Cataluña ( Spanish )
Catalunya ( Catalan )
Catalonha ( Aranese )
|Area :||32,091 km²|
|Residents :||7,675,217 (January 1, 2019)|
|Population density :||239.2 inhabitants / km²|
|Expansion:||North – South: approx. 260 km
West – East: approx. 240 km
|ISO 3166-2 :||ES-CT|
|Internet TLD :||.cat|
|Politics and administration|
|Official language :||Spanish , Catalan , Aranese|
|Autonomy since:||September 29, 1977
|President :||Quim Torra ( independent )|
|Representation in the
Cortes Generales :
Congress : 46 seats
Senate : 7 seats
|Structure :||4 provinces
Politically, Catalonia is one of 17 autonomous communities in Spain and, due to its historical and cultural peculiarities, is one of the “ historical autonomous communities ” (Spanish nacionalidades históricas ) alongside the Basque Country and Galicia . Efforts for independence have achieved great importance in Catalonia: after a controversial referendum on October 27, 2017, the Catalan regional parliament declared Catalonia a republic independent of Spain, which was not recognized by the international community. The Spanish government declared this to be invalid, and then deposed the regional government and parliament; Since the new regional parliament elections on December 21, 2017, a separatist-dominated government has ruled Catalonia again, so that the Catalonia crisis continues to smolder and largely determines political events in Spain.
In the north, separated by the Pyrenees , Catalonia borders France and Andorra , in the west on the autonomous region of Aragon and in the southwest on the Valencia region . The highest point is the 3143 meter high Pica d'Estats , a peak of the Montcalm massif . The exclave of Llívia , which is surrounded by French territory, also belongs to Catalonia .
With a land area of 32091 km², the autonomous community is roughly the size of Belgium . Although it only covers 6.3% of the Spanish land mass, with a population density of 234 inhabitants per square kilometer it represents 15.9% of the population of Spain and is almost nine times as densely populated as the neighboring region of Aragon, or almost three times ( 2.8 x) as dense as the rest of Spain.
The territory of Catalonia can be divided geomorphologically into nine zones:
- Catalan Pyrenees
The high mountain region of the Pyrenees ( Catalan Pirineus ) occupies a strip of Catalonia in the far north, on the border with France and Andorra. There are several peaks over high, the Pic de Sotllo ( ), Pic de Comaloforno ( ), Besiberri Nord ( ) and the highest point in Catalonia, the Pica d'Estats ( ). The rivers Noguera Pallaresa , Noguera Ribagorzana , Garona , Llobregat , Ter and Muga also have their source in this region . The Serra de l'Albera mountain range , which lies between the town of La Jonquera and the Mediterranean and has the highest peak, the Puig Neulós ( ) , also belongs to the Pyrenees .
- Catalan Pre-Pyrenees
The Pre-Pyrenees ( Catalan Prepirineus ) form an approximately 20-45 km wide mountainous strip south of the Pyrenees, between Aragon in the west and the Comarca Garrotxa in the east. In this region are the Serra del Montsec , Serra de Boumort , el Port de Comte and el Cadí mountain ranges . In the Pre-Pyrenees there are only a few peaks above . The highest peaks, such as the Pedraforca ( ) and the Torreta de Cadí ( ) are in the Serra del Cadí .
- Serralada Transversal
The largest area of this mountain range is occupied by the Comarca Garrotxa , smaller parts are in the neighboring Comarcas Osona , Selva and Gironès . In the north-western part of the Serrelada Transversal are the Serra de Milany and Serra de Santa Magdalena , they form a transition to the Pyrenees. In the northeast the mountain range borders on the Fluvià river and in the south the river Ter forms a natural border with the Guilleries , which belong to the Catalan pre-coastal mountains. The volcanic area of Garrotxa is also part of the mountain range . The highest point is the Milany ( ).
- Central Catalan Depression
The Central Catalan Depression ( Catalan Depressió Central ) is a fertile plateau between 200 and 500 meters crossed by individual mountain ranges. The plain is bounded in the north by the Pre-Pyrenees , in the east by the Serralada Transversal , in the southwest by the Catalan pre-coast mountains and in the west by the Autonomous Community of Aragon . The plains of Urgell (Plana de Urgell), Vic (Plana de Vic) and Bages (Pla de Bages), the basin of Barbarà (Conca de Barbarà), are part of this depression .
Individual, isolated elevations or ridges from 800 to 1000 meters protrude as massive masses from the central Catalan depression .
- Catalan pre-coast mountains
The Catalan Pre- Coast Mountains ( Catalan Serralada Prelitoral Catalana ) are non-contiguous low mountain ranges along the coastline, at a distance of 30 to 60 kilometers. The best-known mountain ranges are the Guilleries, Montseny , Sant Llorenç del Munt, Montserrat , Montsant , Muntanyes de Prades, Serra de l'Obac, Ports de Tortosa-Beseit and Serra del Montsià .
- Catalan coastal mountains
The Catalan Coastal Mountains ( Catalan Serralada Litoral Catalana ) is a discontinuous low mountain range directly on the coast, between the Gulf of Roses and the Foix River . The mountain ranges from northeast to southwest: Massís del Montgrí, Massís de les Gavarres, Serra del Montnegre, Serra del Corredor, Serra de Marina, Serra de Collserola and Massís del Garraf .
