Talk:Autonomous communities of Spain

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Why are they "provincias"? We're calling them "autonomous communities", not "comunidades autónomas" or "autonomías"... so what's wrong with "province"? - montrealés

Nothing wrong with province, but the use of Spanish v. English words does not seem to be consistent across Wikipedia. -- Miguel

What are autonomous communities? an explaination would be great. This article could be a lot more than a list: an explaination of what an autonomous community is, what role it plays in the politics of Spain, the history of how they came about ("post-Franco"?) -- the EU might even be relevant (ie. what effect does the EU have on these autonomous communities?). -- Sam

I went and looked at the text of the constitution. If you can read Spanish, follow this link. I cannot find any justification for the following statement:

The Constitution distinguishes "historic" or "fast-track" communities (Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia and Andalusia) and the "slow-track" rest. The historic ones initially received more functions.

The moral of the story is that myths get propagated and we forget to check the sources even if they're there. I think it is time to write Spanish Constitution of 1978. I know that the major contributors to this page are serious and fluent in Spanish, so we can make a good job of it. -- Miguel

Well, in pratice, the distinction is important: historic autonomies have, for instances, elections in different days from "normal" autonomies. Apart from that, see these articles of the Constitution:
Marco, why don't you add some content to Spanish Constitution of 1978? I'm just an amateur here :-) — Miguel
Hi! I'd love to, but right now it's 3:00am here where I am and so, I'll have to do it some other day...;) But we are all amateurs here, hope you (and all others) will also participate! Cheers!User:Marco Neves


Primera. La Constitución ampara y respeta los derechos históricos de los territorios forales.

La actualización general de dicho régimen foral se llevará a cabo, en su caso, en el marco de la Constitución y de los Estatutos de Autonomía.



Primera. En los territorios dotados de un régimen provisional de autonomía, sus órganos colegiados superiores, mediante acuerdo adoptado por la mayoría absoluta de sus miembros, podrán sustituir la iniciativa que el apartado 2 del artículo 143 atribuye a las Diputaciones Provinciales o a los órganos interinsulares correspondientes.

Segunda. Los territorios que en el pasado hubiesen plebiscitado afirmativamente proyectos de Estatuto de autonomía y cuenten, al tiempo de promulgarse esta Constitución, con regímenes provisionales de autonomía, podrán proceder inmediatamente en la forma que se prevé en el apartado 2 del artículo 148, cuando así lo acordaren, por mayoría absoluta, sus órganos preautonómicos colegiados superiores, comunicándolo al Gobierno. El proyecto de Estatuto será elaborado de acuerdo con lo establecido en el artículo 151, numero 2, a convocatoria del órgano colegiado preautonómico.

Despite not mentioning specific Autonomies in the text, these articles were clearly aimed at Catalonia, Galicia and Basque Country (with Navarre out of the Autonomic map, since it was made a Foral Community). These autonomies (and Andalucia) also formed autonomous communities in a slightly different fashion than other communities, assuming a large ammount of competences, which other autonomies only got many years later. This is not explicitly stated in the Constitution, but rather implied. User:Marco Neves

I am Spanish. As far as I know, there is no legal document that states that there are "historical communities" and "normal communities". However, this word is generally used in Spanish political language, especially in press. In fact, the difference is mentioned on Geography textbooks. Greetings, (talk) 15:24, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

This article of the Spanish Constitution:

Artículo 145.

1. En ningún caso se admitirá la federación de Comunidades Autónomas.

2. Los Estatutos podrán prever los supuestos, requisitos y términos en que las Comunidades Autónomas podrán celebrar convenios entre sí para la gestión y prestación de servicios propios de las mismas, así como el carácter y efectos de la correspondiente comunicación a las Cortes Generales. En los demás supuestos, los acuerdos de cooperación entre las Comunidades Autónomas necesitarán la autorización de las Cortes Generales.

is not where the fact that Spain is not a federation is based. This article simple states that Autonomous Communities cannot unite to form another Autonomous Community. It is in the very first articles of the Constitution that the non-federative status of Spain is declared, when Spain is said to be a unitary state. However, Spain does function as a federation, in practice, with the these important exceptions: in certain cases, Central government can suspend autonomy and Spanish Law is to be considered in case of conflict with autononomic law (with the exception of those aspects where autonomies have exclusive right to legislate). User:Marco Neves


I think this article would benefit from a cleaner image, perhaps more like the one on the Provinces of Spain page. - dcljr 00:32, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)

HOW BOUT A MAP — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:16, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Names of provinces and capital cities[edit]

In Catalunya and Galicia, the provinces and capital cities are listed first in the regional language and then in Castillian (eg Lleida Sp. Lérida) whereas in Euskadi and Valencia they are listed first in Castillian and then in the regional language (eg Alicante Val. Alacant). Is there any particular reason for this, as I'm minded to move them all so they're in local language first then Castillian, but didn't want to just wade in in case there was a reason... edd 13:27, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I don't know what the rule is for Wikipedia, but the tendency in Spain is (for instance, on road signs) now for all toponyms to be given in the regional language in larger type and Spanish in smaller type.

