• August 11, 2017

The more recognisable direct-action groups such as the Basque group ETA may have ‘hung up their guns’ but in both the Basque country and Catalonia new groups of radical left-wing groups are emerging and challenging the status quo.

The older nationalist protest groups targeted the centralised Spanish State however the new groupings are more nuanced in their opposition which includes opposition to mass tourism.

This report from the BBC sites attacks in both the Basque country and Catalonia on tourists and tourism and indeed in San Sebastien on 17th of August a major demonstration is planned:


The new protests have resonance with earlier attacks principally by the now disbanded ETA on the coastal resorts used for mass tourism Those however were an expression of opposition to and an attempt to damage the Spanish Economy. The new wave of opposition in contrast is motivated by the social detriment that exploitative tourism can cause.

This should not be considered an isolated phenomenon the ‘second – or holiday – homes issue was a cause celebre in Wales decades ago. More recently in Ireland there have been concerns about homelessness being exacerbated in Galway and Dublin because of the seasonal pressures of tourism.

What is interesting about the Basque/Catalan scenario is that it is radicalised youth that are making the running with traditional parties of opposition caught off-foot.

In the Celtic countries youth driven movements have also emerged in recent years but these have tended to focus on issue specific matters such as the language. However, who knows the events in Barcelona and as in the Basque country could be a harbinger of a more radicalised social movement by youth not prepared to accept the status quo

pp Celtic League



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