- Coastal plain
The coastal plain ( Catalan Depressió Litoral ) lies directly on the Mediterranean coast.
- Pre-coastal plain
The pre- coastal plain ( Catalan Depressió Prelitoral ) forms a plain near the coast or behind the coastal mountains.
Important cities besides Barcelona are Tarragona , Lleida and Girona , as well as Manresa , Vic , Igualada , Martorell , Figueres , Reus , Mataró , Terrassa and Sabadell . L'Hospitalet , Badalona and Santa Coloma de Gramenet , also large cities, border directly on Barcelona and belong in its agglomeration .
The coastline of around 580 km in length is varied and in the north on the rocky Costa Brava is characterized by numerous sandy coves, the Calas , while in the south on the Costa Daurada there are wide sandy beaches. In between, north of Barcelona is the Costa del Maresme and south of Barcelona is the Costa del Garraf .
Some of the most important nature reserves on the Iberian Peninsula are located in Catalonia. These include in the northwest in the Pyrenees the National Park Aigüestortes Sant Maurici , in the north-east in the Pyrenean foothills of the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park , south of the nature park in the Delta of the Ebro and the Natural Park of Cap de Creus on the easternmost point of the Iberian Peninsula. The Montseny Nature Park has also been designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO .
The nature parks are z. B. under the Xarxa de Parcs Naturals ("Network of Natural Parks") managed by Diputació de Barcelona ("Provincial Administration of the Province of Barcelona").
Provinces / vegueries
The four provinces of Barcelona , Tarragona , Lleida and Girona have existed in Catalonia since 1833 . According to the Statute of Autonomy of 2006 and the Catalan regional law ( Llei 30/2010, del 3 d'Agost, de vegueries of August 3, 2010), seven so-called vegueries should take the place of the provinces . Since a change in the provincial borders according to the Spanish constitution can only be made by an organic law of the Cortes Generales , i.e. the Spanish parliament in Madrid, the seven vegueries provided for in the regional law (L'Alt Pirineu, Barcelona, La Catalunya Central, Girona, Lleida , El Camp de Tarragona, Les Terres del Ebre) will only be set up once the relevant changes to the law have been made at the state level. At the moment it is not foreseeable whether and when this will happen, so that it will initially remain with the division into four provinces for the foreseeable future.
The areas of responsibility of the authorities of the administrative substructure of the Autonomous Community are already partly based on the territorial status of the future vegueries , while those of the state authorities are based on that of the four provinces.
The Val d'Aran , which has a special status, is initially to belong to the vegueria L'Alt Pirineu and only later to be completely removed from this subdivision level (which, however, also requires changes to the law at the Spanish level).
As early as 1936, the then Catalan autonomous government issued a decree dividing the territory into comarques . However, with the beginning of the Franco dictatorship after the defeat of Republican troops in the Spanish Civil War , this decree was repealed.
In 1987, 12 years after Franco's death and the transition to democracy, a regional law in Catalonia re-established the pre-French comarques . However, the number of these 38 “old” comarques was expanded or modified by three more, so that in 1988 a total of 41 comarques were set up as community associations. A reform in 2015 created a 42nd comarca , the Moianès .
The borders are not always based on the provincial borders, i. That is , there are several comarques to which parishes of different provinces belong. This is to change with the replacement of the provinces by the vegueries , each of which will cover the territory of several comarques . In terms of size, the comarques are comparable to rural districts in Germany.
Catalonia is divided into 946 municipalities.
- List of municipalities in the province of Barcelona
- List of municipalities in the province of Girona
- List of municipalities in the province of Lleida
- List of municipalities in the province of Tarragona
The Mediterranean climate is effective in Catalonia : hot, dry summers alternate with mild, rainy winters.
Before the colonization by Cro-Magnon people (Homo sapiens) , the region was already inhabited by Neanderthals , as is shown by finds in the Cova Gran de Santa Linya cave . In historical times Catalonia was originally settled by Iberians , later the coastal area was under the influence of Carthage . End of the 3rd century BC Rome gained dominance; the Romans raised the area to the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis in 19 AD . As early as the 1st century AD, Christianity gained a foothold in what is now Catalonia.
In the course of the process of dissolution of the Imperium Romanum, the Visigoths came to Spain for the first time in 418, entrusted with police duties, but they did not establish themselves on the Iberian Peninsula until after the Battle of Vouillé in 507. The legacy of this Visigothic empire was most tenacious on the southern slopes of the Pyrenees . The Gothic legal code Liber Iudicum from 654 remained in use until the 11th century - even the inclusion of the southern Pyrenees region in the Franconian trademark system ( Spanish mark ) did not change anything.
However, maintaining local independence was not synonymous with cultural isolation . The Pyrenees region has always been a preferred passage area for culture and trade between the Middle East and the British Isles . In the course of the armed conflicts between the Frankish Empire and the Arabs , several counties emerged at the end of the 8th and beginning of the 9th centuries in the northern part of Catalonia , which is now part of Spain, and in what is now French northern Catalonia , which were initially subject to the West Franconian and French kings But over the following centuries they became increasingly independent.
Count Wilfried the Hairy (Catalan Guifré el Pilós; † August 11, 897) united the counties Urgell , Cerdanya , Barcelona and Girona under his rule and founded the dynasty of the Counts of Barcelona. At the end of the 10th century , the Catalan counties broke away from the feudal rule of the West Frankish king. In addition to these political leaders, the spiritual leader Abbot Oliva , who, among other things, headed the cultural center of Catalonia at that time, the Abbey of Ripoll , is of great importance.