The problem is that the political divisions don't match the linguistic reality. For instance, in the Valencian Community, the north (Castelló (Es. Castellón)) is predominantly Valencian-speaking, and the south (Alicante (Va. Alacant)) is predominantly Spanish-speaking. In the Basque country, Gipuzkoa (Es: Guipúzcoa) is predominantly Basque-speaking whereas Álava (Eu: Araba) is predominantly Spanish-speaking.

Catalunya and Galiza experienced a strong renaissance of their local languages in the 19th century, which was less strong in the Basque Country and Valencia.

I would advocate the following:

  • if a traditional English name exists, use that.
  • otherwise, use the local language (which may be either Spanish or the regional language) and list the alternative in parenthesis.
  • Check the pages Spanish language, Catalan language, Galician language and Basque language for information about history and regional distribution. Complain in the talk pages if you are confused.

Miguel 15:45, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)

When writing this table, I used, first English names, second the names used by the Spanish statistical authority, whether Spanish or local. - Montréalais 16:41, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)
In Galicia and Catalonia the provincies and cities have only a official name, it is in the local language (Galician and Catalan) the Spanish name is not official, in Valencia Community and Bascque country, provincies and cities have two official names, in Spanish and local language.----Rocastelo 16:49, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I have added a footnote indicating what languages are official. I also removed a small paragraph with unverified information (i.e. Eastern Andalusia secessionism).--Asteriontalk 20:09, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

I noticed that in the list of cities and provinces the name that is listed first and, more importantly, that is used to link towards the specific page of the city or province is the spanish form. I think we should use either the english one (to be consistent with the language of the Wikipedia) or the *official* one, which is what is used in the name of the articles listed. It doesn't seem very coherent to link texts like "La Coruña" or "Gerona" to the articles of A Coruña and Girona. I'd like to know if anyone has any opposition to reversing this policy and linking the official names. --6470N3620 (talk) 09:11, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Removed tag[edit]

"Other communities have a more limited force or none at all (eg. Policía Autonómica Andaluza)."

The Policía Autonómica Andaluza don't exists, it's only an informal project but its creation it is not in the plans of the National or Autonomic government. The only police forces in Spain except Catalonia, the Basque Country and Navarre are the Cuerpo Nacional de Policía, Guardia Civil and Municipality forces.--Menah the Great 23:24, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

It is not a fully devolved force, as it was clear from the previous text (it never said it was at the same level of responsibilities as its Basque and Catalan counterparts). Some responsibilities have been passed on but the Policia Autonoma is still an "Unidad Automoma" of the National Police Force. See this. Regards, 00:27, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

clear up[edit]

How would you guys include in the article the fact that, according to the Constitution, it could be either the present status of all the territory structured as ACs or it could also be that only the "nacionalidades históricas" were constituted as ACs if they had been the only ones which decided to do so?

Any ideas? Dúnadan, please?

I think this loose and highly interpretative scenario deliberately presented by the Constitution is worth it noting. It also gives some room for a comment on the Spanish Transition and its consensus often relying on conveniently vague enough concepts. Mountolive all over Battersea, some hope and some dispair 14:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't fully understand what you are trying to say. Regarding the first, I think the OECD paper states just that, that the constituent assembly expected only the historic nationalities to request self-government, but all did in the end. Is that what you mean? As for the loose interpretation, I am not quite sure what you are trying to say. --the Dúnadan 23:20, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
That's exactly what I meant. I'd like you or anyone else to find a way to summarize it in one line or two. Sounds like it's worth it, doesn't it?
The vague or blurring dispositions of the Constitution in this regard are the ones allowing quite different interpretations of the territorial structure, either being fully constitutional. I think it is also worth noting this constitutional consensus reached by means of conveniently vague-enough articles. Mountolive all over Battersea, some hope and some dispair 00:20, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I think the article somewhat explains your first concern (that only "nationalities" were expected to be given autonomy, eventually all requested it and were given it). But we can reword that section, if necessary. As for the "constitutional consensus on convenient vague articles", I somewhat agree. Given that the political spectrum in Spain tends to be focused on the ends and not on the center, the constitutional congress resorted to neutral grounds and open articles that could appease or satisfy both. However, I wouldn't state either of our opinions in the article. Maybe if we can cite a political scientist or a social scientist describing the situation (and the OECD could be just one), would be better. --the Dúnadan 04:32, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Opera Mini - Image 'broken'[edit]

I would just like to point out that the image under the "Political organization of the autonomous communities" section ( looks completely broken when viewing wikipedia with the Opera Mini browser (iPhone). The flags dont line up the way they should and cover some text. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:21, 30 June 2010 (UTC)


I think "Community" translates better as "Region" in English, "Community" sounds to small and "Region" tends to be used as a whole.Jonnyboy5 (talk) 08:01, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

