Clash over regional power
25 February 2004, MADRID – The two main political parties unveiled their policies Wednesday for Spain's regions, one of the issues central to next month's general election.
25 February 2004
MADRID – The two main political parties unveiled their policies Wednesday for Spain's regions, one of the issues central to next month's general election.
The ruling conservative Popular Party considers the process of decentralisation almost complete and does not want to give up more power to the regions.
But the main socialist PSOE party believes more should be done to spread power to the so-called 'autonomous communities'.
The left-wing IU advocates changing the Constitution to achieve a united federal state.
The main nationalist regional parties from Catalonia, the Basque Country and the Canary Islands want a multi-cultural and multi-linguistic state.
The PP proposes specific measures to strengthen the role of the Senate, or upper house of parliament, as a territorial chamber, without reforming the Constitution.
They would make it the headquarters of a new General Conference on Autonomic Cooperation, encouraging autonomous presidents to take part in the debates that affect them.
The socialists consider constitutional reforms to the Senate one of the core issues for a move devolved Spain.
If they were elected, the Senate would be the headquarters of a Conference of Autonomous Presidents, able to promote projects that require cooperation between the State and the autonomous communities.
The PSOE advocates autonomous community representation in Spanish delegations to the EU Council of Ministers.
The main Catalan nationalist party, CiU, has warned both the PP and PSOE that if they want their support, they must bid for a new Statute which could give the Catalonian regional parliament, or Generalitiat, more power.
The Catalan nationalists propose a constitutional reform to the Senate and advocate community participation in electing Constitutional Court magistrates.
The main Basque nationalist party, PNV, based its electoral programme on increasing the profile of the region and a new statute, which would give the area more devolved powers and representation to the EU.
The Canary Islands party, CC, wants more direct participation in EU-related issues that affect them and community participation in electing Constitutional Court magistrates.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news