Ibarretxe presented the Lehendakari Agirre Center in San Francisco; on Sunday he will do it in New York
Lehendakari Juan Jose Ibarretxe visited San Francisco’s Basque Cultural Center last Tuesday to present the Lehendakari Agirre Center in person. This center is supported by various universities and political research centers, such as Columbia and George Mason Universities. Its goal is to present the experiences and achievements of Basque people in areas like economics, business, sustainable development and self-government, internationally, sharing these experiences with others. This Sunday, Ibarretxe will present the project at New York’s Eusko Etxea Basque Center.
San Francisco, CA. The Basque Cultural Center in San Francisco was the site last Tuesday of a presentation of the Lehendakari Agirre Center, a think tank presided by Basque former president Juan Jose Ibarretxe. The center has support from the US universities of Columbia and George Mason and is named after Lehendakari Jose Antonio Agirre who led the Basque Government during the war of 1936, and during its subsequent exile. During his exile in New York, Agirre was a Professor at Columbia and so the center is using his name as a symbol of his legacy in the Basque Country as well as in the US.
Ibarretxe’s presentation at the BCC brought together a large group of Basque-Californians, including Valerie Arrechea, President of NABO and the Basque Cultural Center; Christian Iribarren San Francisco Basque Club president; Phillippe Acheritogaray, former BCC president and current San Francisco Basque club treasurer, as well as members from both Basque clubs and the Bay Area Basque community.
[Members of the California Basque community, Philippe Acheritogaray, Xabier Berrueta, and Christian Iribarren posing with Juan Jose Ibarretxe (photo SFBCC)]
[Ibarretxe with members of the San Mames family (photo JSM)]
Ibarretxe was introduced by Tamara Muruetagoiena, Project Manager of the Center for Environment, Economy & Society at Columbia University. The former Lehendakari made a presentation on the LAC, its objectives and upcoming projects. He illustrated the Basque Country in several areas, compared to other countries in Europe, and displayed figures that support his assertion that Euskal Herria ranks high in levels of standards of living, GDP, employment rate etc. The goal of the LAC is to share strategies used to reach these levels internationally.
A reception followed the presentation where Ibarretxe visited amicably with audience members, as well as listening to their suggestions. This Sunday the former Lehendakari will be at New York’s Euskal Etxea to present the project again beginning at 13:00.