• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

Has Spain’s system of Autonomous Communities created more problems than it has solved?

Extracts from this document...


Has Spain's system of Autonomous Communities created more problems than it has solved? Following the death of General Franco in 1975, Spain embarked on a political transition to democracy. After the legalization of political parties, the first free election for 40 years was held in 1977. In 1978, a referendum approved a new democratic constitution and repealed many of the laws of the Franco era1. Previously, Spain had not successfully dealt with its problems caused by its strong regional differences, in culture, language, economic structures and politics. However, the new Constitution has been distinct in coming to terms with the long existing problem of governing a pluricultural people2, as reflected in its second Article; "the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards, and recognizes and guarantees the right to autonomy of the nationalities and regions which make it up and the solidarity among all of them"3. The 1978 constitution divided Spain into 17 autonomous regions, some with strong identities --such as Valencia, Galicia, the Basque Country, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands-- but others with no apparently distinct or established sense of identity other than as constituent components of Spain. The goal was to ensure the survival of Spain as a unitary state within its historic borders, while also bringing about equality and some measure of autonomy within the diversity of nationalities and regions satisfying the national aspirations of separatist-minded Catalans, Basques and others. ...read more.


The former British ambassador to Spain, Brighty, says that the overwhelming majority of Spanish citizens still want to remain a single nation. Even the most enthusiastic nationalists today are content to say they are, first, a Basque or Catalan, second, a Spaniard, and, third, a citizen of Europe14. Also, Heywood writes that on the basis of surveys covering the 1976-87 period, "Spanish population was in favour of a state which was neither centralist nor broken up into independent units"15. Also, financial structure of Spain created as a result of the regional arrangements has increasingly contributed to a more equal Spain, which was the main goal of the creation of the Autonomous Communities. There are two basic income sources for the regions; tax revenues and grants. Tax revenues represent 25.90% and grants represent 72.80% of the autonomous government income. The main taxes are 'own taxes and fees' on which the autonomous governments have a full decision capacity, 'ceded taxes', that are an ensemble of state taxes and 'individual income tax sharing'. The Autonomous Communities receive 30% of the personal income tax collected in that region. The most important grants are the unconditional grant (PIE) (21.50% of the autonomous resources), grant for the financing of Health services and Social services (36.10%), Inter-territorial Compensation Fund (ICF) (1.55%)which is a conditioned grant devoted to the financing of investment projects in the poorest regions and European Funds (8.60%). ...read more.


The general trend towards regionalization as clearly seen by the formation of regional groupings such as the European Union, North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has shown that Spain has been on the right track to be further integrated to the international arena. 1 The Government and Politics of Spain, Paul Heywood, chp.1 2 The Politics of Modern Europe, Michael Keating, p. 410 3 Spain- Constitution, http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de/law/sp00000_.html 4 Spanish politics today, John Gibbons, p. 36 5 Local Government in Europe: Trends and Developments, Juan Ferrer Mateo, p. 146. 6 Spain: Catalonia and the Basque Country, Guibernau, p.61 7 Spain: developments in regional and local government, Joaquim Sol�- Vilanova in Territory and Administration in Europe 8 Spain: Catalonia and the Basque Country, Guibernau, p. 64. 9 Heywood, p. 144. 10 Spain: Catalonia and the Basque Country, Guibernau, p. 61. 11 Heywood, p. 149. 12 Spanish politics today, John Gibbons, p. 28. 13 http://europe.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/basque/stories/overview.html 14Spain: Devolution Provides Lessons for Other Countries by Ben Partridge, http://www.rferl.org/nca/features/1999/02/F.RU.990215153606.html 15Government and Politics of Spain, Paul Heywood, p. 161. 16 The role of intergovernmental finance in achieving diversity and cohesion: the case of Spain, Antoni Castells, p.3. 17 http://www.caii.net/ghai/toolbox19.htm 18 'Spain: Catalonia and the Basque Country', Guibernau, p. 64. 19 Spanish politics today, John Gibbons, p.29. 20 Politics and Government of Spain, Paul Heywood, p. 146. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. How successful was the government of King Philip II of Spain?

    The basis of the system was a series of councils and in addition to territorial councils, there were eight departmental councils overseeing separate areas of policy. However these were not updated, nor did they evolve throughout the reign and some, for example the Council of Military Orders, lay largely dormant throughout the reign.

  2. Why did a Civil War break out in Spain in 1936?

    This was a serious error of judgement, as the Catalans had supported the government in the elections. Social discontent rose, and as a result of the the Popular Front was formed, by the most influential leftist parties in Spain, and started to organise strikes and riots in order to oppose the right government.

  1. The Impact of Electoral Design on the Legislature.

    But most Party Lists are regional, as in Belgium where there are seven regions each sub-divided into between 2-34 seats. The electoral formula varies among systems. Votes can be allocated to seats based on the highest averages method. This requires the number of votes for each party to be divided

  2. How has the role and impact of military rulers and civilian politicians differed in ...

    The most extensive PR exercise during the Ayub Khan regime was the 1965 Indo-Pak war. It is often believed that Pakistan won the battle of 1965, but in fact contrary to what is taught in school text books, Pakistan did not win the war; neither was it India who started it.

  1. J. S. Mill Despre Libertate

    firea umana si �nlocuirea ei cu supunerea aproape neconditionata fata de principiile oficiale ale bisericiii, va avea mai multe sanse de afirmare sociala. Unul dintre factorii determinanti fiind acela al puterii sale de a filtra laturile benefice si neajunsurile opiniilor �mpartasite �n " spirit de turma" de catre clasa politica, sociala sau religioasa din care face parte.

  2. To what extent was Northumberland more successful in solving mid Tudor political problems than ...

    However, Northumberland was remarkable in his approach and attitude towards solving economic problems, acting with great ability and foresight. Although initially making similar economic mistakes to those of his predecessors, it is clear that Northumberland has considerable ability in both forming economic policy and promoting practical efficiency.

  1. To what extent has Germany's party system evolved from a multi-party system to a ...

    A second key party to emerge was the Christian Democratic Party (CDU). This was a successful, centre right party capturing votes from all sections of German society. For twenty years after WW2 the CDU was the dominant party supporting market economy and favouring a strong Welfare State.

  2. What is Politics

    the UK - the pluralist model, the elite model and the Marxist model. A. The pluralist model. According to the pluralist model, power is exercised by the mass of the population, rather than by a small, elite group. This conclusion is derived from two main arguments.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work