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Carlos Garaikoetxea Urriza

In office
May 2, 1979 – May 2, 1985
Vice President Mario Fernandez
Preceded by Jesús María de Leizaola
Succeeded by Jose Antonio Ardanza

Born June 2, 1938 (1938-06-02) (age 71)
Pamplona, Navarre, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Political party PNV
Spouse(s) Sagrario Mina

Carlos Garaikoetxea Urriza (born in Pamplona, Navarre, June 2, 1938) is a former Basque politician. He became the second elected Lehendakari (President of the Basque Country), after José Antonio Aguirre, who had held that office in 1936-60.

He was a leading figure in the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) of Navarre in the period 1975-80. In 1979, he has elected president of the Basque General Council, the preautonomic body preparing the devolution of powers to the Basque Country prior to the approval of the Statute of Autonomy. Once approved, Garaikoetxea was elected Lehendakari in 1980 and reelected in 1984.

During his presidency the basque statute of authonomy was developed. As Lehendakari inaugurated the emission of Basque Television (EiTB) on 31 December 1982. In his term, important self-government institutions were created: the Basque Health Public System (Osakidetza) and Ertzaintza, the Basque police service, which was directed by his close collaborator Juan Porres Azkona since 1982 until 1986. During the floods of August 1983 he managed both Basque and Spanish emergency services in order to solve the resulting problems. The economy recovered through the revision of the Basque "Concierto Económico" and the Basque language was established throughout the Basque education system.,

In 1985 nevertheless, major divergences with the direction of his party (Law of Historical Territories, personal clash with the president of the Basque Nationalist Party, Xabier Arzalluz, expulsion of all the organization in Navarre) created a major split inside EAJ-PNV and Garaikoetxea, leading one of the factions (with greater support in Guipuscoa, Navarre and Vitoria-Gasteiz, but not in Biscay nor the Araban countryside), he was replaced by José Antonio Ardanza in 1985.

Soon after the breach inside the party was complete and Eusko Alkartasuna was founded, with Garaikoetxea becoming its president and candidate to the Basque Presidency, role that he held until 1999, when he retired from politics.

He was elected as deputy in the Basque Parliament in all successive elections until 1998. He was also a Member of the European Parliament from 1987 to 1991.


Preceded by
Ramón Rubial Cavia
President of the Basque General Council
Succeeded by
The Basque General Council was succeeded by the Basque Government
Preceded by
Jesús María de Leizaola
Lehendakari (Basque President)
Succeeded by
José Antonio Ardanza
Preceded by
Manuel Ibarrondo
President of Basque Solidarity (EA)
Succeeded by
Begoña Errazti
Preceded by
Jaak Vandemeulebroucke
President of the European Free Alliance
Succeeded by
Jaak Vandemeulebroucke


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