Generalitat de Catalunya
The Government of Catalonia or the Generalitat de Catalunya is the institution under which the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia is politically organised. It consists of the Parliament of Catalonia, the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Executive Council of Catalonia; the Generalitat has a budget of €34 billion euros. The Parliament of Catalonia unilaterally declared independence from Spain on 27 October 2017 as the'Catalan Republic'. In response Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy decided to dissolve the Parliament of Catalonia and to call a snap regional election for 21 December 2017, after which a new Parliament and a new Catalan government was elected; the independence declaration was turned down by the central Spanish government, members of the Catalan government, including Carles Puigdemont, fled to Belgium claiming to be the legitimate government of the Generalitat of Catalonia. Catalonia’s political past as a territorially differentiated community having its own representative and separated institutions, with respect to the sovereign power of the combined Catalan counties, the Crown of Aragon, the Monarchy of Spain and of the Spanish constitutional state, can be divided into four stages, separated by three great ruptures in the legal/public order.
Pau i Treva de Déu was a social movement promoted in the eleventh century as the response of the Church and the peasants to the violences perpetrated by feudal nobles. The hometowns delimited a protected space of feudal violence. However, to ensure a coexistence climate, it was necessary to go further, establishing an authority that prohibited the practice of any type of violent act anywhere in the territory; this was the objective of the assemblies of Peace and Truce of God, the first of which, in the Catalan counties, took place in Toluges, in 1027, under the presidency of Abbot Oliba, on behalf of Bishop Berenguer d'Elna, absent from the diocese because he was on a pilgrimage. The origin of the Catalan Courts can be considered from the Peace of Truce of God; the Generalitat of Catalonia stems from the medieval institution which ruled, in the name of the King of the Crown of Aragon, some aspects of the administration of the Principality of Catalonia. The Catalan Courts were the main institution of the Principality during its existence as a political entity, approved the Catalan constitutions.
The first constitutions were that of the Courts of 1283. The medieval precedent of the Generalitat, the Diputació del General de Catalunya was a permanent council of deputies established by the Courts in order to recapt the new "tax of the General" in 1359, gained an important political power during the next centuries, assuming tasks of prosecutor, it was chosen by the legislators in 1931 because they felt it was appropriate for invoking as a legitimising base for contemporary self-government. Catalan institutions which depended on the Generalitat were abolished in what is known in Catalonia as Northern Catalonia, one year after the signature of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in the 17th century, which transferred the territory from Spanish to French sovereignty. By the early 18th century, as the Nueva Planta decrees were passed in Spain after the Catalan defeat in the War of the Spanish Succession, the institution was abolished in the Spanish territory as well; the Generalitat was restored in the Catalonia under Spanish administration in 1931 during the events of the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic when Francesc Macià, leader of the Republican Left of Catalonia, declared the Catalan Republic on 14 April but reached an agreement with the Spanish ministers, in which the Catalan Republic was renamed Generalitat of Catalonia and given its modern political and representative function as the autonomous government of Catalonia within the Spanish Republic.
The restored Generalitat was ruled by a statute of autonomy approved by the Spanish Cortes and included a parliament, a presidency, a government and a court of appeal. It was presided by Lluís Companys. After the right wing coalition won the Spanish elections in 1934, the leftist leaders of the Generalitat of Catalonia rebelled in October of that year against the Spanish authorities, it was temporarily suspended from 1934 to 1936. In 1939, as the Spanish Civil War finished with the defeat of the Republican side, the Generalitat of Catalonia as an institution was abolished and remained so during all the Francoist dictatorship until 1975; the president of the Generalitat at the time, Lluís Companys, was tortured and executed in October 1940 for the crime of'military rebellion'. Nonetheless, the Generalitat remained its official existence in exile, leaded by presidents Josep Irla and Josep Tarradellas; the succession of presidents of the Generalitat was maintained in exile from 1939 to 1977, when Josep Tarradellas returned to Catalonia and was recognized as the legitimate president by the Spanish government.
