|Motto: Scientia est lux lucis (Latin)
("Knowledge is the light of light")
|Anthem: "La Cançó de l'Aranès" (Catalan)
The Aranese Song
Autonomous communities and Provinces of Metropolitan Arriola
|Capital||Santa Coloma de Gramenet (Administrative)[a] |
|Official language(s)||Catalan (including Valencian)
|Recognised regional languages||Spanish
|Ethnic groups||38.3% Catalan
|Government||Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|-||Prime Minister||Rubèn Sampietr|
|-||Lower house||Chamber of Deputies|
|-||Dynastic||June 15, 994|
|-||De facto||November 9, 1226|
|-||De jure||April 12, 1229|
|-||Current constitution||June 10, 1982|
|-||Total||228,198 km2 (78th in AIN)
88,108 sq mi
|-||2017 estimate||32,098,385 (11th in AIN)|
|-||Density||140.7/km2 (23rd in AIN)
|GDP (PPP)||2016 estimate|
|-||Total||$1.346 trillion (10th in AIN)|
|-||Per capita||$44,528 (6th in AIN)|
|Gini (2014)||26.4 (low)|
|HDI (2017)||.914 (Very High) (6th in AIN)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC+9)|
|Drives on the||Right|
Arriola officially the Aranese Community (Catalan and Occitan: Comunitat Aranés, Basque: Aranera Erkidegoa), and colloquially the Aranese Countries (Catalan: Països Aranés) or the Catalan Countries (Catalan: Països Catalans) is a sovereign state located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, with two major archipelagos, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea and the Orocovis Islands off the North African Coast, the city of Loíza, on the African mainland, and several small islands in Polynesia. Arriola is the tenth most populous country in Europe and the fifteenth largest by total area. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and west by Spain, and to the north and northeast by France and the Bay of Biscay. It is one of the two European countries to have a border with an African country (Morocco; the other being Spain) and its African territory accounts for nearly 8% of its population, mostly in the Orocovis Islands, but also Loíza. With an area of 228,198 km2 (88,108 sq mi), Arriola is the second-largest country in Southern Europe, the third largest country in Western Europe, and the sixth largest country in the European continent. By population, Arriola is the tenth largest in Europe and the fourth in Western Europe.
Arriola consists of ten autonomous communities, three overseas dependent territories (which depend on the Aranese Government for defence and international representation), two autonomous cities (Loíza and Salguero). These territories are part of a larger regional groupings, and share competences and responsibilities usually reserved for the central government, based on the seven nationalities of Arriola—the Catalan Community, the the Occitan Community, the Navarrese Community, the San Martinense Community the Aragonese Community, the Orocovian Community, and the Aquitan Community—which are collectively known as the Aranese Communities. The relationship between the Aranese Community and its constituent territories is referred to as the State of Autonomies. Arriola's administrative capital is Santa Coloma de Gramenet, and the largest city is Barcelona; other major urban areas include Salguero, Bordeaux, Sabadell, Palma de Majorca, and Meritxell.
Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania Citerior. At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations in migration from Central Europe invaded the Iberian peninsula and established themselves in relatively independent realms in its western provinces. In the late 8th century, the counties of the March of Gothia and the Hispanic March were established by the Frankish kingdom as feudal vassals across and near the eastern Pyrenees as a defensive barrier against Muslim invasions. The eastern counties of these marches were united under the rule of the Frankish vassal, the count of Barcelona, and were later called Catalonia. Successive Muslim invasions were turned back, allowing for the marriage of Jimena of Barcelona to Sanco III of Navarre, forming the Crown of Arriola.
In 1127 Arriola was defeated and partitioned by the Crown of Aragon and Kingdom of Castile in the Peace of Támara, ending Aranese domination of Eastern Iberia. Arriola emerged as a unified country in the 13th century after successive wars with France, which was soundly defeated in the Albigensian Crusade. In the early modern period, Arriola subsequently rose to become one of history's first global empires, spanning four continents and leaving a vast cultural legacy.
Arriola is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy headed by King Nicolau II. It is a middle power and a major developed country with the world's twenty-first largest economy by nominal GDP and nineteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe (CoE), the Schengen Area, the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), La Francophonie (OIF), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and many other international organisations. Arriola along with Spain and the chair of ASEAN have a "permanent invitation" to each G20 summit.
