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BASQUE COUNTRY/NAVARRA

THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN VICTORIA-GASTEIZ

PEOPLE SURGE TO VITORIA 
The quality of life in Vitoria-Gasteiz must be high if data issued by the Basque Statistics Intstitute (Eustat) is anything to go by! It shows that over half the people who live there were born outside the city, a number slightly higher than in Donostia or Bilbao. The Basque capital has a population of 215,142, of which 110,918 come from outside the city. Of this group, 61% come from outside the Basque Autonomous Community, while 18,290 had other parts ot'Alava as their place of birth. Bizcayans and Gipuzkoans form less than twenty percent of the total, while those with foreign passports account for 2.6%. This last group is concentrated in three main areas of the city: the southeast part, the rural east part and the old quarter. It is not only the capital which enjoys a high rate of newcomers. 54% ofAgurain residents were born outside the municipality, 52.9% of those living in Laudio and 49.2% of those in Amurrio.
     

ROOFTOP BIRTHDAY 
San Sebastian resident German Leon Serrano, originally from Pamplona, spent nine hours sitting on the roof of the house where he spent his childhood. It was his method of protesting against its demolition. "It's an abuse of power by the council" commented his brother Josefina, who was watching. "I'm not coming down," said German, "let them come up and get me'" For German, who has had several meetings with the council planning department, the conditions imposed by the council were unfair.* "Until today, I didn't believe they were going to demolish it. I don't mind if they detain me for defending what's mine." The council offered as compensation a nearby piece of land measuring 163m, and 5.3 million pesetas, "They take our house and give us a piece of ground.* We haven't got the money to pay for the construction of a new house." The council cleared the house of furniture, and the electricity was cut off, German watched the excavator from the roof. In his anorak pockets he had a mobile telephone, a box of cigars and something to eat. "I've lived here for 45 years. Today is my birthday, and I'm celebrating it. I'm not exchanging my house for a piece of ground." At midday two other members of the family climbed up onto the roof in a show of solidarity. The police arrived and cordoned off the area, They decided to wait until the family descended. Rut at half past six the police decided to intervene, and made them come down. A few minutes later the house was demolished.

     
 
 

 

IT WOULD COST A FORTUNE TO CLOSE GARONA

    Felipe Galan, head* of the Garoiia nuclear power station which lies* just outside the Basque Country in Burgos, says that closing the plant would be very expensive. The Socialist party has promised to eliminate nuclear power (see last month's issue) if they win the next state elections. According to the socialists'plan, Garona would be closed in the first year. Galan explained that it was almost impossible to say exactly how much closure* would cost, but gave      the Swedish plant Varsevack as an example . The Swedish government paid the company which owned the plant about 115,000 million pesetas in compensation as well as other aid. The head of the power station emphasised the inexistence of any documents outlining* the cost of closing the plant. Last year Garona produced 3,500 million kilowatts, about 87% of its capacity. The plant has some 600 workers, 360 of them working for Nuclenor.


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