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Aragon
Aragon

Name of the stateless nation: Aragón

State or states this nation belongs to: Kingdom of Spain

Aragon map

1. Physical and human environment

Geography

Area   47,719 km2

Altimetric zones (% of total surface)
Lower than 200 m   3%
201-600 m  38%
601-1,000 m  28%
1,001-2,000 m  29%
Higher than 2,000 m  2%

Biogeographical regions (% of total surface)
Alpine  7%
Mediterranean 93%

Land use (% of total surface)
Inner waters and wetlands 0.6%
Forests and open spaces 46.2%
Agricultural land 52,4%
Urban and artificial areas 0.8%


Nation

Origins

Before Aragon came into being as a self-proclaimed kingdom in 1035, the northern counties of Jaca, Sobrarbe and Ribagorza wont independence from the Frankish Empire in the 9th century. In a bid to stem Frankish and Moorish invasions, the counties of Aragon, Sobrarbe, Ribagorza, and the duchy of Castile united under the Kingdom of Pamplona (later Navarre). After King Sancho's death, the kingdom was divided between his sons. Ramiro I became the first king of Aragon in 1035. Later, in 1044, he was also named king of Sobrarbe and Ribagorza. The new kingdom grew quickly, conquering territories from the Moorish kingdoms to the South.

Uesca was taken in 1096 and Zaragoza in 1118. According to Aragonese law, the monarch had to swear allegiance to the laws of the kingdom in order to be accepted as king. According to the traditional constitutional theory of Aragon the King was considered "Primus inter pares" within the nobility. A squire named "Justicia" acted as ombudsman and constitutional judge, responsible for ensuring that the King obeyed the Aragonese laws as did the other individuals and institutions of the country. There is an old saying ("In Aragon there were laws before kings existed") which points to the submission of the King to the Kingdom’s indigenous legal system (Fueros), a principle enshrined by the Privilegio General -the Aragonese Magna Carta- issued as a result of the revolt of the country against Peter III in 1283.

The dynastic union between Petronila -Queen of Aragon- and Ramon Berenguer IV -Count of Barcelona- in 1135 led to the union of Aragon and Barcelona and the creation of the Crown of Aragon. The Crown of Aragon initiated a period of expansion to the South (conquering the Kingdom of Valencia and territories of Murcia) and the Mediterranean (Majorca, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Naples, Athens and Neopatria in different periods). But the growing threat of France and Castile, and the defeat of England in the Hundred Years’ War meant a shift in the political alliances of the Crown, resulting in a dynastic union with Castile while preserving independence as a State, following the same pattern applied within the Crown of Aragon. Nonetheless, the extraordinary growth of the power of Castile after 1492 and the absolutist attitude of the monarchs of the new Habsburg dinasty raised political tensions which resulted in the invasion of Aragon in 1591 by a Castilian army (ordered by Philip II) and the assasination of the Justicia. In the War of Spanish Succession, Aragon rebelled against Philip V and allied with Catalonia, Valencia, Austria, England and Holland. Its military defeat (1707) resulted in annexation to Castile, preserving only its own civil law until our time.

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1: Instituto Aragonés de Estadística (2014).
2: European Environmental Agency.

 

2. Government

Capital city  Zaragoza

Name of President / Prime Minister / Other  Javier Lambán Montañés (President)

Political status as part of the State   Autonomous Community

Competences attributed / recognized by the State: Health, education, social welfare, agriculture, forestry, environment, water management, planning, housing, public works, some aspects of transport, economic development, national financial institutions, some taxes, consumer policy, energy, industry, mining, local trade, statistics, foundations and associations, museums, archives, home affairs, civil law, public registers courts of Justice, local police, fire services, archives, sports, arts, cultural heritage, vernacular languages.

Political institutions:
Parliament (Cortes de Aragón) with legislative capacity.
Government of Aragon (Diputación General de Aragón, also called Gobierno de Aragón)
High Court of Justice of Aragon (Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Aragón, supreme civil and criminal court).
Aragonese ombudsman (Justicia de Aragón)
Court of Accounts (Cámara de Cuentas de Aragón)
Advisory Council (Consejo Consultivo de Aragón)


External representation
Aragon has had a representative office to the Spanish government in Madrid until 2012.  A representative office to the European Union is located in Brussels. Aragon is also a member of the Committee of Regions of the European Union, as a part of the Spanish delegation. There is an Aragonese commercial office in Shanghai (China).1

Territorial and local organization (counties, provinces, districts, municipal bodies, etc.)
Aragon has been divided into three provinces (Uesca, Zaragoza and Teruel) since 1833 for the administrative purposes of the Spanish State. Nonetheless, due to the problems and territorial imbalances this system caused in Aragon, in 2006 the Government of Aragon created a network of 33 regions (comarcas) based upon the traditional ones (redoladas). These 33 regions include the 731 municipalities of Aragon.

