Galician Nationalist Bloc
|Merger of||Galician People's Union
Galician National-Popular Assembly
Galician Socialist Party
|Headquarters||Santiago de Compostela|
|Newspaper||Benegá ao día|
|Student wing||Erguer-Estudantes da Galiza|
|Youth wing||Galiza Nova and Isca!|
|European affiliation||European Free Alliance|
|European Parliament group||The Greens–European Free Alliance|
|Trade union affiliation||Confederación Intersindical Galega (CIG)|
1 / 54
6 / 75
12 / 108
|Mayors in Galicia||
30 / 314
|Town Councillors in Galicia||
468 / 3,766
Formed in 1982, under the guidance of historical leader Xosé Manuel Beiras, the BNG calls for further devolution of powers to the Parliament of Galicia and the official and unambiguous recognition of Galicia as a nation. The BNG also promotes affirmative action for the Galician language. The current leader – president of the National Council and national spokesperson – is Xavier Vence.
The BNG has strong ties with the Galician Trade Union Confederation (Confederación Intersindical Galega, CIG), with the student union Erguer-Estudantes da Galiza (Wake Up - Students of Galiza), the agrarian unions Galician Peasant Union (Sindicato Labrego Galego, SLG) and Galician Rural Federation (FRUGA), and with environmentalist, feminist and Galician language organizations.
From 2005 to 2009, BNG was part of a coalition government along with the Socialists' Party of Galicia, in which its leader, Anxo Quintana, served as the vice-president of the Galician regional government.
The BNG is composed of a majority of grassroots independent members and a number of political parties. Traditionally, the largest party and main ideological influence has been the Galician People's Union (Unión do Povo Galego, UPG). In origin, the UPG, and consequently the BNG, were strongly left-wing and even supported the idea of Galician independence. However, since 1990 BNG has gradually abandoned the secessionist discourse and claims for self-determination are rarely produced, especially since the moderate nationalist party Galician Unity (Unidade Galega) joined the coalition. According to its former leader, Anxo Quintana, BNG is not an "independentist" party, although some individuals and organizations within it may express sympathy for the idea. In fact, the hegemonic party (UPG) has supported independence since 2011. Since the National Assembly of Amio (2012), the whole front has adopted the idea of independence and the creation of a Galician republic. The same year, the Bloc adopted a position critical of the European Union.
In 2012 several parties and individuals abandoned the front, dissatisfied with its political line and the control exercised by the UPG. Encontro Irmandiño abandoned the bloc and joined with Galician Workers Front (Fronte Obreira Galega), the Galician People's Front (FPG), Movemento pola Base and other collectives to form Anova-Nationalist Brotherhood. Anova obtained four seats in the 2012 Galician election as part of the Galician Left Alternative coalition. Anova is a pro-independence, anticapitalist, anti-globalization, republican and anti-imperialist organization. Other groups that split were the more moderate social-democratic and autonomist Máis Galiza, Nationalist Left and the Galician Nationalist Party-Galicianist Party (PNG-PG). They formed Commitment to Galicia (CxG), a social-democratic and autonomist organization. No CxG deputies were elected at the 2012 Galician election.
BNG began its electoral history in a modest way. However, it quickly progressed from a single seat in the Galician Parliament to its best results in 1997 when, under the leadership of Xosé Manuel Beiras, it won almost 25 per cent of the total vote and 18 seats (out of 75) at the Parliament.
After the 2001 Galician elections, the BNG still was the second-largest political group in the Galician Parliament with 17 seats, slightly ahead of the Socialists' Party of Galicia (PSdG) in total votes. Yet it was not until 2005 that BNG could force a coalition government, despite losing four seats and slipping to the third place. The BNG vice-president Anxo Quintana became then the vice-president of Galicia, and BNG could directly appoint a number of conselleiros (ministers) for some government departments. Prior to that, the other major Galician party, the conservative People's Party (PPdeG), had remained in control of the overall majority and therefore of the Galician government. In the 2009 elections, a sharp reduction in votes for the PSdG, together with poor results for the BNG (12 seats), forced the left-wing coalition out of government to the benefit of the PPdeG.
Meanwhile, the BNG won 208,688 votes (11.37 per cent of the Galician vote, 0.8 of the Spanish total) in the 2004 Spanish general election, gaining two of the 350 seats in the Spanish Congress of Deputies. Results in the 2008 Spanish general election were slightly improved (+0.7% in Galicia), although resulting in the same number of seats. Results in local elections have traditionally been good, with a constant increase in the number of seats won, allowing BNG to govern or to, at least, take part in the government coalitions of most Galician large urban centres.
BNG lost its single Member of the European Parliament, Camilo Nogueira, in the 2004 European Parliament election. However, BNG's interests are still represented thanks to an alliance established with the Basque Nationalist Party and the Catalan Convergence and Union. BNG maintains regular contact with its European group, the European Greens–European Free Alliance, through a permanent representative in the chamber.
The party also has a designated seat at the Spanish Senate, out of the three allowed for Galician representatives.
Elections to the Galician Parliament
|Year||Votes (in thousands)||Percentage||Deputies|
Elections to the Spanish Parliament
|Year||Votes (in thousands)||Percentage||Deputies|
Elections to the European Parliament
|Year||Votes (in thousands)||Percentage||Deputies|
- The 2004 candidature was a joint candidature with Catalan and Basque parties, hence the disparity between number of votes and number of seats achieved. Those 2 MEP, were members of the Basque Nationalist Party and of Convergencia i Unió (Catalan nationalist). Neither of them are members of the BNG.
