Castile and León Autonomy

The autonomous community of Castile and León is the result of the union in 1983 of nine provinces: the three that, after the territorial division of 1833, by which the provinces were created, were ascribed to the Region of León, and six ascribed to Old Castile; however 2 provinces of Old Castile were not included: Santander (current community of Cantabria) and Logroño (current La Rioja).

In the case of Cantabria the creation of an autonomous community was advocated for historical, cultural and geographical reasons, while in La Rioja the process was more complex due to the existence of three alternatives, all based on historical and socio-economic reasons: union with Castile and León (advocated by the Union of the Democratic Centre political party), union to a Basque-Navarrese community (supported by the Socialist Party and Communist Party) or creation of an uniprovincial autonomy; the latter option was chosen because it had more support among the population.

After the creation of the Castilian-Leonese pre-autonomous body, which was supported by the Provincial Council of León in its agreement of April 16, 1980, this institution revoked its original agreement on January 13, 1983, just as the draft of the Organic Law entered the Spanish parliament. The Constitutional Court determined which of those contradictory agreements was valid in the Sentence 89/1984 of September 28; it declares that the subject of the process is no longer, as in its preliminary phase, the councils and municipalities, but the new body.

After the sentence, there were several demonstrations in León in favour of the León alone option (see Leonesism), one of them according to some sources brought together a number close to 90 000 people, This was the highest concentration held in the city in the Democratic period until the demonstrations rejecting the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

In an agreement adopted on July 31, 1981, the Provincial Council of Segovia decided to exercise the initiative so that Segovia could be constituted as a uniprovincial autonomous community, but in the municipalities of the province the situation was equal between the supporters of the uniprovincial autonomy and the supporters of the union.

The City Council of Cuéllar initially adhered to this autonomic initiative in agreement adopted by the corporation on October 5, 1981. However, another agreement adopted by the same corporation dated December 3 of the same year revoked the previous one and the process was paralyzed pending the processing of an appeal filed by the provincial council against this last agreement; this change of opinion of the city council of Cuéllar tipped the scales in the province towards the autonomy with the rest of Castile and León, but it was an agreement that arrived out of time. Finally the province of Segovia was incorporated into Castile and León along with the other eight provinces and legal coverage was given through the Organic Law 5/1983 for “reasons of national interest”, as provided for in article 144 c of the Spanish Constitution for those provinces that have not exercised their right on time.

Today, the Villalar Foundation is responsible for cultural activities on the art, culture or identity of Castile and León.

The community grants each year, on the Castile and León Day, the Castile and León Awards to the Castilian-Leonese persons outstanding in the following areas: arts, human values, scientific research, social sciences, restoration and conservation, environment and sports.

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