Spain declares Cataloniaa 'nation' for first time

30th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

30 March 2006, MADRID — Spain's parliament approves Catalonia's controversial bid for more autonomy by 189 votes to 154.

30 March 2006

MADRID — Spain's parliament approves Catalonia's controversial bid for more autonomy by 189 votes to 154.

The so-called 'estatut' will give the regional government in Catalonia more control over its own finances.

The document will also declare this rich north-east province a 'nation' for the first time.

Last week, Spain's constitutional commission approved the use of the word 'nation' in the preamble to Catalonia's autonomy document.

Declaring the region a 'nation' has provoked fierce debate in Spain.

Catalan nationalists claim the region has its own language, culture and other 'national' attributes.

But those who oppose the move say it will lead to the dissolution of the Spanish nation.

It has provoked a boycott of Catalan produce, particularly the sparkling wine, cava.

And the former head of the Spanish army was sacked in January after threatening to use troops to intervene if Catalan ambitions contravened the Spanish Constitution.

The opposition Popular Party has launched legal moves to try to prevent the move going through.

The Catalan nationalist ERC party also oppose the bid, saying it does not go far enough.

Catalans will have the opportunity to vote on a final document in June.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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