We’ve recently come across a magnificent promotional video that first brought a smile to our face, but then got us worrying.

In order to explain ourselves with clarity, let us tell you a short, fictitious (but quite plausible) anecdote:

We’re imagining the CEO of an important company from anywhere in the world who’s received an invitation to attend a presentation on the advantages there are in investing in The Basque Country.  Curious, he decides to attend the meeting, and there he’s told about the strategic location, good infrastructure, industrial parks, as well as Basque culture, their hardworking nature, their seriousness, etc; everything a Basque would tell in order to attract investors.  The presentation would convince any CEO.

The next morning, he gets together with one of his vice presidents and tells him about being at the presentation on The Basque Country and how he’d found it very interesting.  His coworker looks at him curiously and and says that he was there too, and is quite surprised they didn’t run into each other.  So they start talking about the advantages this small country by the Pyrenees has.  And as they’re comparing notes on culture, traditions, cuisine, everything’s fine.  But when they start talking about specific locations, actual industrial parks, pertinent services, they realize they’re talking about two different countries.  Or so it would seem.

What happened to our protagonists?  Well, it’s quite simple: one went to a presentation given by the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community, and the other to one given by the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce.  Both, however, we’re presenting The Basque Country.

One side under the umbrella of “I Need Spain”, while others are looking towards France.  Meanwhile, both are ignoring the obvious: that they make up part of the same reality.  And both sides are losing the opportunity to join forces, pool resources, share their history, traditions, and prestige, not to mention using the umbrella of Euroregions, which are being heavily promoted by EU authorities to strengthen the collaborative ties that are both natural and necessary.

The consequence for our CEOs is that they reach the logical conclusion that since they can’t trust two offers that are fighting for the same brand name, they’ll have to look elsewhere to spend their investment dollars.  And in this case, the Chartered Community of Navarre hadn’t even entered the fray.

As we’ve said before, there’s no doubt that we’re the Center of the World.  The only problem is that the World hasn’t realized it yet.  But how the hell are the going to, if we’re not capable of realizing ourselves that the center of the world is the whole of the Basque Country, not just the part we live in.

If the next Basque Government would like to pay attention to us, this would be one of our proposals: to work on offering one single product in terms of economic development, tourism, gastronomy, culture, everything, alongside all Basques (it’s kind of hard with the current government, given that “I need Spain” is their slogan).  Perhaps it would be better to use “unified”, since right now we’re content with presenting ourselves separately, and accepting the divisions we have to live with as inevitable.

We’ll leave you with the website where we learned about the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce’s campaign, the investment campaign website, and the video talking about how we are the Center of the World.  They talk about just the Northern Basque Country, but the Center of the World, as it has for thousands of years, is on both sides of the Pyrenees.

By the way, the protagonist of the campaign is a fictional character named Iker Lamina, and he even has a Facebook profile.  Plus, they’ve had a contest to see who could scream the loudest irrintzi.  This is all part of the image campaign, as is explained here.

One last thing.  Except for the word “irritzi”, there is absolutely no presence of the Basque Language anywhere in the documentation.  Curious.

TIPI le blog – 25/6/2012 – France

Le Pays Basque est au Centre du Monde

Voilà la conclusion fracassante de la dernière expérience scientifique menée par le professeur Iker Lamina ! Et si tous les habitants du Pays Basque criaient ensemble. Iker a voulu reproduire l’expérience chinoise en faisant crier au même moment et au même endroit tous les habitants du Pays Basque, histoire qu’ils réalisent le plus grand Cri du Monde (validé par le Guiness).

(Follow) (Automatic translation)


Invest Basque Country – 6/2012 – Euskadi

Succesfully setting up business in the Basque Country

A single contact to help you : The Investor Relations department at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bayonne, Basque Country

(Follow) (Automatic translation)


Bienvenue au Centre Du Monde [French Audio, English Subtitles]


Last Updated on Oct 15, 2023 by About Basque Country

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