Basque Country

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Basque Country

(băsk, bäsk), Basque Euzkadi, Span. País Vasco, comprising the provinces of Álava, Guipúzcoa, and Vizcaya (1990 pop. 2,159,701), N Spain, S of the Bay of Biscay and bordering on France in the northeast. The region includes the W Pyrenees and is bounded in the southwest by the Ebro River. It is crossed by the Cantabrian Mts. (In a wider sense the name also applies to other territories largely inhabited by Basques: Spanish NavarreNavarre
, Span. Navarra , province (1990 pop. 527,318), N Spain, bordering on France, between the W Pyrenees and the Ebro River. Pamplona is the capital. Land and Economy

Navarre province forms the autonomous region of Navarra.
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 and Basses-Pyrénées dept. in France.) BilbaoBilbao
, city (1990 pop. 383,798), capital of Vizcaya prov., N Spain, in the Basque Country, on both banks of the Nervión River, near the Bay of Biscay. A leading Spanish port and commercial center since the 19th cent.
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, capital of Vizcaya prov., is the largest Basque city and one of the chief industrial centers of Spain. Other cities include San SebastiánSan Sebastián
, Basque Donostia, city (1990 pop. 183,944), capital of Guipúzcoa prov., N Spain, on the Bay of Biscay at the mouth of the Urumea River, in the Basque Country near the French frontier. Picturesquely situated at the foot of Mt.
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, capital of Guipúzcoa prov.; VitoriaVitoria
, city (1990 est. pop. 209,506), capital of Álava prov., N Spain, in the Basque region. It is a manufacturing and administrative center producing furniture, motor vehicles, and refined sugar. It was probably founded in the 6th cent.
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, capital of Álava prov.; and historic GuernicaGuernica
, historic town (1990 pop. 16,422), Vizcaya prov., N Spain, in the Basque region. It has metallurgical, furniture, and food manufacturers, and some tourism. The oak of Guernica, under which the diet of Vizcaya used to meet, is a symbol of the lost liberties of the
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. Although Basque was recognized as the official language of the region in 1978, most Basques speak French or Spanish. In the densely populated coastal provinces of Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa the chief occupations are mining of iron, lead, copper, and zinc and metalworking, shipbuilding, and fishing. Álava is primarily agricultural; corn and sugar beets are grown, and wine and apple cider are made. Tourism is also important. Traditional Basque farming culture has given way to industrial development and emigration to France and the Americas.

For the history of the three provinces up to 1936, see BasquesBasques
, people of N Spain and SW France. There are about 2 million Basques in the three Basque provs. and Navarre, Spain; some 250,000 in Labourd, Soule, and Lower Navarre, France; and communities of various sizes in Central and South America and other parts of the world.
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. Shortly after the outbreak of civil war in 1936 the Spanish government granted the three provinces autonomy. The Basque nationalist leader, José Antonio de Aguirre, was elected president of the autonomous government, but a large part of its territory was soon in insurgent hands. The fighting was over by Sept., 1937, and the new Franco regime abolished Basque autonomy. Basque nationalism remained strong, however, and the region achieved autonomy again in 1979, electing its first parliament the following year. In their campaign for Basque self-determination, the militant Basque Homeland and Freedom (Euzkadi Ta Azkatasuna; ETA) has been responsible for much terrorism; a 1998–99 cease-fire by the ETA ended without a negotiated settlement. Political parties linked to the ETA have been repeatedly banned. In recent years the regional government has sought even greater autonomy. A plan for "free association" with Spain was passed by the region's parliament in 2004, but the plan was not approved by the Spanish Cortes. In Mar., 2006, the ETA announced a "permanent" cease-fire, and called for negotiations; the Spanish government agreed to talks three months later. A bombing in Dec., 2006, however, ended the chance for talks, and in June, 2007, the ETA ended its cease-fire. In Oct., 2007, the entire leadership of Batasuna, a party linked to the ETA, was arrested. In May, 2009, a regional government led by the Socialists took office; it was the first time since autonomy was restored that Basque Nationalists had not led the government. The ETA, under pressure from Basque separatist parties, announced a new truce in 2010, and then in 2011 said it had ended its armed campaign. The Basque Nationalists won a plurality in the 2012 regional elections.

