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Kyrgyzstan — support to electoral reform. Latin America. Sub-commission on Latin America. Reference documents. Compilations of studies and opinions. Annual reports. Other large species such as the bear have been recently reintroduced. Waters of Balearic Sea are rich in biodiversity, and even the megafaunas of ocean; various type of whales such as fin , sperm , and pilot and dolphins live within the area.
Most of Catalonia belongs to the Mediterranean Basin. The Catalan hydrographic network consists of two important basins, the one of the Ebro and the one that comprises the internal basins of Catalonia respectively covering Furthermore, there is the Garona river basin that flows to the Atlantic Ocean , but it only covers 1. The hydrographic network can be divided in two sectors, an occidental slope or Ebro river slope and one oriental slope constituted by minor rivers that flow to the Mediterranean along the Catalan coast. The first slope provides an average of 18, cubic hectometres 4.
The difference is due to the big contribution of the Ebro river, from which the Segre is an important tributary. Moreover, in Catalonia there is a relative wealth of groundwaters, although there is inequality between comarques , given the complex geological structure of the territory. The biggest are the lake of Banyoles and the recently recovered lake of Ivars.
The Catalan Coastal Range hugs the coastline, and it is split into two segments, one between L'Estartit and the town of Blanes the Costa Brava , and the other at the south, at the Costes del Garraf. Intensive agriculture, livestock farming and industrial activities have been accompanied by a massive tourist influx more than 20 million annual visitors , a rate of urbanization and even of major metropolisation which has led to a strong urban sprawl: a third of Catalans live in the urban area of Barcelona, while the proportion of urbanized soils increased from 4.
Human activities have also put some animal species at risk, or even led to their disappearance from the territory, like the gray wolf and probably the brown bear of the Pyrenees. The pressure created by this model of life means that the country's ecological footprint exceeds its administrative area.
Faced with this problems, Catalan authorities initiated several measures whose purpose is to protect natural ecosystems. After Franco's death in and the adoption of a democratic constitution in Spain in , Catalonia recovered and extended the powers that it had gained in the Statute of Autonomy of  but lost with the fall of the Second Spanish Republic  at the end of the Spanish Civil War in This autonomous community has gradually achieved more autonomy since the approval of the Spanish Constitution of The Generalitat holds exclusive jurisdiction in culture, environment, communications, transportation, commerce, public safety and local government, and shares jurisdiction with the Spanish government in education, health and justice.
The support for Catalan nationalism ranges from a demand for further autonomy and the federalisation of Spain to the desire for independence from the rest of Spain, expressed by Catalan independentists. Since when the question started to be regularly surveyed by the governmental Center for Public Opinion Studies CEO , support for Catalan independence has been on the rise. In hundreds of non-binding local referendums on independence, organised across Catalonia from 13 September , a large majority voted for independence, although critics argued that the polls were mostly held in pro-independence areas.
On 11 September , a pro-independence march pulled in a crowd of between , according to the Spanish Government , 1. Two major factors were Spain's Constitutional Court's decision to declare part of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia unconstitutional, as well as the fact that Catalonia contributes Parties that consider themselves either Catalan nationalist or independentist have been present in all Catalan governments since The largest Catalan nationalist party, Convergence and Union , ruled Catalonia from to , and returned to power in the election.
Between and , a leftist coalition, composed by the Catalan Socialists' Party , the pro-independence Republican Left of Catalonia and the leftist-environmentalist Initiative for Catalonia-Greens , implemented policies that widened Catalan autonomy. In the 25 November Catalan parliamentary election , sovereigntist parties supporting a secession referendum gathered Parties supporting independence from the rest of Spain obtained Artur Mas , then the president of Catalonia, organised early elections that took place on 27 September The Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia is the fundamental organic law, second only to the Spanish Constitution from which the Statute originates.
