Euzko Gaztedi

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Euzko Gaztedi Indarra
Euzko Gaztedi.svg
The new EGI logo
Abbreviation EGI
Formation 1904
Headquarters San Sebastián, Bilbao, Vitoria, Bayonne, Pamplona
Region served
Basque Country
Parent organization
Affiliations Young Democrats for Europe
Website Euzko Gaztedi
Remarks Basque Nationalist youth group

Euzko Gaztedi Indarra-EGI (Basque for "Basque Youth Force") is the youth wing of the Basque main nationalist political party, the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV). Their presence is in the Basque Country, in the Basque Autonomous Community, Navarre and in the Northern Basque Country. According to its statutes is defined as an organization Basque, democratic, pluralistic, participatory, independence and humanist wishing to achieve a framework of respect for the identity of peoples and human rights.

There are other associations related to EGI as:

  • Lurgorri Ikasle Elkartea, student union.
  • Gogorregi Konpartsa in Bilbao's festivities
  • Gaztetxoak, leisure group.
  • Ausartu Euskaraz, cultural group, promoting basque language


Old EGI symbol

It was founded on February 14, 1904, three months after the death of Sabino Arana, founder of the PNV, gathering their views on nationalism. At first attracted about 400 members and highlighted as nationalist youth association until the Spanish Civil War.

Euzko Gaztedi[edit]

Euzko Gaztedi's beginning was forged in the Endaya cafeteria of Bilbao, in autumn 1901. The purpose of the meetings that were held at that coffee shop, was to create an association of ideas nationalist propaganda. To mention any names, we can fix attention on Javier de Gortazar or Jose Maria Goya, post players in the history of EAJ. Its primary purpose was to divide the already disappeared weekly "La Patria" (Homeland).

In those meetings are not together more than 20 people for not requiring, in this case, government authorization.

Being aware of the limitations they had, Sabino Arana instructed to prepare the first Euzko Gaztedia regulation, which would have its headquarters in the streets of Bilbao Round, being adopted on January 10, 1904 and counting at that time with more than 400 partners founders, who appointed a Board of Directors chaired by Luis de Urrengoetxea, future founder of Basque Nationalist Action (ANV). On February 14 the same year opened a new headquarters located in Santa Maria street, number 12 in Bilbao.

That was the beginning of its activity that extended from the establishment of a Youth Orfeón Basque party organization until ka ball through conferences, contests and the holding of commemorative events. All these activities will not only be looking for a landmark cultural but mainly nationalist politician who marked tendency, which organized festive days with a distinctly different areas of political geography Biscayan, as his nearest field. On November 30, 1905, while the lawyer Arluziaga, belonging to the Company, was giving a speech, authorities closed society.

Basque Youth[edit]

Despite the difficulties, May 8, 1906 appeared the first issue of the weekly Aberri newspaper that remained until November 14, 1908.

On March 19, 1907, Youth Basque opened its new premises in Bilbao, accompanying the day with a festive gala at the theater Arriaga.

On July 7 of that year, Antonio de Maguregi, was elected president of the first Board of Directors of this youth association.

From the outset, which outlines the new partnership adheres completely to PNV and abides by both and submit to the authorities of this, accepting his current programme and Organization.

It stipulated that the partners should have between 16 and 35 years of age, and at its dissolution of society, funds Basque Youth, should set aside to thicken the Basque Nationalist Party.

It should be noted that Basque Youth, adopted as the flag formed by a vertical white cross on red background with eight green stars.

Soon came the first conflict between the thriving and the Youth Organization of Biscay Buru Batzar EAJ, regional authority of the Party in Biscay. Basque Youth, developed a major propaganda that was forced to suspend in 1912 by order of BBB, citing the need to unify and concentrate efforts.

In 1912, established a new category membership aspirant among those who were between 14 and 16 years, and since 1913, the age lowered to 12 years old.

Youth Basque Bilbao, despite being a major engine of activity Nationalist Party, was a local organization. Its aim was to foster the creation of the organization youth organisations in all places where possible, thereby contributing to the expansion of nationalism basque.

On 7 and December 8, 1919 held the first Basque Assembly of Youth (Euzko Gaztedi Batz), whose first president was the Alava and winy Antonio Santos. We saw the need to organize such a meeting given the large group of followers and sympathizers who had succeeded.