Through the marriage contract between Raimund Berengar IV. , Count of Barcelona, and the only one-year-old Petronila / Peronella, heir to the Crown of Aragon , a state community emerged in 1137 from Aragon and the lands of the Counts of Barcelona, which were largely identical to Catalonia in the 12th century Crown of Aragon is known. Through further dynastic connections and conquests, it became the leading power of the western Mediterranean in the High and Late Middle Ages . Its economic and cultural center was the Catalan part of the state community, the Principate of Catalonia , whose merchant fleet ruled the western Mediterranean.
15th to 18th century
In 1469 Ferdinand , heir to the Crown of Aragon, married his cousin Isabella , heiress of Castile . They went down in history as the Catholic Kings (Los Reyes Católicos) ; the union of Castile with Aragon took place initially as a personal union ; the union of the two crowns to the Kingdom of Spain took place in 1516 under the later Charles V (Charles the First of Spain); Catalonia's internal political independence was retained.
In the Franco-Spanish War of 1635-1659 there were separatist movements in Spain. In 1640 Portugal successfully regained its independence (after the death of the last Portuguese king in 1580, it was incorporated into the territories of the Crown of Castile). Catalonia also tried to regain its former independence, but was unsuccessful. In the Peace of the Pyrenees , Spain had to cede the Catalan areas north of the Pyrenees (the historic county of Rosselló or Roussillon, Northern Catalonia ) to France, the rest of Catalonia remained with Spain.
In the War of the Spanish Succession (1700–1713), in which it was a question of the succession to the throne after the death of the childless Charles II , most of the Catalans supported the Habsburg pretender Archduke Charles against the Bourbon Philip of Anjou. Philip V , who emerged victorious in the Peace of Utrecht, punished Catalonia harshly for this: In 1714 Barcelona surrendered to Philip's troops, in the following years the Catalan institutions were dissolved, whereby the Catalan self-government ended. To commemorate this event, September 11th, the day of the surrender in 1714, has been celebrated as the Catalan "national holiday" - Diada Nacional de Catalunya - since 1980 .
In the Second Republic , Catalonia was granted provisional autonomy in 1931 with the re-establishment of the Generalitat ; this was enshrined in the 1932 Statute of Autonomy. However, from 1934 to 1936 the autonomy was suspended and was abolished with the victory of Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War in 1939. During the civil war of 1936–1939, Catalonia (especially Barcelona) was the scene of the only (at least temporarily) successful anarchist revolution in European history.
The Generalitat continued to exist in exile during the Franco dictatorship . In the course of the transition that began after Franco's death , Catalonia was again granted provisional autonomy in 1977, and Josep Tarradellas, who had returned, was recognized as President of the Generalitat. On the basis of the democratic Spanish constitution of 1978, Catalonia received a new statute of autonomy in 1979 . In this context, the competencies and the financing of the region were continuously expanded, mostly due to pressure from the national-Catalan groups.
The nationality dispute and political developments since 1978
Nationality and aspirations for independence
Due to the historical, linguistic and cultural differences to the rest of Spain, Catalonia sees itself as a separate nation. The term nation is understood in the sense of a cultural nation and is not defined in terms of ethnic affiliation. The question of self-designation as a “nation” was the focus of negotiations in 2005 and 2006 on the new Statute of Autonomy . The Catalan parliament passed a resolution with a large majority (88.9%) against the votes of the Partido Popular (11.1%), which describes Catalonia as a "nation". However, when this met with opposition in the Spanish parliament as a whole, a compromise formula was finally agreed in the preamble. Accordingly, it is stated on the one hand that “the Parliament of Catalonia has absorbed the feelings and will of the citizens of Catalonia by defining Catalonia as a nation by a large majority”, on the other hand it is pointed out that “the Spanish Constitution [...] the national reality of Catalonia as Recognizes nationality ”. This takes account of the fact that the Spanish constitution of 1978 only recognizes “nationalities” within the “indissoluble” Spanish nation, but not independent nations. According to a study from 2008, 35% of the population of Catalonia are in favor of Catalonia's state independence, 45% are against it and 20% are undecided (see also the results of the 2012 survey below). There is a tendency towards a significantly higher level of support for independence among citizens, who have one or more of the following characteristics: high level of knowledge or use of Catalan, higher level of education, birth in Catalonia, high level of use of information media and residence outside the metropolitan areas.
In a symbolic referendum in 166 municipalities on December 13, 2009, around 95% of the participants spoke out in favor of Catalonia becoming a separate state within the EU. The participation in the vote was only 27%. Since then, numerous other municipalities (including Barcelona) have carried out similar votes, with the turnout averaging just under 20%. More than 90% of those who voted spoke in favor of Catalonia's independence. The informative value of these votes is disputed, especially because of the low turnout.
Due to the financial crisis in Spain from 2010, which particularly hit Catalonia because of the high level of debt, the debate about financial sovereignty became more intense: Nationalist politicians saw the government in Madrid and the domestic transfer payments as the reason for the high level of debt in the economically strong region .