Tarradellas, when he returned to Catalonia, made his quoted remark "Ciutadans de Catalunya: ja sóc aquí", reassuming the autonomous powers of Catalonia, one of the historic nationalities of present-day Spain. After this, the powers given to the autonomous Catalan government according to the Spanish Constitution of 1978 were transferred and the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia was passed after being approved both by referendum in Catalonia and by the Sp
Catalonia is an autonomous community in Spain on the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona and Tarragona; the capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia, it is bordered by France and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan and the Aranese dialect of Occitan. In the late 8th century, the counties of the March of Gothia and the Hispanic March were established by the Frankish kingdom as feudal vassals across and near the eastern Pyrenees as a defensive barrier against Muslim invasions; the eastern counties of these marches were united under the rule of the Frankish vassal, the count of Barcelona, were called Catalonia.
In the 10th century the County of Barcelona became independent de facto. In 1137, Barcelona and the Kingdom of Aragon were united by marriage under the Crown of Aragon; the de jure end of Frankish rule was ratified by French and Aragonese monarchs in the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258. The Principality of Catalonia developed its own institutional system, such as courts, constitutions, becoming the base for the Crown of Aragon's naval power and expansionism in the Mediterranean. In the Middle Ages, Catalan literature flourished. During the last Medieval centuries natural disasters, social turmoils and military conflicts affected the Principality. Between 1469 and 1516, the king of Aragon and the queen of Castile married and ruled their realms together, retaining all of their distinct institutions and legislation. During the Franco-Spanish War, Catalonia revolted against a large and burdensome presence of the royal army in its territory, being proclaimed a republic under French protection. Within a brief period France took full control of Catalonia, until it was reconquered by the Spanish army.
Under the terms of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, the Spanish Crown ceded the northern parts of Catalonia the County of Roussillon, to France. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Crown of Aragon sided against the Bourbon Philip V of Spain; this led to the eclipse of Catalan as a language of literature, replaced by Spanish. Along the 18th century, Catalonia experienced economic growth, reinforced in the late quarter of the century when the Castile's trade monopoly with American colonies ended. In the 19th century, Catalonia was affected by the Napoleonic and Carlist Wars. In the second third of the century, Catalonia experienced significant industrialisation; as wealth from the industrial expansion grew, Catalonia saw a cultural renaissance coupled with incipient nationalism while several workers movements appeared. In 1914, the four Catalan provinces formed a commonwealth, with the return of democracy during the Second Spanish Republic, the Generalitat of Catalonia was restored as an autonomous government.
After the Spanish Civil War, the Francoist dictatorship enacted repressive measures, abolishing Catalan self-government and banning the official use of the Catalan language again. After a first period of autarky, from the late 1950s through to the 1970s Catalonia saw rapid economic growth, drawing many workers from across Spain, making Barcelona one of Europe's largest industrial metropolitan areas and turning Catalonia into a major tourist destination. Since the Spanish transition to democracy, Catalonia has regained considerable autonomy in political, educational and cultural affairs and is now one of the most economically dynamic communities of Spain. In the 2010s there has been growing support for Catalan independence. On 27 October 2017, the Catalan Parliament declared independence from Spain following a disputed referendum; the Spanish Senate voted in favour of enforcing direct rule by removing the entire Catalan government and calling a snap regional election for 21 December. On 2 November of the same year, the Spanish Supreme Court imprisoned 7 former ministers of the Catalan government on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds, while several others—including then-President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont—fled to other European countries.