The organization was set an ambitious goal, as it was conducting a census of the Basques in Americas to spread nationalist publications, publishing a brochure in four languages to acquaint the world nationalism and promote the culture basque nationalist in Basque women.

It was decided to create an employment exchange, a Secretariat and propaganda speakers and a Secretariat Lawyers and Attorneys in support of prisoners nationalists.

They chose to make annual, so the October 30, 1920, was conducted in the second Bilbao. In this assembly, was designed a course full of nationalistic ideology and was appointed as the Basque priority objective, organizing a festival in his favor as well as organizing a "Day of Language".

There was support for new schools for euskaldunes born in Biscay, called in the same gesture in other territories as well as other gestures such as encouraging agencies to workers in the best interests of the proletariat, the clustering of women Basque and the creation of Basque centers "or vasquistas nationalists" in major U.S. and Philippine capital.

At that time, said the association representing 5,000 members, but had to face two facts that reduced their efforts. On the one hand, the division of Basque Nationalist Communion in 1921, and another, the military dictatorship of General Primo de Rivera in 1923.

The Circle Basque Studies[edit]

Born in Bilbao on September 1, 1907, with the aim of promoting the study and knowledge of issues related to Basque culture. Its activity was based on the organization of conferences, workshops, etc..

They preferred not to organise classes for Basque students not subtract those given by the council of Biscay although his ambition was to promote the creation of the Basque University.

Youth in the Basque origin SOV[edit]

In 1911, in acts of Circle, was the need for social action promoted by the basque nationalism. The existence of a Regional Commission for Social Action in EAJ Vizcaya, the establishment of several companies in various Batzokis Mutual Relief and concern for the initial tyranny of the UGT, the only existing association, which led to a number of people to express Secretary of Youth Basque its readiness to join a union or company workers Basques, mutual defender of its kind, but not engaged in the struggle between classes.

Youth Basque conveyed this desire to that Commission for Social Action and Solidarity was formed soon Basque Workers, based on initial those who expressed their desire for Basque Youth join a union basque.

In 1915, Luis Arana Goiri and some of his followers were expelled from the PNV. In place of these, became part of BBB, Manuel Eguileor, president of Youth Basque Bilbao.

Music Theatre

The musical activity was of great importance in Basque Youth. On October 1, 1908 opened the Academy of Music in order to teach us that from day one with the inscription of 60 students.

At the end of March 1909 was officially established Orfeón Youth Basque already late September, are references to a standard notation by Youth Academy Basque. They were taught classes of popular songs Basques, txistu, and also edited a small songbook.

It was organized evenings or festivals in honour of eminent personalities or charitable reasons.

As for the theatrical activity, Sabino Arana was aware of the importance of theatre as a means of disseminating the ideas of nationalism, writing works such as "Libe". Youth Basque chose to put voice and shape to those plays.

In 1909 it approved the creation of a Basque Drama Centre in 1911 and began to organize competitions works in Basque and Spanish to revitalize the theater basque.

In addition, in 1910 was founded Euskaltzale Bazkuna, as a group headed to work in favour of Basque. Specifically, his work focused on the pursuit of refinement and purification of Basque and extension of the tongue.

To do so, conferences were organized entirely in Basque, the first given by Evaristo Bustinza "Kirikiño." From here came the first greeting cards in Basque, notebooks and Euskal abestiak insigne "Euskal Orratzak" method to distinguish the euskaldunes and speak their own language.

Youth helped revitalize Basque folklore, in years when the dances were about to disappear. In all events, including evenings in honor of St. Ignatius of Loyola, a group of dantzaris brightened encounters.

In turn, Youth Basque offered classes and tests to facilitate learning by the public of any age.

The young nationalists, also seeking to recover traditions, such as the Chorus of Santa Agueda, "bonfires on the eve of St. John", etc.

In February 1909, decided to create Euzkindarra Basque Youth, a football team that, at different times in its short history, confronted the Bilbao and the Athletic Club.

But until 1910 EAJ-PNV did not develop a society in a regulated sport, "Sport Basque society" born of the interest of creating a confederation sports associations to bring together both sides of the Pyrenees. That company was not consolidated in February 1911 and opened another, "Center basque gymnasts and Sportivo, with the same goals as its predecessor. The center organized the first Football Tournament between Batzokis or nationalist groups, engaging not only in sports but football native, as the pelota, in almost all its forms.


