Basque vote gives big boost to Independence

Two Basque independence parties have triumphed in regional elections in northern Spain’s Basque country this weekend, the latest sign of growing separatist sentiment in crisis-plagued Europe.

The two parties together took nearly two-thirds of the vote, 48 of the 75 Basque legislative seats being contested. The Basque country, currently the most prosperous region of Spain with a long and sometimes violent movement for independence, already has its own police force, parliament and president.

According to the Vanguardia, a Catalan newspaper, the results show the victory of the moderates in the independence movement.

The second-largest vote was for the EH Bildu, a separatist coalition including the political wing of the ETA, which renounced terrorism last year and was thus allowed to field candidates for the election.

The second party, PNV or Basque Nationalist Party, is also in favor of some form of autonomy from Spain, the Guardian reports. The former ruling party, the socialist PPOE party, got 16% of the vote and the conservative party of current Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy only 10 %, reports El País.

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