Talk:Basque Country (greater region)

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Naming debate[edit]

I have started a general naming debate on the naming conventions of Basque provinces at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Basque and would like to invite all interested parties to take part in the debate. Akerbeltz (talk) 12:02, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Flag and coat of arms of Basque Country (greater region)/Euskal Herria[edit]

I must point the fact that Basque Country as a greater region doesn't have any official flag/coat of arms, as it's not an administrative neither political entity. One thing is true: the Basque Country/Euskal Herria can be considered as a cultural region (see Informe de la Real Academia de la Lengua Vasca sobre la denominación Euskal Herria), but as it's not any consolidated country, it has no flag/coat of arms. Furthermore, the ikurriña flag as a symbol to an hypothetical Greater Basque Country is a claim not supported by all basque society, including those citiziens from regions that would be a part of it. Therefore, the image of the flag and the coat of arms should be removed. Nevertheless, the nationalist claim is 100% real, so the images should be included in the article as a reflect of this reality. I shall proceed now to edit those changes. --Infinauta (talk) 10:18, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

On the notion of "greater region".[edit]

In an English-language encyclopedia the use of terminology should reflect as much as possible practices and habits that are rooted in the English language. There, the term "Basque Country" has routinely been used, without political connotation, for the seven provinces. This, in reality, is common also in Spanish when there is no attempt to make political statements. E.g. a copy of the Dictionary of the Royal Academy I consulted, written during Franco's era, defined "País Vasco" as such, and it is still norm among Spanish media to refer to the French Basque Country, including therefore part of Navarre, as "País Vasco Frances". (I assume that Spanish media are not implying that the three french provinces should be annexed to the Basque Autonomous Community!) Similarly, in French, the three provinces are geographically referred to as Pays Basque, and not as "one-half of the Department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques", their administrative status. This approach is followed, in Wikipedia, in other cases of geographical regions currently shared by two or more states, for example Tyrol or Kurdistan. These may or may not have a "smaller" administrative unit that shared that name (e.g. the State of Tyrol in Austria) but Wikipedia does not refer to the entire region as "Tyrol (Greater Region)". In other cases (Catalonia, Luxembourg) there is disambiguation, but always avoidance of the rather sinister "greater region" specification. I conclude by pointing out that, stricto sensu, there is not such a thing as "smaller" Basque Country: the Basque Autonomous Community is defined, in the two official languages, as "Comunidad autónoma del País Vasco", or "Euskadi". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:47, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

  • The main problem with the territorial extension of Euskal Herria is not in the French part, but in the Spanish one, especially in southern Navarre, for which to be defined as Basque requires a whole lot of imaginative effort.
  • The fact that the English-speaking media can't understand all the differences between the territories being labelled Basque does not mean that we are here to accept their simplified vision. Wikipedia is not about perpetuating ignorance, but rather about fighting it. --Jotamar (talk) 14:38, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Fully agree with Jotamar; see also the massive debates on this topic, and the upshot which was Talk:Basque_Country_(greater_region)/Archive_1#Requested_move. It's been stable to date and no-one has come up with either a better idea or indeed a good argument against so I don't think anyone is keen on re-opening this can of worms. Akerbeltz (talk) 15:24, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Jotamar, the point here is not "ignorance" of English-speaking media, but adherence to a traditional geographical terminology. Also, regarding the "extension" of the region, you say that the problem has to do with Navarre, and not the French Basque Country. Namely, Lower Navarre would be Basque, but the Higher Navarre is not, ouch, sounds fishy from the point of view of Set Theory. Also (at least up to few years ago), the government of Navarre used to co-finance Paris' Maison des Basques. Are you asserting that they were showing "imaginative effort"? Btw, also for "Navarre" wikipedia uses disambiguation (and not "Navarre (greater region)). (Same guy that opened the discussion point, that not many seem to like!). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:09, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
No wonder the government of Navarre co-finances Paris' Maison des Basques, as northern Navarre is Basque. It could easily happen that the government of Spain co-financed Paris' Maison des Basques too, and following your logic, that would mean that all of Spain is Basque. --Jotamar (talk) 09:48, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, this time looks like I'm in time for the discussion:) I fully agree with in the content, Basque Country (autonomous community) is an administrative body and territory of Spain, a pretty new one, while the historic, ethnic and cultural area refers to the one reflected in this entry. I think too that this nagging issue has been long debated and I could develop my case for quite long. Basically, edits with Spanish national views seem to be disrupting in the article undermining the meaning of the very article. But the naming was long debated before (by the way, I didn't participate, unaware it was going on) and I think it should be settled as it is now. For classification purposes (greater region) and (autonomous community) were agreed, clearly not my cup of tee, but that's Ok with me and there's a point in not keeping meddling with it. Now I see no point in repeating "(greater region)" throughout the article. This term is artificial, has no tradition, I agree it can be kind of shadowy and should only serve classification purposes in the entry of the article. I vote for deleting all the (greater region) references from within the article. Jotamar's solution for the last introductory paragraph is fine with me (the nuance about south of Navarre's Basqueness).Iñaki LL (talk) 15:56, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the only thing everyone agreed on was that there's no prefect term that ticks all the boxes. And agreed, it's just a dab, not a term that claims to have any currency so it should not be used as a term in articles themselves but just to dab to the right page when linking. Akerbeltz (talk) 16:00, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
While on average I more often complain of biases towards Basque nationalism in the articles, I must agree with the IP and Iñaki LL : perhaps by subtle manipulation, more probably in good faith, we found a bad title, (at least as far as I can judge sharply of subtle nuances of meaning in a language which is not my maternal language). When looking at the articles beginning by "Greater" found through Template:Irredentism, it seems to me that the use of the word is linked to very strong even fascistoid nationalist claims ; in the case of the Basque country, it would suit better to a hypothetical article about the insane claims of Federico Krutwig (indeed the article about hims uses "Greater" for a much larger area : an ideal Greater Basqueland comprising all the supposedly historical territories, from the Garonne to the Ebro river). I would approve a renaming, or at the very least the abolition of every "Greater" outside the disambiguation inside the title. French Tourist (talk) 16:19, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Not again, please, not again >.< Seriously, if we re-open this can of worms, I'm moving over completely to the Gaelic Wiki cause this endless re-opening of debates is beginning to sap my sanity. Akerbeltz (talk) 16:22, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Uhmm, I have to agree with Akerbeltz while I endorse the content of other contributions, we cannot be every other week discussing a change in the title of this article, it's a bother and really "off-putting", if this can be said. I'd stick to the present differentiation while deleting all the "(greater region)" within the article's body. Besides, we have there a clear geographical concept like "Greater London", devoid of negative connotations this time. Iñaki LL (talk) 22:33, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Introducing paragraphs[edit]