The name Catalonia—Catalunya in Catalan, spelled Cathalonia, or Cathalaunia in Medieval Latin—began to be used for the homeland of the Catalans in the late 11th century and was used before as a territorial reference to the group of counties that comprised part of the March of Gothia and March of Hispania under the control of the Count of Barcelona and his relatives. The origin of the name Catalunya is subject to diverse interpretations because of a lack of evidence. One theory suggests that Catalunya derives from the name Gothia Launia, since the origins of the Catalan counts and people were found in the March of Gothia, known as Gothia, whence Gothlan
Separation of powers
The separation of powers is a model for the governance of a state. Under this model, a state's government is divided into branches, each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with the powers associated with the other branches; the typical division is into three branches: a legislature, an executive, a judiciary, the trias politica model. It can be contrasted with the fusion of powers in some parliamentary systems where the executive and legislative branches overlap. Separation of powers, refers to the division of responsibilities into distinct branches to limit any one branch from exercising the core functions of another; the intent of separation of powers is to prevent the concentration of unchecked power by providing for "checks" and "balances" to avoid autocracy, over-reaching by one branch over another, the attending efficiency of governing by one actor without need for negotiation and compromise with any other.
The separation of powers model is imprecisely and metonymically used interchangeably with the trias politica principle. While the trias politica is a common type of model, there are governments which utilize bipartite, rather than tripartite, systems as mentioned in the article. Aristotle first mentioned the idea of a "mixed government" or hybrid government in his work Politics where he drew upon many of the constitutional forms in the city-states of Ancient Greece. In the Roman Republic, the Roman Senate and the Assemblies showed an example of a mixed government according to Polybius. John Calvin favoured a system of government that divided political power between democracy and aristocracy. Calvin appreciated the advantages of democracy, stating: "It is an invaluable gift if God allows a people to elect its own government and magistrates." In order to reduce the danger of misuse of political power, Calvin suggested setting up several political institutions which should complement and control each other in a system of checks and balances.
In this way and his followers resisted political absolutism and furthered the growth of democracy. Calvin aimed to protect the well-being of ordinary people. In 1620, a group of English separatist Congregationalists and Anglicans founded Plymouth Colony in North America. Enjoying self-rule, they established a bipartite democratic system of government; the "freemen" elected the General Court, which functioned as legislature and judiciary and which in turn elected a governor, who together with his seven "assistants" served in the functional role of providing executive power. Massachusetts Bay Colony, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania had similar constitutions – they all separated political powers. Books like William Bradford's History of Plymoth Plantation were read in England. So the form of government in the colonies was well known in the mother country, including to the philosopher John Locke, he deduced from a study of the English constitutional system the advantages of dividing political power into the legislative, on the one hand, the executive and federative power, responsible for the protection of the country and prerogative of the monarch, on the other hand.
The term "tripartite system" is ascribed to French Enlightenment political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu, although he did not use such a term. In reality he referred to "distribution" of powers. In The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu described the various forms of distribution of political power among a legislature, an executive, a judiciary. Montesquieu's approach was to present and defend a form of government, not excessively centralized in all its powers to a single monarch or similar ruler, form of government known as "aristocracy", he based this model on the Constitution of the British constitutional system. Montesquieu took the view that the Roman Republic had powers separated so that no one could usurp complete power. In the British constitutional system, Montesquieu discerned a separation of powers among the monarch and the courts of law. In every government there are three sorts of power: the legislative. By virtue of the first, the prince or magistrate enacts temporary or perpetual laws, amends or abrogates those that have been enacted.
By the second, he makes peace or war, sends or receives embassies, establishes the public security, provides against invasions. By the third, he determines the disputes that arise between individuals; the latter we shall call the judiciary power, the other the executive power of the state. Montesquieu argues that each Power should only exercise its own functions, it was quite explicit here: When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty. Again, there is no liberty if the judiciary power be not separated from the legislative and executive. Were it joined with the legisla
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain. It is the fourth most populous autonomous community after Andalusia and Madrid with more than 4.9 million inhabitants. Its homonymous capital Valencia is metropolitan area in Spain, it is located along the Mediterranean coast on the east side of the Iberian peninsula. It borders with Catalonia to the north and Castilla–La Mancha to the west, Murcia to the south; the Valencian Community consists of three provinces which are Valencia and Alicante. According to its Statute of Autonomy, the Valencian people are a nationality, their origins date back to the Aragonese reconquest of the Moorish Taifa of Valencia, taken by James I of Aragon in 1238 during the Reconquista. The newly founded Kingdom of Valencia was granted wide self-government under the Crown of Aragon. Valencia experienced its golden age in the 15th century. Self-government continued after the unification of the Spanish Kingdom, but was suspended in 1707 by Phillip V of Spain as a result of the Spanish War of Succession.