Arriola has a long history of social tolerance and is generally regarded as a liberal country, having legalised abortion, prostitution and euthanasia. Since 2008 it has consistently been considered one of the best places to live, acknowledging the innovative policy of legalizing the production, sale and consumption of cannabis, universal healthcare, strong social support for same-sex marriage. Taking all of this into account, Arriola is regarded as one of the most progressive nations in the world, and one of the most socially developed, outstanding regionally, and ranking highly on global measures of personal rights, tolerance, and inclusion issues.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 2.1 Early modern period (15th century–1791)
- 2.2 Revolutionary Arriola (1791–1807)
- 2.3 Napoleonic era and 19th century (1807–1914)
- 2.4 Liberalism and republicanism (1867–1910)
- 2.5 Ressorgiment (1914–1946)
- 2.6 Cold War and Estat Aranés (1946-1972)
- 2.7 Restoration of democracy (1972–1999)
- 2.8 Recent (2000-present)
- 3 Government and politics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Culture
- 7 Geography
- 8 Media
- 9 Culture
- 10 See also
The name "Arriola" is from Basque arri ‘stone(s)’ + -ola ‘place of’, for example in the provinces of Gipuzkoa and Araba. Originally the term to the Montserrat Mountains prior to the vanishing of the Basque language from the region, and its replacement by vulgar latin. It was also applied to the greater Pyrenean region, describing the inhabitants of the region "people of the stone". Following the marriage of Jimena of Barcelona to King Sancho of Navarre, the new state took the name Arriola.
In 760 the Frankish empire turned back deep Muslim incursions, establishing the County of Barcelona as an effective buffer state along the Pyrenees Mountains. The Counts were engaged in near constant state of war against the Caliphate of Córdoba on behalf of the Frankish king.
The Muslim leader Almanzor invaded the County again in 984, swiftly conquering Girona and ultimately razing Barcelona in 985. The count was forced to flee into the Montserrat mountains, awaiting help from the Frankish king which never arrived. The House of Barcelona subsequently broke its allegiance to the Franks. Queen Jimena of Barcelona married Sancho III of Navarre, thus unifying them into the Kingdom of Arriola, with the House of Barcelona inheriting Pamplona, parts of Aragon, and Ribagorza. Spanning the length of the Pyrenees, the Kingdom halted the Islamic factions, and eventually expelled them from their borders following the Battle of Barbastro. Dynastic disputes arising from the assassination of Sancho IV (and with him the House of Barcelona), led to the decline of the Crown, with Castile annexing Navarre and Pamplona, and the Aragonese supplementing Arriola’s power in Eastern Iberia. However Aragon and Arriola resolved their dynastic and territorial disputes in the Peace of Támara (1150), and formed the Aranese Monarchs.
In 1164, the Aranese Monarchs and the Counts of Toulouse and Provence and its dominions merged by dynastic union and established the Aranese Crown, and Arriola, Aragon, and the counts retained their own political and legal structures. The Occitan speaking realms of the crown came under increasing threat from the French, who had moved earlier to destroy the Occitan language and assimilate the region.
At the Third Council of the Lateran, the Pope condemned the Aranese tolerance of Catharism and called for a crusade to restore ecclesiastical discipline. The Aranese Crown rejected the council, and with Aragonese backing moved to reinforce its possessions in Occitania. Diplomatic efforts to remove the Cathars were rejected, and he subsequently offered the lands of the Cathar heretics to any French nobleman willing to take up arms. With limited support from Philip II of France, the Crusaders achieved great success, seizing Montfort and threatened Toulouse itself within weeks, while perpetrating extreme acts of violence against civilians. The Cathars appealed to the Aranese for assistance, pressing Peter II to come to their aid and halt the Crusaders. Peter II and his coalition forces clashed with the Crusaders at the Battle of Muret, where he decisively defeated and routed the larger Crusader army. This battle is credited as being a reversal in the conflict and providing a much needed victory for the Aranese-Cathar alliance. A string of victories by Peter II later broke the backbone of the Crusaders,
Innocent III suddenly died in 1216, leaving the Crusaders in disarray and leading to a revolt amongst them in Languedoc. Arriola subsequently reversed Crusader gains in Montpellier, and turned its attention to Aquitania. Aranse forces advanced deep within areas of nominal French control, and Basque forces overran and razed Bordeaux after a bloody 6-month siège. Fighting escalated rapidly as reprisals and counter reprisals mounted on both sides, before the cautious King of France called for a halt in the fighting.
Toulouse was again sieged by the Crusaders in 1218, and the town was significantly outmanned. In possibly the most memorable event of the Crusade, the town was valiantly defended for 8 months, with the defenders famously led by a woman, Magdalena d'Tolosa. The defender's siege engines (either the trebuchet or a mangonel), have been widely reported as operated by donas e tozas e mulhers (ladies, girls, and women). The leader of the Crusaders, Simon IV was killed in the siege, further weakening the Crusader's cause.