On December 12, 2013, Prime Minister Artur Mas and representatives of the CiU, ERC, ICV-EUiA and CUP parties announced that they would hold a referendum on November 9, 2014 in Catalonia on the political future of Catalonia , in which the question of independence from Spain should be put to a vote. Since such a referendum would have meant a breach of the Spanish constitution, there was last talk of a referendum , the political effects of which are unclear. On November 9th, 2014, in the unofficial referendum in Catalonia, a majority of 80.1% voted for the independence of Catalonia; while about 2.25 million people had voted - the number of voting Catalans gave the regional government with 5.4 million to (Here, however, authorized to vote resident in Catalonia foreigners were not taken into account, according to the data of the Instituto Nacional de Estadística would the number of eligible voters is around 6.2 million, which would make the turnout around a third).
In January 2015, ERC boss Oriol Junqueras and Prime Minister Mas, with the participation of the chairmen of two activist organizations, Òmnium Cultural and ANC , agreed to hold early elections to the regional parliament and to view these as an indirect plebiscite on the question of independence. In the election on September 27, 2015 , those parties that supported a unilateral declaration of independence, with a total of almost 48%, missed the majority of the votes.
Way into the crisis
Since 1978 Catalonia has had the status of an autonomous community within the Spanish state. Among these, Catalonia stands out, along with the other “historical” Autonomous Communities, the Basque Country , Galicia and Navarre, due to its particularly high level of legislative and administrative powers. Among other things, Catalonia has its own police unit, the Mossos d'Esquadra , which is gradually taking over the tasks of the Spanish police on Catalan territory. Catalonia also has extensive competencies in numerous other policy areas, such as education, health and economic policy. These are laid down in the Statute of Autonomy , which on the one hand delimits the powers of the autonomous community from those of the Spanish state, on the other hand regulates the interaction of the Catalan institutions and thus acts as a functional equivalent of a constitution . It requires the approval of the Catalan Parliament , the Spanish Parliament (in the form of an organic law ) and the Catalan people through a referendum . The first Statute of Autonomy from 1978 was replaced in 2006 by a new version with expanded powers.
Politics in Catalonia has been shaped since 1980 by the Christian Democratic-National Catalan party alliance CiU under its chairman Jordi Pujol . From 1980 to 2006, CiU achieved four relative and three absolute majorities in elections and, with Pujol, was the head of government of Catalonia without interruption until 2003 (Catalan: President de la Generalitat ). From 2003 to 2011 Catalonia was ruled by the socialists ( PSC ) in a coalition with two other left-wing parties. The President of the Generalitat was Pasqual Maragall from 2003 to 2006 and José Montilla (both PSC) from 2006 to 2010 . In 2006, Catalonia received a new statute of autonomy with expanded powers. Parts of the Statute of Autonomy were withdrawn by the Spanish Constitutional Court in 2010 at the instigation of the conservative Partido Popular party , whereupon Catalonia's efforts for independence intensified significantly.
The Parliament of Catalonia (Parlament de Catalunya) consists of 135 members who are elected every four years in direct general elections. It in turn elects the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya (President de la Generalitat de Catalunya) , who is the head of the regional self-government. The President of the Generalitat can (Statute of Autonomy, Art. 67 No. 8) appoint a Conseller Primer (as much as Prime Minister ) and appoints the remaining consellers (as much as Ministerial ) who together make up the Consell Executiu or Govern de la Generalitat de Catalunya ( Regional government). All the institutions of regional self-government together (parliament, president and government) form the Generalitat de Catalunya . Catalonia, like the rest of the Spanish Autonomous Communities, with the exception of the Basque Country and Navarre , currently receives 33 percent of the income tax levied in this region.
In the regional party system of Catalonia, due to the historical clashes with the Spanish central authority and the awareness of cultural independence, the center-periphery cleavage is very pronounced; accordingly, representatives of a stronger autonomy or independence of the region (usually referred to as "Catalan nationalists") and supporters of a strong Spanish central state face each other. This line of conflict does not coincide with the others on the political spectrum , but lies at right angles to them. The parties are to be identified as follows:
- Partit Democrata Europeu Català (pdecat), emerged from Convergence and Union ( Convergence and Union - CiU), a resolution in June 2015 under Korrumpionsvorwürfen alliance of liberal ( Democratic Convergence of Catalonia - CDC) and Christian Democratic ( Democratic Union of Catalonia - UDC ) Party united by a common moderate Catalan nationalism. The alliance advocated much greater autonomy. There was no single programmatic party line on the question of Catalonia's independence, which ultimately contributed to the dissolution of the alliance. On the question of possible independence, PDeCat, or the electoral alliance with independents that emerged from it, Junts per Catalunya , has taken an increasingly radical maximum position.
- Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya ( Republican Left of Catalonia - ERC): Left, strives for state independence for Catalonia, rejects the Spanish monarchy . Takes part in elections in Catalonia and beyond in the other "Catalan countries" (the autonomous communities of Valencia and the Balearic Islands, there mostly in lists with other parties of the left and green spectrum). After October 2017, the ERC increasingly took a more moderate position on the independence issue and pushed for a negotiation with the government in Madrid.
- Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya ( Party of Socialists of Catalonia - PSC): National Association of Spanish Socialists ( PSOE ) constituted as a separate party , social democratic program. Also supports a strengthening of regional autonomy, albeit to a lesser extent than the CiU, but is not described as Catalan nationalist simply because of its connection with a pan-Spanish party.