Valencian nationalism resurged towards the end of the 19th century, which led to the modern conception of the Valencian Country. Self-government under the Generalitat Valenciana was reestablished in 1982 after Spanish transition to democracy. Many Valencian people speak Valencian, the region's own co-official language, a southwestern dialect of Catalan standardised by the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua. Valencian is a diglossic language, repressed during Franco's dictatorship in favour of Spanish. Since it regained official status in 1982 in the Valencian Estatut d'Autonomia. Valencian has been implemented in public administration and the education system leading to an exponential increase in knowledge of its formal standard. Valencian is understood by more than half of the population living within the Valencian Community. Valencia was founded by the Romans under the name of "Valentia Edetanorum", which translates to'Valiance of the Land of the Lamb'. With the establishment of the Taifa of Valencia, the name developed to بلنسية, which became Valencia after the expulsion of the Moors.
"Valencian Community" is the standard translation of the official name in Valencian recognized by the Statute of Autonomy of 1982. This is the name most used in public administration, the media and Spanish written language. However, the variant of "Valencian Country" that emphasizes the nationality status of the Valencian people is still the preferred one by left-wing parties, civil associations, Catalan written language and major academic institutions like the University of Valencia. "Valencian Community" is a neologism, adopted after democratic transition in order to solve the conflict between two competing names: "Valencian Country" and "Former Kingdom of Valencia". On one hand, "Valencian Country" represented the modern conception of nationality that resurged in the 19th century, it became well-established during the Second Spanish Republic and on with the works of Joan Fuster in the 1960s, implying the existence of the "Catalan Countries". This nationalist subtext was opposed by anti-Catalan blaverists, who proposed "Former Kingdom of Valencia" instead in order to emphasize Valencian independence from Catalonia.
Blaverists have accepted the official denomination. The autonomous community can be homonymously identified with its capital "Valencia". However, this could be disregarding of the provinces of Castellón. Other more anecdotal translations have included "Land of Valencia", "Region of Valencia" and "Valencian Region"; the term "Region", carries negative connotations among many Valencians because it could deny their nationality status. The Pre-Roman autochthonous people of the Valencian Community were the Iberians, who were divided in several groups; the Greeks established colonies in the coastal towns of Saguntum and Dénia beginning in the 5th century BC, where they traded and mixed with the local Iberian populations. After the end of the First Punic War between Carthage and Rome in 241 BC, which established their limits of influence in the Ebro river, the Carthaginians occupied the whole region; the dispute over the hegemony of Saguntum, a Hellenized Iberian coastal city with diplomatic contacts with Rome, destroyed by Hannibal in 219 BC, ignited the Second Punic War, which ended with the incorporation of the region to the Roman Empire.
The Romans founded the city of Valentia in 138 BC, over the centuries overtook Saguntum in importance. After the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, during the Barbarian Invasions in the 5th century AD, the region was first invaded by the Alans and ruled by the Visigoths, until the arrival of the Arabs in 711, which left a broad impact in the region, still visible in today's Valencian landscape and culture. After the fall of the Caliphate of Cordoba, two main independent taifas were established at the region, Balansiya and Dénia, along with the small and short living taifas of Orihuela, Alpuente, Jérica and Sagunt and the short Christian conquest of Valencia by El Cid. However, the origins of present-day Valencia date back to the Kingdom of Valencia, which came into existence in the 13th century. James I of Aragon led the Christian conquest and colonization of the existing Islamic taifas with Aragonese and Catalan colonizers in 1208; the kingdom developed intensively in the 14th and 15th centuries, which are con
Autonomous communities of Spain
In Spain, an autonomous community is a first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain. Spain is not a federation, but a decentralized unitary state. While sovereignty is vested in the nation as a whole, represented in the central institutions of government, the nation has, in variable degrees, devolved power to the communities, which, in turn, exercise their right to self-government within the limits set forth in the constitution and their autonomous statutes; each community has its own set of devolved powers. Some scholars have referred to the resulting system as a federal system in all but name, or a "federation without federalism". There are 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities that are collectively known as "autonomies"; the two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities, but neither has yet exercised it.