"Comunidad autónoma" is the official name in Spain and the only precise name for this administrative unit. It was agreed on by politicians in the 1970s after long arguments about the issue. Notice that the word "región" is politically loaded in Spain, so including the English word region in the page would unleash an edit war almost for sure. Jotamar (talk) 16:37, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Unjustified deletion of content[edit]

I kindly ask User:Jotamar not to delete properly referenced reliable sources. If you disagree with the statements made by reputable Academicians, please provide adequate sources, not original research based on quotes. Please do not engage in an absurd edit war. If you want to discuss, please do so, as I have been waiting in relevant talk pages for your reply. -- dúnadan : let's talk 00:56, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

In case other users are interested in the discussion. The current communities of Cantabria and La Rioja were considered to be part of the region of Castile, namely Old Castile. (León was not, but was nonetheless denied autonomy, and incorporated into Castile and León). This, of course, does not deny the fact that regionalism did arise in the said communities, as a small cultural minority in the 19th century, but did not become more "generalized" until the 1970s. Madrid, on the other hand, was part of New Castile, but was constituted as a separate community as the "capital" of the country.

Sources to back up the statements:

  • Daniele Conversi, Doctor in Sociology from the London School of Economics, professor of the University of the Basque Country, whose area of expertise is ethnonationalism, and who has extensively studied the case of Spain, wrote: " [...] autonomy statutes were granted to Cantabria (province of Santander), an area whose ancient name was La Montaña, and La Rioja (province of Logroño), both regions culturally and historically part of Castile. Madrid has been detached from its historical hinterland, Castile, and established as a separate [autonomous community]" [1]
  • Manuel Clavero Arévalo, professor of Law, former minister of Spain (adjunct minister for the "regions" in 1977, and minister of Culture from 1979-1980), wrote: "La Rioja [...] was severed from Castile-León [sic] to be constituted as [an] autonomous community; and Madrid from Castile-La Mancha"[2]
  • José Luis García Ruiz, professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Cadiz, wrote: "Cantabria (old province of Santander) integrated into the geographic region until then called Old Castile), La Rioja (old province of Logroño, also integrated into Old Castile) [...] Madrid (part of the old geographic region called New Castile, segregated by virtue of its status as capital) [...] The previous classification allows us to see [...] the important alteration of the map of the Spanish historical regions producing the disappearance of León and the appearance of new autonomous regions at the expense of the renown and secular [regions] of Old Castile and New Castile".[3]

In a very informative work on the history of Cantabria, José Alfonso Moure Romanillo, professor of the University of Cantabria, Manuel Suárez Cortina, professor of Contemporary History at the University of Cantabria, and Antonio Bar Cendón, professor of Constitutional Law of the University of Valencia, write about the formation of the regional identity of Cantabria: "For decades, al least until the [economic] crisis of the 70s, the political discourse established in the region was made in a Castilian tone. Economic emergence was due to Castile; it was with [Castile] that the project on the construction of Spain was realized, which started with the Reconquista, in which members of the Cantabrian nobility participated. La Montaña [alternate name for Cantabria] sacrificed to Castile its best resources. "Cantabria, origin of Castile" and "Cantabria, root of Spain" were, until almost our days, the most expressive manifestations of a regional identity clearly dislocated [sic] towards a Castilian projection. It has been, in consequence, from this Castilian periphery that the contemporary evolution of today's Cantabria was developed". [4]

They continue: "It should be no surprise therefore than in 1972 Sánchez Albornoz would see the separation of Cantabria from its Castilian root as an aberration, and it is not surprising either that only by the end of the 70s a specifically regionalist movement emerged for the first time. Cantabria presents itself as a dual reality, with an autonomous present and future, and with a past and a tradition distinctly Castilian [...] With a Castilianized culture [...] the birth of regionalism wasn't easy [it was] a particular way of affirmation that, without a rupture without its secular tradition, recovered its specific way of being; an affirmation of Cantabridad [sic] which was coherent with the strength of the regional sentiment [...] in response to the abusive centralization of the State, and at the same time did not break with the tradition of Old Castile that impregnated the region's past".

If I am misreading these sources, or if additional sources need to be added to offer a balanced view, then by all means, let's discuss. -- dúnadan : let's talk 01:52, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

user:Dúnadan is inserting in this page statements that have already been discussed and discarded in a different article (Nationalities and regions of Spain) after a lengthy discussion (see Talk:Nationalities and regions of Spain#Daniele Conversi):
  • It is unacceptable to include this statement: Cantabria and La Rioja, .. historically and culturally part of Castile, and then support it with 3 sources, when only one of them (Daniele Conversi) does really make that statement, and in addition this source (or any other) fails to explain what is understood by Castilian culture. And then there is the question of the obvious irrelevance of being historically part of Castile, as 12 out of 17 communities in Spain can be defined that way.
  • It is really strange the insistence to use the emotionally-loaded term severed (Spanish: amputado) to describe some of the political decisions.
  • In addition, the very existence of the page Nationalities and regions of Spain makes it unnecessary to deal with historical or cultural aspects in this page. We could end up with 2 duplicate pages.
I expect user:Dúnadan to take note and change his/her own wording. Jotamar (talk) 16:37, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Jotamar, it doesn't work that way. The statements in Nationalities and regions of Spain were not discussed and discarded. I provided arguments and plenty of sources from reputable Academicians, (including researchers from the University of Cantabria, and who are Cantabrian themselves!) to back them up; you provided a quote from the 19th century and bordered on WP:OR to make a statement. Then you abandoned the discussion. Even in this discussion, you have failed to provide a single reference to back up your statements. I have quoted verbatim not one, but at least 5 Academicians and researchers, Spaniards and foreigners, specialized in Spain, to back up my arguments. And even if you were to provide referenced arguments, you could not possibly say that the discussion was settled: please read WP:CONSENSUS. And also, please read WP:VERIFIABILITY.