Hi there again, well I have to say, the new sentences don't possibly hold water, Iparralde's provinces weren't outlined according to exact linguistic boundaries either (e.g. Biarritz, Bayonne, Bidache were mainly Gascon speaking traditionally), but diverse criteria by and large comprising a cultural area (this is not exclusive of the Basque Country). I don't see any need anyway to pump up more the previous statements and if any nuances are to be made, they may fit better in the territorial extension section, don't you think?

I wouldn't like to leave this unsettled, so I deleted the phrase about Basque nationalism too ("as defined by..."). This is a ethnic/cultural region acknowledged for centuries, where its people identify each other as Basques long before Basque nationalism was invented, while the the other quote of nationalism remains true as far as I understand (a claim closely tied to Basque nationalism since it generated). Similar instances can be found in Frisia, Kurdistan or Lapland, cases where the Basque Country can be mirrored for encyclopaedic purposes. Iñaki LL (talk) 12:43, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

About criteria: I mended my own wording because, when I reread the heading as if I was a complete stranger to the question, I noticed that it sounded kind of strange. We have a Basque country but part of it is not Basque... what? So I added the new sentences to clarify it, and of course I wrote in a very conscious way "mainly linguistic criteria." --Jotamar (talk) 11:40, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
About as defined by: This is way more important. We could have a page about a fuzzy Basque country which has different versions, as it often happens with this kind of territories which have never been a single political entity; in that case, the mention of Basque nationalism would be superfluous. But when we are giving here a single version of the precise boundaries of the Basque country, we absolutely must state very prominently where that version has come from, and which are its inconsistencies, otherwise this page would be a piece of propaganda. --Jotamar (talk) 11:51, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
We must do it, indeed... as far as we can manage to do it ! I have opened roughly all the general sources in French about the Basque country, and a good deal of sources in English (those available in the public libraries of Bayonne and Biarritz) and did not find any definite conclusion. I have seriously written the article in French about this crucial question, the points which can be quite safely asserted are the following, as far as I master the topic :
  • Mentions of the Basque country in its (fuzzy) present borders, that is made of seven provinces (and not trying to draw very precise borders on the French side, where the provinces are fuzzier than in Spain) are to be found in 1643, and the 1760s, but are absolutely isolated ;
  • I found very little information about how the concept soared in the first half of the 19th century (whether it soared or not, indeed), but it is clear that in the second half of the 19th century it was already in force, in nationalistic circles of course but also in scientific circles - for instance the map of Basque language by Louis Lucien Bonaparte, drawn in 1869, uses this territorial extension.
  • The version introduced by Iñaki LL [1], is probably not the last and does not cover completely the topic, but seems to me a progress and I regret its reversion. I find the expression he used ("the concept of a single culturally Basque area spanning various regions and countries has been closely associated since its very inception to the politics of Basque nationalism") better balanced than the current "As defined by Basque nationalists" reintroduced by Infinauta. Indeed, I think I am going to revert the revert after leaving this message, I hope the improvement sticks this time. French Tourist (talk) 15:01, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Well yes..., all possible fuzziness and relevant points to the region's definition are well mentioned in the current paragraphs (a main claim by Basque nationalism since it emerged, major Spanish and French influences, dubious Basqueness in some areas...). Regards Iñaki LL (talk) 19:43, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Much to my reluctance, I've had to revert edits. The nature of the boundaries of Euskal Herria is not a minor detail that can be dealt with in a quick sentence deep into the page; it must be clearly explained in the heading. And a sentence like the one mentioned, "the concept of a single ... has been closely associated ..." is almost as ambiguous as it gets.