- Partido Popular ( People's Party - PP): right-wing conservative, expressly rejects Catalan nationalism. Votes all over Spain and has increasingly lost its importance in Catalonia.
- Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds ( Initiative for Catalonia Greens - ICV): Association of the Iniciativa per Catalunya, which emerged from the former Communist Party, and the regional Greens, located to the left of the socialists. Only competes in elections in Catalonia, but most recently in connection with the Spanish Izquierda Unida (United Left) .
- Ciutadans - Partit de la Ciutadania ( Citizens - Party of Citizenship - C's): Liberal with a centralistic tendency, explicitly rejects Catalan nationalism. The party was founded for the first time in the regional elections in 2006 and has risen to become the strongest political force since the parliamentary elections in Catalonia in 2017 and has since been the most important opposition to the aspirations for independence.
- Candidatura d'Unitat Popular ( Candidature of the People's Unity - CUP): The left-wing radical CUP describes itself in its election program as a “grassroots political organization of national character, active on the entire territory of the Catalan countries and for a socialist, ecological, independent from Spain sustainable, territorially balanced and free from any kind of paternalistic dominance state works ”. She advocates a unilateral declaration of independence from Spain. The party has been represented in parliament since the parliamentary elections in 2012 and more than tripled its number of seats in the 2015 election .
- Solidaritat Catalana per la Independència ( Catalan Solidarity for Independence - SI): Association of several political groups that advocated the independence of Catalonia and the formation of a separate state within the framework of the European Union. It was founded before the 2010 elections , in which it ran with Joan Laporta , the former president of FC Barcelona , as the top candidate. The party alliance has since left parliament. The political goal of Catalonia's independence from Spain is now supported by a majority of the parties represented in parliament.
This heterogeneous constellation results in a wide range of alliance possibilities, each of which has a specific potential for conflict. In addition to the possibility of a joint left-wing coalition with the PSC and ICV, the ERC also keeps the option of an alliance with the CDC and other movements striving for independence (especially the CUP ) open. In the first case, the common left-wing program favors cooperation, but this is made more difficult by different views on the autonomy or independence of the region and the Spanish-wide involvement of the PSC; in the second case, similarities and opposites would be reversed, whereby the similarities with the CUP are in contrast to the liberal stance of the CDC due to the left profile of both parties.
The long term reign of the CiU under the President of the Generalitat Jordi Pujol began with the first regional elections after the Franco dictatorship in 1980 . It only ended in 2003, when Pujol did not run for elections on November 16 and then a coalition of PSC, ERC and ICV under Pasqual Maragall (PSC) was formed. This succeeded in fundamentally revising the Statute of Autonomy and thus strengthening regional competencies. However, as considerable compromises were made in the negotiations with the Spanish parliament, the ERC rejected the reform as not far-reaching enough, which led to the end of the coalition and early new elections on November 1, 2006; Maragall did not appear any more. The socialist top candidate José Montilla formed a coalition with the ERC and ICV after the election and became President of the Generalitat .
The elections on November 28, 2010 resulted in a change of government. The parties of the left-wing coalition, which has ruled since 2003, lost a total of 22 seats. The winner was the CiU with its top candidate Artur Mas , which was only six seats away from the absolute majority. Mas was elected President of the Generalitat on December 23, 2010 in the second ballot with his party's votes, with the PSC abstaining and the remaining parliamentary groups voting against . During this legislative period, he headed a minority government of the CiU. From 2010 to 2016 Artur Mas ( CDC ; former CiU ) was President of the Generalitat.
After the mass demonstration for independence on September 11, 2012 (see above: National self-image ) and the failure of talks with the central government in Madrid about a reorganization of financial relations between the state and Catalonia, Prime Minister Mas dissolved the regional parliament and scheduled new elections for the 25th November 2012. In its last session before the election, the Catalan Parliament passed a resolution on September 27, 2012 calling on the regional government to conduct a referendum on the “collective future of the Catalan people” during the next legislative period. In the elections on November 25, 2012 , the CiU was again the strongest force, but clearly missed the goal of a “clear majority” that it had set itself and even lost twelve seats compared to 2010. The PSC also suffered considerable losses (eight seats less), while the ERC more than doubled the number of its mandates (to 21 seats) and is now the second largest party. The previous small party Ciutadans was even able to triple its mandate (to 9 seats). The left-wing radical independence party CUP is new to parliament. The number of seats in the Catalan parties fell by a total of 2 seats, although the left-wing Catalan parties gained significantly.
However, in the elections on September 27, 2015 , the political fronts shifted significantly. The crucial point of contention was the question of Catalan independence. The CiU had split before the election, and the CDC sub-party, which was in favor of independence, formed the electoral alliance JxSí together with the ERC . JxSí won almost 40% of the votes in the regional parliament and was the strongest force together with the CUP, the government. On January 12, 2016, the mayor of Girona , Carles Puigdemont ( PDeCAT as one of the sub-formations of the JxSi) was elected Prime Minister . As a central election promise, he announced a referendum on the independence of Catalonia for 2017 , which was held on October 1, 2017 under controversial conditions. On October 10, 2017, Puigdemont signed a document called the Declaration of Independence, but suspended the independence process to enter into negotiations with the government in Madrid. The Spanish government refused such negotiations because the referendum was illegal. On October 21, the Spanish government declared the disempowerment of the Catalan regional government and announced new elections. Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, which is similar to the German federal obligation , was activated . Rajoy announced that he would restore constitutional order and economic stability in Catalonia. The Catalan regional parliament then declared Catalonia an independent republic on October 27, 2017; The Spanish government declared this to be invalid, replaced the regional government under Puigdemont, dissolved parliament and announced new elections for December 21, 2017. The international community of states has not recognized independence.
