Joseba Arregi, a former PNV who defended the victims of the ETA, dies at 75

The former councilor of the Basque Government Joseba Arregi He has died in Bilbao at the age of 75. Born in Andoain (Gipuzkoa), Arregi was part of the Executive of Jose Antonio Ardanza, but in July 2004 he communicated to the PNV his desire to withdraw as an affiliate, after several decades of membership in the ‘jeltzale’ formation, to be on the side of the victims of terrorism without a trace of equidistance.

Arregi held the positions of Minister of Culture and spokesman in the governments of the ‘jeltzale’ José Antonio Ardanza between 1985 and 1995. Arregi was a doctor in Theology and Sociology.

He held prominent positions in the PNV, since he presided over the GBB of the PNV until 1985, he was also a member of the EBB and a parliamentarian in the Basque Chamber between 1995 and 2001, the year in which he made the decision to leave politics.

In addition, in July 2004 he informed the PNV of his desire to withdraw as a member, after several decades of activism in the ‘jeltzale’ formation, due to differences with some decisions adopted by the party.

Close to the victims of terrorism, Arregi has since chaired the Aldaketa-Cambio por Euskadi platform, created that same year to promote political change in the Basque Country and in defense of the Gernika Statute.

Joseba Arregi was the author of several books such as’ The Possible Basque Nation ‘(2000),’ Euskadi Invertebrate ‘(2000) or’ ETA’s Terror: The Victims’ Narrative ‘(2015), among others.

Covite appreciates his “immense intellectual contribution”

The Collective of Victims of Terrorism, Covite, has expressed its “consternation” at the death of Arregi, a former Basque Government councilor and professor who has died in Bilbao at the age of 75, whom it has defined as “a good friend, a intellectual reference and a good person “, and to whom he thanked his” immense intellectual contribution “and his” unwavering commitment to the victims of terrorism, in general, and to Covite, in particular. “

In a statement, he stressed that Arregi was “a great intellectual reference” for the group, which awarded him the 10th International Covite Prize in 2011 for “his constant support to victims of terrorism, support he has provided in all stages of his thought and his life, both from his public positions and from his constant work as a highly valued critical columnist and talkative ».

Along these lines, he recalled that, after being an organic and militant position of the PNV, as well as Minister of Culture of the Basque Government, Joseba Arregi “gradually moved away from his positions close to nationalism, by strengthening his civic and intellectual commitment to the victims of ETA ».

According to Arregi in his last public appearance, at a Fernando Buesa Foundation seminar held in November 2020, “I personally owe to the reality of the ETA victims having immunized myself against the intellectual and moral twists in which I could have fallen to condemn but understand, justify but criticize the terrorist violence, the violence of ETA ».

“I think it has been a great moral morass in which many of us could have fallen and I, personally, the memory and personal relationship with many victims has saved me and in that sense I am very grateful,” he said at that seminar.

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