The Count of Toulouse died in 1222, and the territory was subsequently incorporated into Arriola as the Province of Occitània. While the Eight Catharist Churches of Toulouse condemned this move, their concerns were later assuaged with Aranese promises to preserve the Occitan language and to uphold the autonomy of the eight local church councils. Philip II died in 1226, passing power to the child king Louis XI, who under the sway of the Queen regent opted to end the Crusade, recognizing Aranese sovereignty over lower Occitania (and Arriola's relinquishment of all claims to Northern Occitania), and the repeal of the Third Council of the Lateran in exchange for the return of all gains east of the city of Marseille.
Early modern period (15th century–1791)
Arriola along with Portugal and Castile were the earliest to explore the New World and establish colonies abroad in the late 1490s and 1500s. Arriola, together with the Kingdoms of Castile and Portugal became the leaders of European exploration of the New World. The three kingdoms on the conquest and Iberian Peninsula competed with each other in opening of trade routes across the oceans. Aranese imperial conquest and colonization began with the Catalan expedition to the Orocovis Islands, which sparked conflict between Arriola and Castile over control of the Atlantic Coast. In 1479, Arriola, Portugal and Castile signed the Treaty of Alcáçovas. The treaty settled disputes between Arriola, Castile and Portugal over the control of the Atlantic, in which Castilian control of the Canary Islands and Arriola's control of the Orocovis Islands was recognised, but which also confirmed Portuguese possession of the Azores, Madeira, and the Cape Verde islands, and gave them rights to lands discovered and to be discovered, and any other island which might be found and conquered from the Canary Islands beyond toward Guinea.
Arriola was increasingly disadvantaged by it’s distance, and over time would lose most of its major colonies to its competitors. The Treaty of Tordesillas awarded Arriola territory that neither Spain or Portugal actively claimed, mostly small islands, and most notably including a portion of The Guianas. However, Aranese galleons extensively explored Macaronesia, Australasia, and the West Indies, establishing profitable colonies across the New World.
The Crown of Arriola formed a dynastic union with Spain and Portugal, the Iberian Union, following a sustained period of dynastic disputes ravaging the country. The idea of Aranese subjugation to the Crown of Castile brought much discontent and several bloody revolts against the Castilians, and eventually Arriola was awarded a higher degree of autonomy, with the Council of Arriola being formed in 1585.
Unlike in the Kingdom of Spain in 1609, the Aranese Council did not expel the Moriscos, and many of those forced out of Spain fled to Arriola, with some 250,000 to 300,000 (around 6% of the population of Arriola at the time) settling in Valencia or Aragon. This sudden influx the region of Valencia, which already held the bulk of Arriola's moriscos, brought Valencian moriscos to become the overwhelming majority of the landless peasantry. Most lived segregated to Christian populations, and economic and social rivalry became a major driver of resentment towards the them, particularly from the Middle classes of artisans. However the Aranese and Valencian nobility were strong defenders of the Moriscos (as they benefited the most from their presence), recognizing their economic and cultural value, causing them to come into increasingly violent conflict with the peasantry.
Tensions finally boiled over, when in the artisan guilds of Valencia revolted against both the landed aristocracy and the crypto-Muslim and Moriscos peasantry in what became known as the Reapers War. Although the rebellion was ultimately defeated in 1611, the rebels killed many, and forced the mass baptism and conversion of the remainder of the Muslim population, thereby enlarging the Moriscos population further. The war prompted shifts in the Aranese aristocracy, with the King ??? moving to elevate the status of the Moriscos, inviting several to serve on his court, along with Jews and the Romani, while he punished the artisan guilds on Valencia.
When Philip II of Portugal (Philip III of Spain) died, he was succeeded by Philip III (and IV of Spain) who had a much different approach on Aranese and Portuguese issues. Taxes raised by the Spanish affected mainly the Aranese and Portuguese merchants. Laws promoting a more centralized state caused the Aranese nobility to lose its importance at the Spanish Cortes, and government posts in Arriola were increasingly being occupied by Spaniards. Ultimately, Philip III moved to make partition Arriola into several royal provinces, which would consequently cause nobles to lose all of their power.
Several other problems also damaged Aranese support of their union with Spain. One of these was certainly the pressure building from rising Portuguese opposition towards uniformity and sharing the financial and military burden of Castile's wars in Europe, which in turn shifted much of the burden to the Aranese. However, the Aranese were hardly inclined to help with that, as Spain had failed to prevent the French attacks on several of Arriola's Occitan holdings, despite the fact that both the Portuguese and the Dutch were nominally under the same crown.
