Bilbao, Basque, Spain - The German Marshall Fund Of The United ...

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Principal Government Officials
Head of State, Commander in Chief of the Armed
Forces--King Juan Carlos I
President of the Government (Prime Minister)-Mariano Rajoy
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Jose Manuel GarciaMargallo
Mayor of Bilgao - Iñaki Azkuna Urreta
Cities (2010 census): Capital--Madrid (3.3 million). Other cities--Barcelona (1.6
million), Valencia (809,267), Seville (704,198), Malaga (568,507), Zaragoza
675,121), Bilbao (353,187).
Terrain: High plateaus, lowland areas such as narrow coastal plains, and
mountainous regions.
Climate: Temperate. Summers are hot in the interior and more moderate and
cloudy along the coast; winters are cold in interior and partly cloudy and
cool along the coast.
Population: 47,190,493.
Ethnic groups: Distinct ethnic groups within Spain include the Basques,
Catalans, and Galicians.
Religion: Predominantly Roman Catholic (approx. 75%); Protestant and
Islamic faiths also have a significant presence.
Languages: Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan-Valencian 17%, Galician 7%,
Basque 2%.
Unemployment rate (third quarter 2011): 21.52%.
Type: Constitutional monarchy (Juan Carlos I proclaimed King November 22,
1975). Constitution: 1978.
Branches: Executive--president of government nominated by monarch, subject
to approval by democratically elected Congress of Deputies. Legislative-bicameral Cortes: a 350-seat Congress of Deputies (elected by the d'Hondt
system of proportional representation) and a Senate. Four senators are
elected in each of 47 peninsular provinces, 16 are elected from the three
island provinces, and Ceuta and Melilla elect two each; this accounts for 208
senators. The parliaments of the 17 autonomous regions also elect one
senator as well as one additional senator for every 1 million inhabitants
within their territory (about 20 senators). Judicial--Constitutional Tribunal has
jurisdiction over constitutional issues.
Political parties: Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), Popular Party (PP),
and the United Left (IU) coalition. Key regional parties are the Convergence
and Union (CIU) in Catalonia and the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) in the
Basque country.
GDP (2011): $1.487 trillion (€1.068 trillion); seventh-largest economy in the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Per capita GDP (2011): $31,508 (€22,635).
Natural resources: Coal, lignite, iron ore, uranium, mercury, pyrites,
fluorspar, gypsum, zinc, lead, tungsten, copper, kaolin, hydroelectric power.
Agriculture and fisheries (2.3% of GDP, 2011)
Industry (11.7% of GDP, 2011)
Services (2011): 66.91% of GDP.
Trade (2011): Exports--$293.8 billion (€211.1 billion); Imports--$361.2 billion
(€259.5 billion)
Spain is an important country in southern Europe.
To some degree isolated from the rest of the
continent by the Pyrenees mountains, its geographic
location on the Mediterranean has been an
important factor in the development of Iberian
culture. A significant province of first Carthage and
then Rome, Spain was invaded and ruled by the
Islamic Moors and Arabs for several hundred years.
After pushing out their Islamic rulers, the Kingdoms
of Castile and Aragon would join together to found
Spain; a united kingdom that would go on to create
a massive empire in the new world and in Europe.
After the destruction of the Spanish Armada, Spain
went into significant decline, and slowly lost much
of its empire to revolution. Caught in a violent civil
war in the first half of the twentieth century, Spain
was a fascist state until the death of the dictator
Francisco Franco in the seventies. Since then, Spain
has adopted a constitutional monarch and has
become an important player in the European Union.
Bilbao is in the autonomous Basque region of Spain,
a region noted for its distinct culture and language.
The Basque county, now divided between France
and Spain, is home to the unique Basque language, a
non-Indo-European language unrelated to any other
language. The uniqueness of this language has
caused many scholars to believe that Basque culture
predates other tribes which migrated to Europe and
is one of the few remaining aboriginal cultures on
the continent. Strong Basque nationalism has
promoted spread separatist movements that
demand more autonomy from the Kingdom of
Spain. The economic engine of the Basque country,
Bilbao is currently going through significant public
works projects to further modernize and revitalize
this post-industrial city.
Bilbao, Spain
Accommodation: Hotel Carlton
City Coordinator Paul Ortega
Bilbao Travel Expenses
Fellows are expected to pay for local transportation, i.e. if we do not walk, we either take taxis
and Fellows should take turns paying or pay for public transport.
Note: Please carry your passport with you at all times during your stay in Bilbao
Monday, October 15th
Arrival and Hotel Check-in Hamburg
Taxi should cost approximately 25 euros. The airport bus will also leave you in the Plaza Moyua
(“Moyua Stop”) and costs 1,35 euro (It leaves every 20 minutes from the bus stop in front of the exit to
the airport).
