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They call it the "Statute of Gernika", after the city where it was signed. It is the Basque Country's Statute of Autonomy, the law which each of Spain's Autonomous Communities can draft to define its relationship with the Spanish state, within the 1978 Constitution. Well, that's the theory: Catalonia's well-known difficulty in obtaining approval for the innovations in its 2006 Statute is one of the key factors behind the rise of the independence movement. Now, it is Euskadi, the Basque Country, which is seeking to redefine its statute, and there is a sense of déjà vu in the air.

The Statute of Gernika hasn't been updated since 1979, a year after the Constitution was passed, and that is why the Basques have been discussing a new draft for over a year. The Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) wanted to reach a bilateral agreement with the Spanish Socialists on investing Pedro Sánchez as new PM in return for accelerating the approval of its Statute, but that is looking more and more difficult. As with the case of Catalonia, discussions about the concepts of "self-determination" and "nation" are hot spots. The Partido Popular has already threatened in a debate on Radio Euskadi that it will take the statute to court in advance, on the grounds of unconstitutionality, that is, before the Basque people vote on it in the required referendum. But the PP goes even further, and also considers that the current Gernika statute is "unconstitutional".

The PNV criticises the PP's threat of appealing against a text which, by the time an appeal gets to the Constitutional Court, will have been approved by the Basque Parliament and, in turn, by the Congress of Deputies in Madrid, and they accuse the PP of antidemocratic conduct. Basque pro-independence party Bildu defines the Spanish right's intention as a wish to "mutilate" the new Statute, while Podemos describe the PP move as "blackmail in advance". For their part, the Basque Socialists (PSE) disassociate themselves from the controversy and simply note that all those reforms that are proposed will have to be examined to see if they are "viable and legal."

The president of the PNV, Andoni Ortuzar, has raised another issue which has been a hot potato with regard to Catalonia: the Basque people's "right to decide" their political future can, he says, be included in the Statute without any amendment to the Spanish Constitution. Anton Damborenea, of the PP, replies: "a minority will not change the Constitution that affects everyone."

Thus, the echoes of political events a decade ago in Catalonia are strong. The Catalan Statute of 2006, already heavily cut down by the Spanish Congress, was then completely neutered by the Constitutional Court four years later and, in this line, Iker Casanova (Bildu) warns that Spain "will have a democratic problem with Basque society, as it already has with Catalonia" if the new Statute of Gernika ends up suffering "any censorship".