On the other hand, just because Bonaparte included the existing administrative boundaries in his map, to call them scientific... takes a bit of self-deception. The sad part of all this is that the editors in this page are obviously well aware of the real situation, they're not just misguided guys from New Zealand or British Columbia... so, in the name of the Neutral Point of View, I'm afraid I must brace myself for some edit warring. --Jotamar (talk) 11:35, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

First you play with my comments while quoting them to demean my position. I have never used the adjective "scientific" to qualify the borders of the Basque country, but used it in the expression "scientific circles", which is not the same thing. An historian like Beatrice Leroy is certainly not a Basque nationalist, but also certainly an academic (ex-professor at Bordeaux University) an has written a short history book using the Basque country as a frame.
Second the main contentious point in your version is for me the following : you write "As defined by Basque nationalists, it comprises the Autonomous Communities of the Basque Country and Navarre in Spain and the Northern Basque Country in France". I ask for a source for the contentious part, that is the one I have overlined in boldface. Non sourced dubious assertions cannot be left in an introduction.
Third, your accusations border violation of Wikipedia:Civility - I mean the precise part where you attack collectively "the editors in this page". I am sorry to assert strongly that my opinion on your version of the introduction is not due to a bias towards Basque nationalism, and that anyway you have not to put my good faith in question in your editions. Your version is hardly conformal to the Neutral Point of View : all significant opinions must be included, but they must also be attributed to their authors. Who asserts that the Basque Country is "defined by Basque nationalists" ? French Tourist (talk) 14:52, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Jotamar states that he has "had to undo" an edit of mine "much to his reluctance". My edit consisted of deleting the last sentence in the introduction, which talks about how Basque Navarre is, and which I believe is better omitted than included for reasons that I believe are too obvious to need stating by me. If somebody out there thinks Jotamar's undoing of that edit itself requires undoing, please go ahead and do so. Wikipedia would benefit therefrom, but I am not going to be drawn into a skirmish over it. --A R King (talk) 18:55, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. One thing is what some people would like the Basque Country to be, and something very different is what the Basque Country actually is. So please we shouldn't forget that Wikipedia states actual facts, not biased political projects. We must point out all details, including that the Basque Country as a greater region is a concept of basque nationalism that not all basque agree about, and that the concept of "basqueness" is disputed between basques themselves (case of Navarre and Alava for example).--Infinauta (talk) 22:40, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Is it? It depends on what we regard as "Basque" I guess. If by that we mean, for example, that an area at some point was recorded as being Basque speaking, that relegates a lot of the debates around Álava for example to the realms of politicking, no? Akerbeltz (talk) 22:52, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree Akerbeltz, maybe my example about Alava wasn't the best, but you're right. We cannot discuss "what is to be basque" because that kind of questions about the nature of something are philosophical debates with no ending. That's exactly why we should attach to real facts. Basques are just the peoples leaving in the Basque Country (autonomous community), and the Northern Basque Country. There are, of course, some peoples with a background of basque culture in the north of Navarre, but if we try to insert the whole Navarre in the so-called "Basque Country (Greater Region)", you'll have complains from the majority of the navarrese people. You sure know about that Akerbeltz. The Basque Country as a greater region is therefore a political project from one specific political ideology, and so it has to be reflected in the article. I think this has already been discussed in previous entries in other archives, but anyway, once more does no harm. Greetings Akerbeltz.--Infinauta (talk) 08:30, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
There are very few things like "facts" in social sciences or cultural matters. Most of what can be inserted in this article is a collection of opinions, which have to be attributed to their authors : for instance I quoted in the French article Pierre Letamendia writing "Ce n'est que par convention et par construction sociale et politique qu'on peut identifier le Pays basque et les sept provinces historiques traditionnelles", or Manex Goyhenetche writing that the people living on this territory "sont définis par un ensemble de caractères relativement stables susceptibles de conférer une personnalité collective, voire une identité collective", or Mariano Rajoy asserting "Navarra es Navarra desde hace siglos y Euskal Herria no existe". All these opinions are welcome in such an article (though not stuck together in the introduction of course :-)), while they are not "facts" in the meaning you seem to give to this word.
You write : "if we try to insert the whole Navarre in the so-called "Basque Country (Greater Region)", you'll have complains from the majority of the navarrese people.". Of course I know that (see this survey), but it is not directly relevant to decide what this article is _about_ (though worth quoting in the article of course). This article is about the territory extending from Bayonne to Tudela, quoting people who assert this is an absurd concept is necessary, but it does not modify the topic of the article, which covers Tudela - not because its authors are Basque nationalists (I am neither Basque nor nationalist), but because this is a topic covered by hundreds of sources and henceforth deserving an entry in Wikipedia.
You write: "The Basque Country as a greater region is therefore a political project from one specific political ideology". Can you provide sources for this opinion, which is hardly a "fact" in the meaning you seem to give to "fact" but that you wish to include in the article however (which seems to me very reasonable indeed) ? Working throughout sources mainly in French and secondarily in English, I found unexpectedly hard to find quotations similar to your assertion ; if you have a Spanish library at hand, it might be useful to dive into it and bring something. But without an attribution to an author, this assertion cannot remain in the article. French Tourist (talk) 08:56, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I'll take a look in the next days. But for example 6 months ago, there was this sentece from the Tribunal Superior de Justicia del País Vasco (Basque Superior Tribunal of Justice), resoluting that Navarre shouldn't appear as Euskal Herria in school books because it's against the navarrese foral rights: Un juez deja Navarra fuera de Euskal Herria en los libros de texto. I suppose if this went as far as to the Superior Basque Tribunal of Justice, it means that it's not a concept accpeted by all society, including Basque Country itself (let's remember it was a basque tribunal).--Infinauta (talk) 10:24, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Let's see...

