RealNews

Spain's Basques demonstrate against autonomy plan

As many as 100,000 people demonstrated in Spain’s restless Basque country against plans by their moderate leader for limited sovereignty in “free association” with Madrid, accusing him of leaning too far towards autonomy. Prominent figures from the world of politics, the arts and letters headed the massive rally here against what they consider a solution offered by Basque governor Juan Jose Ibarretxe that might even lead to greater violence. In September Ibarretxe, a moderate, anti-violence nationalist who heads the Basque regional government, outlined a blueprint under which sovereignty would be shared in a “free association” between the Basque region and the Spanish state, allowing the Basques to set their own rules for internal government. But Saturday’s demonstrators, anxious to restore peace to the region, feared the plan might only cause further problems. Full Story

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