French Basque Kintra

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Location o the Basque Kintra
Northren Basque Kintra in green

The French Basque Kintra or Northren Basque Kintra (French: Pays basque français, Spaingie: País Vasco francés, Basque: Iparralde, i.e. "the North Side") constitutes the north-eastren pairt o the Basque Kintra an the wastren pairt o the French depairtment o the Pyrénées-Atlantiques (arrondissements o Bayonne an pairt o Oloron). Wi 2,869 km², it is delimited in the north bi the depairtment o Landes, in the wast bi the Bay o Biscay, in the sooth bi the Soothren Basque Kintra an in the east bi Béarn (awtho in the Bearnese veelage o Esquiule Basque is spoken), which is the eastren pairt o the depairtment. Bayonne an Biarritz (conglomeration BAB) ar its chief touns. It is a popular tourist destination an is somewha distinct frae neighbourin pairts o aither Fraunce or the Soothren Basque Kintra, syne it wis no industrialized as Biscay o Gipuzkoa an remained agricultural an a beach destination.

Basques describe the northren Basque Kintra as the union o three "French provinces" in the northeast o the traditional Basque Kintra:

  • Lawer Navarre (Nafarroa Beherea in Basque, Basse-Navarre in French, till 1789 Kinrick o Navarre (linkt tae the keengs o Fraunce). 1,284 km².
  • Labourd (Lapurdi in Basque). 800 km².
  • Soule (Zuberoa in Basque). 785 km².

Its Basque name is Iparralde ("Northren Side") while the pairt o the Basque Kintra locatit in Spain is cawed Hegoalde ("Southren Side").

Its population haes been: 126,493 (in 1801); 162,365 (1851); 226,749 (1979) (79% in Labourd, 13% in Lawer Navarre, 8% in Soule); 259,850 (1990) (81%; 13%; 6% respectively); 262,000 (1999 census).

Accordin tae an inquiry o 2006, 22.5% wur bilinguals (French-Basque), 8.6% wur French-speakers who unnerstand Basque, an 68.9% wur no Basque-speakers. But the results wur vera different in the three zones; in the inner land (Basse Navarre an Soule) 66.2% speak or unnerstand Basque; in the coast (Labourd) thay ar 36.9% ; an in the B.A.B. urban zone (Bayonne-Anglet-Biarritz) ae a 14.2% speak or unnerstand Basque (accordin tae anither inquiry, 20% o the B.A.B. fowk can speak or unnerstand the Gascon leid). The proportion o French-Basque bilingual speakers fell frae 26.4% in 1996 tae 22.5% in 2006.

Thare is a Basque naitionalist poleetical movement, born in 1963 wi the Enbata mouvement (forbidden in 1974) an nou wi Abertzaleen Batasuna an ithers, which seeks a split o Pyrénées-Atlantiques intae twa French departments: Pays Basque an Béarn; some ither naitionalist pairties ar EAJ, EA an Batasuna which hae a reduced, amaist seembolic presence, especially when compared tae the soothren Basque Kintra. Thir poleetical pairties historically receive fewer than 15% o the votes in the destrict elections.

In the 1980s an 1990s, a paramilitary group cawed Iparretarrak (the northreners) uised violence tae seek unthirldom; it haes been inactive in recent years.

On Januar 29, 1997, the aurie wis made an offeecial "pays" o Fraunce unner the name "Pays Basque", that is, a representative body promotin several activities, but athoot its awn budget.