  • First of all, I see that nobody has counter-reverted my last edition so far. Nice news.
  • I admit I misquoted French Tourist about the word scientific. I apologize.
  • I don't agree about there being few facts in social sciences. In my opinion the opposite is true: there are too many facts. It's our grasping of those facts and the simplified concepts required by our limited minds that create the problems. But those of you that don't like my editions, tell me if these are facts or not: In a significant area in Southern Navarre, which in this page is considered to be part of Euskal Herria, we see that:
    • Basque is not spoken.
    • More likely than not, Basque has never been spoken.
    • It's very hard (or rather impossible) to find any cultural trait that can be safely considered Basque.
    • An overwhelming majority of the natives don't consider themselves Basques. (This point should be enough by itself)
    • An overwhelming majority of the natives don't want to be included in a Basque political entity.
  • Those, which I regard as facts, and very tough ones, mean that whoever included all of Navarre in the definition of Euskal Herria was acting out of ignorance, or out of having an ideological position. That ideological position can't be anything but what is usually called Basque nationalism. In other words, the existing precise definition of Euskal Herria can't be anything but a political one; and I don't think any political side other than Basque nationalism has any interest in defining what are the boundaries of the Basque nation. My edition "As defined by Basque nationalists" is simply meant to explain this to those users of Wikipedia with no previous knowledge about the matter. You could change it to something like "As defined by certain political positions (but not all)", for example.

To be continued, hopefully. --Jotamar (talk) 14:08, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Ok, here we go again. The introductory paragraphs should be concise, enlarging them is diminishing, undermining and obscuring the definition and the content itself. Infinauta, many people in Navarre may find offensive, at least striking, asserting that they are not Basque and from a cultural, historic and even genetic point of view much disputable. To say that the Basque Country is an administrative idea of three provinces in Spain linked in the short strip of the lower Bidasoa to another Basque Country in the French side is much more artificial an idea, and actually an administrative one (no common administration in Iparralde anyway), but we're not talking about an administrative body like the Autonomous Communities, but the ethnic/cultural region, a historical one. The idea and the fact (allow me French tourist to use the term this time...) of the Basque people living in a territory is an old one (Humboldt, for one, but even old Spanish encycloepedias, who couldn't shrink from its existence) and I don't see the point of bringing it back again. Granted, the extension is historic (where the Basques have lived traditionally) and can be considered fuzzy nowadays in some areas, the Basque culture having been a retreating one. References are alright while I have my doubts about some of them being valid (e.g. some Spanish newspapers with very set/vested views about Basque related matters) or that they will bring some light here, but to bring a verdict of a judge to the Wikipedia to enlighten this issue is out of question as far as I see it (as if we hadn't enough controversy with judges ruling the political decisions in Spain...). As for the re-reverted sentences on the boundaries by Jotamar (administrative/linguistic), as stated above, honestly I don't think this is the case and it should be reverted. As regards the nuance on the south of Navarre part and the Basqueness, it's Ok with me. Iñaki LL (talk) 15:19, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Navarrese people may identify themselves as Navarrese primarily, even those that speak Basque. Nonethless, the language is still called Euskara even then so there is a clear link and we cannot disassociate Basque-ness and Navarrese-ness. I also think we should be more careful with words like ovewhelming... let's have some facts, shall we?

  • In the 2006 census, the Basque Region of Navarre accounted for 50,000 inhabitans, the Mixed Region for 274,300. Against 184,600 of the so called non-Basque region, that means 63% of the inhabitans of Navarre live in an area that even by the standards of the Navarrese Gov't has clear links to the Basque language.
  • Even the non-Basque area sports 4.6% fluent Basque speakers and 19.7% passive Basque speakers in the 16-24 range, so even in that area a significant percentage (i.e. 24.3%) identify enough with the Basque language to either speak it actively or understand it.

