• 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 In 1978, a referendum approved a new democratic constitution and repealed many of the laws of the Franco era1.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. To what extent was Northumberland more successful in solving mid Tudor political problems than ...

    The government blamed all the problems on enclosure, Somerset issued proclamations against enclosures and commissioners were sent out to investigate abuses. The main effect of these measures was to increase unrest. It is reasonable to suggest that Somerset was more concerned with avoiding riot and rebellion, than with helping the poor at solving economic problems.

  2. Multiculturalism in the basis for the Canadian identity.

    their cultures as traditions, and have made countless contributions to Canada as a nation According to Statistics Canada's 2001 survey, the fertility rate among people born in Canada has fallen to 1.5 children per woman, below the 2.1 needed to sustain the population.

  1. Minority Rights, Identity Politics and Gender in Bangladesh: Current Problems and Issues

    The first based on the majority religion i.e. Islam and the second based on Bengali language i.e. Bangla. The first trend helps to construct the concept of religious minorities, i.e. those professing other religions like Hindus, Buddhists and Christians while the second helps to construct the concept of ethno-linguistic minorities as in the Chakmas, Marmas, Tripuras and plain

  2. The development of nationalist movements in Southeast Asia

    Moderate nationalists joined this party which sought cooperation with the colonial government but the French refused to recognise this party and the moderate members had to operate underground. (c) The Cao Dai Organisation was formed in 1926 and it was established as a religious movement.

  1. This assignment identifies and discusses the major social and political trends expected to affect ...

    1.1 External Environment According to Michael Porter et al. (1997) six largely uncontrollable external forces influence an organisation's marketing activities (see Figure 1), namely Figure 1 - External environment Economic Conditions Political Ecology External Environment Social and Technology Cultural Political and Legal "The external environment changes constantly.

  2. The Impact of Electoral Design on the Legislature.

    in which case voters can express preferences for particular candidates within the list. Or they may be closed as in Israel, Portugal, Spain and Germany, in which case voters can only select the party, and the ranking of candidates is determined by the political party.

  1. J. S. Mill Despre Libertate

    atare, nepuntinciasa sa se �nalte p�na la binele suprem si sa simpatizeze cu el." "Am ajuns �n chipul acesta, sa recunoastem necesitatea absoluta libertatii de opinie pentru sanatatea mentala a omenirii." Capitolul al trei-lea, intitulat "Despre individualitate ca unul din elementele prosperitatii" aduce �n discutie importanta evolutiei persoanei pe plan moral si social.

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

    5 Iskander Mirza was asked to give resignation by the army high command. But Qudratullah Shahab, who served Ayub Khan & Iskandar Mirza as secretary of state writes : "Long before he came to power, Ayub Khan had been infected by the International disease of pro-Americanism.

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