In Youth Basque there was a large number of partners to amateur mountaineering and hiking countryside. Without political nexus between them, organized gangs of mendigoizales, name began to spread in 1904.

By 1908, there were groups that were formed as an association Mendigoizale Bazkuna that in February 1909, will premiere as a group at a general meeting which adopted a regulation and elected a directive.

The eagerness of propaganda mendigoizales, who wanted to publicize his nationalist ideology, faced with the difficulties arising from differences between the city of walkers and the rural baserritarras.

The work included propaganda establish dialogue with the natural rise of explaining the nationalist agenda, the distribution of leaflets and leaves Basque well as organizing celebrations and even theatrical activities themselves.

Euzko Ikasle Batza[edit]

The young nationalists believed desirable to organise the young Basques, who in the absence of Public University in Euzkadi, should move to pursue higher studies. They formed colonies displaced Basques.

On April 7, 1931 celebrated the General Meeting of Euzko Ikasle Batz Madrid and April 1, 1932 is inaugurated in Zaragoza. To maintain the ratio of young Basques Euzkadi and studying abroad, will emerge Euzko Ikasle Batz.

The main task will be to maintain ties between Euzkadi Interior and the displaced students. As of March 19, 1932 will have its own weekly, "Mendigoixale" replaced in September by "Jagi-Jagi"

Jagi - Jagi[edit]

This publication eventually merging them around to the most orthodox and purist of young nationalists showing special concern for the nationalist doctrine and adopting a rigid interpretation of the ideas of Sabino Arana.

Basic features of the group will be the radical independence and the attempt to create a single nationalist front, as a collaborative effort of all in that goal-independence nationalists on the premise of collaborating with anti parties Spaniards.

Will clashes with EAJ-PNV on religious grounds, not accepting as a basis for the catholicity imposed them. So in 1933, in municipal elections, Jagi Jagi, called the vote for the EAJ-PNV more because of the wickedness of other alternatives for goodness Jelkide. And on June 2, 1934, clearly feel outside the organization EAJ.

Was not this the only tension between the party and the nationalist youth. The lower level, the founders of Euzko Gaztedia in Navarre were expelled from the PNV April 1, 1932 and reinstated in September 1933 by the NBB as part of an era of conflict at all levels.

Throughout the entire history of Euzko Gaztedi, will be felt friction between the party leadership and young nationalists who, in many cases, feel that his party did not fight everything that should Euzkadi.

After the war[edit]

After the war was refounded in Venezuela where it was integrated into the political structure of the party in foreign and emerging stands for EGI having edited the magazine Gudari and see the need to create a new youth organization. John Queralt was the creator of the logo of EGI, taking the witness as an idea of former gudaris (basque soldiers) moved into the new generations and taking the torch of "Guernica" by Picasso that became a symbol of EGI.

Since then the number of militants begins to grow. One year after the strike of 1952 is organizing a study group under the name university Ekin ( "engage" in Basque) in Bilbao. Since 1953, and through the Basque Nationalist Party in exile, the group making contact with EGI. It was in 1956 when both associations merge. However, in 1958 begin to glimpse tensions within the association being expelled from the ringleaders of EGI Ekin by methodological issues and ideological as Ekin was secular, emphasizing language instead of race, and willing to further a strategy of 'action direct' and act as a Basque resistance movement, at a time when abounded national liberation struggles in the third world, as the Vietnam War or the decolonization of Algeria.

Ekin became ETA on July 31, 1959, although some authors note in December 1958 as the date of the early writings where it appears the name "ETA". At the beginning and during its early years the actions of ETA were conducting nationalists painted what they were confused by these facts with the claims of EGI, until ETA has chosen to back the armed struggle.

EGI continued industrial action nationalists as the placing of an ikurriña at the tip of one of the towers of the Cathedral of Burgos on Independence Day 1960 and participation in joint actions with other nationalist youth associations in Europe. Thus, in 1969, two of its militants, Joaquin Artajo and Alberto Azurmendi, died on the operator that a bomb being prepared in Urzama (Navarra), while an emerging sector EGI, EGI-called Batasuna, prone to etarras approaches. Following the abandonment of ETA sectors "Spanish" rapprochement ended in fusion.