Main Political Parties
Political parties having (or having had in the past) representatives at the national level
Aragonist Union (CHA, Chunta Aragonesista): Aragonese national party, left.
Aragonist Party (PAR, Partido Aragonés): Aragonese national-regional party, centre-right.
People’s Party (PP, Partido Popular): Right, Spanish unionist
Socialist Party (PSOE, Partido socialista obrero español): Centre-socialist, Spanish unionist.
United Left (IU, Izquierda Unida): National Spanish coalition of different left-wing parties, republican-unionist.

Nationwide political parties having (or having had in the past) representatives at the local level
Commitment to Aragon (CA, Compromiso con Aragón): Aragonese national-regional party, centre-right.
Aragonese Independent Federation (FDA, Federación de Independientes de Aragón): Centre, national-regionalist.
Much Left (PYLN, Puyalón de Cuchas): Left, pro-independence.
Aragonese Greens (Los Verdes de Aragón): Ecologist.
United Citizens of Aragon (PCUA, Partido Ciudadanos Unidos de Aragón): Centre-liberal, Aragonese national-regionalist.

Nationalist organisations in civil society
Fundación Gaspar Torrente, Rolde de Estudios Aragoneses, Fundación Iniciativa Aragonesa, Fundación Aragonesista 29 de junio, Asociación de Mujeres Amparo Poch, A Clau Roya, Chobentú Aragonesista, Purna, Aladrada, CHEN, A enrestida, Universidat Independentista, Rolde Choben, Coleutibo Nazionalista Aragonés de Cuchas, Rebellar, Bente d’Abiento, L’Albada, O Trango, Finestra Batalera, Sindicato Obrero Aragonés, Organización Sindical de Trabajadores de Aragón

---------
1: Diputación General de Aragón (2013).

3. Population (1)

Total population 1,346,293

Density  27/km2

Age structure:
0-14  13.97%
15-35  22.75%
35-54  31.44%         
55-64  10.68%
over 65 20.23%


Urban population  69.6%

In the capital city 50.6%

In other major cities 19%

Annual growth  -0.54‰ (2)

Net migration rate  -0.39‰ (2)

Life expectancy
Men: 79.97 years (2)
Women: 85.53 years
(2)

-------
1: Instituto Aragonés de Estadística (2014).

2: Instituto Nacional de Estadística (2012).

4. Languages

Spoken languages:
Language areas (whether vernacular or not)
Castilian, Aragonese, Catalan


Number and percentage of speakers of each vernacular language over the total population
Castilian: 1,346,293 (100%)
Aragonese: 25,000 (1.86%)
Catalan: 42,000 (3.12%)

Official languages and languages recognized by the authorities
in the territory of the nation
Castilian (official), Aragonese (recognised) and Catalan (recognised)
vernacular languages of the nation which are official in or recognised by the state
Aragonese and Catalan are recognised by the State but with no practical consequence
national vernacular languages official or recognised outside the state (by other states and/or by international organisations)
Aragonese and Catalan are recognized by UNESCO and the Council of Europe, although they enjoy no official status

Use of vernacular languages

In public administration: No
In justice: No
In school: Only in some schools in the areas where Aragonese and Catalan are traditionally spoken
in place names (toponymy): In some municipalities and regions, but toponimy still remains officially in Castilian
in cultural production (books, movies).
There is a notable publishing production in Aragonese and (to a lesser extent) in Catalan. Little film or video production, or theatrical plays.
In the media and the internet: Aragonese and Catalan languages are virtually absent from TV. There are some local radio stations with programs in these languages. All newspapers are in Castilian. There are some monthly magazines (Fuellas, O Espiello, Temps de Franja) and online media (Arredol.com).

Speakers of other languages (1):
Romanian: 65,432
Arabic: 23,398
Portuguese: 6,947
Bulgarian: 5,257
Chinese: 4,541
Polish:  4,300
Other languages: 31,143

 
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1: Instituto Aragonés de Estadística (2011).