If your concern is the term severed, which by the way, has more acceptions than amputado then let's change it. If the problem is a particular word, then let's discuss it. I will propose a new term.

Finally, the existence of the page Nationalities and regions of Spain does not mean that the topic is irrelevant here for many reasons, of which I would only mention two: (1) In every article you need at least a small section on the historical or cultural background to understand the concept discussed and (2) the section you are concerned with speaks precisely of the creation of autonomous communities (i.e. the very topic of this article) and not of the "nationalities and regions" per se, and more specifically, the section describes the so-called "autonomic pacts" which happened to include a special provision for those two communities to be incorporated into Castile and León. (If anything, Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain could be redundant with Nationalities and regions of Spain, but you thought otherwise, and you even argued for the inclusion of a link to the first article in the lead of the second, because "they referred to two different things", and I conceded).

Please, Jotamar, I ask you, again, let's discuss amicably without any negative undertones. But please note that in Wikipedia, there are certain rules, of which WP:VERIFIABILITY and WP:OR are of special importance in our discussion. If you have reputable sources from Academicians or researchers, then we can create a balanced article. But, we cannot change the article just based on your opinion (or the opinion of any user). It just doesn't work that way. (Also, I'd be happy to recommend a list of books on the subject, many of which I read from cover to cover and which were used to revamp the two articles in question).

(Also, even though I hope it doesn't come to that, we can always resort to a Dispute Resolution).


-- dúnadan : let's talk 13:15, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

If that's all you have to say, we'll have to duplicate the wording in both pages, including the Menéndez y Pelayo quote. Jotamar (talk) 18:40, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Why have you ignored the many Academic research and studies that I have presented? What do you have to say about what Moure Ramanillo, Suárez Cortina and Bar Cendón said about Cantabria? Or what do you think about what the former minister of the Regions, Clavero Arévalo expounded? Is that all you have to say?

I think you might have misunderstood me. A balanced article is not written by adding quotes and them making conclusions that violate WP:OR and WP:UNDUE. (In that sense, no, I respectfully disagree. We do not need to duplicate a quote in Spanish; in fact, I have argued before that the quote is unnecessary and should be deleted from the other article). What I meant to say is that if you are willing to substantiate your opinion with Academic sources, such as the many that I have provided, then yes, we can write a balanced article.

I am sorry if I am repeating myself, but the point is this: I can write 10 quotes by the many different opinions that the population may have (nationalists, integrationists, regionalists, european-ists, anarchists, cantonalists etc). If I make my own conclusion out of quotes, I violate WP:OR. Per Wikipedia guidelines, we are supposed to use secondary sources, that is, Academicians and researchers that have analyzed the many positions and have made conclusions based on their expertise. Primary sources should be used at the minimum, if at all. If there are Academic works that contradict the many sources that I have provided, and if the opinion of such Academicians is well-respected and not on the fringe, then yes, we can and must write a balanced article, and I am willing and wanting to collaborate in that endeavor.

My offer stands, I am happy to recommend many books and papers for you to consider, and also, if need be, to present the discussion for dispute resolution. -- dúnadan : let's talk 14:43, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

How about this as a solution for both articles:

  • replacing "historically and culturally part of Castile" with "traditionally considered part of the historical region of [New] Castile." ("traditionally" meaning customarily; we do not specify whether this "traditional consideration" was justified historically and culturally or not).
  • we finish the previous sentence with a statement such as "... notwithstanding the emergence of regionalist sentiments that led to their constitution as "autonomous communities" with regional identity" or something of that sort.
  • we remove the unnecessary quote in Spanish.

Both positions are presented in the above solution, without adding any details on the subtleties of Cantabrian identity. These would belong to the article of Cantabria.

Would that work as a compromise for you?

-- dúnadan : let's talk 15:12, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

The quote could be turned into a reference/footnote, but it should not be removed. Try your new wording, but I prefer not to ok it until I can read it in full. Jotamar (talk) 17:38, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

"The quote [...] should not be removed"? And what is the argument behind your declaration? I have plenty of arguments for its deletion:

  • Because it contradicts more than half a dozen secondary sources, fully verifiable, from reputable Spanish and non-Spanish researchers and Academicians.
  • Because its inclusion is taken out of context, giving a fringe position undue weight (in violation of Wikipedia policies)
  • Because the conclusion that is being made from the source also borders on violating the no original research policy. (Not that the author didn't say that; but you are advancing what appears to be a fringe position in contradiction with what the many Academicians cited above have said).

