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Why do the Basques need help?

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swy66666 | eNoter

Posted April 20, 2013 at 6:23 PM via web

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Why do the Basques need help?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 20, 2013 at 6:44 PM (Answer #1)

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It is not clear that everyone would agree that the Basques need help.  If they do, however, it is because of the fact that they lack their own nation state.

The Basques are a unique ethnic group within Europe.   They have lived in the Pyrenees Mountains for a very long time.  In fact, they have been there so long that their language is not related to any other European language.  The Basque language is not an Indo-European language.  It is the only surviving language in Western Europe that is not.

The Basques are a unique ethnic group, but they lack their own state.  Part of their ancestral homeland is in France and the other part is in Spain.  The Basques have been pushing for more autonomy or for independence for a long time, particularly in Spain.  They have, at times, been severely repressed.  They have also engaged in terrorism to try to get the Spanish government to grant them independence.

To the degree that they need help, it is to get themselves more autonomy.  As a unique ethnic group, they arguably deserve to have a state.  If they cannot have a state, they ought to (arguably) at least have a truly autonomous region that they can govern.  They need help, then, to persuade the French and Spanish governments to grant them such regions.

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