ABERRI EGUNA '06: Lehendakari's Message
All of you are a fundamental part of our Basque community that across the years has lived through some hard times. Nevertheless, you found ways to live lives of dignity and pride as a people of peace and diligence. For that we owe you a warm embrace.
We now find ourselves in a time of hope and expectation, now that the way to peace seems possible [with ETA’s announcement of a permanent ceasefire]. This peace which we have so long sought to reclaim is now becoming a reality. But this will not be an easy task, and it will require all our joint efforts: of course those of us living in Euskadi but also you of the Diaspora as well.
As President of the Basque Government I wanted to relate my confidence in this process which we have now commenced, and ask of you that you be proactive in efforts to consolidate peace since it will be the Basque community that will decide our future.
I believe that we are living a special moment in history, as violence has been renounced and instead a dialogue has opened to stablize our society with a process that will resolve a political struggle that we have shouldered for over two centuries.
Euskadi is a mature society, that has demonstrated the capacity to respond to tough challenges, confronting adverse economic situations and emerging with new industrial and technological solutions. But most importantly, this is a country where no one ends up excluded based on progress in solidarity and equiminity.
This is the Euskadi that we seek and for which we strive. We are a progressive society that is capable of making our own decisions without impediementes or beholding to others. It will be the Basques that will decide the future of Basques. We are one people and we have the right to decide our political destiny.
I hope that we will soon live in a new democratic era of dialogue that will respect the decisions we have made as the basis of our political future.
Bihotz-bihotzez besarkada bero bat guztioi.
Juan José Ibarretxe Markuartu