Basque Country


(Vascongadas; Vasconia; Euzkadi in Basque), a historic national district in northern Spain on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. It was an autonomous region in Spain in 1936–37. Area, 7,260 sq km. Population, 1,834,500 in 1969, most of whom are Basques. It includes the provinces of Vizcaya, Guipúzcoa, and Álava. The chief city and port is Bilbao. The Basque country occupies the lower eastern portion of the Cantabrian Mountains (elevation to 1,475 m) and the coastal hills rising above the Bay of Biscay. The climate is temperate maritime. The forests consist of broad-leaved trees (beech, oak, chestnut).

The Basque country is a major heavy industry region, which accounts for almost one-sixth of the gross value of output of the manufacturing industry in Spain. Despite depleted deposits and diminishing yields, the Basque country (province of Vizcaya) produces more than one-fourth of the total iron ore output in Spain (1.7 million tons in 1963). Lead and zinc ore deposits are also exploited (in the province of Guipúzcoa and, to some extent, in Vizcaya). The Basque country provides only one-fifth of its own electric power requirements—that is, 729 million kilowatt-hours, 41.5 percent of which is supplied by a thermal electric power plant (1966). The chief manufacturing industries are metallurgy (17.5 percent of the total work force and 40 percent of the gross value of output of the manufacturing industry of the region) and metalworking and machine-building (55 percent of the total work force and 30 percent of the gross value of output). The Basque country accounts for more than one-fourth of the total production of cast iron and more than one-third of the production of steel and rolled metal in Spain. Metallurgical production is concentrated in the Bilbao area; steel foundries and rolling mills are also located in the provinces of Guipúzcoa and Álava. Shipbuilding (approximately one-third of all dockyards in the country, including the two largest shipyards in Bilbao), the machine tool industry, the production of railroad equipment, electrical equipment, hoists, weapons, and so forth are well-developed. Bilbao and San Sebastián are the principal machine-building centers. Other industries include chemicals (production of acids and fertilizers, plastics, coke by-products), paper (approximately one-fourth of the total output in Spain), cement, and food. The agricultural specialty of the maritime provinces is the raising of meat and dairy livestock; farming is the principal activity of the province of Álava. Viticulture and wine making are carried on in all areas. The fishing industry is centered at the port of Pasajes. Seaside health resorts are concentrated mainly in the area around San Sebastián.


Geografía de España, vol. 2. Barcelona, [1955].


References in periodicals archive ?
Rajoy was given a boost for his austerity drive with this election victory but wins for nationalist parties in the Basque Country could prove a headache for his centre-right government.
The festival is extremely popular in the region, as thousands of people from all over the country gather in the Basque Country every year in order to witness the wonders that folklore from various countries has to offer.
Elsewhere, the Basque country registered winds of over 130kph.
HUNDREDS of angry protesters have booed French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the Basque Country, forcing him to take shelter in a bar.
Those who are concerned about realizing the rights of a group of Sudanese people and are seeking to declare the South as independent, how come they do not share this concern for the people of Spain's Basque Country, Northern Ireland, France's Corsica, or the southern states of America?
It was known a fortnight ago that 52-times capped Phillips had been to Bayonne for talks and was set to join the ambitious Basque Country club.
Our results show that insecure people (anxious-ambivalent) tend to be compulsive in their care for their partners, while people prone to avoidance tend to be controlling and to exhibit greater conflict in their sexual desire", Javier Gomez Zapiain, a professor of the psychology of sexuality at the University of the Basque Country and lead author of the study, told SINC.
Summary: DUBAI -- Dubai and the Basque Country, the autonomous community of Northern Spain play their important roles of strategic gateways to their respective regions and both have worked hard to achieve the economic progress of their countries and regions, said Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Arteta, who is from the Basque Country and is Spanish by nationality, but qualifies for England through the residency rule.
We follow this phenomenon, known as the "Bilbao Effect," with a tour of some of the world's most buzzed-about museum designs, beginning with Gehry's Basque Country masterpiece and culminating with the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, where architect Thomas Heatherwick's Seed Cathedral for the British Pavilion is mystifying visitors with a structure comprised of 60,000 seed-bearing rods looking just like a dandelion about to burst.
Based in Spain's Basque country, Guipuzcoano has EUR10.
Security forces believe Eta has killed more than 850 people in its campaign for independence for the Basque Country in northwestern Spain.