argia.eus
INPRIMATU
No news in capital strength
  • The day of the marmote, the awakening and the elephant was still there… the expressions are exhausted to predict what the elections can bring in Bizkaia. On the contrary, without great surprises, there will be no significant changes in the largest demographic and economic area of the Basque Country. The PNV triumphs at almost every major command point. The only question is whether the nationalists will rule alone or where they will have to take advantage of the socialist scandal.
Axier Lopez @axierL 2023ko maiatzaren 11
Ahaldun Nagusirako EAJren hautagai Elixabete Etxanobe eta Bilboko alkategai Juan Mari Aburtoren publizitatea Bilboko Sabin Etxean. Argazkia: EAJ

The next owner of the command staff of the General Boards of Bizkaia is not in doubt. The only thing that changes is the hand you hold for four years. After eight years as a general MP, Unai Rementeria, representative of the most neoliberal part of the PNV, cedes his place – we do not know voluntarily or forcibly – to the otxandio Elixabete Etxanobe, raised at the foot of the party. He has the usual curriculum of the Jeltzales: he trained in the usual nest, learning Law at the University of Deusto, from there to Durango as an official, until the parties address the public institutions. First he is a Councilor of Otxandio, in 2013 he has gone to the Basque Government and has held several positions. In the year 2021, she was appointed as a foral deputy of Public Administration and Institutional Relations to prepare for the next step of her career in the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, being the first general deputy woman.

But with all the resume and respect for Etxano, it is known that, although the PNV present in Bizkaia, it will have almost every chance of winning elections. Because in recent decades no real solid alternative has been articulated, except for the chimera achieved by Ahal Dunous in the 2016 Spanish elections: He won at the CAV, in Bizkaia and almost in Bilbao. And there is no alternative because the left do not know what to do in the urban centers in which life based on Spanish capitalism is immense. This model led by the PNV is strong. Although we are talking about the multiple crisis at world level, the representatives of Bizkaia who guarantee the chain of command of capital in public institutions do not seem to have any consequences. The PNV has connected mathematics – the PSOE and PP are always ready to support structural projects – it has aligned the important economic and media powers according to their interests, and in recent years it has managed to increasingly concentrate the vote of competition around it. Moreover, in the 2019 elections the PNV won two more junters, staying from the absolute majority to one.

Socialists lost some of their usual places in 2015 and only to date have the municipalities of Portugalete and Ermua been maintained. What the PNV has lost, of course: In 2019, the first force occurred in 72 villages. EH Bildu is the only force that gives color to the map of Bizkaia. But in the east of the country. In 2019, the first force took place in 30 villages. The only significant change then was for the left that the PNV lost two of its usual large plazas. In Galdakao and Durango, both with almost 30,000 inhabitants, EH Bildu was the second force that got the mayor. In both cases the de facto pair PNV and PSE stood out, thanks to the support of Durango's candidature Herri Eskubideak and the votes of Ahal Duguren and two independent candidates. Another year in both localities the result will be narrow between the two blocs.

Ahal's arrival has not meant a significant change in the map of institutional power participation. In 2019 he lost half of his members in Álava and Gipuzkoa, but in Bizkaia he remained. What came to “assault the sky” has spent a few years holding the PSOE staircase. What about PP? He's not there, and nobody's waiting for him. It has enough work to put an end to a continuous descent.

The unique color of Bilbao and its surroundings

María del Río Pereda, candidate of EH Bildu in Bilbao, states that “if we want to transform Euskal Herria we have to transform Bilbao”. To this should be added the old towns/industrial cities of the area of Bilbao, which forgive me for entering the list of Neguri de Getxo, that plot that some call Gran Bilbao. About 780,000 people live in Bilbao, Barakaldo, Getxo, Santurtzi, Portugalete, Basauri, Leioa, Sestao and Erandio: Two thirds of Bizkaia and a quarter of Euskal Herria in a few kilometers.

The equation seems simple: more and more people, more system life. And as the current hegemonic political, economic and cultural system continues to move towards more reactionary positions, the result is clear: Bilbao and the major cities of the Left Margin, Uribe Kosta, Meatzaldea and Bilboaldea have long dominated the right policies, although for many years, especially in the Left Margin, they have dressed as socialists, workers and Spaniards. And the left are far from the controller.

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Just in case, a note: The outdated equation that says “Situation worse and worse, better for the left” means that we are worse. But in an area where most workers, students, pensioners -- the left should be closer, more prepared, the bike for change. Iker Casanova, a member of the Abertzale left, former political president, a member of the Basque Parliament and now a candidate for EH Bildu to the General Member of Bizkaia, stressed that “the social discourse that aims to protect the citizens coincides with the needs of the majority of the citizens of Ezkerraldea”.

The Maria Del Río coalition also has no reason to say that “Bilbao is much more feminist, more ecological, more supportive, more left, more plural, more open and more Basque than its municipal government”. Yes, but unfortunately history has shown us that it is not enough. That’s why, on the other hand, EH Bildu lost in 2019 a councilor and 1,000 votes in Barakaldo, and the nationalist Juan Mari Aburto stayed in a single councilor to get an absolute majority in Bilbao. This year, the symbol of punitive populism is reintroduced.

Casanova, however, has announced a great improvement of EH Bildu in these elections and has placed its centre in the Left Margin: “Most of the left margin can be from Euskal Herria Bildu. We will make a major leap in these elections, which will be based primarily on the great growth we will have in Ezkerraldea.” And yes, patience, constancy and hope have always been essential to the left, but I believe that in Bizkaia, to achieve a transformation in the lives of the majority, of the working class, will need more than that.