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20. Aug 2007

'Baskerlandet er ikke til salg'

Nogensinde hørt om folk, der blev presset ud af deres eget område af stigende huspriser?

I den franske del af Baskerlandet gør de noget ved det, læser vi i The Guardian:
The medieval mill in a quiet valley of the French Basque country must have seemed like the perfect property purchase. A stone ruin within reach of a Ryanair flight, it was snapped up by an English couple who restored it with classic British touches such as the antique mangle outside the front door. Curious locals watched "les britanniques" and their young children arrive for a holiday twice a year. But now the house is shuttered up, the front door dented by forced entry, the rooms gutted by arson.

The attack in the mountain village of Aussurucq - or Altzuruku in Basque - is part of an escalating campaign of holiday home bombings and arson gripping the French Basque country in the worst violence since the 1980s. Many targets are painted with a warning in Basque and French: "The Basque Country is not for sale."
Baggrunden for sådanne handlinger er en stigende frustration hos lokalbefolkningen over områdets "turistgørelse", der gør det umuligt for lokalbefolkningen i de fattige baskiske bjergegne at købe hus i det land, der er hjemsted fort deres livsform og kulturelle egenart:
The Basque country on both sides of the French-Spanish border is fiercely protective of its language and cultural identity and underground groups have never been afraid of resorting to violence.

The current campaign - attacking the villas of French "outsiders" and firebombing cars with Paris-region number plates - has sparked fears among politicians of a return to the violent campaign of 20 years ago. Then the French Basque movement, Iparretarrak, carried out hundreds of attacks against villas and property firms under the slogans "No to tourism" and "Let the Basque country live".

That the campaign has reached the poor, mountainous Basque interior reflects the beginning of a new property boom. Once, bombs and threats focused on the glitzy and expensive Basque coastline around Biarritz where this week three homemade bombs were found near an exclusive beach resort.
Turismens og sommerhusmaniens virkning på en lokalbefolkning, der overvejende ernærer sig ved traditionelt landbrug, er i alle tilfælde til at tage og føle på:
Francis Poineau, 50, a Basque-speaking shepherd, spends four months a year at the top of the mountain with his sheep. When he went to buy a farmhouse a few years ago the seller told him the price would be high because British people had entered the market. He bought the ruin - "four walls and a roof" - for €80,000(£54,000). He thinks the value has now doubled. "It's not by chance that this landscape is so beautiful," he said. "It's because local farmers look after the land and they should be protected. Many people here share that view."
Måske en uundgåelig frustration, som mennesker, der bare lever og arbejder der, må vige pladsen for den nye overklasse af nyrige ferierende? En slags forståelig (sålænge kun ejendom og ingen mennesker lider overlast) "terrorisme", så at sige, der givetvis oven i købet er effektiv?