Interviewed another separatist, this time from the Basque country. Gaizka Matinez is friends with Pol and hails from Bilbao. Although their cultural and ethnic identities are different, they are united by their friendship and their common cause i.e. separation from Spain.

I asked them both if they saw an end to the conflicts, Gaizka replied.

“There will always be conflict until there is a separated country.”

Pol elaborated a little further. The Basques have been partially recognised and have been afforded a sort of semi-autonomous status. Catalunya has been denied this. To the extent that, in response to the unilateral declaration of independence in October 2017, the Spanish government dissolved the Catalan Parliament and ordered a snap election. Pol gave me a quote in Catalan.

“Ja no valem molles, volem el pa sencer.”

“We are no longer worth only the crumbs, we want the whole loaf of bread.”

I’m left wondering where this will all end. Did the Basques gain their status as a form of appeasement? After all, ETA was, for many years, classified as a terrorist organisation.

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