In the Spanish Constitution of Catalonia, along with the Basque Country and Galicia , was defined as a " nationality ". The same constitution gave Catalonia the automatic right to autonomy, which resulted in the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of Both the Statute of Autonomy and the current one, approved in , state that "Catalonia, as a nationality, exercises its self-government constituted as an Autonomous Community in accordance with the Constitution and with the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, which is its basic institutional law, always under the law in Spain".
The Preamble of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia states that the Parliament of Catalonia has defined Catalonia as a nation , but that "the Spanish Constitution recognizes Catalonia's national reality as a nationality". The objections are based on various issues such as disputed cultural heritage but, especially, on the Statute's alleged breaches of the principle of "solidarity between regions" in fiscal and educational matters enshrined by the Constitution. Spain's Constitutional Court assessed the disputed articles and on 28 June , issued its judgment on the principal allegation of unconstitutionality presented by the People's Party in The judgment granted clear passage to articles of the that make up the fundamental text.
The court approved 73 of the articles that the People's Party had contested, while declaring 14 articles unconstitutional in whole or in part and imposing a restrictive interpretation on 27 others. The Parliament of Catalonia in Catalan: Parlament de Catalunya is the legislative body of the Generalitat and represents the citizens of Catalonia. It is elected every four years by universal suffrage , and it has powers to legislate in different matters such as education, health, culture, internal institutional and territorial organization, election and control of the president of the Generalitat and the Government, budget and other affairs, according with the Statute of Autonomy.
The last Catalan election was held on 21 December , and its current president is Roger Torrent , incumbent since January The president of the Generalitat of Catalonia in Catalan: president de la Generalitat de Catalunya is the highest representative of Catalonia, and is also responsible of leading the government's action. The Executive Council in Catalan: Consell Executiu or Government Govern , is the body responsible of the government of the Generalitat, it holds executive and regulatory power. Its seat is the Palau de la Generalitat , in Barcelona. Catalonia has its own police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra officially called Mossos d'Esquadra-Policia de la Generalitat de Catalunya , whose origins date back to the 18th century.
Since they have been under the command of the Generalitat, and since they have expanded in number in order to replace the national Civil Guard and National Police Corps , which report directly to the Homeland Department of Spain. The national bodies retain personnel within Catalonia to exercise functions of national scope such as overseeing ports, airports, coasts, international borders, custom offices, the identification of documents and arms control, immigration control, terrorism prevention, arms trafficking prevention, amongst others.
Most of the justice system is administered by national judicial institutions, the highest body and last judicial instance in the Catalan jurisdiction, integrating the Spanish judiciary, is the High Court of Justice of Catalonia. The criminal justice system is uniform throughout Spain, while civil law is administered separately within Catalonia.
The civil laws that are subject to autonomous legislation have been codified in the Civil Code of Catalonia Codi civil de Catalunya since Navarre , the Basque Country and Catalonia are the Spanish communities with the highest degree of autonomy in terms of law enforcement. Catalonia is organised territorially into provinces , further subdivided into comarques and municipalities. The Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia establishes the administrative organisation of three local authorities: vegueries , comarques, and municipalities. The four provinces and their populations are: .
Comarques singular: "comarca" are entities composed by the municipalities to manage their responsibilities and services. The current regional division has its roots in a decree of the Generalitat de Catalunya of , in effect until , when it was suppressed by Franco. At present there are Every comarca is administered by a comarcal council consell comarcal.
The Val d'Aran Aran Valley , until considered as a comarca, is officially defined today as "unique territorial entity", has a special status and its autonomous government is named Conselh Generau d'Aran. There are at present municipalities municipis in Catalonia. Each municipality is run by a council ajuntament elected every four years by the residents in local elections.
The council consists of a number of members regidors depending on population, who elect the mayor alcalde or batlle. Its seat is the town hall ajuntament , casa de la ciutat or casa de la vila. The vegueria is a new type of division defined as a specific territorial area for the exercise of government and inter-local cooperation with legal personality. The current Statute of Autonomy states vegueries are intended to supersede provinces in Catalonia, and take over many of functions of the comarques.
