Author: Barbara LOYER
Abstract: Spain was a point of reference for the Eastern countries after the fall of the iron curtain. Aiming to avoid another-civil war, the system implemented there is one of the most decentralized in Europe. In part, citizens believe that the autonomy experienced by the elected officials of their autonomous community derives from historical rights which do not emanate from the 1978 Constitution but from previous times. The Constitution is not seen by them as the source of Spanish democracy. It is the case in Catalonia, in Galicia and in the Basque country where nationalist parties defend the idea that their “peoples” are different from the Spanish people. This conviction is fueling the actions by ETA against democracy in the name of the democratic rights of the Basque people. Trans border policies are important elements of the political strategies of the Catalan and Basque nationalists. In Navarre, autonomy is rooted in a very ancient history but doesn’t build upon the representation of Navarre’s people being different from the Spanish people. The majority of the Spanish citizens, though,believe that the 1978 constitution represents a guarantee of democracy without having recourse to historical rights.
Keywords: Spain, Europe, E.T.A., democracy, nationalism.