The 1996 Inkesta asked the interesting question of identity, specifically if people referred to themselves as an Euskal Herritar (in Navarre) and the results are as follows:

  • Basque Area: 80% yes, 6% somewhat, 11% no, 3% don't know
  • Mixed Area: 56% yes, 12% somewhat, 26 % no, 6% don't know
  • Non-Basque Area: 18% yes, 8% somewhat, 71% no, 2% don't know

In 1996, the BA had 47,700 inhabs, the MA 227,800 and the NBA 161,700. If we factor the above in, that means 237,968 inhabitans of Navarre in 1996 thought they were Euskal Herritar fully or somewhat, which is 54% in all of Navarre. Which means that in 1996 a majority of all Navarrese considered themselves Euskal Herritar. Akerbeltz (talk) 16:43, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

PS I don't buy the argument, by the way, that just because the question of identity is different in different regions that Navarre is therefore divisa in partes tres, question of identity are hardly uniform ANYwhere. If you did a census of identity in the US, I'm certain that parts see themselves strongly as Latino first, Americano second. Does that mean that the US therefore is not a sociopolitical unit overall? Hardly... Akerbeltz (talk) 20:15, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
This talk page is going in every direction. This is not an article about a culture (Basque language), or a population (the Basques), or a language (the Euskara) but an article about a territory, whose borders can seem odd to lots of people. This is not proper to the Basque country : millions of people will assert, with arguments which are not to treat lightly, that Istambul is not culturally european, or that the traditional border of Europe including a bit of Kazakhstan is a practical joke. All these informations are to be included in the article "Europe". Here things are rather easier, since there are not several conflicting definitions of the border of the Basque country (at least if you don't look too precisely at Treviño or Boucau) : the question is not to define "what is" basque Country but only to discuss whether this a is a judicious concept or something absolutely irrelevant and politically biased. I am very understanding to the second position, which has to be included in the article as far as we can find sources (including "Spanish newspapers with very set/vested views about Basque related matters", "very set/vested views" ARE to be included also according to the NPOV policy). I am only asking for sources. None has been brought two days after my initial question for the "As defined by Basque nationalists". Another proposal has been made ("As defined by certain political positions (but not all)") which is not sourced either, and seems to me even more absurd : I have quoted several non nationalist contemporary French academics who use this territory as a frame ; it is also of common use in touristic guidebooks for instance. As "Italy" for example, it may be an artificial build justified by political aims but is in common use today, at least in France. French Tourist (talk) 09:31, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Honestly, the references in this case can bring more confusion and dispute than fixing problems, but if very set/vested views are to be included, ALL VIEWS/REFERENCES (newspapers, magazines) should be considered, Basque (Gara, Berria, Diario de Noticias,...) and Spanish (ABC, El Mundo, El País,...) minded, otherwise the rule is fixed in origin. But can these be held as NPOV as regards this matter? ... Iñaki LL (talk) 10:45, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
For the sake of consensus I'll accept French Tourist's edition (, and I'll hope it lasts. I've never tried to taylor this page to my points of view, I just want that the page does not get too biased. Now the heading is, mmm... biased, but not too much. Anyway, there are some pending points in the discussion:
  • If a southern Navarrese learns euskera, that doesn't mean he considers himself Basque. I can think of many other plausible reasons for learning it.
  • About "we cannot disassociate Basque-ness and Navarrese-ness". Sorry, but that sounds as a slogan to me. We can disassociate them.
  • The United States are first of all a state, and only as a result of it, a sociopolitical unit. No possible parallel then with Euskal Herria, in my opinion.
  • Most important, for French Tourist: you ask me for references about the political definition of Euskal Herria. So I ask you: give me a definition that is not ideological-political. Linguistic? Cultural? (and according to which specific cultural aspects?) Geographic? Administrative? Social? (and according to what specific social aspects?) Historical? ... you name it. By the way, the sum of several historical territories does not equal a single historical territory, the sum of a linguistic area and a historical one does not make a single historical-linguistic territory, etc.
The thing that made me sad is not the lack of good faith in other editors, but the lack of a neutral mentality. I mean, I wish some of you could read your own comments through my eyes... they are blatantly emotionally biased. And not being Basque does not guarantee neutrality; everybody knows how many people are fascinated by all things Basque... Have a nice weekend. --Jotamar (talk) 17:32, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Jotamar; very well, then disassociate it but you can't ignore sociological research (as posted above) that asks people about their identities and by that, your argument falls over. And if x% say they are Euskal Herritar, then you have to come up with something better than you have to date to continue that line of argument. Akerbeltz (talk) 17:53, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
"give me a definition that is not ideological-political". Let's try it , in a very partial try : the Basque country is a "territory" or a "territorial extension". Not more. (I had struggled against the inclusion of "cultural" in the title when it was discussed). Nobody asserts it has a "linguistic" signification, as far as I know. The adjective "historical" can be found in low-quality sources (say touristic guidebooks or very naive nationalist pamphlets). Its "cultural" signification is (generally implicitly) asserted in texts tinged by nationalism, see for example the Encyclopedia Auñamendi : "Euskalerria es la tierra vasca vista por los vascos, íntimamente, sin interferencias turísticas ni políticas" - for such sources it is probably also a "geographical" concept, secondarily. Non-nationalistic academic sources are much less lyrical, even critical. See Béatrice Leroy, who asserts the conforms to the "normes de la géopolitique du XIXe siècle", or Pierre Letamendia : "Ce n'est que par convention et par construction sociale et politique qu'on peut identifier le Pays basque et les sept provinces historiques traditionnelles. Ces dernières ont incontestablement un enracinement historique et politique. Mais celui-ci n'est pas fondé exclusivement ou même principalement sur un substrat culturel basque". With such different analyses (that should be detailed in the article - my copy-paste comes from the article in French where it has been done), the only common denominator seems to me the assertion that the Basque country is a "territory", with no adjective. Note I don't write down my own opinion on the topic, which is of absolutely no use for the article. French Tourist (talk) 09:06, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Sorry I have to extend this, we'd all like to get this over with ASAP, but while the last edit is better than before, I keep having my doubts about a point especially, "is considered in some circles"? Isn't that strange? Well, I don't think it is considered in some circles. I don't go to the entries Lapland, Frisia, Kurdistan and see "it can be considered in some circles" that it is home to that people and their language and tradition, it is actually home to their language and tradition, in the case the Basque Country it has been so for ages, more than any other people in Europe actually, there's no mystery there. The debate may apply to the ebbing and perhaps blur present boundaries (historic view) or the naming, not to the territory being home to that people, the language and tradition. This defining sentence is too sandwiched by objections by now to add "in some circles" on top of that.Iñaki LL (talk) 22:13, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Flag, anthem, coat of arms[edit]