In , for example, Catalonia lost companies to other parts of Spain mainly Madrid , gaining new ones from the rest of the country. The distribution of sectors is as follows: . In the High Pyrenees there are several ski resorts, near Lleida. On 1 November , Catalonia started charging a tourist tax.
Many savings banks are based in Catalonia, with 10 of the 46 Spanish savings banks having headquarters in the region. This list includes Europe's premier savings bank, La Caixa. The main economic cost for the Catalan families is the purchase of a home. The unemployment rate stood at Airports in Catalonia are owned and operated by Aena a Spanish Government entity except two airports in Lleida which are operated by Aeroports de Catalunya an entity belonging to the Government of Catalonia. Since the Middle Ages, Catalonia has been well integrated into international maritime networks.
The port of Barcelona owned and operated by Puertos del Estado , a Spanish Government entity is an industrial, commercial and tourist port of worldwide importance. With 1,, TEUs in , it is the first container port in Catalonia, the third in Spain after Valencia and Algeciras in Andalusia, the 9th in the Mediterranean Sea, the 14th in Europe and the 68th in the world.
It is sixth largest cruise port in the world, the first in Europe and the Mediterranean with 2,, passengers in The development of these infrastructures, resulting from the topography and history of the Catalan territory, responds strongly to the administrative and political organization of this autonomous community.
They follow the coast from the French border to Valencia , Murcia and Andalusia. The main roads generally radiate from Barcelona. Public-own roads in Catalonia are either managed by the autonomous government of Catalonia e. Given the topography most lines radiate from Barcelona. The city has both suburban and inter-city services. There are two publicly owned railway companies operating in Catalonia: the Catalan FGC that operates commuter and regional services, and the Spanish national RENFE that operates long-distance and high-speed rail services AVE and Avant and the main commuter and regional service Rodalies de Catalunya , administered by the Catalan government since The official opening between Barcelona and Madrid took place 20 February The journey between Barcelona and Madrid now takes about two-and-a-half hours.
A connection to the French high-speed TGV network has been completed called the Perpignan—Barcelona high-speed rail line and the Spanish AVE service began commercial services on the line 9 January , later offering services to Marseille on their high speed network. As of , the official population of Catalonia was 7,, In , the population of Catalonia was 1,, people and in it was 5,, In Catalonia that wave of internal migration arrived from several regions of Spain, especially from Andalusia , Murcia  and Extremadura.
Immigrants from other countries settled in Catalonia since the s  ; a large percentage comes from Africa , Latin America and Eastern Europe , and smaller numbers from Asia and Southern Europe , often settling in urban centers such as Barcelona and industrial areas. Religion in Catalonia . Historically, all the Catalan population was Christian , specifically Catholic , but since the s there has been a trend of decline of Christianity and parallel growth of irreligion including stances of atheism and agnosticism and other religions.
According to the most recent study sponsored by the government of Catalonia , as of , At the same time, According to the linguistic census held by the Government of Catalonia in , Spanish is the most spoken language in Catalonia In everyday use, There is a significant difference between the Barcelona metropolitan area and, to a lesser extent, the Tarragona area , where Spanish is more spoken than Catalan, and the more rural Catalonia, where Catalan clearly prevails over Spanish. Originating in the historic territory of Catalonia, Catalan has enjoyed special status since the approval of the Statute of Autonomy of which declares it to be "Catalonia's own language",  a term which signifies a language given special legal status within a Spanish territory, or which is historically spoken within a given region.
The other languages with official status are Spanish, which has official status throughout Spain, and Aranese Occitan, which enjoys co-official status with Catalan and Spanish in the Val d'Aran. Since the Statute of Autonomy of , Aranese a dialect of Gascon Occitan has also been official and subject to special protection in Val d'Aran.
This small area of 7, inhabitants was the only place where a dialect of Occitan has received full official status. Then, on 9 August , when the new Statute came into force, Occitan became official throughout Catalonia. Occitan is the mother tongue of Although not considered an "official language" in the same way as Catalan, Spanish, and Aranese, Catalan Sign Language , with about 18, users in Catalonia,  is granted official recognition and support: "The public authorities shall guarantee the use of Catalan sign language and conditions of equality for deaf people who choose to use this language, which shall be the subject of education, protection and respect.
