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LOCAL AND REGIONAL ELECTIONS IN SPAIN May 28, 2007

Posted by wmmbb in European Politics.
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The BBC reports that with 81% of the vote counted, the Socialists and the opposition Popular Party have retained their strongholds, with the Socialists holding a slight lead overall. The interesting aspect of these elections is the development at the margins in which British and German candidates are standing, often on anti-corruption platforms.


Reports, as in The Daily Mail, suggest that there has been opposition to these candidates from the natives, but the EU citizens have had the right to vote in these elections since 1999, and as long term residents their land values are affected by planning and zoning regulations. The British it is reported do not attempt to integrate. They continue to speak English and shop in British shops.

It is at least interesting, as it may prove to be significant, that the corrosion of the hegemony of the nation state, almost the premise on which the European Union is founded, is taking place at the local level. The movement of populations unfettered by national boundaries is likely to continue. For example, Ireland before it was transformed in association with the EU into the Celtic Tiger Economy was for 100 years or more a net emigration country, now 10% of its population are migrants.

John Howard may well declare that “we will decide who comes here, and on what terms”, but environmental pressures, interconnectednss and simply the means to do so, will mean global movement of people, facilitated by trade and transport, will continue as it has for the last two to three hundred years.

Sometimes these changes give rise to new institutions. The historical parallel with the changes to the Spanish regional and local elections that comes to mind is, the presence at the Sorbonne of the English, German and other nations of students that gave rise to the idea of the university in the thirteenth century.

Do you agree?

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