The last years were characterised by an unprecedented wave of repression against the Basque independence movement on all levels. The Spanish government use the "anti-terror" hysteria instigated after September 11 to strike against any form of expression of Basque national aspirations. Batasuna, the party coalition of the Basque left gathering about 15-20% of the electorate was simply banned, silencing a significant part of the population. This incredible violation of the most elementary democratic rights passed without any questioning by the European Union although Batasuna continued to hold elected members of the European Parliament. This alone (not to mention the ban on news outlets and the rapid growth of the number of Basque political prisoners) displays the utmost undemocratic and dictatorial character of the EU.
For the elections of April 17 the small party of "Communists of the Basque Country" (EHAK) offered to the left nationalist movement their platform. Despite a ferocious campaign their scored a significant success of 12.5% showing that even the most savage imperialist repression cannot uproot the popular socialist aspirations for independence.
This puts the bourgeois Basque nationalists (PNV) of the local Prime Minister Ibarretxe in an extremely delicate position. Both to win the support of the Basque nationalist forces but at the same time to weaken the left organisations, he promised a kind of referendum on the democratic abrogation of the autonomy status widely interpreted as a step to independence. Thus he has been aggressed by "left" and right Spanish chauvinism of connivance with Basque "terrorism".
Now it is his choice to either back down to Spanish imperialism and to further weaken his party which will appear as a mere appendix of Madrid or coalesce with EHAK which would provide him the parliamentary majority necessary to go ahead with the referendum.
The Anti-imperialist Camp supports the Basque left liberation movement in the struggle for a democratic referendum which would give also the lower classes of entire Europe a push in the struggle against the liberalist EU.
Meanwhile we fully support the French campaign for the NO to the EU constitution whose victory will give all the leftist and democratic popular forces fresh air to move on.