EGI-Batasuna was led by Iñaki Múgica Arregui, Ezkerra. Ezkerra was an activist EGI responsible for attaching the ikurriña in the Burgos Cathedral (he tried twice in the first fell from the tower, breaks both legs in the second succeeded in its objective). He was later released by the PNV to organize action groups, in order to contain the unrest of the youth members inaction before the match. The sector led by Ezkerra confluence with ETA V Assembly contributing almost five hundred militants. The merger took place on Aberri Eguna 1972, under the acronym ETA.

After the dictator's death in 1975 took the democratic openness to grow alongside the parent party. At present day carries out vindictive and dissemination of Basque culture.

There are active members of the Council of the Basque youth (EGK) and the Youth Council of Euskal Herria (EHGK).


Members of EGI with the Lehendakari Juan José Ibarretxe

EGI is structured so internal almost identical to EAJ-PNV, being an autonomous organization within the party, but its members are affiliated between 16 and 30 years.

The organization is assembly and works on three levels: municipal, regional or territorial and national levels. The first one was inaugurated on July 14, 1894 in the old town of Bilbao, one year before the formal establishment as the PNV party. Today there are over 200 batzokis.

The executive body of the party, "Aberri Batzorde", is composed of the secretaries of the regional councils and various burukides (council members) endorsed by the national assembly from those elected by the territorial assemblies. The regional councils are composed of the heads of each valley or area and that are shared work areas and the secretariat. Las ejecutivas tienen mandato por dos años. The executive has the mandate for two years.

"Bilera Nagusiak" (General Assemblies) are the highest organ of EGI and usually every three or four years where approving the policy action. The last was in December 2004 in Zarauz (Guipuzcoa).

Former members of EGI[edit]

  1. Iñaki Anasagasti
  2. Asier Arambarri
  3. Rikardo Arregi
  4. Jose Luis Bilbao
  5. Leire Caridad
  6. Leire Corrales
  7. Joseba Egibar
  8. Elías Gallastegi
  9. Iñaki Gerenabarrena
  10. Josu Jon Imaz
  11. Markel Olano
  12. Iñigo Urkullu

Relations with other organizations[edit]

EGI maintains formal relations and contacts with various parties and organizations from other Spanish and French regions. Among these organizations are:

  • Joventut Nacionalista de Catalunya (JNC), youths CDC (Catalonia).
  • Unió de Joves (UdJ), youths of UDC (Catalonia).
  • Galiza Nova, youths of BNG (Galicia).
  • Bloc Jove, youths of BLOC (Valencia)
  • Young Scots for Independence, youth wing of the Scottish National Party

Also, EGI is a founding member of "Young Democrats for Europe" pan-European organisation, the youth wing of the European Democratic Party (YDE - JDE).

Annual acts[edit]

Josu Jon Imaz of the day in an act of EGI (EGI Eguna) in 2004

Among the various acts which organizes the organization (lectures, excursions and outings, days devoted to ...), different topics in addition to participation in all those who carried out the PNV, highlighting the EGI eguna (day of EGI) which consists of a camping weekend preceding the Aberri Eguna, the camping of Alderdi Eguna (Day party) and EGIko Plaza (Plaza de EGI) in Vizcaya, a day which mixes sports, politics and party. Durante las fiestas de Bilbao participan en ellas como Gogorregi During the festival of Bilbao involved in them as Gogorregi

Last acts[edit]

In November 2005, and together with other nationalist youth organizations, including the outlawed Segi, agreed to create a Youth Council. Udalbiltza and Batasuna welcomed the step taken by young people and wished that may bear fruit in the future.

On April 1, 2006, EGI participated in the demonstration in Bilbao called by parties and unions abertzale and that the PNV not joined the understanding that she hides behind the goal of shaping a pole that independence is an alternative political and social "Jeltzale training. The executive of PNV reiterated his official position is not attending it.

In 2007 a programme to encourage participation on common themes of youth (e.g., responsible consumption of drugs, youth and rural areas, citizen participation, housing, employment.)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. Official website of Euzko Gaztedi-EGI
  2. Web with various stickers EGI
  3. Videos of EGI
  4. Statutes of EGI
  5. Texts adopted by the Fourth bilera Nagusia of EGI