In the new elections in December 2017, the openly separatist parties ( Junts per Catalunya , an electoral alliance around PDeCAT, ERC and CUP) again won a narrow majority in parliament, but without having received a majority. The new Prime Minister of the regional government was Quim Torra at the end of May 2018 after Puigdemont and his government ministers were indicted by the Spanish judiciary and some of them had fled abroad. Despite the offer of dialogue from Madrid, Torra continued to rely on confrontation and declared that his only goal was full independence and a break with Spain.
|Junts pel Sí (JxSí)||-||39.59% 1||62||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Convergència i Unió (CiU)||-||- 2nd||-||30.68%||50||38.4%||62||31.5%||48||30.9%||46||37.7%||56|
|Junts per Catalunya (JuntsxCat)||21.65%||34|
|Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC)||21.39%||32||- 3||-||13.86%||21st||7.0%||10||14.0%||21st||16.5%||23||8.7%||12|
|Ciutadans - Partit de la Ciutadania (C's)||25.37%||36||17.90%||25th||7.85%||9||3.4%||3||3.0%||3||-||-||-||-|
|Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya (PSC-PSOE)||13.88%||17th||12.72% 4||16||14.43%||20th||18.4%||28||26.8%||37||31.2%||42||37.9%||52|
|Catalunya en Comu-Podem||7.45%||8th||58.94%||11||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds - Esquerra Unida i Alternativa (ICV-EA)||-||- 6||-||9.89%||13||7.4%||10||9.6%||12||7.3%||9||3.9%||3|
|Partido Popular (PP)||4.24%||4th||8.49%||11||12.99%||19th||12.4%||18th||10.6%||14th||11.9%||15th||9.5%||12|
|Candidatura d'Unitat Popular (CUP)||4.45%||4th||8.21%||10||3.48%||3||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Unió Democràtica de Catalunya (UDC)||-||2.51%||0||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Solidarity Catalana per la Indepèndencia (SI)||-||-||1.28%||0||3.3%||4th||-||-||-||-||-||-|
With a GDP of 204,189 million euros in 2015, Catalonia is the economically strongest autonomous community in Spain. Catalonia (like the Basque Country) was one of the earliest and most intensely industrialized regions in Spain. As a result, many Spaniards immigrated from poorer regions such as Andalusia and Extremadura well into the 20th century . At the height of the gross domestic product per capita was Catalonia in 2015 to Madrid , Navarra and the Basque Country in fourth place, compared with the GDP of the EU expressed in purchasing power standards, the region achieved an index of 107 (EU-28 = 100). While the unemployment rate was still 6.9% in 2005 (for comparison: Spain as a whole: 9.2; EU-28: 9.0%), it increased sharply in the course of the economic crisis and was 23.1% in 2013 (Spain: 26.1%, EU-28: 10.9%), but fell again to 15.7% by 2016 (Spain: 19.6%, EU-28: 8.6%). In 2017 the unemployment rate was 13.4%.
Catalonia is a highly industrialized region. Important branches are chemistry, pharmacy, automobile construction and textiles. The production of the VW car brand Seat takes place mainly in Catalonia.
In the agricultural sector, wine growing is particularly important. After France, Catalonia is the most important producer and exporter of sparkling wine. Well-known brands of the drink called cava are Freixenet and Codorníu .
Despite its economic strength, the region of Catalonia is over-indebted. In 2012, their rating was lowered to junk level. The drive for independence also influenced the rating. In the fourth quarter of 2015, the debt of the region of Catalonia increased again by 5% compared to the third quarter and is now almost 73 billion euros. This makes it the highest debt level ever recorded in a Spanish region.
In 2016, 802 companies moved their headquarters from Catalonia to other regions of Spain. At the same time, 531 companies have relocated. This means that the number of company headquarters has decreased net. In comparison with other regions of Spain, it is noticeable that the Madrid region in particular benefited greatly from business settlements over the same period. In the political discussion, the negative balance is associated with the Catalan aspirations for independence.
With a value of 0.897, Catalonia ranks 5th among the 17 autonomous communities in Spain in the Human Development Index .
With a share of 12% of the gross domestic product, tourism is one of the main pillars of the Catalan economy. As one of the few sectors that has the prospect of growth even in times of economic crisis, special attention has been paid to the development of Catalan tourism in recent years.
The seaside resorts of the Costa Brava in the north and the Costa Daurada in the south are popular holiday destinations for all of Europe. Barcelona is one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean for cruises. In addition, there is a differentiated travel offer in the interior and the Pyrenees. There are offers in the field of sports tourism, family-friendly vacation spots that are marked with the DTF seal, offers in the field of rural tourism ( turismo rural ) and wine tourism offers.
