Friday, November 15, 2013

Autonomous Communities of Spain

by Robert Bovington

Following the death of Franco and the accession of King Juan Carlos, a new Spanish Constitution was drafted in 1978. In order to appease the separatists, a highly decentralised state was established.
The new Constitution recognised the right to self-government. Initially the intention was that only 'historic' nationalities would be granted this right i.e. Catalonia, the Basque country and Galicia. However, the possibility existed that other regions could become autonomous communities. Andalucía, in particular, was already on the road to political autonomy when the Civil War started in 1936. Following demonstrations and then a successful referendum, Andalucía earned the right to a higher degree of autonomous government.

The 1978 Constitution paved the way for all of the regions of Spain to become autonomous by intimating that bordering provinces with common historic, cultural and economic characteristics could group together in autonomous communities.

Some communities have more autonomy than others - Catalonia and the Basque Region have their own police force for example. However, some want full independence especially the Basques - ETA continue to leave bombs in other areas of Spain though I don't suppose the average Basque is as extreme as that! The Andalucian people are definitely not that extreme - they are too busy enjoying themselves eating, drinking and having fiestas! However, they recently voted to become a nation.



There are seventeen autonomous communities, which are listed below along with their administrative capital.



Andalucía
Sevilla
Aragón
Zaragoza
Principality of Asturias
Oviedo
Balearic Islands
Palma de Mallorca
Basque Country
Vitoria-Gasteiz
Canary Islands
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Cantabria
Santander
Castilla-La Mancha
Toledo
Castilla y León
Valladolid
Catalonia
Barcelona
Extremadura
Mérida
Galicia
La Coruña
La Rioja
Logroño
Madrid
Madrid
Region of Murcia
Murcia
Navarra
Pamplona
Comunidad Valenciana
Valencia

There are two cities with greater regulatory powers than normal city councils - the Spanish enclaves in Morocco - Ceuta and Melilla. 

So all fifty provinces of Spain are now incorporated in autonomous communities but King Juan Carlos I is overall head of the Constitution and the current President of the Government is Mariano Rajoy.

more blogs by Robert Bovington...
 
"Photographs of Spain"
"postcards from Spain"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

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