election last Fall, the new leadership of the Basque
Government has yet to announce replacements for a Director
of Relations with Basques abroad. Commenting on the
current state of affairs is Joseba Etxarri in this excerpt
from his online editorial for
Originally posted at
www.euskalkultura.com (June 9, 2009)
Berriz arte to our Basque
A new week and we continue as
we were with regard to the appointment by the Basque
government of [someone to replace Josu Legarreta who was
removed from his position of Director of Relations with
Basques abroad] to be responsible for issues of the
Diaspora. Yesterday was Tuesday, the day of the week when
the Governing Council makes executive decisions. Well,
yesterday it was not convened: this week there will be
no Governing Council.
It seems that there is no hurry to appoint a replacement.
And the truth is that the technicians and officials of the
Directorate for Relations with Basque abroad have continued
their work without [a director], but once the administrative
work is done, it's time for training programs such as
Gaztemundu that require a selection of participants, that
without having appointed the Secretary General of Foreign
affairs, there is no quorum to proceed. Gaztemundu is
slated to begin July 12 in Vitoria-Gasteiz and the
applicants are still awaiting word whether they have been
selected or not making travel arrangements from throughout
the Americas, Europe and possibly Australia to come to
Vitoria-Gasteiz in the middle of high season problematical.
Clearly time is necessary if the appointment is about
finding the best person, male or female, most appropriate
for this position. The appointment of a person to
coordinate relations between Euskadi and the Diaspora is not
the same as appointing a director of Industry and Tourism.
In addition to the training and skills required of people at
this level in the organization, the Director of Relations
with the Diaspora must be a person who is motivating and
friendly, capable of encouraging and working through the
aspirations of thousands of people make up your 'business'.
The actions of this department of the Basque Government
impacts thousands of Basque people in the Diaspora, people
who are part of a structure of Basque courses, for example,
but whose presence and action is based on that of voluntary
organizations rather than a hierarchical business model.
I wish every success to the appointment, for the sake of the
Diaspora. If you appoint a person who already knows
the Diaspora or belong to it, the better. If not, they will
appreciate the goodwill of the person concerned. If there is
no prior knowledge, at least there is respect. Because of
the fact that the Diaspora must be approached with respect,
respect for honest work and volunteerism. One key aim
is to support creating and providing opportunities for young
people, through ongoing action to be reached by applying the
general approach with mutual respect, listening, sharing,
proposing and cooperation with a spirit of service.
The motivation and the encouragement of hope, namely to
encourage and make people feel involved and included are
aspects that become particularly important. For these and
other reasons, information, awareness and knowledge of the
Diaspora is crucial for the new director.