Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The political mood in the Basque country seemed set to shift on Wednesday after a Socialist politician became president on Tuesday, ending three decades of nationalist government in the prosperous and turbulent region of northern Spain marked often by separatist violence claimed by the militant group ETA.

Patxi López, 49, won 35 of a possible 75 votes cast by Basque lawmakers, vowing to confront ETA head-on and calling for unity between Basque secessionists and those who favor remaining part of Spain.