INTRODUCTION: The growing political activity among opposition groups in Spain continues to present the Government with difficult problems which need delicate handling.
INTRODUCTION: The growing political activity among opposition groups in Spain continues to present the Government with difficult problems which need delicate handling. Not least among them is the mounting support from the people of the Basque country for official recognition of their regional identity.
SYNOPSIS: In the northern coastal town of Guecho on Sunday (23 January), about fifteen thousand Basques demonstrated in support of the demand for the Basque flag to be recognised officially. Although the Spanish Government last week lifted the ban prohibiting the display of the flag in public, it is still not officially recognised as the legitimate emblem of the Basque region.
The demonstration passed off without incident and the police presence was kept to a minimum. The day before however, at nearby San Sebastian, the police had dispersed more than a thousand demonstrators who were demanding a full amnesty for political prisoners. Many of the political prisoners still detained in Spanish jails are Basque nationalists.
At the other major Basque town of Bilbao, troops and drivers from the para-military Guardia Civil, have been brought in to drive the municipal buses. The buses had been take off the road because of a strike involving the drivers.