Patxi Lopez, the current lehendakari or president of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, gave a talk at LSE on 'Socialdemocracia – Siglo XXI' on 7 March.
He spoke of the problems of inequality and the fragmentation of society, and the need to return to the values of the welfare state: 'shared endeavours, internal solidarity and setting common goals that are able to bring us together and provide hope for the future'.
He listed his five aims for the Basque Country as economic growth, healthy public accounts, avoiding public abuse of benefits, efficient management of public resources and raising sufficient taxes to underwrite the system.
He concluded by describing the strengths of the Basque Country and said that the end of ETA will mark a new era for Basque society.
This was a Cañada Blanch public lecture, chaired by its director, Professor Paul Preston and managed by LSE Enterprise. The Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies has become the initiator and focus of a flourishing interest in contemporary Spain in Britain. Its principal aim is to promote research and teaching on the contemporary history, economy, social policy, politics, sociology and culture of Spain and its autonomous regions, particularly the Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia and Valencia.