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VV’s Diary: July 8

Shocker: the Basque flag presided over the San Fermín fiesta

On San Fermín, several flags fluttered on the balcony of the Town Hall in Pamplona. Among them was the “ikurriña”, the official flag of the Basque Country. Rajoy was shocked: the ikurriña is the Basque flag and Navarre is not in the Basque Country.

Therefore, he says, flying an ikurriña hurts the feelings of some of the people in Navarre. Rajoy might be right, had the flag been raised at gunpoint. But it was flown because the local authorities --who were democratically elected and never concealed their intentions-- agreed to do so.

Is Navarre part of the Basque Country or is it not? There are two ways you can answer that question. Some believe that the people from Navarre should have a say on the matter. Others think that Navarre is not --and will never be-- part of the Basque Country, regardless of what its people might have to say about it. Myself, I’m with the former. Rajoy sides up with the latter.

But if deciding what a territory is bears no relation with the preferences of its inhabitants, whose decision is it, then? The law, which is changeable by nature? Our Good Lord? The categorical imperative of history and geography?

Rajoy claims that the ikurriña on the balcony hurts the feelings of some in Navarre. When there is no ikurriña, others feel hurt in their feelings. How can one arbitrate in a dispute of feelings? I can’t think of a better way than to hold a vote.