- The 2009 candidature was a joint candidature with Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, Aralar and other parties. The only MEP is rotative.
|Year||Votes (in thousands)||Percentage||Councillors|
BNG regulates itself through local, regional and national assemblies in which members can vote for and be elected as regional delegates and thereafter members of the National Council. However, the internal functioning of the party has come into criticism in recent years. As a result, several new organizations calling for "transparency and internal democracy" have formed within the BNG, namely the Encontro Irmandinho (led by former BNG president Xosé Manuel Beiras), Movemento Pola Base (formed by grassroots members and backed by the youth section Galiza Nova), and A Alternativa (supported by former Member of the European Parliament Camilo Nogueira). Furthermore, Anxo Quintana's leadership has been called into question after the poor results of the Galician 2009 elections.
Joint affiliation with other political groups outside the BNG is not allowed. The political groups currently recognised by the BNG (via a lengthy ratification process) are:
- Galician People's Union (Unión do Povo Galego, UPG) – Communism, Marxism-Leninism, Galician independence
- Abrente-Galician Democratic Left (Abrente – Esquerda Democrática Galega, Abrente) – Social democracy
- Galician Movement for Socialism (Movemento Galego ao Socialismo, MGS)- Communism, Galician independence, Revolutionary socialism
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Historical parties and currents:
- Galician Socialist Party (1982-1983) - democratic socialism, federalism, pacifism, Split in two in 1983, a sector joined Esquerda Galega and formed the PSG-EG, other continued to work in the BNG as the Socialist Collective.
- Socialist Collective (1983-2012) - democratic socialism. Split of the Galician Socialist Party.
- Communist Party of National Liberation (1986-1987) - communism, Galician independence, Marxism-Leninism. Split of the Galician People's Union, left the BNG in 1987 to form the Galician People's Front.
- Galician Nationalist Party-Galicianist Party (1991-2012) - social liberalism, federalism. Left the BNG in 2012 to join Commitment to Galicia (CxG).
- Nationalist Left (1992-2012) - democratic socialism, Galician independence.
- Inzar (1993-2012) - anticapitalism, feminism, ecologism.
- Galician Unity (1994-2003) - democratic socialism, federalism, ecologism.
- Primeira Linha (1998-1999) - Communism, Galician independence, Marxism-Leninism. Left the BNG, later formed Nós-UP.
- Movemento pola Base (2005-2009) - Communism, Galician independence. Split of the Galician People's Union, left the BNG in 2009, joined Anova-Nationalist Brotherhood in 2012.
- Encontro Irmandiño (2007-2012) - socialism, alter-globalization, feminism, direct democracy. Left the BNG in 2012 to form Anova-Nationalist Brotherhood.
- Galician Socialist Space (2008-2012) - social democracy, Europeanism, federalism. Split from Nationalist Left, joined Máis Galiza in 2009. Left the BNG in 2012 to join Commitment to Galicia (CxG).
- Máis Galiza (2009-2012) - social democracy, federalism. Left the BNG in 2012 to join Commitment to Galicia (CxG).
- Galician Workers Front (2010-2012) - anticapitalism, Galician independence. Left the front in 2012 to join Anova-Nationalist Brotherhood.
- Principals of the BNG.
- Xavier Vence Deza, Crise e fracaso da Unión Europea neoliberal. Unha alternativa soberanista e democrática, Galiza Sempre, 2013.
- Several authors (all militants or close to the BNG), A UE como problema. Reflexións desde Galiza, BNG, 2013.
- Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko; Matti Mälkiä (2007). Encyclopedia of Digital Government. Idea Group Inc (IGI). pp. 394–. ISBN 978-1-59140-790-4.
- In reference to the fact that the Statute of Autonomy of Galicia of 1981 states that Galicia is a "historical nationality", rather than simply a nation.
- Press release, commenting on Quintana's rejection of the secessionist option
- Picture: members of Movemento pola Base displaying a banner with the motto "Independence and Socialism"
- http://www.uniondopovogalego.org/?p=1214%7C Point 3: National sovereignty
- http://www.bng-galiza.org/wp-content/uploads/Documentos-XIII-AN-BNG.pdf%7C Sovereignty should materialize through the exercise of self-determination, to create a Galician democratic, secular and republican state: the Republic of Galiza
- http://www.bng-galiza.org/wp-content/uploads/Documentos-XIII-AN-BNG.pdf%7C Point 1
- Official site of the Office of the Vice President of Galicia
- Results of the 2009 Galician elections
- http://mgs-galiza.org/?page_id=2%7C Galician Movement for Socialism: Principles and goals
- Compromiso por Galicia llega a Ourense con Táboas y Cuiña. La Región. 2012.
- Barreiro, H. et al. (2002): "A Galicia política e o nacionalismo do BNG", in Tempos Novos, no. 59, p. 24–33
- Beramendi, J.G. (2003): "Fin de ciclo no BNG? : Beiras desafía a hexemonía da UPG", in Tempos novos, p. 48–50
- BNG (2004): Documento de bases para a elaboración dun novo Estatuto para Galiza
- Fernández Baz, M.A. (2003): A formación do nacionalismo galego contemporáneo (1963–1984), Laiovento
- Rodríguez, F. (1999): "Fundación da UPG na frente nacionalista BNG", in Terra e tempo, no. 12, p. 43–45
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bloque Nacionalista Galego.|
- BNG website
- UPG website
- Galiza Nova, youth section of the BNG
- Movemento Galego ao Socialismo
- Isca! website (youth of the MGS)
- "Quin TV", multimedia portal of BNG's ex-president Anxo Quintana
- "TeleBNG", BNG's channel in YouTube