In reality, I have plenty of verifiable sources, that would stand up to scrutiny, to substantiate the claim that Cantabria and La Rioja (even though your main issue seems to be with Cantabria, but not La Rioja) are considered culturally and historically part of Castile. Yet in order to compromise, I am proposing of changing it to "traditionally" - which is watering down the position of all Academicians - and yet you still insist on advancing your position, but you have not provided a single Academic source to validate it.

I ask you again, what do you have to say about what Moure Ramanillo, Suárez Cortina and Bar Cendón said about Cantabria? Or what do you think about what the former minister of the Regions, Clavero Arévalo expounded? Besides qualifying the opinion of researcher Daniele Conversi as rife with "journalistic generalizations", "superficial knowledge of an outsider" or an "unsuspecting foreigner", do you have a substantiated argument to contradict all the Academic research presented? (Bear in mind, when you answer, that we are supposed to use secondary sources in Wikipedia).

-- dúnadan : let's talk 22:27, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi. I see that this was posted at WP:3O to get a third opinion. I'll be happy to help out. Are both parties still engaged here? I know it's been about a week. --Noleander (talk) 17:50, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Cantabria and Rioja part of Castile[edit]

For the benefit of any reader interested in the edition conflict between user:Dúnadan and me, I'll try to make a simple exposition of what is being discussed.

The central point is this: Some guy called Daniele Conversi wrote in an article that:

... autonomy statutes were granted to Cantabria ... and La Rioja ..., both regions culturally and historically part of Castile.

User:Dúnadan included verbatim that quote in the text of Nationalities and regions of Spain, and is doing now the same thing here. My point is very simple:

  • That Cantabria and Rioja are historically part of Castile is true, as it is true of 12 out of 17 autonomous communities of Spain, and also true of Mexico, Cuba, Peru, etc. It's an irrelevant statement.
  • That Cantabria and Rioja are culturally part of Castile is preposterous, as no-one has ever defined any Castilian culture or even any single Castilian cultural trait. Conversi is just proving to be clueless about this point, and the rest of sources proposed by User:Dúnadan do not mention anything about culture.

The text as it stood, including Conversi's quote, is partial for the pancastellanista ideology. Notice that this pancastellanista point of view is also favored by hard-core Spanish nationalists and, paradoxically, by Catalan and Basque nationalists. As User:Dúnadan is no longer willing to include his own consensus proposal, which I accepted, I think the best solution is to just remove the biased (and wrongly sourced) statement. Jotamar (talk) 18:49, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

I can't but object to your comments above.
  • First, you fail to understand how Wikipedia works. You continue to delete content that is fully referenced and verifiable in compliance with Wikipedia policies. You claim now that it is wrongly sourced. Can you elaborate, please? (With sources, not with your own opinion about how nationalist the quote is). I ask you again, please read WP:VERIFY.
  • Second, you failed to provide a single source to back up your accusations against reputable Academicians including, but not limited to, Cantabrian researchers and professors from four different universities including the London School of Economics. Your point may be simple, but if it is not found in a verifiable source, it cannot be used in lieu of a secondary source.
  • Third, it is not Conversi, it is at least 5 other researchers, whose references were included. I ask you again, for the third time - third time's the charm maybe - what do you have to say about what Moure Ramanillo, Suárez Cortina and Bar Cendón said about Cantabria? Or what do you think about what the former minister of the Regions, Clavero Arévalo expounded? Besides qualifying the opinion of researcher Daniele Conversi as rife with "journalistic generalizations", "superficial knowledge of an outsider" or an "unsuspecting foreigner", do you have a substantiated argument to contradict all the Academic research presented?
  • Fourth, you did not accept my proposal; you said: "Try your new wording, but I prefer not to ok it until I can read it in full". In my language, that does not mean "I accept", but rather "maybe", and you conditioned your acceptance upon keeping a quote in Spanish and out of context, to which I objected, since, again, I repeat myself, it violates WP:UNDUE. To claim that you accepted the consensus is not only unfair but deceiving. If you really wanted to reach an amicable consensus, then why didn't you include it yourself? Why delete it all?
In light of the above, I cannot but revert your edit. I am more than willing to write the consensus, if you explicitly accept it (e.g. "Yes, I accept the consensus").
Please Jotamar, I ask you, in good faith, let's discuss. Please answer the questions. Let's find a solution amicably, substantiated with sources in full compliance with Wikipedia's policies. If you insist on reverting without providing sources, I will definitely call for a Dispute Resolution.
Cheers, -- dúnadan : let's talk 13:54, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

