December 27, 2007

THERE IS NO SPAIN:

The undoing of Spain? (Richard W. Rahn, December 26, 2007, Washington Times)

Despite being citizens of one of the oldest nation-states, many Spanish identify more with their regions than the central state. Spain has four official languages — Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Basque, as well as several unofficial languages. The outside world has been well aware of the actions of the Basque separatists because of the ETA terrorists, who have just killed two Spanish police officials in the Basque area of France (which adjoins the Basque area of Spain).

Spain, unlike most countries, has become increasingly decentralized during the last few decades, with the central government shrinking relative to the regional governments. A small central government, with most government activities conducted at the regional and local level, can work just fine, as it has been the case in Switzerland for the last several hundred years, provided there is a national consensus as to how the power is to be shared. But this consensus has not yet occurred in Spain.


Nor will it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 27, 2007 12:33 PM
Comments

Spaniards on the whole are the most charming people I've ever met. I sure hope they don't cease to exist.

Posted by: erp at December 27, 2007 3:17 PM

Returned from Spain yesterday, and it is everything of which our host dreams -- super efficient national train and bus systems, an excellent a heavily-used Metro serving Madrid & environs, relatively few autos, and pedestrian friendly towns and cities.

Posted by: curt at December 28, 2007 8:47 AM
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