ineedspainThe Basque Government has signed an agreement with the Central Government to promote a cadvertising campaign for tourism in the Basque Country . So far everything normal. One more example of the healthy understanding between the two governments led by the same party. The controversy derives from the motto that the Basque Government adheres to in its messages, which is none other than “I need Spain” (I need Spain). It is not the first time that the executive of Patxi López introduces the word Spain in advertising matters. It has already done so on the Euskaltel-Euskadi cycling team jerseys. The controversy has not taken long to jump to the political arena in a country as sensitive as Euskadi in matters of symbols. The Spanish-style parties greet it with joy and those of a Basque nationalist scope are aiming to complete the motto with two complementary words: “I need Spain… well away”.

From a more equanimous point of view, there is no doubt that the campaign is unfortunate and quite irresponsible since at the media level it only provokes confrontation between those who feel aggrieved and those who feel the breath of triumph for having leaked a word to now proscribed in the communication strategies of previous governments.

The revenues in terms of new visitors remain to be seen. In tourism terms, Spain is associated with sun and sand. It is assumed that in Euskadi we offer other things and look for another type of visitor. Of course sun, little (although I suppose that more than sanity and intelligence). In economic terms (fortunately for us, much of the tourism that comes to our country is linked to business), Spain is associated with a galloping crisis and a financial hole.

I suppose the campaign managers will have seen opportunities that escaped me. (It is also true that I have thought less than half a minute on this subject.)