My remark about the Menéndez y Pelayo quote, which is not in this page, was a response to a comment by User:Dúnadan in this talk page but related to a different page, Nationalities and regions of Spain. For the rest, no new argument has popped up. User:Dúnadan keeps failing to explain what on earth means being culturally part of Castile, and why opinions should be given the value of facts in Wikipedia. Jotamar (talk) 14:27, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Ah, I see, we are continuing here. Ignore my post in the section above. Let me read up on some of the sources, and I'll see if I can come up with my own recommendation. --Noleander (talk) 17:56, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Some initial observations:
  1. It is okay if this article duplicates some info that is in other articles ... there is no WP rule against that; and it is often better for readers.
  2. We ignore our own opinions & knowledge when writing articles: we rely exclusively on what the sources say.
  3. If there is some controversy/emotion surrounding a topic: it is best to strive to be very neutral and objective.
  4. If there there are some ambiguities or uncertainties involved, it may be best to identify those to the reader, rather than presenting as black-or-white
  5. There appear to be strong sources stating that the two regions were "part of" Castille.
  6. The term "Castile" has many interpretations, so it is probably best to specify which Castile (e.g. a particular era, or boundary) is being referred-to
  7. The qualifiers "historically" and "culturally" don't seem to add a lot of value to "... part of Castile". "Culturally" especially can be a charged word, and needs exceptionally strong sources to justify it. Omitting both words ("historically" and "culturally") doesn't seem to harm anything.
Based on the above, I would suggest changing

Cantabria and La Rioja, although historically and culturally part of Castile, —and both originally included in the "pre-autonomic regime" of Castile and León—were granted autonomy as single provinces with historical identity.

to something simpler like:

Cantabria and La Rioja were both part of [specifier here] Castile; and both were granted autonomy in year XXXX as single provinces with historical identity.

The "specifier here" should, ideally, identify a specific era that is appropriate: Crown of Castile or New Castile.
That is my initial impression. I'd be happy to continue to work with both you to see if we can come up with a resolution that is acceptable to everyone. You may need to ping me on my talk page to get my attention. What do you both think? --Noleander (talk) 18:04, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Noleander for your input. I don't object to your proposal; other than using the qualifier "traditionally", it is not that different from my consensual proposal. The "specifier" that makes sense is Old Castile, but the "Castile" that IMHO the sources refer to is simply Castile (i.e. New and Old Castile)-- dúnadan : let's talk 01:28, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback. The terms "historically" and "traditionally" both seem a bit facile in this context: lots of syllables, but not much meaning. How about

Cantabria and La Rioja were originally part of Old Castile; and both were granted autonomy in the 1980s as autonomous provinces with historical identity.

By the way "... with historical identity" is an odd phrase. I assumed that was a legal term used within Spain to designate a certain kind of province ... is that correct? If it is not a Spanish legal/governmental term, we should remove it or improve it. --Noleander (talk) 01:52, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

I actually prefer "traditional" to "originally". With regards to the term "historical identity", I agree its odd, and so is the original phrase in Spanish "con entidad regional histórica", whose literal translation is "with historical regional entity", but I have seen it translated also as "with historical regional status". (The latter is the translation used in the English version of the constitution in the Spanish Parliament's website). The phrase is part of the constitution, so in that sense it is a legal term, and it is important that we keep it.

Maybe an explanation of the term will help. The constitution of 1978 allowed the historical regions, or rather the "nationalities and regions" of Spain to become autonomous communities if they wished to do so. Since the process was voluntary in nature, the constitution set up several requirements. One of such requirements was that autonomous communities were to be formed by two ore more provinces (with similar economic, historical and cultural characteristics) unless a single province could claim "historical regional entity/identity/status". The way these historical regions would accede to autonomy was first by creating a provisional government (aka "pre-autonomic regime") sanctioned by the central government via a "decree law", and then satisfying the additional requirements set up in the constitution (e.g. approval of the citizens in a referendum, etc.)

For example, the government had sanctioned the creation of a provisional government for the province of Oviedo to become the autonomous community of Asturias, since the province claimed historical identity (it had been one of the "historical regions" of the 1833 territorial division). However, the provinces of Santander (Cantabria) and Logroño (La Rioja), being part of the historical region of Old Castile (from the same territorial division of 1833), were included in the decree law that sanctioned the creation of the provisional government of Castile and León (which was to group, evidently, the historical regions of Old Castile and León). It wasn't until after the "autonomic pacts" were signed in 1982 that they were granted autonomy in their own right, despite not having formed a provisional government or "pre-autonomic regime", which was a requirement. And this leads us to the contended sentence.

The sentence currently reads:

Cantabria and La Rioja, although historically and culturally part of Castile,—and both originally included in the "pre-autonomic regime" of Castile and León—were granted autonomy as single provinces with historical identity.

Regardless of the terms chosen, based on your input we could find a consensual version that would say:

Cantabria and La Rioja, although [traditionally/originally/no qualifier] part of Castile—and both originally included in the "pre-autonomic regime" of Castile an León—were granted autonomy as single provinces with historical [identity/entity/status].

What do you think?

