In Spain, thousands of Basque Nationalists converged on Bilbao on Sunday (15 April) to celebrate their National Day.
GV: Spanish Basques carrying large red banner in Bilbao demonstration. (2 shots)
SV PAN: people including women and children chanting ETA slogans.
SV: onlookers line side of road as march passes.
SV: banner bearing names of French Basque exiles being extradited to Spain.
SV TRACKING SHOT: men in Basque dress with Basque flag.
SCU ZOOM TO SV: people play Basque music.
GV AND SV: demonstrators continue march with banners. (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Spain, thousands of Basque Nationalists converged on Bilbao on Sunday (15 April) to celebrate their National Day. It is only the second time ni forty years that they have been allowed to mark the day with legal processions. Since the death of General Francisco Franco, the Spanish government has granted a number f concessions to the Basques, but they have still not been granted their main demand--home rule.
SYNOPSIS: The city of Bilbao has always been s stronghold of Basque nationalism. Here and in four to her northern Spanish provincial capital, more than two hundred thousand Basques called for home rule and shouted slogans against the Spanish and French governments. The Basque National Day, called "Aberri Eguna", was outlawed by the late General Franco.
Thousands of supporters of the far-left Herri Batasuna party chanted for the separatist guerrilla group, ETA, which has claimed responsibility for killing twenty-eight people so far this year.
On Monday (16 April) a provincial secretary of the right-wing Popular Alliance Party was shot by gunmen believed to be Basque guerrillas.
The demonstrators also criticised the treatment of Basques in French. French police, in a recent crackdown on Basque exiles, have ordered several alleged ETA guerrillas out of French Basque country. This followed complaints by Madrid that the separatists were involved in attacks within Spain. On Sunday (15 April), there was a mixture of celebration and militancy in the air as the rich culture of the Basque people was expressed in music and traditional songs.
But the main point of the day was the demand for self-rule for the Basque country.