5. Transport infrastructure (1)

Airports
Two airports operate international flights: Zaragoza and Uesca. Zaragoza also has a military air base. An aircraft industry complex (storage, repair and recycling) is now under construction in Teruel. Eight aerodromes are located in Santa Zilia, Castillón de Sos, Benavarri, Balbastro, Gurrea, Tardienta, Billanueba de Galligo and Torremocha de Xiloca.

Roads
10,694 km

Dual carriageways
665 km

Toll motorways
157 km

Conventional rail
895 km

High speed railways
429 km

Waterways
71 km (not used for navigation since 1953)


Density of transport infrastructure
Roads and motorways      
241 km / 1000 km2
853 km / 100,000 inhabitants


Railways      
28 km / 1000 km2
98 km / 100,000 inhabitants

Trans-border connections (Number of trans-border connections for each kind of transport infrastructure / kilometres of border line)
Road: 81 / 1,470.64 km = 1 every 18.15 km
Rail: 8 / 1,470.64 km = 1 every 183.83 km
Trading ports (more than 1 million tons per year) Not applicable

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1: Instituto Aragonés de Estadística (2012).

6. Education and culture

Educational attainment of the adult population (%; aged 16 and over):

No attainment at all 0%

Primary 28.2%

Lower secondary 22.8%

Upper secondary 23.7%

Tertiary 25.3%

Culture (expenditure per person / year) €303.18

Books: €24.5

Press: €30.62

Cinema, theatre: €26.67

Museums, libraries, etc. €4.58

Other cultural goods or services €34.41

 

Other data (2)

Theatre shows: 3,258

Dance performances: 210

Books published: 1,430

Musical works published: 3

Films shown: 370

 

-------
1: Instituto Aragonés de Estadística e Instituto Nacional de Estadística (2012).
2: Instituto Aragonés de Estadística y Ministerio de Cultura (2012).

7. Armed and police forces in its territory (Number of troops and police officers)

Army 4,461 (1)
Navy 9
(1)
Air force 1,002

State police 4,093 (2)
National police 156 (3)
Local police 1,733 (4)

 

-------
1: Ministerio de Defensa, Estadística de Personal (2012).
2: Ministerio del Interior. Congreso de los Diputados (2013).
3: Gobierno de Aragón (2014).
4: Gobierno de Aragón (2011).

8.Economy


Currency  Euro (EUR)

GDP (in million €) 32,258

Annual growth GDP   -0.3%

GDP per capita (€) 24,732

 

Composition of GDP:

Agriculture  4%

Industry  31%

Services  65%

 

Inflation rate  0.2%

Unemployment rate  21.4%

Energy balance (thousands of TOE) and energy import coverage rate  -3,968 (29.70%)

Energy production (thousands of TOE) 1,462 (2)

Natural gas  22.4%

Petroleum products  0.1%

Coal  31.2%

Nuclear  0%

Renewables  46.3%

Energy consumption (thousands of TOE) 5,817(2)

Natural gas  27.0%

Petroleum products  28.8%

Coal  23.8%

Nuclear  0%

Renewables  20.4%

 

Trade:
Imports (mill €)  21,729.08

Exports (mill €)  21,346.02

Trade balance (+ mill €) and import coverage rate (%) -383.06 (98.24%)

 

FOREIGN TRADE


IMPORTS

Mill. €

%

EXPORTS

Mill. €

%

TOTAL

21,729.08

100

TOTAL

21,346.02

100

EU

20,098.64

92.50

EU

20,284.47

95.03

Spain

15,233.1

70.10

Spain

15,565.1

72.92

Catalonia

6,761.9

31.12

Catalonia

5,121

23.99

Basque Country

2,109.1

9.70

-

-

-

-

-

-

Castile and Leon

1,743.2

8.17

Navarre

1,148.6

5.29

Navarre

1,025.1

4.80

Madrid

1,131.7

5.21

Madrid

1,264.8

5.93

Valencia

998.7

4.60

Valencia

1,360.2

6.37

Rest of Spain

3,083.1

14.19

Rest of Spain

3,051.1

14.29

Germany

1,435.91

6.61

Germany

1,435.91

6.61

Poland

592.32

2.73

-

-

-

Italy

571.46

2.63

Italy

965.65

4.52

-

-

-

France

1,288.43

6.04

Europe (non-EU)

379.34

1.75

Europe (non-EU)