This unique framework of territorial administration is known as the "State of Autonomies". The autonomous communities are governed according to the constitution and their own organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy, which contain all the competences that they assume. Since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical in nature, the scope of competences vary for each community, but all have the same parliamentary structure. Spain is a diverse country made up of several different regions with varying economic and social structures, as well as different languages and historical and cultural traditions. While the entire Spanish territory was united under one crown in 1479 this was not a process of national homogenization or amalgamation; the constituent territories—be it crowns, principalities or dominions—retained much of their former institutional existence, including limited legislative, judicial or fiscal autonomy. These territories exhibited a variety of local customs, laws and currencies until the mid nineteenth century.
From the 18th century onwards, the Bourbon kings and the government tried to establish a more centralized regime. Leading figures of the Spanish Enlightenment advocated for the building of a Spanish nation beyond the internal territorial boundaries; this culminated in 1833, when Spain was divided into 49 provinces, which served as transmission belts for policies developed in Madrid. However, unlike in other European countries such as France, where regional languages were spoken in rural areas or less developed regions, two important regional languages of Spain were spoken in some of the most industrialized areas, moreover, enjoyed higher levels of prosperity, in addition to having their own cultures and historical consciousness; these were Catalonia. This gave rise to peripheral nationalisms along with Spanish nationalism; therefore and social changes that had produced a national cultural unification in France had the opposite effect in Spain. As such, Spanish history since the late 19th century has been shaped by a dialectical struggle between Spanish nationalism and peripheral nationalisms in Catalonia and the Basque Country, to a lesser degree in Galicia.
In a response to Catalan demands, limited autonomy was granted to Catalonia in 1914, only to be abolished in 1923. It was granted again in 1932 during the Second Spanish Republic, when the Generalitat, Catalonia's mediaeval institution of government, was restored; the constitution of 1931 envisaged a territorial division for all Spain in "autonomous regions", never attained—only Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia had approved "Statutes of Autonomy"—the process being thwarted by the Spanish Civil War that broke out in 1936, the victory of the rebel Nationalist forces under Francisco Franco. During General Franco's dictatorial regime, centralism was most forcefully enforced as a way of preserving the "unity of the Spanish nation". Peripheral nationalism, along with communism and atheism were regarded by his regime as the main threats, his attempts to fight separatism with heavy-handed but sporadic repression, his severe suppression of language and regional identities backfired: the demands for democracy became intertwined with demands for the recognition of a pluralistic vision of the Spanish nationhood.
When Franco died in 1975, Spain entered into a phase of transition towards democracy. The most difficult task of the newly democratically elected Cortes Generales in 1977 acting as a Constituent Assembly was to transition from a unitary centralized state into a decentralized state in a way that would satisfy the demands of the peripheral nationalists; the Prime Minister of Spain, Adolfo Suárez, met with Josep Tarradellas, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia in exile. An agreement was made so that the Generalitat would be restored and limited competencies would be transferred while the constitution was still being written. Shortly after, the government allowed the creation of "assemblies of members of parliament" integrated by deputies and senators of the different territories of Spain, so that they could constitute "pre-autonomic regimes" for their regions as well; the Fathers of the Constitution had to strike a balance between the opposing views of Spain—on the one hand, the centralist view inherited from Franco's regime, on the other hand federalism and a pluralistic view of Spain as a "nation of nations".
