After the declaration of independence of Kosovo, immediately three territories declared their claims for the soonest possible recognition of their independence. With the support of Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia decided to demand independence. It became known about the secret plan of the third autonomy of the post-Soviet space – Transnistria. But the list did not end there.
The governments of the Basque Country and the separatist organizations of Catalonia expressed their support to the people and government of Kosovo. All of them saw in the situation with Kosovo a role model and hope for their own future independence.
The regional government of the Basque Country, an autonomous region in northern Spain, sees Kosovo’s decision to declare its independence an example, a spokeswoman for the government, Miren Ascarate, said. Such a statement followed on Sunday, just when the authorities of the autonomous Serbian region adopted a declaration of independence.
“This is a solution to the national conflict, similar to those that exist in the Basque Country and Catalonia (northeast of Spain), through the exercise of the people’s democratic right to self-determination.”
The representative of the Basque administration noted that the 21st century will be “the century of national independence (small peoples), the political conflict in the Basque Country can be resolved only after the region acquires the right to self-determination.”
The Spanish government is one of the few in the European Union that does not want to recognize the independence of Kosovo, fearing a precedent. Meanwhile, the regional government of the Basque Country intends to hold a referendum on self-determination this year, which the Spanish government considers illegal.
Earlier, a prominent Catalan politician and member of the Spanish parliament, Joan Tarde, also welcomed the independence of Kosovo, stressing that Catalonia “will go the same way.” Catalonia and the Basque Country are the most industrialized regions of Spain.
According to surveys for the independence of the Basque Country from Spain, almost a third of the inhabitants of this region speak out, and 72% believe that the Spanish government should negotiate with armed separatists from the ETA group. A survey conducted in February by the regional government of the Basque Country indicates that the number of supporters of independence for the year increased from 28 to 30%. The number of supporters of independence among Basque youth is especially high.
The Corsican separatist organization Corsica Nazione Independente gleefully supported the declaration of independence of Kosovo and welcomed the “fraternal people of Kosovars” in a letter to the Prime Minister of the Territory, Hashim Thachi.
“Our movement is aware of the brave struggle that you and the people of Kosovo are waging against the false sovereignty that Belgrade wanted to impose on you with an autonomy status that does not give any firm guarantees for your people,” the letter says. Corsica’s separatists also hope to host a delegation of the Kosovo government on their island this summer.
The Basque country is a vast region in the north of Spain; since the Middle Ages it enjoyed wide autonomy within the Spanish state. This autonomy was abolished during the reign of dictator Francisco Franco (1939-1975).
ETA has been waging an armed struggle since the mid-60s to gain independence for the Basque Country. The struggle did not stop with the transition of Spain to a democratic form of government in the late 70s and the restoration of Basque autonomy.
In March last year, ETA announced a “ceasefire” and its desire to negotiate peace with the Spanish government. However, in December, she organized an explosion at a Madrid airport, motivating her actions with “the unwillingness of the Spanish government to support the peace process.”
The Batasuna party, despite the ban, is supported by approximately 12% of the Basque electorate.
The Basques (the population of the Basque Country – two million 125 thousand people), who are considered to be immigrants from the North Caucasus, have their own language, history and original culture, which allows the nationalist-minded part of society to justify the ideas of the sovereignty of the region.
Corsica is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 26 regions of France. The Corsicans began to fight for independence back in 1729: they rebelled against Genoese dominion and fought for independence until 1769, but were defeated. In the XVIII century, the Corsicans tried to achieve the separation of the island from France.
The heyday of the modern liberation movement of the Corsican separatists fell at the end of the 70s of the last century. Then the Corsicans began active terrorist activities, again demanding the separation of Corsica from France. The objects of terror were residents of an island of non-Corsican origin. Recently, Corsican terrorists have been fighting a civil war, exacerbated by the tradition of blood feud. Over the past 10 years, as a result of terrorist acts of the separatists, 3 thousand people were killed. It is curious that the US State Department, which annually publishes a list of terrorist organizations operating in the world, does not consider it necessary to include Corsicans in this list.
“Small but very proud”: where else in the world are fighting for independence “
In general, the list of “small, but very proud” territories that have ever fought for their independence and continue this struggle in some places, can be continued up to many dozens: Karabakh, Flemish, Wales, Ireland, Alsace, Lorraine, Sicily.
But separatist movements, as can be seen from history, quite rarely achieve their final goal, most often being satisfied with the provision of autonomy to a particular group. Only Balkan countries — Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro — can be mentioned as examples of successful “branches”. Declaration of independence is also possible in the part of Romania inhabited by Hungarians – Transylvania.
Some observers belong to the group of separatists in Crimea, where over 70% of the population are imported Russian fascists who want to occupy and reunite the peninsula with Russia.
According to experts, in the 21st century, more than 10 new states could theoretically arise in the Old World, the RuEU website notes.