Spanish Courts Ban New Basque Political Party


A new Basque political organisation was banned last week, by Magistrates of the Spanish Supreme Court, from obtaining political party status. The decision provoked a mass demonstration at the weekend.

The organisation – Sortu – is the first political party from the Basque nationalist left to openly reject violence and wants to stand in the forthcoming elections in May 2011. However last Wednesday (24th March 2011) the Spanish Supreme Court ruled against the party by nine votes to seven, which was the first time that a decision of this kind has not been unanimous. However, the Magistrates ruling was that Sortu was just the illegal Batasuna organisation under a different name.

A number of groups and organisations in the Basque Country and internationally have voiced support for the political party, including the majority of Basque trade unions and some political parties. In Brussels, 21 members of the European Parliament signed a document in which they asked the Spanish authorities not to
create any additional barriers to Sortu. On the weekend a mass `silent’ demonstration took place in the Basque city of Bilbao, which involved tens of thousands of people calling for the normalisation of Basque political and civil society.

In January 2011, the Celtic League expressed its support for the right of left wing nationalist to form a new Basque political party (see link).

This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

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