Galician Nationalist Bloc


Galician Nationalist Bloc

Infobox_Political_Party
party_name = Bloque Nacionalista Galego
colorcode = #0080FF
party_
leader = Anxo Quintana, president and spokesperson
Francisco Jorquera, secretary general
foundation = 1982
headquarters = Av. Rodríguez de Viguri, 16 Baixo, 15703 Santiago de Compostela, Galicia
ideology = Galician nationalism, Socialism, Pro-European
international = European Free Alliance
european parliament group = (formerly) EG-EFA
colours = red, white & blue
website = [http://www.bng-galiza.org www.bng-galiza.org]
[http://www.galizanova.org www.galizanova.org] (youth section)

The Galician Nationalist Bloc ("Bloque Nacionalista Galego", BNG) is a Galician nationalist coalition of political parties. It is self-defined as a "patriotic front".

Formed in 1982, under the guidance of historical leader Xosé Manuel Beiras, the BNG advocates for further devolution of powers to the Parliament of Galicia and the official and unambiguous [In reference to the fact that the [Statute of Autonomy of Galicia of 1981 states that Galicia is a "historical nation", but not simply a nation] recognition of Galicia as a nation. The BNG also promotes affirmative action for the Galician language. The current leader - president of the National Council and national spokesperson - is Anxo Quintana.

At present BNG is one of the two partners in the Galician government, where Anxo Quintana is the [http://vicepresidencia.xunta.es/index.php vice-president] of Galicia.

Ideology

The BNG is composed by a majority of grassroots independent members and a number of political parties. Traditionally, the largest party and main ideological influence has been the "Unión do Povo Galego" (UPG) (Galician People's Union). In origin, the UPG, and consequently the BNG, were strongly left-winged, and even supported the idea of Galician independence. Yet, from 1990 BNG has gradually abandoned the secessionist discourse and claims for self-determination are rarely produced, especially since the regionalist party "Unidade Galega" (Galician Unity) joined the coalition. According to its president, Anxo Quintana, BNG is not an independentist party [ [http://www.primeiralinha.org/destaques6/quintana-argentina.htm Press release] , commenting on Quintana's rejection of the secessionist option] , yet some individuals and organizations within it may express a sympathy for the idea [ [http://www.polabase.net/images/stories/novas/0807diadapatria2.jpgPicture:] members of "Movemento pola Base" displaying a banner with the motto "Independence and Socialism"] .

Generally speaking, the BNG can be considered a nationalist, non-independentist, left-wing and pro-European party.

Electoral evolution

BNG began its electoral history in a quite modest way. However, it quickly progressed from a single seat at the Parliament of Galicia to its best results in 1997 when, under the leadership of Xosé Manuel Beiras, achieved almost 25 per cent of the total vote and 18 seats (out of 75) at the Parliament.

After the 2001 Galician elections the BNG still was the second largest political group in the Galician Parliament with 17 seats, slightly ahead of the Socialist Party of Galicia (PSdG) in total votes. Yet, it was in 2005 when BNG could force a coalition government despite losing four seats and slipping to the third place. Anxo Quintana became then the vice-president of Galicia [ [http://vicepresidencia.xunta.es/index.php Official site of the Office of the Vice President of Galicia] ] and BNG could directly appoint a number of "conselleiros" (ministers) for some departments of the government. Prior to that, the other major Galician party, the conservative People's Party (PPdeG), had remained in control of the overall majority and therefore of the Galician government.

BNG won 208,688 votes (11.37 per cent of the Galician vote, 0.8 of the Spanish total) in the 2004 Spanish general election, gaining two of the 350 seats in the Spanish Parliament. Results in the 2008 Spanish general election were slightly improved (+0.7 in Galicia), although resulting in the same number of seats. Results in local elections have traditionally been good, with a constant increase on the number of seats achieved, allowing BNG to govern or to, at least, take part in the government coalitions of most Galician large urban centres.

BNG lost its single Member of the European Parliament, Camilo Nogueira, in the 2004 European Parliament election. However, BNG's interests are still represented thanks to an alliance established with the Basque Nationalist Party and the Catalan Convergence and Union. BNG maintains regular contact with its European group, the European Greens–European Free Alliance, through a permanent representative in the chamber.

The party also has a designated seat at the Spanish Senate, out of the three allowed for Galician representatives.

Elections to the Galician Parliament

* The 2004 candidature was a joint candidature with Catalan and Basque parties, hence the disparity between number of votes and number of seats achieved

Local elections

Internal organization

BNG regulates itself by local, regional and national assemblies, where members can vote and be voted to become regional delegates and thereafter members of the National Council. However, the internal functioning of the party has come into criticism in recent years. As a reaction to that two new organizations claiming for "transparency and internal democracy" have formed within the BNG. Namely these are: "Encontro Irmandinho" (lead by former BNG president Xosé Manuel Beiras), "Movemento Pola Base" (formed by grassroots members and backed by the youth section Galiza Nova), and "A Alternativa" (supported by former MEP Camilo Nogueira).

Joint affiliation with other political groups outside the BNG is not allowed. The political groups currently recognised by the BNG (via a lengthy ratification process) are:

*Galician People's Union ("Unión do Povo Galego", UPG) - communist
*Nationalist Left ("Esquerda Nacionalista", EN) - social democratic
*Galician Unity ("Unidade Galega", UG) - social democratic
*Socialist Collective ("Colectivo Socialista", CS) - socialist
*Inzar (I) - formed through the merger of the Galician branches of the Maoist Communist Movement ("Movimiento Comunista", MC) and the Trotskyist Revolutionary Communist League ("Liga Comunista Revolucionaria", LCR)
*Galician Nationalist Party-Galicianist Party ("Partido Nacionalista Galego-Partido Galeguista", PNG) - liberal democrat

Notes

References

* Barreiro, H. et al. (2002): "A Galicia política e o nacionalismo do BNG", in "Tempos Novos", no. 59, p. 24-33
* Beramendi, J.G. (2003): "Fin de ciclo no BNG? : Beiras desafía a hexemonía da UPG", in "Tempos novos", p. 48-50
* BNG (2004): "Documento de bases para a elaboración dun novo Estatuto para Galiza"
* Fernández Baz, M.A. (2003): "A formación do nacionalismo galego contemporáneo (1963-1984)", Laiovento
* Rodríguez, F. (1999): "Fundación da UPG na frente nacionalista BNG", in "Terra e tempo", no. 12, p. 43-45

External links

* [http://www.bng-galiza.org BNG website]
* [http://www.uniondopovogalego.org/ UPG website]
* [http://www.galizanova.org Galiza Nova] , youth section of the BNG
* [http://www.png-pg.org/ PNG website]
* [http://www.encontroirmandinho.org/ "Encontro Irmandinho"]
* [http://www.polabase.net "Movemento Pola Base"]
* [http://quin.tv "Quin TV"] , multimedia portal of BNG's president Anxo Quintana
* [http://www.youtube.com/telebng "TeleBNG"] , BNG's channel in YouTube

ee also

*Galician nationalism
*Xosé Manuel Beiras
*Anxo Quintana
*Camilo Nogueira
*Parliament of Galicia
*Xunta de Galicia


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