The Lehendakari declares that his government has demonstrated that "it knows how to govern well" and announces the "recovery" of the Basque economy
The Cabinet met at the Palacio Artaza, coinciding with the first anniversary of the government of the Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez
The Cabinet held its weekly meeting today at the Palacio Artaza (Leioa), coinciding with the first anniversary of the coming to power of the Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez. Following the meeting, the Lehendakari analysed in detail the 12-month period during which he has led the Lehendakaritza. Lopez declared that his government "knows how to govern well", and as a consequence, the measures, programmes and plans set out in order to combat the crisis "are working well" and that a "new economic cycle" has begun. "We are witnessing the recovery of our economy", he declared. The Lehendakari also thanked Basque society for its support in the outlawing of terrorism and demanded a "final, concerted effort to put an end to ETA".
"The Basque country is better today than it was a year ago". That was how the Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, weighed up the first year of the Socialist government in the Lehendakaritza. Twelve months in which "many things have changed in the Basque Country" and, in spite of all of the "predictions of catastrophe", Basque society has demonstrated its "responsibility and maturity" and taken the change of government in its stride. The Lehendakari emphasised that during the last year, his Government has demonstrated that it "knows how to govern well", as the subsidies, programmes and plans set up to combat the crisis "are providing good results". Lopez pointed out that, "We are witnessing a definite turn in economic trends, we are witnessing the recovery of our economy".
The Cabinet met this morning at the Palacio Artaza, coinciding with the first anniversary of the government of Lehendakari Patxi Lopez The Lehendakari met with 9 of his ministers (the Industry Minister, Bernabe Unda, was unable to attend) to evaluate the major successes and achievements of these 12 months of socialist government.The Lehendakari revealed two "hopeful" pieces of economic data that point to a "change of direction" in the Basque economy. The number of unemployed persons dropped last April by 30,825, placing the inter-annual rate at the lowest level for the last year and a half, and industrial production grew by 1.9%. Lopez stated that "this confirms a change in the economic cycle; in short, we are witnessing the recovery of our economy". He declared that this data "shows that the measures, programmes and plans we have instigated are producing results and that they clearly refute those who say that this government has no initiatives to combat against the crisis". "We have acted and we have acted correctly", he added.
The Lehendakari declared that Basque society "is in better condition to face the economic crisis now" than a year ago. In this sense, Lopez highlighted the "capacity to govern well" that his government has demonstrated despite the difficult situation in which it found itself a year ago, in the middle of an economic crisis with a drastic fall in tax revenue and with a "virtually non-existent" budget: 70% of the budget had already been allocated. "defending the Basque Country is synonymous with defending our economy and our companies, instead of closing them or asking them not to sell in at those places where they have their markets".
"A final effort" against ETA
The Lehendakari emphasised that the coming of the Socialist party into power opened the door to a "different way of government" by abandoning the "endless and futile debates" promoted by the previous government. Lopez pointed out that, "Today, we have left that "Great Conflict" behind. Now we want to discuss problems with an open mind". He defended the policy of his government which has sought to "negotiate and seek agreements, accords, to provide the most appropriate responses to these problems, more efficiently and with greater determination". "We have clearly demonstrated that there is another way of doing things", he added.
Together with the economic crisis, one of the main problems of Basque society is terrorism. In this area, the Basque Government has made "special efforts to put an end to terrorism and to recover public spaces for freedom". In this struggle, the Lehendakari and his ministers have felt "accompanied and protected at all times in a task that involves the whole country".
The Lehendakari reiterated the determination of his government to defeat the terrorism of ETA and those who support them: "no one can be neutral in the face of a terrorist act", he declared. After remembering those killed by the terrorists this year, Eduardo Puelles, Carlos Saenz de Tejada, Diego Salva and Jean-Serge Nerín, he called on Basque society to make a "final effort" to put an end to terrorism. "I ask everyone, with no exceptions, to join together and make a final and concerted effort to put an end to ETA" he declared.
New social contract
In his evaluation of the first year of the government, Lopez also spoke of his government's policy of "transparency and participation" reflected in measures such as Irekia, open data, the restoration of the Legislative Calendar and the publication of the contracts signed by the administration, as measures designed to allow "public access to the data handled by the Government". "This is a government that not only knows how to govern but also does it better than the last one. And we're doing it differently, with greater transparency and seeking greater collaboration", he pointed out.
With a view to the future, the Lehendakari proposed a "new social contract" to define the Basque Country as one of "free, compassionate, sustainable and competitive citizens". A Basque Country based on "co-responsibility". "We are convinced that we will rise up or fall together in this crisis. We are convinced that only by working together can we guarantee greater liberty and greater progress in the future", he concluded.