-- dúnadan : let's talk 05:46, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

I would like to repeat that my only worry is with the "historically and culturally part of ..." segment. I'm glad user Noleander has noticed how problematic the culturally word can be. As for which version of Castile to use, there are 2 alternatives: the old kingdom of Castile, but then it becomes irrelevant, because about 3/4 of modern Spain was part of the kingdom, or Old Castile, but then making it clear that this unit was mainly symbolic (with no administrative usage) and official only since 1833. An important point is that there has never been any territorial unit of Castile as the sum of Old Castile and New castile, that is, we cannot push here an imaginary region/country. Jotamar (talk) 12:57, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
On the other hand, I intend to add a short sentence in the paragraph, something as ... even so, the local population overwhelmingly supported the new entities (copied from Nationalities and regions of Spain). This is needed to avoid the general feeling in the text in the direction of the new communities were invented just to annoy the Basques and Catalans. Jotamar (talk) 12:57, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
@Jotamar: Okay, so it sounds like everyone agrees that "culturally" and "historically" should be removed. As for "... even so, the local population overwhelmingly supported the new entities", that could be okay, but a couple of thoughts: (1) The "even so" is not needed just introduced a sense of argumentation unnecessarily; (2) WP is not a valid source, so make sure you find external sources to support that new statement and add a footnote (see WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT). --Noleander (talk) 14:33, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
@dúnadan: A couple of thoughts: (a) it seems like adding the new text "and both originally included in the "pre-autonomic regime" of Castile and León" makes the sentence really long and hard to read. How about:

Cantabria and La Rioja were part of Old Castile and later Castile and León, but both became autonomous provinces in the 1980s. The new status carries the special legal designation " with historical identity" [footnote], and was overwhelming supported by their populations.[footnote]

I think we need to say that "historical identity" is a legal term of art, otherwise English readers will have no idea what it means. --Noleander (talk) 14:40, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

@ Noleander: It's just a technicality, but Cantabria and La Rioja were never part of the autonomous community of Castile and León, they were only part of the pre-autonomic regime of Castile and León. All three autonomous communities, Castile and León, Cantabria and La Rioja, acceded to autonomy roughly at the same time, around 1983. Also, the "new status", by which I assume you mean "autonomous community" did not carry a legal designation. The "historical identity" was a requirement in order to accede to autonomy, but it is not a "designation".

@ Jotamar: I agree with Noleander with regards to the "even so". But I would also add that the "overwhelmingly" is gratuitous. In reality, all "slow track" communities, in order to accede to autonomy, had to have the support of 2/3 of all municipalities - via the municipal councils, not directly the citizenry - whose population would sum up to at least 50% of the electoral census. In that sense, Cantabria and La Rioja were no different that any other "slow track" region. Without this ample majority no autonomous community could have been created in the first place. It remains to be seen, or researched, whether the autonomic pacts actually waived this requirement, so the process towards approval may not have been put into place. On the other hand, one could argue that the "fast track" communities did receive an "overwhelming" majority, in the sense that these communities were the exception and required the support of 3/4 of the municipalities and the absolute majority of the electoral census of each province and the Statute of Autonomy needed to be approved by referendum. This was not the case for Cantabria or La Rioja, which were "slow track" communities. I would therefore just say something like "acceding to autonomy separately was supported by the majority of the population". Without any subjective qualifier like "overwhelmingly", the phrase seems more neutral. -- dúnadan : let's talk 05:51, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

The sentence in Nationalities and regions of Spain is supported by a reference (number 24 at the moment) which proves that the support was, at least for Rioja, much larger than the legally required majority. Jotamar (talk) 16:38, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
How about:

Cantabria and La Rioja were part of Old Castile, but both became autonomous provinces in the 1980s. The new status was based on their "historical identity"[footnote], and was supported by a majority of their populations.[footnote]

--Noleander (talk) 20:25, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Noleander. I agree with the contents and essence of the proposal. (I believe the issue is for the most part resolved by eliminating the qualifier "culturally"). However, I am still struggling to find the right way to structure the sentence and how to fit in the context in which it is located. The section on the "creation of the autonomous communities" follows a historical progression:

  • historical background;
  • transition to democracy and the creation of the "pre-autonomic regimes" which are to be the precursors to the autonomous communities;
  • the constitution is written and establishes "routes" and "requirements" for the autonomous communities to be created;
  • several events lead to the "autonomic pacts" which finalize the process and allows for exceptions to the "routes" and "requirements" above.

Then comes the paragraph which describes these and other such exceptions and "special provisions": "Although [Valencia and the Canary Islands] took the "slow route", they were to assume the maximum level of competences". Then, comes the sentence in question: "Cantabria and La Rioja, although [...] part of Castile". Then there is a third exception for León which "although a historical region [... it was not] constituted as an autonomous community in its own right."

Because it is an exception, I find it weird just to a have a sentence that says "Cantabria and La Rioja were part of Old Castile, but both became autonomous [communities] in the 1980s"; it just seems out of place or rather "unconnected" if you will, with the rest of the paragraph. And since there is a historical progression, and we already mentioned the date in which the autonomic pacts were signed, specifying the "decade" in which they acceded to autonomy seems redundant.