484.93

2.27

Asia

850,69

3.91

Asia

589.14

2.76

China

487,79

2,24

-

-

-

Turkey

223,94

1.03

Turkey

206.84

0.97

-

-

-

United Arab Emirates

121.73

0.57

Africa

290.69

1.34

Africa

235.53

1.10

Morocco

190.45

0.88

Morocco

61.13

0.29

South Africa

23,52

0.11

South Africa

36.46

0.17

America

99.94

0.46

America

289.92

1.36

USA

46.40

0.21

USA

84.49

0.39

Mexico

30.46

0.14

Mexico

44.19

0.21

Rest of the world

9.78

0.04

Rest of the world

37.96

0.18

 

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1: Instituto Aragonés de Estadística (2013).
2: Instituto Aragonés de Estadística (2012).
3: C-Interreg (2010). Instituto Aragonés de Estadística (2010).

9. National symbols

Flag

Flag of Aragon

The royal flag (Señal) with the coat of arms of Aragon

 

Coat of arms

Crown of Aragon
The Sobrarbe holm oak (constitutional, non-royal symbol), the Cross of Iñigo Arista, St. George’s Cross (Alcoraz version), Arms of the Crown of Aragon

 

 

National anthem

The official anthem of Aragon is not well known among the population.


Lyrics “Himno de Aragón”


Nos ha llevado el tiempo al confín de los sueños.
Un nuevo día tiende sus alas desde el sol.
Oh tambores del cierzo, descorred ya las nubes,
y a las cumbres ascienda la voz.
El paso de los siglos trazó su destino
que llama a la justicia y a la libertad. 
Germinarán los campos, abiertos a sus cielos,
con la verde espiga, los racimos de oro 
y el inmarchitable olivo de la paz.
¡Luz de Aragón, torre al viento, campana de soledad!
¡Que tu afán propague, río sin frontera, tu razón, tu verdad!
Vencedor de tanto olvido, memoria de eternidad, 
pueblo del tamaño de hombres y mujeres, ¡Aragón, vivirás!
Resplandece el tiempo; 
llega ya la edad, 
para que la piedra 
sea manantial,
de enlazar nuestras vidas
y entonar las voces.
Desde las blancas cimas donde duerme la nieve
hasta los llanos rojos que mece el aire azul,
un claro cielo enciende, con la frente en el agua,
sus coronas radiantes de luz.
Abramos las ventanas, que cante la noche,
y al ritmo de la vida, en rueda de amor,
se estrecharán las almas, cogidas de la aurora.
Brille la esperanza, se abran los caminos
en la tierra grave como un corazón.
¡Luz de Aragón, torre al viento, campana de soledad!
¡Que tu afán propague, río sin frontera, tu razón, tu verdad!
Vencedor de tanto olvido, memoria de eternidad,
pueblo del tamaño de hombres y mujeres, ¡Aragón, vivirás!
¡Tierra abierta, pueblo grande, Aragón!
¡Patria mía, patria mía, Aragón!

 

Nonetheless, the popular song of the Aragonese singer and politician José Antonio Labordeta, “Canto a la libertad” (“Song to Freedom”) is claimed to be the real anthem of the Aragonese nation:


Lyrics “Canto a la libertad”


Habrá un día
en que todos
al levantar la vista,
veremos una tierra
que ponga libertad.

Hermano, aquí mi mano,
será tuya mi frente,
y tu gesto de siempre
caerá sin levantar
huracanes de miedo
ante la libertad.

Haremos el camino
en un mismo trazado,
uniendo nuestros hombros
para así levantar
a aquellos que cayeron
gritando libertad.

Habrá un día…

Sonarán las campanas
desde los campanarios,
y los campos desiertos
volverán a granar
unas espigas altas
dispuestas para el pan.

Para un pan que en los siglos
nunca fue repartido
entre todos aquellos
que hicieron lo posible
por empujar la historia
hacia la libertad. 

Habrá un día…

También será posible
que esa hermosa mañana
ni tú, ni yo, ni el otro
la lleguemos a ver;
pero habrá que forzarla
para que pueda ser.

Que sea como un viento
que arranque los matojos
surgiendo la verdad,
y limpie los caminos
de siglos de destrozos
contra la libertad.

Habrá un día…

Habrá un día
en que todos
al levantar la vista,
veremos una tierra
que ponga libertad.

 

There are also versions in Aragonese and Catalan. Full texts can be found here: http://www.cantoalalibertad.org/PDF/proposicion.pdf

 

National Day

23 April

 

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