The Pays-Libres des Basques (also known as Euskaldunak or País-Libre Vasco) is an independent Basque state in the western Pyrenees that spans the border between France and Spain, on the Atlantic coast. It comprises the former Spanish Autonomous Communities of the Basque Country and Navarre, and then the Northern Basque Country in France. Over the centuries, elements from both Spanish and French culture (including the respective languages) have been a major influence in the respective parts of the region's culture. The region is the homeland of the Basque people (Basque: Euskaldunak), their language (Basque: Euskara), culture, and traditions. It gained its independence shortly after Doomsday.
On September 26 a nuclear missile fell on Bilbao, devastating the province of Biscay and much of the former provinces of Cantabria, Alava and Guipuzcoa. Because of the mountainous topography of the territory the effects of the explosion were slightly attenuated (lessened, diminished). Because the autonomous Basque government had its headquarters in Vitoria-Gasteiz was saved from the explosion. And he could take control of the situation and with the power vacuum that followed Doomsday, the Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or ETA took over governing the region as the military arm of the established government under Carlos Garaikoetxea, the Lehendakari at the time.
But because of radioactive contamination most of the Basque Country was uninhabitable and forced the Basque Government to evacuate most of its citizens to Navarre and La Rioja.
Meanwhile, in Pamplona and Logroño, local emergency councils were formed, as the local governments were faced with an influx of Basque separatists. With the help of the emigrants the ETA took power by force and proclaimed the union of Navarre (now Nafarroa) and La Rioja (now Herri-Otxa) to Euskadi and drove the "Loyalists" to Tudela and Calahorra, where they reorganized new governments in exile. Pamplona, renamed Iruñea became for a few months new Capital of the Basque Government.
What the Basques call the Independence War (Independentzi Gerra) was a confusing series of wars fought on many fronts and against multiple opponents. These include the three merciless wars against the Iberian Confederation, known as "Vasconadas", fought in Navarre and La Rioja, the Wars of France, fought in the French Basque region, by contrast fairly bloodless and episodic. And the proper Independence War fought first against the Junta Suprema de Coordinación and then against the government Fascist-Phalangist of Burgos, also called "Guerra Larga".
The Iberian counteroffensive in 1985 forced a further move of the government, this time to Biarritz on the former French side of the Basque Country. In 1986 Basque militia regained Pamplona and Tafalla, the Basque government judged that the situation was too unstable to return to Pamplona and decided to stay in Biarritz.
From 1991 to 1997 the third war against the Iberian Confederacy, called commonly "Guerra del Chupinazo" in that Euskadi lost again Tafalla and the territories south of the river Ebro.
Land Dispute With the Poitevine Republic
Euskadi claims much of what in antiquity was known as Aquitania. However, this claim is disputed by La République Poitevine, who controls the territory north of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department. The République rules the territory both de facto and de jure, and claims of the Basques are viewed by other French survivor states as baseless.
The Basque territory is administered by seven Diputaciones Forales or Foru Aldundiak (Deputation or Provincial councils), but coordinated and centralized by the Basque Government or Eusko Jaurlaritza. These are Gipuzkoa, Araba, Bizkaia, Nafarroa, Lapurdi, Baxenafarre and Zuberoa. Bizkaia (or Vizcaya) is present only nominally, because the province is empty of people for the devastation caused by the bomb exploded in Bilbao. Alava and Guipuzcoa also because of depopulation are subject to a Temporary Special Regime. While Navarre has its own laws based on customs and the Spanish civil code, the three French provinces have laws based on French civil code. La Rioja (Herri Otxa), during its occupation by the Basques did not form a diputación but was itself a kind of confederal territory.
The primitive Basque parliament or Eusko Legebiltzarra consisted in 75 members, 25 from each of the three provinces, acted after 1983 in roles as emergency Assembly. With the addition of Navarre several members from that province was incorporated. In 1990 internal differences within the government of National Unity (formed by PNV, HB and other parties) forced the calling of elections, who won the Euskadiko Alderdi Sozialista or Basque Socialist Party. They promote a Constituent Assembly.
With the destruction of Bilbao, the basic education has been based on the ikastolas. Those schools, which are located on all basque towns, are important to avoid a huge illiteracy, with classes on Basque and Spanish/French, for refugees. Along those schools, there´s the Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (EHU, the University of the Basque Country), that haves 3 Campus: Gipuzkoa Campus (in San Sebastián and Eibar), and Álava Campus in Vitoria-Gasteiz, and the Universidad de Navarra.
With the destruction of Cannes, the San Sebastián International Film Festival has resurged as a Western European alternative.
The Basque army, called Eusko Gudarostea, is made in the core by members of the Regimiento de Cazadores de Montaña of the Tercio Viejo de Sicilia, some troops on the Acuartelamiento Loyola (in San Sebastián), the Regimiento de Infantería "América" n.º 66 (located on Aizoáin, Navarre), and former members of ETA which after September 1983 banded together with other volunteers of the Ertzainza (regional police) and the Guardia Civil to help refugees during the chaos after Doomsday.