This article was translated by John R. Bopp
Ever since Sabino Arana started publishing the first newspapers at the end of the 19th century that defended the idea that the Basques had the right to recoup their freedom and constitute a State of their own, these media outlets have suffered constant attacks at the hands of governments, their local representatives, judges, district attorneys, etc. Why? To spread the idea that “there’s no such thing as a Basque nation” and that the territory “belongs” to Spain and France.
This is a constant on both sides of the Pyrenees, regardless of the color or ideology, whether it’s a democracy, republic, monarchy, or dictatorship. The element that ties all these types of government together, at least as far as the Basques are concerned, is just how bothered they are that the idea of the nation-state they’re based on is questioned.
Brazilian journalist and researcher Raphael Tsavkko Garcia, about whom we’ve already spoken, has written a lucid analysis for The Globe Post of this last episode of persecutorial fever, the consequences of which are still being felt daily by those who don’t comfortably fit in with the principles that hold up, in this case, Spain.
The “preventive” closure of Egunkaria and Egin, or the application of preventive custody of editors and journalists has had an outcome of…nothing. No guilty verdicts, no proof that “it’s all the ETA,” nor anything of the like.
But this outcome, with no apologies or reparations, is having other disastrous consequences. The State that arbitrarily closed a newspaper, Egin, is making another newspaper, Gara, have to take on debts that arose as a consequence of that arbitrary decision to close the newspaper. To do so, they based their argument on a “legal concept” (please note sarcasm) that ought to at least be qualified as “imaginative”: “ideological succession”.
Really, nothing new under the sun.
Global Post – 8/5/2019 – USA
Newspaper Gara Victim of Spain’s Ideological Persecution of Basque Independence Movement
After 20 years of uninterrupted circulation, the Basque daily Gara faces its biggest challenge yet: overcoming political and judicial persecution imposed through the collection of an “ideological” debt. The story begins in 1998, about half a year before Gara’s foundation, when Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon closed the Basque radical left-leaning daily Egin on charges of belonging to and being controlled by the terrorist group ETA.