Hello there, at your own request I´m not changing it straight. Most of it was right before and if any, one only change should be the done:

  • The flag: Long tradition and immediately identifiable by all Basques (Autonomous Community, Navarre and French BC).
  • Coat of arms: Long tradition and equally identifiable.
  • Anthem: Maybe the only one I would change, since almost no one but officially in the Basque AC identifies it. Belongs to the Autonomous Community.

Sorry but that there is no state or single administration doesn't mean there is no reality, whatever it is like. It´s the ethnic, historic and political past and present and it's the future project. Lapland is a reality, Kurdistan is a reality beyond administration borders, you like it or not. Iñaki LL (talk) 08:15, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, the Sápmi page also sports a flag, on this page the coat of arms/flag should really be non-controversial. Akerbeltz (talk) 09:49, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that the presence of the Basque symbols in the page is any problem, but to put them in a very prominent place in the infobox could prove misleading for users, they might easily assume that Euskal Herria either is or has been an internationally recognised political entity. Jotamar (talk) 13:36, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Jotamar. In fact, this is exactly what I said in this discussion one year ago, see point 2 on this very archive:

I know the basque nationalist sector has the tradition of the Ikurriña and the coat of arms for their claim of Euskal Herria, so I agree of including the flag and the coat of arms in the article. But as it's not a recognised country by any state in the world, the inclusion into the infobox is a misleading edition. Furthermore, the coat of arms and the flag are already included in the article here and here We may discuss if we should include the flag and the coat of arms in the same subsection, explaining the claim of nationalist sectors (remember that Navarre government asked for the deletion of their escutcheon in the coat of arms of Euskal Herria). Thank you for your kind colaboration with the article.--Infinauta (talk) 23:13, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

The flag was invented by Basque nationalists (late 19th century) but it has come a long way since its inception and taken on as symbol of the Basque Country. The problem arose when the administration unit initially designed in the 70s for the Basque people in Spain came to be made up only by the western provinces and not Navarre, and made official of the Basque Autonomous Community. The flag is a widespread symbol in the Northern Basque Country and even in Navarre, although it holds true that its official use there (town halls,...) remains controversial. See same issue in Brittany. Saint_Pierre_and_Miquelon has added it to their flag, since its associated to the Basque people, not to the nationalists. So there are reasons enough I think to stick to the flag and the coat or arms. Iñaki LL (talk) 11:47, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
The fact that the flag and coat of arms are a widespread symbol doesn't affect the fact that they are not official symbols. Therefore, in the infobox shouldn't appear the flag and the coat of arms. --Infinauta (talk) 15:16, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Political parties[edit]

The political parties section is outdated.

