A recent public demonstration in Pamplona (Spain) claimed that the Navarra autonomous region cannot be part a negotiation. This demonstration was organised by the local government of Navarra, and is officially motivated by the talks and political negotiations that the Spanish government of PM RodrÃguez Zapatero conducts with the assassins of ETA. The terrorists call for a new state which includes not only the Basque Country, but also Navarra and the French Basque Country, so the gun-point influenced political negotiations are really a cause for concern in Navarra.
It’s worth noting that the public demonstration may also be driven by the party currently in Navarran government, to rally support in the upcoming local elections (in May 2007).
In doing so, however, the Navarran government has argumented that Navarra has its own identity and that it has to be preserved, thus giving too much importance to local identity, and this is anything but good: Local identity is anti-natural and is only good for encouraging confrontation with other (different) identities.
People are first and foremost individuals, not citizens or nationals. Any reference to the identity of a group of people (Navarra in this case) is meant to treat people as a herd, to perform crowd-control and to drive the attention away from more important matters. A “local identity” or a “national identity” should not be used as an argument for anything.
That said, there’s ample justification to demonstrate against the Spanish government policy and also against ETA. Navarra (or any other part of the world) should not be the subject of a negotiation when one of the parties is using guns and bombs as arguments.
A proposition to modify the status of Navarra is perfectly valid, as long as the proponents do not threaten others to impose their ideas. On the other hand, evoking a sense of local identity is not the answer. The identity or structure of Navarra are as negotiable as anything else. But just like with anything else, any negotiations are not acceptable when the other side of the negotiation table is pointing a gun at you.