7:00 pm Meet in hotel lobby
Dress: Casual
Ms Ana Aizpiri (MMF 1994), EITB (the Basque Public Media Group) Journalist, Mr Aitor Esteban
(MMF 1996), Member of the Spanish Parliament in Madrid, Mr Jon Rekakoetxea (MMF 2011), Fund
Manager at Fineco-BBK, and Mr Paul Ortega, City Coordinator (MMF 1999), Programme Manager of
Innobasque – Basque Innovation Agency: general briefing on the program and on Bilbao.
8:30 pm Dinner & General Briefing on Bilbao & the Basque Country
We will walk together from the hotel to the restaurant and back to the hotel
Tuesday, October 16th
8:30 am Meet in hotel Lobby
You will be taken in a Mini-bus.
Dress: Business
9:00 am Visit to the Port of Bilbao Authority
Mr Luis Gabiola
Director of Operations and Business Development of the Port of Bilbao Authority
View of the Port of Bilbao and trip up Bilbao Estuary on boat to the Guggenheim
The history of the port is absolutely linked to the history of Bilbao itself, so the date of its foundation is that of the
city's foundation in 1300 and, nowadays, the Port of Bilbao is one of the most important logistics centres on the
Atlantic route for European market access.
10:30 pm Trip up the Bilbao Estuary on the boat
12:00 pm Session on “Urban renewal in Bilbao in the last years”
Ms Ana Iturriaga,
Assistant to the Deputy Mayor. Bilbao City Council
2:00 pm Lunch
4:30 pm Visit to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
The museum, which opened its doors to the public on the 19th October 1997, was the result of collaboration
between the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation of New York and the Basque Authorities. It was built by the
famous architect Frank Gehry. It acts as a symbol of the emerging new Bilbao.
Free time. Please feel free to remain in the Guggenheim.
Wednesday, October 17
9:00 am Breakfast Meeting in the hotel
Discussion with representatives of the principle Basque political parties on
party perspectives:
PNV/EAJ (Basque National Party)
PSE-EE/PSOE (Socialist Party)
PP (People´s Party)
EH Bildu (Basque Country Gather)
Dress: Business
On October 21, 2012 Elections to the Basque Parliament will be held to elect the next Lehendakari/President and
Basque Government.The 75 previous members of the Basque Parliament were elected on Mach, 1 2009 as
follows: 30 seats for PNV/EAJ, 25 seats for PSE/EE-PSOE, 13 for PP, 4 for Aralar, 1 for EB/IU 1 for EA and 1
for UPD and on May, 5 2009 the Basque Parliament elected Mr Patxi López, from PSE-EE/PSOE, as
Lehendakari/President of the Basque Government.
11:15 am Meet in hotel lobby
You will be taken in a Mini-bus to Gernika-Lumo.
Dress: Casual
12:00 pm Visit to the Tree of Gernika and General Assemblies of the historical territory of
The Tree is a symbol of Basque Liberties. The General Assemblies is the Parliament of Biscay and has deep
historical roots. It is the maximum body of representation and popular participation of the Biscayans.
1:30 pm Lunch in Baserri Maitea Restaurant
During the lunch there will be a talk on ´Cultural Identities and Politics in Europe´
Prof. Agustín García Ureta, Professor of Administrative Law of the University of
the Basque Country.
Baserri Maitea Restaurant is a traditional Basque ´caserio,´ housed in an 18th Century building. It is situated in
the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve and serves modern food inspired by the Basque culinary tradition.
5:00 pm Visit to Gernika Museum of Peace
The Gernika Peace Museum is a theme museum setting out the culture of peace. It was inspired by the tragic
bombing of Gernika on 26th April 1937.
Travel back to Bilbao
7:30 pm Meet in hotel Lobby with Mr Paul Ortega
Visit to Basque Cultural Association ´Zenbat Gara´ followed by ´Kafe Antzokia´
Talk on Basque Culture by Mr Xabier Monasterio.
“Pintxos” and drinks in ‘Kafe Antzokia’ with members of ‘Zenbat Gara’.
Dress: Casual
Zenbat Gara is a cultural association that works to promote the Basque language and culture in Bilbao. It
founded Kafe Antzokia, opened on December 15, 1995 in downtown Bilbao, in the place formerly known as San
Vicente cinema. A complete refurbishment on the old cinema inculded removal of all seats, installation of a
kitchen and four bars, so it became a multi-purpose venue. Today, Kafe Antzokia is a lively place known by
music lovers worldwide for its varied schedule.
You will be accompanied on foot to these appointments by Mr Paul Ortega
Thursday, October 18
Professional Appointments
Dress: Business
Free time
7:30 pm (Time TBC)
Dinners with host families
Meet in hotel lobby
Dress: Casual
Friday, October 19

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