To begin with, Batasuna is no longer in the Basque country (Spanish area) since it was declared illegal, other parties ANV (Accion Nacionalista Vasca) and now Bildu have arised, the section should be updated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:17, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Citation needed for 'home of the Basque people'[edit]

It seems unreasonable to describe of a region as that of one and only people. People identifying as Basque also live just outside that region, while there are many areas inside it where there are no Basque people. Politis (talk) 00:06, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

If you look for innuendo, innuendo is what you'll find. The intro does not state that the BC is the home solely of the Basques. It states it's the homeland. Perhaps you should peruse that article before we continue? Akerbeltz (talk) 10:58, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Following up with your suggestion, the BC then, is the homeland of Basque people, French people, Spanish people and recently of other immigrant communities with French or Spanish citizenship. Politis (talk) 17:57, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Sorry but I don't have the time to teach you the meaning of words. Please consult a good dictionary. Akerbeltz (talk) 21:38, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Lack of neutrality[edit]

I am Navarro, and I am dismayed by the lack of neutrality of this article. coat of arms? come on... Euskal Herria doesn't formally exists. The historical territory was the Kingdom of Pamplona/Navarre. Euskal Herria is a nationalistic tool to achieve a new political status, not recognised by many of us, who are from Navarre. A warn of lack of neutrality should be exhibited in this article. Achaya (talk) 22:02, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Could I suggest you read through some of the debates on the talk page? We've covered a lot of stuff before arriving at this consensus version which has been fairly stable for a while now. Akerbeltz (talk) 22:57, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
PS: The page clearly states it is NOT a political or even historical entity but the concept of it clearly exists and, as has been covered in endless debates, predates the nationalist movement. Akerbeltz (talk) 22:59, 3 January 2013(UTC)
This debate is barren, it has been repeatedly discussed before. I oppose any changes in the introductory paragraphs, since the problems about any clear-cut boundaries or possible non-Basqueness of some areas have been discussed. The new sentences are unnecessary and are explicit in previous text ("the Basqueness of some areas such as southern Navarre..."), although admittedly that part has been tweaked often. "The region is considered home" should pose no problem, the "Basques consider" adds nothing but more ambiguity. Iñaki LL (talk) 13:25, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Identity and attitudes[edit]

The 1996 inkesta has some nice data on identity and all the subsequent ones on attitudes towards the languages. I'm thinking of moving the detailed data on attitudes in southern Navarre into a general section on the issue, thoughts? Akerbeltz (talk) 14:00, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi Akerbeltz, I agree with a section on identity conflict and attitudes. The general definition of the concept is given in the introductory paragraphs, with an objection at the end of it (southern Navarre, etc.) that could lead to broader discussion in a specific section. It's not acceptable that the introductory paragraphs being called into question time and again when we are looking for a definition of the concept, not for more ambiguity and personal approaches. Plenty of grounds and well founded, reliable citations have provided by now. Iñaki LL (talk) 12:23, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
I was thinking of using broadly these 3 tables: User:Akerbeltz/sandbox. Do you think there are any rows that should be added? Identity data we only have for 1996, but I was going to give the data both for the olders (1996) and the most recent (2011) inkesta data, to show changes (so the 1st and 3rd table get twice the number of rows they currently have). Any thoughts welcome. Akerbeltz (talk) 15:00, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Umm, it's a pity there is just one table on Identity, the most relevant to this article. While language and identity have close connections, I don´t think they are directly relevant to the article. Iñaki LL (talk) 18:22, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, I guess we could always use the speaker table on the language article ;) Notwithstanding, there does seem to be a correlation with number of speakers viz attitude. I'm not sure why they only asked the question once ... it's such a useful question to ask. But then at least we have that. Akerbeltz (talk) 18:41, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Indeed there is a correlation. As far as I see it, feel free to use the most relevant. Regards Iñaki LL (talk) 19:02, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Page in reference[edit]

Recently a new reference (#14) to the Libro Blanco del Euskera has been added, namely to the 60 pages-strong chapter Perspectiva política. Could we get a more precise point or page, so as not to be forced to read the sixty pages to find the referencing text? Jotamar (talk) 01:34, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