Now, what are the "exceptions" or "special provisions" for Cantabria and La Rioja? (1) Being considered part of Old Castile their MPs joined the pre-autonomic regime of Castile and León; (2) in acceding to autonomy separately they are the only two autonomous communities that did not have a pre-autonomic regime and were part of another pre-autonomic regime (remember, pre-autonomic regimes were supposed to be the precursors to the communities and to coordinate the process); and (3) a unique provision is made so that they can be incorporated into Castile and León in the future if they so desire.

Therefore, I find it necessary to include the sentence about the "pre-autonomic regime". This term had already been defined in the previous section so the reader should understand and know what this sentence is making reference to. Also, - and these are just minor technicalities - but Cantabria and La Rioja did not become autonomous "provinces" but "communities" and this is not a "status".

So, I still prefer a version that is closer to what is currently written, with the contended qualifier removed, of course:

Although Cantabria and La Rioja were [traditionally] part of Old Castile and included in the pre-autonomic regime of Castile and León, they were allowed to become autonomous communities in their own right. Both acceded to autonomy in recognition of their "regional historical identity", and the process was supported by a large majority of their populations.

-- dúnadan : let's talk 16:15, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

That is not too bad, but some of the words are loaded words:
"traditionally" - implies that there was no rational basis for the inclusion; implies that the inclusion was somewhat arbitrary or insensible
"although" - This suggests that the change to autonomous status was surprising or contrary to common sense
"allowed" - Lots of problems with this word.
"acceded to autonomy in recognition" - Who recognized? Spain as a whole? or the residents of C and LR?
How about:

Prior to 1983, Cantabria and La Rioja were part of Old Castile and were included in the pre-autonomic regime of Castile and León. In 1983 they became autonomous communities in their own right. Both were accorded autonomy due to their "regional historical identity", and the new status was supported by a large majority of their populations.

--Noleander (talk) 19:01, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

I think you are adding to much "load" to the words "traditionally" and "although". "Traditionally" simply means "customary" and not somewhat "arbitrary" or "insensible" (Would "historically" make more sense then?) "Although" does not mean "contrary to common sense" but simply "in spite of". And the inclusion of "although" is purposeful, because we are talking about exceptions to the rule, and the implication in the sentence is historical and supported by the sources. They were considered to be part of Old Castile, they were part of the pre-autonomic regime of Castile and León, and in spite of that - the common path to autonomy for all autonomous communities - they were constituted as autonomous communities in their own right. They became the exception, being the only two communities that did not have their own pre-autonomic regime. There are 3 "althoughs" in the paragraph, why is this particular "although" problematic?

The word "although" should be used with caution, so as not to violate WP:OR by making an implication not supported by the sources, but that does not mean we cannot use the word when the implication is supported by the sources and where it makes editorial sense, since the paragraph talks about exceptions to the rule.

With regards to the word "recognition", I can see why it may be a bad choice. The point is that there are three ways to accede to autonomy; they took the third one as "single provinces with historical regional identity". -- dúnadan : let's talk 00:54, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to bow out now: I think I've made all the comments I can. There is obviously some political background here, that I'm not familiar with, that is coloring the wording and intonation. I hope my suggestions provide some ideas on how to get a neutral, encyclopedic wording. --Noleander (talk) 04:42, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your help and suggestions. I think we have, for the most part, agreed on a "better" version. I've slightly edited the sentence to reflect that; hopefully Jotamar will agree to the new version. -- dúnadan : let's talk 13:38, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

I have nothing new to add, the discussion has been long enough. The new wording is unbiased enough for me. Thanks to editor Noleander for all the involvement and patience. Jotamar (talk) 17:22, 3 December 2012 (UTC)


as far as I know, Segovia legally applied to be a single-province Autonomous Community, but (similar to the Almeria case) this request was overridden on "common good" legal grounds. To be elaborated by someone who is interested (if anybody). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Clavero Arévalo, Manuel (2006)[edit]

Does anyone have access to Clavero Arévalo, Manuel (2006) (ref 23) as the isbn has a digit missing, and I cannot track it down using any of my normal routes, and the way the digits have been grouped does not give any extra clues? Bob1960evens (talk) 09:42, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Apparently, in the web site where the full article was accessible, now there is only a summary. I suppose it's not available on line any more. Jotamar (talk) 15:09, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
The isbn is 84-95531-35-6. It was missing the 8. -- dúnadan : let's talk 01:24, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Anyone care to provide a better link for the David Brighty article?[edit]

The link for David Brighty's "State and region: the Spanish experience" is broken; clicking on it leades to 404 error, and accessing it via the Internet Archive is also fruitless since it shows up the same 404 error from Chatham House. As such, could anyone provide a better link to the article, PDF or not? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:19, 10 January 2014 (UTC)


The lede doesn't do a great job of explaining what exactly the autonomy is... It'd would be worth expanding on that I am no longer watching this page—whisperback if you'd like a response czar  02:06, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Could you give an example of what kind of wording are you thinking of? Thank you. --Jotamar (talk) 16:07, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

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