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Andoni Ortuzar calls upon opposition parties to reconsider their approach, and asks Rajoy and ETA to listen to the Basque people

During the celebrations in honour of the festivity of St. Ignatius, the chairman of the central committee (EBB) of the Basque National Party, Andoni Ortuzar, has confirmed the current upturn in the economy thanks to “a government that is doing its bit”, while the opposition parties are “only trying to upset the applecart”.

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At the event marking the 119th anniversary of the founding of the Basque National Party (EAJ-PNV) as a political organisation, and the 120th anniversary of the creation of the Basque flag, the ikurriña, by the Arana y Goiri brothers, the nationalist leader has stressed that “we are finally beginning to talk about the economy in positive terms. We are nearing the end of the tunnel. And I should like to emphasise precisely that: we are nearer, but we have yet to come out into the light. So we need to keep working. To keep doing things right. To keep to the course mapped out by our first minister, Lehendakari Urkullu, and his government. Because the recovery will not happen by itself. There’s a plan involved, there’s a strategy, and there’s work to be done, a great deal of work. There’s ability. There’s a sense of responsibility. Lehendakari, sailburus, eskerrik asko!!! To our leaders, thank you all!!! Thank you for your ideas. Thank you for your endeavour and your commitment. We have a government that is fit for purpose. And that is something we could not say a few years back. Today we can.”

In addition, the chairman of the central committee has called upon the opposition to reconsider and act responsibly at a time he has referred to as “crucial”. “We have a Lehendakari and a cabinet that are doing their duty: resolving problems, not creating them. That is what politics is all about. That is what people in the street want. Unfortunately, what the opposition parties are doing is not what people want, it is not politics. They cannot see the wood for the trees. Their aim is to undermine the government, a legitimate government, but instead they are undermining the country. They are undermining people’s hope. They are hindering the recovery. They do not have the same high level of aspiration. They are not acting in the interests of Euskadi. They are not acting in the interests of the Basque people. They only want to undermine the government. But why do they want to undermine a government that has ideas, initiative and, above all, that is delivering results? Why do they want to go to worse when the situation is now improving? What’s more, they have not got an alternative. Or is there not some food for thought in the fact that of the four candidates who ran for Basque first minister only Iñigo Urkullu is still active in Basque politics? Is it not somewhat unusual that only two years after the elections three of those candidates have either left or about to leave the Basque political arena?”

Ortuzar has sent respective messages to the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and to ETA. “Mr Rajoy, listen to the people. Do your duty. Let us sit around the table and thrash out a new legal and political framework that responds to today’s circumstances. One that responds to what most of the people in this country want. Let us sit down and resolve these problems once and for all, seeking a better future for everyone. And let us do so sooner rather than later. Sweeping those problems under the heavy rug of your overall majority is not resolving them. And you are aware of that. Do not try to deceive yourself, and do not try to deceive us. Please rise to the occasion in these challenging times”.

“And I have the same to say to ETA: listen to the Basque people. Do not prolong a process that people in the street now consider finished. Hand over your weapons, acknowledge the harm you have done, and accept your allotted place where you now belong, in history books. Be of use to
this country for once. Do so, and you can be sure that the Basque National Party will be there to help you deal with the consequences of so many years of conflict”, Ortuzar has added.

To end, the nationalist leader has confirmed that his party, EAJ-PNV, is this country’s closest ally in times of need. “Where would Euskadi, the Basque Country, be today without EAJ-PNV? Would this Euskadi even exist? My answer is no it wouldn’t. The commitment shown by the Basque National Party has played a key role in this country’s recent history. EAJ-PNV has been this country’s strongest ally through difficult times: when Sabino [Arana y Goiri] restored our national awareness, during the Civil War, the years of exile, throughout Franco’s dictatorship, the transition to democracy, and this deep economic recession. And it has been because the Basque people wanted it that way. Because people see us as a decent, honest and hard-working party that seeks the common good. Because we are not here to amass fortunes or stash our wealth away. This political decency has enabled us to reach the age of 119 in a strong, healthy position. And we need to keep that decency as untainted as we have done until now. We can be proud of what we have achieved. We can look back with satisfaction. And above all, we are leaving the younger generations of nationalists an unsullied legacy.”

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