During the Franco dictatorship, public use of the Catalan language was initially suppressed from 1939, many place names were translated into Spanish, and school lessons were held exclusively in Spanish until 1967. However, since 1978 the region of Catalonia has enjoyed an autonomous status secured by the Spanish constitution. Since then, the traditional Catalan language has regained importance. The various cultural and linguistic autonomy provisions were specified and laid down in the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia . Thus, Spanish (Castellano / Castilian) and Catalan are officially considered equal today. The regional government supports the Catalan language as much as possible, and media of all kinds are also financially supported.
According to official statistics, in 2008, 31.68% of the population of Catalonia said that Catalan was their mother tongue (Llengua inicial), and 54.99% said that Castilian (Spanish) was their mother tongue. Another 3.84% named both languages as mother tongues. In the Val d'Aran (Arantal) around 7,000 people speak Aranese , an Occitan dialect. Although Occitan is widely spoken in the south of France, it only has official status in Catalonia. The Llengua de Signes Catalana is dominated by 25,000 speakers, including 12,000 deaf people.
The statistical survey also asked about the language commonly used (Llengua habitual) and the Llengua d'identificació (the language with which one identifies oneself). Here, Catalan did noticeably better with 35.64% and 37.25%. The advantage of Castilian is due to the language situation in the greater Barcelona area ( Àmbit Metropolità de Barcelona ), which is characterized by migration . With the exception of Camp de Tarragona , Catalan prevails in all other regions ( Terres de l'Ebre , Àmbit de Ponent , Comarques Centrals and Alt Pirineu i Aran ). According to the official surveys, Catalan has declined as habitual Llengua (from 46.0% in 2003 to 35.64% in 2008) with a rapidly increasing population (due to immigration from Latin American countries, among other things ). But the number of those who referred to both languages as their Llengua habitual has increased (from 4.72% to 11.95%).
Today, the vast majority of the population also speaks Catalan on a daily basis. However, according to a study carried out in school playgrounds, speakers with a Catalan mother tongue tend to use the other person's mother tongue. Castilian speakers, on the other hand, tend to stick to their own language even when speaking to Catalan speakers. Correspondence with authorities and school and university teaching are almost exclusively in Catalan, and companies have to publish their publications (at least also) in Catalan. Spanish-speaking immigrants from other parts of the country sometimes find this policy harassing, as they are required to speak Catalan, for example for public offices. Catalan language courses are offered free of charge in many places. In the field of television and in the press, Spanish has a dominant position, as the national media dominate here.
The Spanish media sometimes criticize the Catalan government's language policy with headlines such as “As under Franco, only the other way around: Persecution of Castilian in Catalonia”. The former chairman of the Spanish People's Party Partido Popular and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also resorted to such accusations in 2006 in the Spanish Conservatives' campaign against the new Catalan Statute of Autonomy. The specialist literature says: “A particular thorn in the side of the Spanish right is the linguistic immersion in primary schools in Catalonia. The method of immersion , which is also used in other multilingual contexts (e.g. in Canada or Finland), aims to make it easier for children to acquire a second language quickly through quick contact with a school environment in which the second language plays a prominent role plays. In relation to Catalonia, this means in plain language that children who are not native Catalan speakers (i.e. mostly Spanish-speaking children) should acquire a high level of language skills in Catalan as early as possible. However, it is by no means intended that the children ... “unlearn” Castilian, and in reality there can be no question of such “unlearning”: Castilian lessons are compulsory at all schools in Catalonia. ”Also the internationally known Catalan writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán , who writes his works in the Castilian language, has - unmistakably polemically - "analyzed with biting mockery the hysterical scaremongering that is supposed to give rise to the delusion that the immersion method would drown Spanish-speaking victims en masse from the Catalan language overload." There are also complaints from the parents of many students, ranging from willful neglect of Spanish classes to Catalan indoctrination in public schools.
The allegation of the displacement of Castilian stands in the way of the language clause of the Catalan Statute of Autonomy from 2006. Article 6 of the Generalitat's official German translation reads:
“Catalan is the official language of Catalonia, as is Spanish, which is the official language of the Spanish state. Everyone has the right to use the two official languages and the citizens of Catalonia have the right and the duty to speak them. "
And in relation to Aranese, the statute says:
Catalonia sees itself as a bilingual or even trilingual cultural nation. Around 80% of Catalans, including a clear majority of Castilian speakers in Catalonia and even the Partido Popular voters living in Catalonia, stated in a study in autumn 2012 that they support the Catalan language policy of immersion. Only 14.5% of all Catalans rejected this. Nevertheless, Spain's highest court, the Tribunal Supremo , is often concerned with questions of Catalan language policy and has already forced the Catalan authorities to make improvements in order to improve the offer of the Castilian language. In June 2013, for example, several articles of a 2008 decree that the only lingua franca in pre-school education institutions in Catalonia should be Catalan were annulled.
The Catalan countries (Catalan Països Catalans ) have to be distinguished from Catalonia in the sense of today's Spanish region , which in addition to the common language, Catalan , have other historical and cultural similarities. In addition to the region of the same name in Spain, these "countries" (Països) include the Balearic Islands , Valencia , Roussillon (" Northern Catalonia "), which belongs to France , a narrow strip in Aragon , the so-called Franja de Ponent , Andorra and the city of Alghero (Catalan . l'Alguer ) in Sardinia . The northern border of this linguistic and cultural area is marked today by the Porta dels Països Catalans near Salses-le-Château in Roussillon.