Under Francoist Spain , Catalan was excluded from the public education system and all other official use, so that for example families were not allowed to officially register children with Catalan names. Some books were published clandestinely or circumvented the restrictions by showing publishing dates prior to Rural—urban migration originating in other parts of Spain also reduced the social use of Catalan in urban areas and increased the use of Spanish. Lately, a similar sociolinguistic phenomenon has occurred with foreign immigration. After the end of Francoist Spain, the newly established self-governing democratic institutions in Catalonia embarked on a long-term language policy to recover the use of Catalan  and has, since , enforced laws which attempt to protect and extend the use of Catalan.
Some groups consider these efforts a way to discourage the use of Spanish,     whereas some others, including the Catalan government  and the European Union  consider the policies respectful,  or even as an example which "should be disseminated throughout the Union". Today, Catalan is the main language of the Catalan autonomous government and the other public institutions that fall under its jurisdiction. Basic public education is given basically in Catalan, but also there are some hours per week of Spanish medium instruction.
Businesses are required to display all information e. There is no obligation to display this information in either Occitan or Spanish, although there is no restriction on doing so in these or other languages. The use of fines was introduced in a linguistic law  that aims to increase the public use of Catalan and defend the rights of Catalan speakers. In the other hand, the constitution of Spain obligates every citizen to know Spanish. The law ensures that both Catalan and Spanish — being official languages — can be used by the citizens without prejudice in all public and private activities,.
Catalonia in deadlock, and why that is a European problem
Due to the intense immigration which Spain in general and Catalonia in particular experienced in the first decade of the 21st century, many foreign languages are spoken in various cultural communities in Catalonia, of which Rif - Berber ,  Moroccan Arabic , Romanian  and Urdu are the most common ones. In Catalonia, there is a high social and political consensus on the language policies favoring Catalan, also among Spanish speakers and speakers of other languages.
The Catalan language policy has been challenged by some political parties in the Catalan Parliament. Citizens , currently the main opposition party, has been one of the most consistent critics of the Catalan language policy within Catalonia. The Catalan branch of the People's Party has a more ambiguous position on the issue: on one hand, it demands a bilingual Catalan—Spanish education and a more balanced language policy that would defend Catalan without favoring it over Spanish,  whereas on the other hand, a few local PP politicians have supported in their municipalities measures privileging Catalan over Spanish  and it has defended some aspects of the official language policies, sometimes against the positions of its colleagues from other parts of Spain.
Catalonia has given to the world many important figures in the area of the art. Closely linked with the Catalan pictorial atmosphere, Pablo Picasso lived in Barcelona during his youth, training them as an artist and creating the movement of cubism. In the field of architecture were developed and adapted to Catalonia different artistic styles prevalent in Europe, leaving footprints in many churches, monasteries and cathedrals, of Romanesque  the best examples of which are located in the northern half of the territory and Gothic styles.
The Gothic developed in Barcelona and its area of influence is known as Catalan Gothic , with some particular characteristics. The church of Santa Maria del Mar is an example of this kind of style.
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During the Middle Ages, many fortified castles were built by feudal nobles to mark their powers. There are some examples of Renaissance such as the Palau de la Generalitat , Baroque and Neoclassical architectures. In the late nineteenth century Modernism Art Nouveau appeared as the national art. Thanks to the urban expansion of Barcelona during the last decades of the century and the first ones of the next, many buildings of the Eixample are modernists.
There are two historical moments of splendor of Catalan literature. The first begins with the historiography chronicles of the 13th century chronicles written between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries narrating the deeds of the monarchs and leading figures of the Crown of Aragon and the subsequent Golden Age of the 14th and 15th centuries. Foix and others.