After getting the page numbers, I'm still struggling to see the connection. Perhaps I've misunderstood something. The text I read begins with Pernoud ha podido redactar (p. 86) and de un rico sistema simbólico (p. 100-104). It is an interesting review of the political ideas about language in some historical periods, but hardly any mention of the Basque country appears. Nothing to support a special process in the Basque country as implied by In the decades after the Spanish annexation, the Basque Country suffered attempts at religious, ideological and national homogenization, let alone the link between this and the Basque witch trials. ¿What did I get wrong? Jotamar (talk) 00:29, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I don´t see clearly what your point is. The whole article is related to the Basque language and Basque language territory, the topics developed apply to these topics, which doesn´t mean that it's exclusive to the Basque Country. The pages are 86 and four more. The pages pointed show the French and Spanish national ideologies, especially as related to language (one prince should foster a single language, which applies to the period after the conquest of Navarre), and the Renaissance context is provided, read more in detail 86 and 103. It's all about national and linguistic homogenization if you still don´t see it. As for the religious part, it's a well known fact that in Spain the central tribunal Inquisition's fervour came to a head in the Logroño proceedings (1611) after starting in Navarre just after the conquest (1525). If you don´t agree with that you may add your argumentation and references. Iñaki LL (talk) 11:59, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
The conflictive segment had a Clarification needed tag, rather than a Reference needed one. What the provided source says (I've read the 6 pages thoroughly) is simply that a number of languages roughly acquired the status of what we call today official languages, as part of a growing identification betwen state and nation, and it's obvious that Basque was not one of them, the same case as Galician, Catalan, Breton, Welsh, etc., etc. This is NOT what is conveyed by the aforementioned text, that is, In the decades after the Spanish annexation, the Basque Country suffered attempts at religious, ideological and national homogenization. But the main point is not the reference, the point is: what kind of attempts is the text talking about? Because there is a wide range of possibilities, from say the publication of a book favoring the use of Spanish, to armed raids and massive carnages. --Jotamar (talk) 21:19, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
If a clarification is needed, the reference provided gives the key to understanding the text, highlighting the linguistic national connection. It seems to me that you don't agree with the statements, there. In that case, ADD YOUR OWN argumentation, preferably with a citation, or delete what you see is not accurate, I may even agree with you, or won't bother, or I may act accordingly, but IT WILL SPARE me quite a lot of time and probably you as well. If the wording is the problem it can be fine-tuned, that's all, you make a proposal. There is little doubt that there were those attempts, summarizing, starting in 1525 the Inquisition, a central Spanish tribunal not belonging to Navarre or the Basque Country altogether, was hitting the Basque society in a regular string of processes against local figures related to religion ("heretic" clergy), and popular wisdom (midwives, healers,...), overturning Navarrese court decisions (cf marriage), gradually appointing Spanish speaking, non-bilingual position holders in the Navarrese Church despite pleads to the contrary, imposing restrictions on ideas / literature coming from Europe (in the Spanish kingdom), etc. That 1610-1615 processes (Logro;o, De Lancre) mark a turning point is little doubt, just check out the activity of the Inquisition thereafter. Thank you Iñaki LL (talk) 10:24, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────No thanks, I almost fell for it, but if I asked for a clarification it's because I don't know the facts, otherwise I would have just rewritten the sentence in the first place. It seems that you have written most of the History section, which is not bad in general, but the discussed sentence is extremely vague and reeks of conspiracy theories about the destruction of all Basques. You are the one who knows the history, so just rewrite it to reflect the bare facts and the historical background, and not any interpretation of it that will inevitably be colored by your political or philosophical ideas. Jotamar (talk) 21:24, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Hi, actually I built up on former text, editing and improving it. Conspiracy theories? Where did you get that from? My point (challenge) is to provide what is missing based on published evidence. I don't think I created the phrase in question, but admittedly I added to it. The colour of ANY edit is hardly politics or philosophy blind (even when it's presented as such), but you may be aware, regional/local (historic, political, cultural) dynamics is to not as easily supported, neglected (distorted?) as it is by statistics or mainstream media. Iñaki LL (talk) 09:54, 25 July 2013 (UTC)


The Basque topic is a recurring theme in ethnic and linguistic discussions, and during last century many theories and hypotheses have developed. The most widespread is that they are autochthonous for millenniums and one of the first European settlers and is based in your lenguage not Indo-European. Unfortunately, many of these theories are heavily influenced by a very racist and violent nationalism from one century ago.

I think the only Basque mystery is your language not IE: Basque.

Regarding genetic ethnicity, obviously Basques are Indo-European , the R1b -Spain group, which should reach the iberian peninsula and southern France less than 4000 years ago.

They do not speak Indo-European and they are Indo-European. That's the mystery.

My theory is this: The Basques descended from some Indo-European tribe (Celtic or Protoceltic) who were captured or enslaved by another not Indo-European ethnic group , Spanish Iberians probably, whose language was related to the Berber. Possibly adults were killed and those slaves grew speaking a mixture of languages: Celtic from their mothers, the Iberian from their captors and other languages spoken by other slaves.

Somehow , they managed to free themselves from their slavery and fled , settling down a few hundred or thousands in a very unpopulated area : western Pyrenees mountains. They lived there for centuries and Basque language developed, a koine, a mix was formed with influences of several languages: Celtic , Berber , Dogon.... and later Latin. Were known for their Celtic neighbors by name 'barscunes' , which means 'mountain communities' (bar-cume, group-mountain). The Basques did not have a name to define themselves.

The Basques were used by the Romans in I BC as auxiliary troops , probably to camp construction services and material transport. Arabs in the VIII AD told that Basques were very primitive people, and were unaware of or ceramic or treatment of metals.

In the IX AD Basques were used as mercenaries by the peninsular Christian kings in their internal struggles. Keep in mind that the Spanish Basques settled in their present territory between the V -VI AD centuries , displacing the Celts tribes of Caristios Varduli and Austrigones .

The archeology of the Spanish Basque Country shows Celtic remains , also place names. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:32, 10 December 2013 (UTC)