Second Spanish Republic
The Spanish Republic known as the Second Spanish Republic, was the democratic government that existed in Spain from 1931 to 1939. The Republic was proclaimed on 14 April 1931, after the deposition of Alfonso XIII, it lost the Spanish Civil War on 1 April 1939 to the rebel faction, that would establish a military dictatorship under the rule of Francisco Franco. After the proclamation of the Republic, a provisional government was established until December 1931, when the 1931 Constitution was approved a Constitutional Republic was formally established; the republican government of Manuel Azaña would start a great number of reforms to "modernize" the country. After the 1933 general election, Alejandro Lerroux formed a government with the confidence and supply of the Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right-wing Groups. Under Lerroux's premiership, the Republic found itself before an insurrection of anarchists and socialists that took a revolutionary undertone in Asturias; the revolt was suppressed by the Republic with the intervention of the army.
The Popular Front won the 1936 general election. On 17–18 July 1936, a coup d'état fractured the Spanish Republican Armed Forces and failed, marking the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. During the Spanish Civil War, there were three governments; the first was led by left-wing republican José Giral. The second government was led by socialist Francisco Largo Caballero of the trade union General Union of Workers; the UGT, along with the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, were the main forces behind the aforementioned social revolution. The third government was led by socialist Juan Negrín, who led the Republic until the military coup of Segismundo Casado, which ended republican resistance and led to the victory of the nationalists, who would establish a military dictatorship under the rule of Francisco Franco, known as Francoist Spain; the Republican government survived in exile, it had an embassy in Mexico City until 1976. After the restoration of democracy in Spain, the government formally dissolved the following year.
On 28 January 1930 the military dictatorship of General Miguel Primo de Rivera was overthrown. This led various republican factions from a wide variety of backgrounds to join forces; the Pact of San Sebastián was the key to the transition from monarchy to republic. Republicans of all tendencies were committed to the Pact of San Sebastian in overthrowing the monarchy and establishing a republic; the restoration of the royal Bourbons was rejected by large sectors of the populace who vehemently opposed the King. The pact, signed by representatives of the main Republican forces, allowed a joint anti-monarchy political campaign; the 12 April 1931 municipal elections led to a landslide victory for republicans. Two days the Second Republic was proclaimed, King Alfonso XIII went into exile; the king's departure led to a provisional government of the young republic under Niceto Alcalá-Zamora. Catholic churches and establishments in cities like Madrid and Sevilla were set ablaze on 11 May. In June 1931 a Constituent Cortes was elected to draft a new constitution, which came into force in December.
The new constitution established freedom of speech and freedom of association, extended suffrage to women in 1933, allowed divorce, stripped the Spanish nobility of any special legal status. It effectively disestablished the Roman Catholic Church, but the disestablishment was somewhat reversed by the Cortes that same year, its controversial articles 26 and 27 imposed stringent controls on Church property and barred religious orders from the ranks of educators. Scholars have described the constitution as hostile to religion, with one scholar characterising it as one of the most hostile of the 20th century. José Ortega y Gasset stated, "the article in which the Constitution legislates the actions of the Church seems improper to me." Pope Pius XI condemned the Spanish government's deprivation of the civil liberties of Catholics in the encyclical Dilectissima Nobis. The legislative branch was changed to a single chamber called the Congress of Deputies; the constitution established legal procedures for the nationalisation of public services and land and railways.
The constitution provided accorded civil liberties and representation. Catholic churches in major cities were again subject to arson in 1932, a revolutionary strike action was seen in Málaga the same year. A Catholic church in Zaragoza was burnt down in 1933, the cathedral in Oviedo was destroyed by flames in 1934; the church of San Lorenzo in Gijon was set ablaze in the same year. The church of San Juan in Albacete was torched three months prior to the onset of the civil war, in March 1936; the 1931 Constitution was formally effective from 1931 until 1939. In the summer of 1936, after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, it became irrelevant after the authority of the Republic was superseded in many places by revolutionary socialists and anarchists on one side, fascists on the other; the Republican Constitution changed the country's national symbols. The Himno de Riego was established as the national anthem, the Tricolor, with three horizontal red-yellow-purple fields, became the new flag of Spain.
