Aragon 1936 to present

During the 1936–1939 civil war, Aragon was divided between the two sides. The Eastern Area which was closer to Catalonia was run by the Republican Regional Defence Council of Aragon, while the larger Western Area was controlled by the Nationalists. Some of the most important battles were fought in or near Aragon, including Belchite, Teruel and Ebro. After the defeat of the Republic in April 1939, Aragon and the rest of Spain was governed by the Francoist dictatorship.

Especially during the 1960s, there were large migrations, with a depopulation of the rural areas, towards the industrial areas like the provincial capitals, other areas of Spain, and other European countries. In 1964, one of the so-called Development Poles was created in Zaragoza.

In the 1970s, the old town of Mequinenza was demolished almost completely due to the construction of the Ribarroja reservoir. The inhabitants of Mequinenza had to leave their homes to move to the new town on the banks of the River Segre. Some left for more industrial areas such as Barcelona or Zaragoza or even abroad to continue working in mining industries. By the end of 1974 all of the population had already abandoned the Old Town of Mequinenza and was living in the new town.

In the 1970s a period of transition as in the rest of the country was experienced, after the extinction of the previous regime, with the recovery of democratic normality and the creation of a new constitutional framework.

It began to demand an own political autonomy, for the Aragonese historical territory; sentiment that was reflected in the historic manifestation of April 23, 1978 that brought together more than 100000 aragoneses through the streets of Zaragoza.

Not having plebiscited, in the past, affirmatively a draft Statute of autonomy (second transitory provision of the constitution) and not making use of the difficult access to autonomy by Article 151 whose aggravated procedure required, apart from the initiative of the process autonomic follow the steps of article 143, which was ratified by three quarters of the municipalities of each of the affected provinces that represent at least the majority of the electoral census, and that this initiative was approved by referendum by the affirmative vote of the majority absolute of the electors of each province, Aragon acceded to the self-government by the slow way of article 143 obtaining lower competence top, and less self-management of resources, during more than 20 years.

On August 10, 1982, Aragon’s autonomy statute was approved by the Cortes Generales, signed by the then president of the Government, Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo, and sanctioned by His Majesty Juan Carlos I of Spain.

On May 7, 1992, a Special Commission of the Aragonese Corts, elaborated a reformed text that was approved by the Aragonese Corts and by the Spanish Cortes. Again, a small statutory reform in the year 1996 extended the competence framework, forcing a definitive comprehensive review for several years, a new statutory text was approved in 2007, by majority but without reaching total unanimity.

In the 1990s the Aragonese society increases a significant qualitative step in the quality of life due to the economic progress of the State at all levels.

At the beginning of the 21st century, a significant increase in infrastructures was established, such as the arrival of the High Speed Train (AVE), the construction of the new dual carriageway Somport-Sagunto and the promotion of the two airports in the Autonomous Community, Zaragoza and Huesca-Pirineos. At the same time, large technological projects are being undertaken, such as the Walqa Technology Park and the implementation of a telematic network throughout the community.

In 2007 the Statute of Autonomy of Aragon was reformed again -which was approved by a broad consensus in the Aragonese Corts, having the support of the PSOE, the PP, the PAR and the IU, whereas CHA abstained- granting the Autonomous Community the recognition of historical nationality (since the Organic Law of 1996 reform of the statute, it had the condition of nationality), includes a new title on the Administration of Chustizia and another on the rights and duties of the Aragoneses and guiding principles of public policies, the possibility of creating an own tax agency in collaboration with that of the State, and also the obligation to public authorities to ensure to avoid transfers from watersheds such as transfer of the Ebro, among many other modifications of the Statute of Autonomy.

The designation of Zaragoza as the venue for the 2008 International Exhibition, whose thematic axis was Water and Sustainable development, represented a series of changes and accelerated growth for the autonomous community. In addition, two anniversaries were celebrated that same year, the bicentennial of Sieges of Zaragoza of the War of Independence against the Napoleonic invasion, occurred in 1808 and the centenary of the Hispano-French Exposition of 1908 that it supposed as a modern event, to demonstrate the cultural and economic thrust of Aragon and at the same time serve to strengthen ties and staunch wounds with the French neighbours after the events of the Napoleonic Wars of the previous century.

Skip to content