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During the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, the Civil War Generation of '36 and the Francoist period, Catalan literature is maintained despite the repression against the Catalan language, being often produced in exile. In addition, several foreign writers who fought in the framework of the International Brigades then recount their experiences of fighting in their works, historical or fictional, with for example Homage to Catalonia of the British George Orwell in or Le Palace in and The Georgics in by Frenchman Claude Simon.
After the transition to democracy — and the restoration of the Generalitat , literary life and the editorial market have returned to normality and literary production in Catalan is being bolstered with a number of language policies intended to protect Catalan culture. Castells are one of the main manifestations of Catalan popular culture. The activity consists in constructing human towers by competing colles castelleres teams. This practice originated in Valls , on the region of the Camp de Tarragona, during the 18th century, and later it was extended along the next two centuries to the rest of the territory.
In the greater celebrations other elements of the Catalan popular culture are usually present: the parades of gegants giants and correfocs of devils and firecrackers. Another custom is to make a pessebre Nativity scene , and usually includes the caganer , a figurine depicted in the act of defecation.
In addition to traditional local Catalan culture, traditions from other parts of Spain can be found as a result of migration from other regions, for instance the celebration of the Andalusian Feria de Abril in Catalonia. On 28 July , second only after the Canary Islands , Catalonia became another Spanish territory to forbid bullfighting. The ban, which went into effect on 1 January , had originated in a popular petition supported by over , signatures.
The havaneres are characteristic in some marine localities of the Costa Brava, especially during the summer months when these songs are sung outdoors accompanied by a cremat of burned rum. Art music was first developed, up to the nineteenth century and, as in much of Europe, in a liturgical setting, particularly marked by the Escolania de Montserrat. The main Western musical trends have marked these productions, medieval monodies or polyphonies, with the work of Abbot Oliba in the eleventh century or the compilation Llibre Vermell de Montserrat "Red Book of Montserrat" from the fourteenth century.
Baroque had composers like Joan Cererols. Cellist Pau Casals is admired as an outstanding player. Catalonia is the autonomous community, along with Madrid, that has the most media TV, Magazines, Newspapers etc. In Catalonia there is a wide variety of local and comarcal media. With the restoration of democracy, many newspapers and magazines, until then in the hands of the Franco government, were recovered in order to convert them into free and democratic media, while local radios and televisions were implemented. In , TV3 became the first television channel to be the most viewed one for nine consecutive years in Catalonia.
Catalan only published newspapers include Ara and El Punt Avui from the fusion of El Punt and Avui in , as well as most part of the local press. Regarding the cinema, after the democratic transition, three styles have dominated since then. First, auteur cinema, in the continuity of the Barcelona School , emphasizes experimentation and form, while focusing on developing social and political themes. Later, horror films and thrillers have also emerged as a specialty of the Catalan film industry, thanks in particular to the vitality of the Sitges Film Festival , created in Seny is a form of ancestral Catalan wisdom or sensibleness.
It involves well-pondered perception of situations, level-headedness, awareness, integrity, and right action. Many Catalans consider seny something unique to their culture, is based on a set of ancestral local customs stemming from the scale of values and social norms of their society. Sport has an important incidence in Catalan life and culture since the beginning of the 20th century and, as a result, it has a well developed sport infraestructure. The main sports are football , basketball , handball , rink hockey , tennis and motorsport.
Despite the fact that the most popular sports are represented outside by the Spanish national teams, Catalonia can officially play as itself in some others, like korfball , futsal or rugby league. The Catalan Football Federation also periodically fields a national team against international opposition, organizing friendly matches.
Both play in La Liga. The Catalan waterpolo is one of the main powers of the Iberian Peninsula. It also has many international synchronized swimming champions. Motorsport has a long tradition in Catalonia, which involving many people, with some world champions and several competitions organized since the beginning of the 20th century.
Catalonia hosted many relevant international sport events, such as the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, and also the Mediterranean Games , the World Aquatics Championships or the Mediterranean Games. It held annually the fourth-oldest still-existing cycling stage race in the world, the Volta a Catalunya Tour of Catalonia. Catalonia has its own representative and distinctive national symbols such as: .
