays of solidarity towards the Basque activist suffering political persecution. Trying to emulate the "change" enforced by Francisco Javier López in the Basque Autonomous Community, the pact includes threats against the political parties that fail to show open support for the State's armed and police forces.

All what Sanz needed to do was to seat down and wait for the Socialist government in Gasteiz to set the pace against the pro-independence left, yesterday was the day for him to announce that his government would promote along with the PSN "a great political and social pact in favor of freedom, coexistence and democracy" with the specific goal of "reducing any room available to impunity" in the public sphere. Regarding "impunity", Sanz referred to the pro-independence left being in charge of kick starting the festivities in Berriozar.

Despite the fact that during their meeting at the beginning of summer both Miguel Sanz and Francisco Javier López insisted about the differentiated identity of Nafarroa as opposed to the Basque Autonomous Community, when it comes to the pro-independence left this difference gets blurry. The PSOE, presiding the government in Gasteiz and maintaining the one in Nafarroa propped up, is in fact calling the shots regarding the line of action for Hegoalde.

Sanz spoke about the pact with the pSN during a press conference, just after celebrating the firs session of the Navarrese executive. He pointed out the the core issues of the pact have been adressed through the dialogue between himself and representatives of the PSN. "This is about reducing the room to impunity in the institutional sphere, during festive and cultural acts, in public spaces and such that the terrorists use to expand the criminal activities and berate both their victims and the government officials democratically elected". He then went on to criticize the opening ceremony in the Berriozar festivities because the person in charge of hosting the event is a pro-independence mayor (displaying his selective memory, Sanz forgot to mention that he was too democratically elected), and that during the txupin (a firework that is launched to signal the start of the festivities) a banner in support of bringing home the Basque political prisoners was prominently displayed.

In the political sphere, the pact will be enforced by avoiding to reach institutional agreements with "outlawed" political formations and with political parties "that refuse to firmly denounce ETA's violence or fail to support the institutions that conform the State, like the military and police forces. In doing so, Sanz directed a warning against Nafarroa Bai after the verbal brawl carried out in Iruñea in the aftermath of the attacks in Mallorca and Burgos when Aralar criticized the partisan nature of the "condemnations". Soon after Nafarroa Bai accused the ultra-conservative (the UPN is a satellite party of Spain's PP) government of using the announcement of "a pact that is a throwback to fascism in order to create a smoke curtain around the failed economic policies". The spokes person for NaBai, Maiorga Ramírez, disqualified the pact because its goal is to exclude "anyone that those not share the UPN's postulates", stating that in his opinion, "an authentic pact regarding coexistence and democracy must first acknowledge, respect and advance an stage that provides freedom of expression that ensures the development of plurality within Nafarroa". Ramíres also criticized the PSN due to the fact that with this new proposal "once again it surrenders to the postulates of the extreme right that consider that those who do not comply with their ideals must be excluded from the political sphere".

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