Former Lehendakari Ibarretxe to visit SF and NY for opening of research center

Announcing the opening of the Lehendakari Agirre Center with offices in NY and DC

Juan Jose Ibarretxe, former president of the Basque government is scheduled to visit the U.S. this week for the opening of the Lehendakari Agirre Center, which will oversee research projects on policy issues in the Basque County. He will present details in SF and NY on the think tank, which is expected to serve as a model for other nations and regions. He will be in SF tomorrow, June 19 at the Basque Cultural Center for an evening of discussion on the center. After SF, he will travel to New York to make a similar presentation Sunday, June 24 at the Eusko Etxea New York Basque Club. A reception will follow the event. For more details about the actual events, visit Euskal Kazeta’s calendar of events.

Juan Jose Ibarretxe will chair the new Lehendakari Agirre Center.
Juan Jose Ibarretxe will chair the new Lehendakari Agirre Center.

The center will have offices at Columbia University in New York City, George Mason University in Washington, D.C. and in the Basque Country, according to organizers.

The new think tank is named after Jose Antonio Aguirre, the first president of the Basque Republic, which existed for a brief period before it was overrun by forces loyal to Gen. Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War. The center uses the Basque spelling of Agirre. But the former president used Aguirre for his book “Escape Via Berlin: Eluding Franco In Hitler’s Europe (The Basque Series)

The center will be chaired by Ibarretxe, who served for 10 years as president of the semi-autonomous Basque government in northern Spain.

Jose Antonio Aguirre was president of the Basque Republic.
Jose Antonio Aguirre was president of the Basque Republic.

The center will focus on issues related to the Basque County such economic policy, sustainable development, conflict resolution and self-governance, according to a news release from the NY Basque club. Originally founded in 1913, the New York Basque club is the oldest Basque club in the United States.

Another goal is to create the “Agirre Program,” a network of influential people, both in the Basque Country and internationally, interested in

the Basque model for sustainable development and who want to participate in the implementation of this model in international forums.

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