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The Basque people can be found throughout the world with one of the major areas that of the Spain and Southern France The focus of this paper will be on the Basque people of North Western Spain and South Western France This area is known as Pa Vasco in Spanish and Euskadi in Basque It is a small region that is about the size of Rhode Island that is straddled between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pyrenees Mountains in the East The Basque Country covers an area of 20664 kilometers between France and Spain and is divided into seven districts for political and administrative purposes which can be seen below in figure 1 At present more than 2 million people live in the Basque Country giving a figure of around 300 inhabitants per square kilometer Country of contrasts During the twentieth century the Basque economy was built on the steel and shipbuilding industries as well as metal processing shops Today some of the major economic industries of the Basque region include tourism livestock farming and fishing In a Europe-wide context the Basque economy has improved significantly over the last decade or so And to prove the point figures released recently by the Basque statistics agency Eustat show that per capita income in terms of purchasing power parity increased from 8962 of the European Union average in 1990 to 105 in 2002 Euskal Herria The Euskadis autonomous community is the second Spanish economic pole after Catalonia and it has a 450 million euro budget The Basque economy helps the national economy in numerous ways including making up 49 of the Spanish population producing 638 of the Spanish GDP producing 8 27 of Spanish exports and creating 89 of the states industrial production Euskal Herria There are also numerous problems with the economy of the region include high unemployment the growth of temporary and part-time jobs and the shutting out of young Basques
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