The Catalan flag ( Senyera ) is yellow with four red stripes. The Catalan national anthem Els Segadors (The Reaper) (title) takes up in the text an uprising in protest against the Castilian rulers in the 17th century.
The national holiday is September 11th, on which in 1714 the troops of the Bourbon pretender Philip V took Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession . As a result, Philip V abolished the traditional institutions of the countries of the former Aragonese crown , most of which were on the side of his Habsburg opponents during the war. The Catalans see September 11th as the day Catalonia lost its independence. Today one commemorates the killed Catalan soldiers on the one hand, and on the other hand celebrates in particular that the Catalan language and culture survive to this day despite the reprisals.
The Catalan tradition of giving away roses and books on April 23 on the commemoration day of the Catalan patron saint St. George (Catalan. Sant Jordi , Spanish. San Jorge ) was adopted by UNESCO when it set up a worldwide holiday in honor of books, World Day of the Book . Traditionally, men give their loved ones a rose and they return the favor with a book. The custom of giving away roses is considered the older one. The choice of the day comes from the fact that April 23rd is the death anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare .
Auca is the name of the typical form of the picture story.
The Sardana is the most famous traditional dance of the Catalan people.
Castells are the breakneck and spectacular human pyramids that teams ( katalan . Colles ) from different cities in Catalonia traditionally bring together for high festivities. They can be up to ten “stories” high, the people on the upper floors are younger (and slimmer) and a small child acts as the top of the tower.
- Painting, architecture
- Salvador Dalí (1904–1989)
- Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926)
- Joan Miró (1893-1983)
- Antoni Tàpies (1923–2012)
- Joan Brossa (1919-1998)
- Montserrat Caballé (1933-2018)
- Josep Carreras (* 1946)
- Pau Casals (1876–1973)
- Xavier Cugat (1900-1990)
- Jordi Savall (born 1941)
- Gloria Lasso (1922-2005)
- Lluís Llach (* 1948)
- Maria del Mar Bonet (* 1947)
- Joan Manuel Serrat (* 1943)
- Tete Montoliu (1933–1997)
- Victoria de los Ángeles (1923-2005)
- culinary arts
- Ester Xargay
Guest country at the 2007 Book Fair
In 2007, Catalan culture (it and the language are also established outside the region) was the guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair . Signet on posters was u. a. the Catalan donkey (in one version a natural, in another a parody of the Spanish symbol of the Osborne bull ). The participation of writers who come from Catalonia but write in Spanish has long been controversial. There are a particularly large number of publishers in Catalonia that also deliver to South America.
The Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main is home to 35,000 volumes, the largest Catalan Research Library (in Catalan and across the country - outside it). On the occasion of the guest country appearance, an agreement was made to expand the research center and found the Cervantes Institute in Frankfurt.
Since within the framework of Pierre de Coubertin's geographie olympique nationalities below the states could start with their own teams upon application (e.g. Finland within the framework of Russia , Bohemia within the framework of Austria-Hungary), an Olympic Committee from Barcelona applied an independent Olympic team for the Summer Olympics 1912-1928 . This application was rejected because the representatives of Spain in the IOC came from Madrid and had to give an opinion. Juan Antonio Samaranch organized the European roller hockey championship in Barcelona in 1947 , coached the Catalan team - and won it. In 1931, Barcelona applied to host the 1936 Summer Olympics, which were awarded to Berlin , because at the time of the decisive meeting in Barcelona there were shootings in the street and Berlin was able to guarantee peace and security. In Barcelona, which was then politically dominated by the left, the People's Olympiad took place in 1936 instead. It was not until the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona under the presidency of Samaranch that the Catalan language was used, especially in the cultural program and for every announcement in the stadium. The FC Barcelona is considered strong proponent of statehood Catalonia and has, since he no longer first Spanish league could play proposed, then in the first French league play (which would be allowed under EU law anyway).
- Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia
- List of coats of arms in Catalonia
- List of Catalan-Spanish place names in the Catalan-speaking area
- Catalan literature
- Hermann von Staff zu Reitzenstein : The war of liberation of the Catalonians in the years 1808 to 1814. 2 volumes. 1821/1827 ( GoogleBooks ).
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- Walther L. Bernecker , Torsten Esser, Peter A. Kraus: A little history of Catalonia. Suhrkamp Taschenbuch 3879, Frankfurt 2007, ISBN 978-3-518-45879-2 .
- Sören Brinkmann: Catalonia and the Spanish Civil War, history and memory. edition tranvía / Verlag Walter Frey, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-938944-12-7 .
- Carlos Collado Seidel : Brief history of Catalonia. CH Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-54787-4 .
- Torsten Eßer, Tilbert D. Stegmann (eds.): Catalonia's return to Europe 1976–2006: history, politics, culture and economy. LIT Verlag, Münster 2007, ISBN 978-3-8258-0283-7 . (Culture: Research and Science Volume 8).
Further content in the
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- Website of the Government of Catalonia ( Generalitat de Catalunya ) (Catalan, Castilian, English, Occitan)
- Catalan Hyperencyclopaedia - Comprehensive encyclopedia on Catalonia (Catalan)
- History of Catalonia with detailed maps
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- Cifras oficiales de población resultantes de la revisión del Padrón municipal a 1 de enero . Population statistics from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (population update).
- Source of the data and comparison with the other 16 Autonomous Communities of Spain here
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