Under the new Constitution, all of Spain's regions had the right to autonomy. Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia (although the Galician Statu
Aran is an administrative entity in Catalonia, consisting of the Aran Valley, 620.47 square kilometres in area, in the Pyrenees mountains, in the northwestern part of the province of Lleida. This valley constitutes one of only two areas of contiguous Spain that are located on the northern side of the Pyrenees. Hence, this valley holds the only Catalan rivers to flow into the Atlantic Ocean; the Garonne river flows through Aran from its source on the Pla de Beret near the Port de la Bonaigua. It is joined by the Joèu river, it reappears in the Val dera Artiga de Lin before reaching the Aran valley through France and to the Atlantic Ocean. The Noguera Pallaresa river, whose source is only a hundred meters from that of the Garonne, flows the opposite way towards the Mediterranean. Aran borders France on the north, the Spanish Autonomous Community of Aragon to the west and the Catalan comarques of Alta Ribagorça to the south and Pallars Sobirà to the east; the capital of the comarca is Vielha, with 5,474 inhabitants.
The entire population of the valley is about 9,991. As of 2001, a plurality of people in Aran spoke Spanish as their native language, followed by Aranese Catalan with 7.56% having a different native language. Speakers of languages other than the local Aranese are people born outside the valley, or their children. In 1313, James II of Aragon granted administrative and political autonomy to the Aran Valley, the legal details of which are described in a Latin manuscript called the Querimonia; the devolution of power was a reward for the Aranese pledging allegiance to James II in a dispute with the kingdoms of France and Mallorca over control of the valley. This situation was suppressed in 1834, when the Valley was integrated into the new Province of Lérida, in the context of creation of the liberal state. On 19 October 1944, Spanish Communist Party guerrillas invaded the valley in an attempt to bring about the fall of the Spanish dictatorship, they took control of several villages until October 27, 1944, but were forced to retreat back into France after Franco sent reinforcements to defend Vielha.
Before the construction of the Vielha tunnel, opened in 1948, the Aran valley had no direct communication with the south side of the mountains during winter. In 1990 the autonomy of Aran was restored by the Parliament of Catalonia, as well the establishment of the Occitan as official language. In 2015 the powers of Aranese institutions were increased. Aranese is the standardized form of the local Gascon variety of the Occitan language. Aranese has been taught at school since 1984. Like several other minority languages in Europe that faced decline, Aranese is experiencing a renaissance; the name Aran comes from Basque haran. Maps and road signs in Spain use the name "era Val d'Aran" to refer to the valley, where era is the Aranese singular feminine article; the same practice goes for all towns and other locations in Aran, for example, the Aranese spelling Vielha is used instead of Catalan and Spanish Viella to refer to the capital of Aran. Basque toponyms reveal; the growing influence of Latin began to drive Basque out after the turn of the first millennium.
Administratively, Aran is a "unique territorial entity" equivalent to a comarca with additional powers, informally referred to as a comarca. This status was most formalised in February 2015; the area is divided into six administrative divisions called terçons. The current arrangement of the divisions dates from the 15th century. Since 1991, Aran has an autonomous government called the Conselh Generau; the major political parties are the Unity of Aran - Aranese Nationalist Party, the Aranese Democratic Convergence (the local chapter of the. The Occitan Republican Left party was founded in 2008; the main economic activity in the valley is tourism. Other primary sectors of the economy include forest products, cattle ranching and agriculture, all of which have become progressively less important since the opening of ski resorts. Many native animals of Aran are in danger of extinction. There are programs to reintroduce and/or protect: Brown bear Rock ptarmigan Aran rock lizard Bearded vulture Page of the Conselh Generau d'Aran Information from the Generalitat de Catalunya Touristic information about the Val d'Aran Smith, Dominic.
"Language planning in the Val d’Aran: The recent work of the Conselh Generau d’Aran’s ‘Oficina de Foment e Ensenhament der Aranés’ and its effects on the Aranés-speaking population.". 2003