Catalan gastronomy has a long culinary tradition. Various local food recipes have been described in documents dating from the fifteenth century. As with all the cuisines of the Mediterranean, Catatonian dishes make abundant use of fish , seafood, olive oil , bread and vegetables. Often the dish is accompanied with any number of sausages cured botifarres , fuet , iberic ham, etc. There is also a sparkling wine, the cava. Catalonia is internationally recognized for its fine dining.
Three of The World's 50 Best Restaurants are in Catalonia,  and four restaurants have three Michelin stars, including restaurants like El Bulli or El Celler de Can Roca , both of which regularly dominate international rankings of restaurants. Mont-rebei Gorge , Lleida.
Montblanc during the Medieval Week. Cambridge University Press. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Spanish autonomous community. For the historic political entity, see Principality of Catalonia. For other uses, see Catalonia disambiguation. Autonomous area of northeastern Spain. Autonomous community in Spain. Autonomous community. Coat of arms. PPP ; . Main article: History of Catalonia. Main articles: Revolutionary Catalonia and Francoist Catalonia.
Left: Spanish Revolution of Right: Bombing of Barcelona Main article: Catalan independence movement. Oceanic climate. Alpine climate. Mediterranean climate of alpine influence. Inland Mediterranean climate. Coastal Mediterranean climate. Mediterranean climate of continental influence. See also: List of mountains in Catalonia. See also: List of rivers of Catalonia. Statutes and constitutions.
President list Joaquim Torra. Executive Council. President Roger Torrent. Public order. Ministry of Home Affairs Police of Catalonia. Political parties. Recent elections Parliamentary: next. Referendums: Other countries Atlas. Prominent Catalan politicians in Spain. Juan Prim Spanish prime minister under regent don Francisco Serrano.
Estanislao Figueras president of the First Spanish Republic. Francesc Pi i Margall. Main article: Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia. See also: Autonomous communities of Spain and Nationalities and regions of Spain. Main article: Generalitat of Catalonia. Main article: Mossos d'Esquadra. Further information: Provinces of Spain.
Main article: Comarques of Catalonia. Further information: Municipalities of Catalonia. An aerial view of Barcelona. The city of Tarragona. Main article: Vegueries of Catalonia. Main article: Economy of Spain. See also: List of airports in Catalonia. See also: List of ports in Spain.
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See also: List of primary highways in Catalonia. See also: Rail transport in Catalonia. Main article: Catalan people. Main article: Religion in Catalonia. Protestantism 3. Orthodox Church 0. Jehovah's Witnesses 0. Atheism Agnosticism Islam 4. Buddhism 1. Other religions 2. Main article: Languages of Catalonia. Main article: Art of Catalonia. Main article: Literature of Catalonia. Main article: Traditions of Catalonia. Main article: Music of Catalonia. Main article: Cinema of Catalonia. See also: Seny.
Main article: Sport in Catalonia. Main article: National symbols of Catalonia. Main article: Catalan cuisine. Val de Ruda, Val d'Aran. Forest in the Montseny Massif. Poblet Monastery. Catalonia portal Spain portal European Union portal. Statistical Yearbook of Catalonia. Population density. Counties and Aran, areas and provinces". Retrieved 13 July Statistical Institute of Catalonia. Retrieved 23 November Archived from the original on 28 May Retrieved 13 September Retrieved 26 July Archived from the original PDF on 26 August Retrieved 31 January Petit-Dutaillis 5 November The Feudal Monarchy in France and England.
Retrieved 25 April A history of Spain from the earliest times to the death of Ferdinand the Catholic. Longmans, Green, and co. Archived from the original on 15 December Retrieved 1 February Sentential Form and Prosodic Structure of Catalan. John Benjamins B. Studies in honour of C. Archived from the original on 19 October Retrieved 21 January The revolt of the Catalans: a study in the decline of Spain — The Medieval Spain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.