A major festival was held on Sunday (3 September) in the Basque area of northern Spain.
A major festival was held on Sunday (3 September) in the Basque area of northern Spain. Its aim was to draw public attention to the language and culture of the Basques who live on both sides of the Franco-Spanish border.
SYNOPSIS: More than ten thousand people attended the festival which featured the performance of traditional songs and dances. it was a marked change from the violence which has characterised Basque separatist struggles in recent years. Organisers hoped the event would remind authorities in Madrid and Paris that the Basques have a distinct traditional culture.
The crowd joined in on a song telling of the death of Admiral Carrero Blanco who was killed in 1973 by the militant Basque separatist organisation ETA.
It was announced last month that the Basques will receive more local power in the areas of agriculture, industry and commerce. However, recent violence, including the murder of four policemen, has caused problems for the government which now faces demands for more positive action to be taken against ETA. Six leading members of a policemen's association were suspended on August the thirtieth after publically condemning the government for its handling of the Basque problem.