Basque Country

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Basque Country

(băsk, bäsk), Basque Euzkadi, Span. País Vasco, autonomous community comprising the provinces of Araba/Álava, Gipuzkoa (Guipúzcoa), and Bizkaia (Vizcaya or Biscay) (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 , autonomous community and province (1990 pop. 527,318), N Spain, bordering on France, between the W Pyrenees and the Ebro River. Pamplona is the capital.
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 and Basses-Pyrénées dept. in France.) BilbaoBilbao
, city (1990 pop. 383,798), capital of Bizkaia (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 Bizkaia 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 Gipuzkoa (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 Gipuzkoa prov.; Vitoria-GasteizVitoria-Gasteiz
, city (1990 est. pop. 209,506), capital of Araba/Álava prov. and administrative center of the Basque Country, N Spain. It is a manufacturing and administrative center producing furniture, motor vehicles, and refined sugar.
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, capital of Araba/Álava prov.; and historic GuernicaGuernica
, officially Gernika-Lumo, historic town (1990 pop. 16,422), Bizkaia (Vizcaya or Biscay) prov., N Spain, in the Basque Country. It has metallurgical, furniture, and food manufacturers, and some tourism.
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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 Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa the chief occupations are mining of iron, lead, copper, and zinc and metalworking, shipbuilding, and fishing. Araba/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 its campaign for Basque self-determination, the militant Basque Homeland and Freedom (Euzkadi Ta Azkatasuna; ETA) mounted a terrorist campaign in which more than 850 people died; political parties linked to the ETA were repeatedly banned. A 1998–99 cease-fire by the ETA ended without a negotiated settlement. The regional government has sought even greater autonomy through political means. 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; it turned over arms stockpiles in 2017 and said it had disbanded in 2018. The Basque Nationalists won a plurality in the 2012 and 2016 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 ?
The visit was organized by the Spanish Embassy together with the Philippine Honorary Consulate General in Bilbao, led by Susana Palomino as Honorary Consul who has jurisdiction over the Basque Country, La Rioja, Navarra, Cantabria, Burgos and Palencia.
I cannot understand or share Madrid's approach to the decade-long crisis regarding the Basque country, which has now extended to Catalonia.
The Basque Country is an autonomous community in northern Spain with its own distinct language.
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Euskaltel, the preferred network provider for government, enterprise and residential users in the region, has 43% share of the broadband access market, 47% share of the fixed network market and 60% share of the digital TV market in the Basque Country.
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MADRID (TAP) - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative Popular Party retained its majority in a key election in his home region of Galicia, exit polls showed on Sunday, while nationalist parties came out ahead in the Basque Country.
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.
ETA operate mainly in Spain, for particularly in the Basque Country, Navarra and, to a lesser degree, and Madrid, Barcelona and the tourist areas of the Spanish Mediterranean coast.
Consisting of ten chapters, Vazquez's work begins with a discussion of the political transition and consolidation that took place in Spain and the Basque Country after the death of Franco in 1975.
Location and navigation products and services suppler TomTom (AEX:TOM2) announced on Friday an agreement with the government of Basque Country whereby evaluation of traffic conditions in the region will be possible through use of the Custom Travel Times product.