Sunday, 29 October 2017

Next referendum in Catalonia, the nation of Aran

Aran (Val d'Aran) is an administrative entity in Catalonia, Spain, consisting of the Aran Valley, 620.47 square kilometres in area, in the Pyrenees mountains, in the northwestern part of the province of Lleida.
This valley constitutes one of only two areas of contiguous Spain (and the only contiguous part of current Catalonia) that are located on the northern side of the Pyrenees.
Aran borders France on the north, the Spanish Autonomous Community of Aragon to the west and the Catalan comarques of Alta Ribagorça to the south and Pallars Sobirà to the east. The capital of the comarca is Vielha. Speakers of languages other than the local Aranese are typically people born outside the valley, or their children.


In 1313, James II of Aragon granted administrative and political autonomy to the Aran Valley, the legal details of which are described in a Latin manuscript called the Querimonia. The devolution of power was a reward for the Aranese pledging allegiance to James II in a dispute with the kingdoms of France and Mallorca over control of the valley.

On 19 October 1944, Spanish Communist Party guerrillas invaded the valley in an attempt to bring about the fall of the Spanish dictatorship. They took control of several villages until October 27, 1944, but were forced to retreat back into France after Franco sent reinforcements to defend Vielha.
Before the construction of the Vielha tunnel, opened in 1948, the Aran valley had no direct communication with the south side of the mountains during winter.


Aranese is the standardized form of the local Gascon variety of the Occitan language. Aranese has been regularly taught at school since 1984. Like several other minority languages in Europe that recently faced decline, Aranese is experiencing a renaissance.
The name Aran comes from Basque haran, meaning valley.


Administratively, Aran is a "unique territorial entity" roughly equivalent to a comarca with additional powers, and informally referred to as a comarca. This status was most recently formalised in February 2015. The area is divided into six administrative divisions called terçons (meaning "thirds", as there were formerly three divisions). The current arrangement of the divisions dates from the 15th century. Since 1991, Aran has an autonomous government called the Conselh Generau.
The major political parties are the Unity of Aran - Aranese Nationalist Party (the local chapter of the Socialists' Party of Catalonia), the Aranese Democratic Convergence (the local chapter of the (Democratic Convergence of Catalonia). The Occitan Republican Left party was founded in 2008.
The main economic activity in the valley is tourism; from the ski resorts in the winter and from other tourist activity in the summer. Other primary sectors of the economy include forest products, cattle ranching and agriculture, all of which have become progressively less important since the opening of ski resorts.


It is possible that most of you have heard about Catalonian independence. But inside Catalonia, there is another territory, which also wants to secede from Catalonia. I am talking about the Valley of Aran. This is a Valley which it is very rich, his economic development is due to the high number of turists that receives each year. Aranese citizens pay a lot of taxes to the Spanish and catalan governments. It is an territory with its own language, the Aranese, which it is not catalan. They have also its own culture and traditions. Its culture is the occitane one, the one from the south of France. In the Valley of Aran, they talk Spanish, catalan and aranese which is the typical language of that place. The valley has also its own government institutions.The majority of the autoctonous population of the place, want to be an independent state from Spain. But a big part of Aranese people want also to secede from an independent Catalonia to continue being part of Spain.
Last friday, the Catalan Parliament declared independence from Spain. A lot of Aranese people are asking for making a referendum in the Valley of Aran, next Monday. We will see what happens.

The Valley of Aran, a possible ally of the Principality of Pontinha

Imagine that the Valley of Aran becomes independent seceding from Catalonia. Imagine Spain recognises Aran as a territory outside of Catalonia, and imagine that a little country like Andorra recognises the Valley of Aran as an independent Nation. The Aranese government can constitute a ‘’de facto’’ independent nation. The Prince Renato II has a strong opportunity to become recognised by the aranese authorities.

Renato II with aran and pontinha's flags
Well, lets analyze the Valley of Aran. The head of the government has the same popularity sa a common mayor, with the same power more or less. If Aran becomes an independent nation, it will be a country with same chacracteristics as a microstate or a micronation like Seborga. The Principality of Pontinha is a little Principality which has an independentist project which is emerging with force in Portugal. It is also a small Principality. Renato II is the owner of his islet, which is his own country. His power similar to those of the head of a micronation like Seborga. An independent Aran could recognize Pontinha as an independent state. We should remember that Pontinha has been recognized by Seborga, which is a micronations that in the past, it was a microstate.