The Basque Autonomy Statute of 1979: A Historical and Political Overview

Classified in History

Written at on English with a size of 3.64 KB.

Series of articles of the BAS of 79 (still in use). Legal text. Signed by Adolfo Suarez. The author was usually the autonomous governor of the region. The document is the confirmation of the BAS. First level.

Context: Back to the end of Franco's reign and transition. After Franco's death, the government changed. Suarez was introduced as a co-operator and started making reforms. First, the Political Reform Bill was submitted to a referendum. Once approved, it marked the opening to democracy. Elections were held. In the central government, UCD was the winner. In the Basque Country, PNV won. They began writing the 78 Constitution, which established a democratic national sovereignty and a constitutional monarchy. The two chambers, Congress and Senate, were divided into three powers. The creation of autonomous entities inside Spain was accepted. These autonomies were of three different types. First, historical autonomies (the ones that had autonomy in the past), such as Catalonia and the Basque Country. Due to their antecedents, they were the first to obtain the Autonomous Statute. Second, those that had an economic interest. There were also other reasons. In this context, the BAS was elaborated and approved.

The Basque Country had autonomy inside the Spanish State (not independence). The territories that formed the Basque Country's autonomous region were Alava, Gipuzkoa, and Bizkaia. Navarra was a possible member in case they decided to join. With that, they wanted to answer the controversial beliefs about Navarre's condition. Provincial institutions were mentioned because of the tradition Basque Provinces had of having their own institutions. The most important institutions were, for example, the Diputaciones, which were in charge of all the economic activity, including collecting taxes. The political policy was mentioned, recognizing that Basque was going to be the co-official language with the Spanish language. It also recognized the possibility of recovering some things, such as the Economic Concordat. It also mentioned one of the first things transferred from the Central government: the control of public order with a local police force called Ertzaintza.

Conclusion: The Basque Autonomy Statute came into force and is still in use nowadays. Transferences were enlarged with time, and some important fields (education, health services, tax collection, etc.) were given to the Basque institutions. But there are even more transferences that are being delegated. The party that has been leading the Basque government since the BAS was approved is PNV, except for a short period of PSOE majority when Patxi Lopez was the Lehendakari.

Entradas relacionadas: