100000 people form human chain to call for Basque independence vote

11 June, 2018, 01:30 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Activists in San Sebastián northern Spain for a human chain to demand the right to decide on Basque independence on Sunday

While most from the Basque Country, which already has a high level of self-determination and, like Catalonia, has its own language and culture, do not support independence, many believe the population should be given the right to vote.

Tens of thousands of Spaniards from the northern Basque Country have formed a line that stretched over 200 kilometers (124 miles) to demand a ballot on secession for the wealthy region.

The chain extended 201.9km from San Sebastian (also known as Donostia) to Victoria-Garteiz - the capital of the Basque autonomous community.

It was organised by the Guru Esku Dago (In Our Own Hands) group as a peaceful call to the Spanish government to allow a vote on independence.

TRT World's Philip Owira reports.

Basque Nationalist Party's senior officials Andoni Ortuzar and Itxaso Atutxa and Bilbao Mayor Juan Mari Aburto take part in the human chain in Bilbao northern Spain
Spain's Basques form 200km human chain calling for independence vote

Several pro-independence political groups and unions backed the initiative and figures from the local ruling Basque National Party joined the event.

This demonstration "proves that we are facing active and lively people who want to make decisions in a democratic way", said Basque regional parliament president, Bakartxo Tejeria.

Last month, the separatist group Eta, which had been fighting for Basque independence, formally announced it was disbanding, nearly exactly 50 years after claiming its first victim.

Last year, a banned referendum on Catalonia's separation from Spain and consequent unilateral declaration of independence by the regional government prompted Madrid to impose direct rule over the region.


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