Galician nationalism

Galician nationalism

Galician nationalism is a political movement claiming for the recognition of Galicia as a nation. The political movement referred to as modern Galician nationalism was born in the beginnings of the twentieth century from the idea of Galicianism.


Historians, geographers and ethnologists recognize the existence of a Galician ethnic group, forming a singular unit in a specific territory [ [ Map from "Eurominority" depicting European national minorities] ] . However, this is a wide conceptualization that in political terms adopt many possible variants. Inside Galician nationalism two main ideological currents can be found:

* Autonomist: claims for an extended autonomy of Galicia, further devolution and (in occasions) the transformation of Spain into a federal state where Galicia would eventually achieve self determination.

* Independentist: campaigns for immediate and total independence from Spain. This is however supported by a minority of the population.

Both autonomists and independentists have points in common such as the defence and promotion of Galician culture and language (where some of them defend reintegracionism). Both also claim for the official and unequivocal recognition of Galicia as a nation and the defence of Galician speakers outside administrative Galician territory, namely in Galician speaking areas of the Spanish regions of Asturias and Castile and León.

It is often considered that the ideological framework of contemporary Galician nationalism was set in Castelao's key work "Sempre en Galiza" (lit. "Always in Galicia"), published in 1944.

Political nationalism in society

Nationalism in Galicia receives the open support of 21% of the population (Galician General Elections, 2005). Since 2005 Galicia is ruled by a coalition government between the socialist PSdeG-PSOE and the nationalist BNG. Unlike in other Spanish autonomous communities the conservative and pro-Spanish Partido Popular includes galicianism as one of its ideological principles [ [,M1 Facsimile discussing PP's "galeguidade" ("Galicianness"), by Frans Schrijver] ] . Even the Spanish Socialist Party has a quite strong regional flavour in Galicia [ [ Galician President Pérez Touriño commenting Galicianism, from newspaper "A Nosa Terra"] ] [ [ Galician President Pérez Touriño (PSdG) discussing Galicianism, from online newspaper ""] ] . This issue somehow explains electoral behaviour in Galicia and why nationalist parties have a reduced representation when compared to Catalonia or the Basque Country, as voters in Galicia may choose to go for Spanish parties promoting Galicianism depending on the circumstances. Spanish parties in Catalonia and Basque Country, namely the Partido Popular, do not have such a strong regional identity.A possible explanation for this political behaviour in pro-Spanish parties is that Galician identity is so embedded in Galicians that any political party willing to participate in elections must at least show some degree of interest in the promotion of Galicianism, although how exactly this is done may vary greatly.

The Bloque Nacionalista Galego is itself a coalition of parties, neither of which endorses independence, although some individual members and parallel organizations within it might support that idea [ [ of BNG's internal organization "Movemento Pola Base" displaying a banner where "Independence and Socialism" can be read] ] . At present, BNG claims for further devolution, federalization and promotion of Galician culture. Other nationalist parties stand for outright independence, but they only have representatives in local councils and not in the Galician Parliament.

The present Galician Statute of Autonomy (1981) defines Galicia as a nationality. The Galician Government is currently drafting a new Statute of Autonomy where Galicia will most probably be defined as a nation (with declaratory, but not legal value) [ [ Discussion on the reform of the Statute. Official site hosted by the Parliament of Galicia] ] .

Nationalist political parties and nationalist organizations

* Bloque Nacionalista Galego (BNG) - "Galician Nationalist Bloc" (coalition of parties ranging from centrist to left wing; autonomist)
**Unión do Povo Galego (UPG) "The Galician People's Union" (communist; autonomist), currently integrated in BNG
** [ Movemento Pola Base] "Movement for the Grassroots" (socialist; independentist), critical current inside BNG formed by - mainly - grassroot militants
** Partido Galeguista (PG) - "Galicianist Party" (moderate right to moderate left; regionalist)
* Frente Popular Galega (FPG) - "Galician Popular Front" (socialist; independentist)
* Nós-Unidade Popular (Nós-UP) - "Us-People United" (socialist; independentist)
** Primeira Linha - "Front Line" (communist; independentist), associated with Nós-UP
* Terra Galega (TeGa) - "Galician Land" (moderate right to moderate left; regionalist)
** Coalición Galega (CG) - "Galician Coalition" (moderate right to centre; regionalist), currently integrated in TeGa
* Assembleia da Mocidade Independentista (AMI) - "Assembly of the Independentist Youth" (communist; independentist)


* Beramendi, J. and Núñez Seixas, X.M. (1996): "O nacionalismo galego", A Nosa Terra, Vigo.
* García-Álvarez, J. (1998): [ "Substate nation-building and geographical representations of 'The Other' in Galicia, Spain (1860-1936)"] , in "Finisterra", no. 33, issue 65, p. 117-128.
* Fernández Baz, M.A., (2003): "A formación do nacionalismo galego contemporáneo (1963-1984)", Laiovento.
* Núñez Seixas, X.M.(1993): "Historiographical approaches to nationalism in Spain", Saarbrücken, Breitenbach.
* Núñez Seixas, X.M.(1999): "Autonomist regionalism within the spanish state of the Autonomous Communities: an interpretation", in "Nationalism & ethnic politics", vol. 5, no. 3-4, p. 121-141. Frank Cass, Ilford.
* Rios Bergantinhos, N. (2002): "A esquerda independentista galega (1977-1995)", Abrente Editora, Compostela.


See also

*Galicianism (Galicia)
*Galicia (Spain)
*Galician language
*Galician people
*Nationalities in Spain
* A.D.R. Castelao
*Celtic Nations

External links

* [ "Causa Galiza"] , organization which seeks to co-ordinate all independentist political parties and organizations in a single front gl icon
* [http://www.galizalivre.og "Galiza Livre"] , independentist news portal gl icon
* [ History of Galician nationalism] gl icon
* [ Galician nationalism] es icon
* [ Eurominority] (main site, in English and French)

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