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The Varsavsky Foundation
Avenida Bruselas 7, Planta 3
28100 Alcobendas
Madrid, Spain

The political blog of a social entrepreneur

The Basques Seen from the Outside

The Spanish papers dedicate several pages everyday to the Basque Country debate. The Spanish people are obsessed by the situation in the Basque Country, in part because of terrorism. However, I found out that every year in Spain more people die in car accidents than have died in the entire history of ETA, yet, I don’t see as much ink spilled to cover that story.

Sometimes I wonder if the Basques have realized that their problem is going to disappear over the course of the next 50 years. Why? Because the Basques are going to disappear! It’s as easy as that. The Basques are going to disappear because just like the rest of Spain, people in the Basque Country barely have any children.

And as they constitute their region, community, country, nation, state, or however they want to call themselves – while prosperous – their salvation will come in the form of immigration. Of course, there’s a catch, and that’s the fact that the mainly Latin American immigrants, like myself, or the Arabs, the other big source of immigrants in this country, are not going to put too much thought into the Spanish/Basque debate.

We don’t have a history of being involved in this hate (luckily!). I look at someone from the Basque Country and I see a person…. I look at someone from Madrid and I see a person. And I suppose that the Moroccans, Ecuadorians or Peruvians who are going to populate this country/territory/region/community or whatever, are going to think the same way as I do. And the problem will fade away into the past, as the Basque problem won’t be the problem of these new immigrants, who are probably more worried about how to get ahead in the new Europe.

And paradoxically, the most nationalist/racist/mono-culturist Basques, will miss nostalgically the Spaniards of yesteryear, because those that they used to hate will now seem much more familiar than the new inhabitants of their country/region/community/village, that are now building mosques in Bilbao.

Posted on November 8, 2010