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Autonomous communities of Spain

Spain consists of seventeen autonomous communities (comunidades autónomas), in turn divided in fifty provinces (provincias) and two african autonomous cities (Ceuta and Melilla).

Nationalism and separatism played a big part in the Spanish transition[?]. To appease these forces, the development of the Spanish Constitution of 1978[?] establishes a highly decentralized[?] State comparing with the previous Francoist regime. While not forming a federation or confederation, Spanish regions are more powerful than most in Europe. The Constitution distinguishes "historic" or "fast-track" communities (Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia and Andalusia) and the "slow-track" rest. The historic ones have received initially more functions.

The distribution of competences is different for every community, collected in the autonomy statuses. For example, the Basque Country has a full-range police force (Ertzaintza[?]) of their own. Other communities have a limited-bailiwick one or none at all. Another example: The Basque Country and Navarre collect taxes and agree with the Spanish government their total quota. The rest receive according to the transferred functions.

There has been a tendence for "slow-track" communities to aspire to the function range of their elder. Even in communities without a separatist tradition, the local branches of parties fight for more power and budgets. This was dubbed the café para todos[?] ("coffee for everybody") policy. Current points of disagreement are tax collection and representation at institutions of the European Union.

The Spanish Constitution of 1931[?] tried to give autonomy to regions but the Spanish war[?] crushed this experiment.

The communities are:

The map is stable, though some minorities claim separate communities for León, Orihuela and Álava.

There are five places of sovereignty (plazas de soberanía) near Morocco, under direct Spanish administration:



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