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Spanish Politics and Society Hispanic & European Studies Program Fall 2009 Raimundo Viejo Viñas Office 20.182

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Presentation on theme: "Spanish Politics and Society Hispanic & European Studies Program Fall 2009 Raimundo Viejo Viñas Office 20.182"— Presentation transcript:

1 Spanish Politics and Society Hispanic & European Studies Program Fall 2009 Raimundo Viejo Viñas Office

2 Democratization in Spain An empirical case

3 Democratization in Spain  In the 1960s and the early 1970s, the Spanish political regime liberalised: Consumption and mass tourism changed Spanish mentality into a more modern, liberal one Fraga’s Press Law made possible a broader pluralism  The liberalization of Francoism divided the political establishment and its opponents

4 Democratization in Spain  The political establishment splited in two different factions: hardliners and softliners Hardliners (the so-called “bunker”) opposed democratization. Franco’s Prime Minister, Carrero Blanco, was the most prominent hardliner of the political regime Softliners wanted a slow, moderated, and controlled democratization of the political regime. First democratic Prime Minister, Adolfo Suárez, was a reformer

5 Democratization in Spain  Democratic opposition also splited in two factions: Reformers were those who wanted to change the system step by step). Jordi Pujol, the conservative catalan nationalist leader and former president of Catalonia was a reformer. Radicals were those who wanted to change the political regime through an accelerated transition process, whether they were revolutionaries or not. ETA probably is the most extreme case.

6 Democratization in Spain  The assassination of Franco’s prime minister, Carrero Blanco in 1973, prevented the involution of liberalization  November 20, 1975: Franco is dead, transition to democracy begins

7 Democratization in Spain  After Franco’s Dead in 1975, King Juan Carlos I became head of the state. Between January and July 1976 the Monarchy was ruling Spain  According to Franco’s Law of 1966, the Ley Orgánica del Estado ("Organic Law of the State"): the Consejo del Reino ("Council of the Kingdom") proposed three candidates to the King.  Arias Navarro was selected by Juan Carlos as the new Prime Minister

8 Democratization in Spain  In July 1976, Adolfo Suárez was appointed Prime Minister. During this first government, Suárez will… … enact the Political Reform Law (september 1976) … began talks with major leaders of political opposition … change the relations with the military … face up to the resurgence of terrorist activity and armed struggle

9 Democratization in Spain  December 15, 1976: The Political Reform Law is ratified by a referendum The rate of participation is 77.72%. 94% of voters give their support to the law  PSOE and PCE opposed the Political Reform Law. The PCE was still illegal.  Elections are scheduled for June However, it remains unclear whether all parties will be able to take part (i.e the PCE and other leftists parties)

10 Democratization in Spain  Once the Political Reform Law passed, the legalization of the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) was the most controversial issue  The PCE was the most important party organization of the political opposition. It had more activists that all other opposition parties together.  The militant discipline was very appropriate to fight illegal. The point, however, was if the PCE was able to win free elections  The PCE, like the French, Italian, and Portuguese Communists parties defined themselves as “Eurocommunists” (condemned the Soviet intervention in Prague and Budapest )

11 Democratization in Spain  First pluralistic elections were held on June 15, 1977: Union of the Democratic Center (UCD-Unión de Centro Democrático): 34.61% Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE-Partido Socialista Obrero Español): 29.27% Communist Party of Spain (PCE-Partido Comunista de España): 9.38% Popular Alliance (AP-Alianza Popular): 8.33%  In Catalonia and the Basque Country, moderate nationalists won an important support. The reform of the State’s territorial structure becomes an important issue  A big majority of voters supported center-right (reformers) and center-wing (softliners) parties

12 Democratization in Spain  The Cortes began to draft a constitution in the summer of  In 1978 an agreement amongst politicians, political parties, and trade unions to plan how to operate the economy during the transition was passed. It was the “Moncloa Pact”  The Spanish Constitution was finally approved in a referendum on the December 6, 1978.

13 Democratization in Spain


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