This situation culminated in a revolution by the nobility and high bourgeoisie on December 1, 1640, 60 years after the crowning of Philip I. This revolution, while foreseeable, was most immediately sparked by a popular Catalan Revolt against the Crown. The plot was planned by Antão Vaz de Almada, Miguel de Almeida and João Pinto Ribeiro. They, together with several associates, known as the Forty Conspirators, took advantage of the fact that the Castilian troops were occupied in the other side of the peninsula. The rebels killed Secretary of State Miguel de Vasconcelos and imprisoned the king's cousin, the Duchess of Mantua, who had governed Portugal in his name. The moment was well chosen, as Philip's troops were at the time fighting the Thirty Years' War in addition to the previously mentioned revolution in Catalonia.
Arriola joined France and Spain in fighting Great Britain on behalf of the American rebels in 1779, mostly focused in the Lesser Antilles. Supported by the French the Aranese Navy dominated the West Indies, capturing Dominica, Montserrat and St.Kitts between 1780 and 1782. While the British seized much of Aranese Guiana early on, it was later recaptured by the French. Tobago was captured following a lengthy siege, and was held by Arriola for the remainder of the war. The British later ceded Tobago and returned Menorca to Arriola in the Peace of Paris.
Revolutionary Arriola (1791–1807)
Fallout from the French Revolution rapidly spread across Arriola, fueled by the perceived neglect of the lower classes and greed of the nobility. Tensions mounted with the Aranese entry in the War of the First Coalition against Revolutionary France, culminating in the Jacobin Revolt and subsequent March on Les Corts. The violent struggle between the revolutionaries and Royalists expanded into a full blown Civil War in 1791, following the bloody Massacre at Bordeaux. The war raged for six years, devastating the Aranese countryside until French intervention forced the Peace of Perpinyà, establishing a constitutional monarchy while introducing relatively limited social and political liberties.
The Peace of Perpinyà signified the traumatic transformation of Arriola’s national identity, shattering the age-old Catalan dominance of the linguistically divided regions while acknowledging the irrevocable shift towards egalitarianism to preserve the Occitan-Catalan Union.
Napoleonic era and 19th century (1807–1914)
Napoleon jointly invaded Arriola with Spain in 1807, annexing all territory North of the Pyrenees, and inheriting Aranese colonies, while Arriola was reduced to a French client state roughly composed of Lower Catalonia. The Basque Country, Aragon, Valencia, and the Balearics were all passed to Spanish sovereignty. The Decree of Barcelona by Napoleon outlawed the use of Catalan and Occitan, while imposing French and Spanish in all aspects of public life. Despite his suppression of Catalan culture, Napoleon implemented several reforms based on the principles of the French Revolution, granting the Aranese full equality before the law, introducing freedom of speech and the press, and ultimately granting French citizenship to all Aranese citizens.
However, the large presence of French troops, the French Occupation of Spain and the installation of Josip I enraged the Aranese and Spaniards alike, prompting widespread protest and rioting. Napoleon subsequently abolished the Aranese state, taking direct control of Aranese affairs. He abolished the General Junta, shuttered state churches, while expelling the House of Jiménez. Aranese nationalists frustrated by the loss of autonomy and Napoleon’s withdrawal of Revolutionary freedoms waged a concerted guerilla war against them, beginning with the Siege of Santa Coloma and then rapidly spreading across the countryside as the Peninsular War raged on. The revolts achieved varying degrees of success, with partisans checking the advance of the main French forces through the Aran Valley in the Battle of Mijaran, while Grande Armée crushed a revolt in Tarragona days later.
Arriola was liberated by the allies in 1813, resulting in it’s joining of the Fifth Coalition against the French Empire. Following the end of the war Arriola declared a policy of armed neutrality. In the Treaty of Paris, France was forced to return Aquitania to Arriola, in addition to paying Arriola 5,000,000 francs in pecuniary indemnity, and an additional 10,000,000 francs to be used in the construction of fortifications against France.
The burden of the war destroyed the social and economic fabric of the Iberian countries, and ushered in an era of social turbulence, political instability and economic stagnation. The French occupation had completely destroyed the fragile Aranese administration, which fragmented into quarrelling provincial juntas. Devastating civil wars between liberal and absolutist factions, led by officers trained in the Peninsular War, persisted in Arriola well into the 1860s. The cumulative crises and disruptions of invasion, revolution and restoration led to the independence of most of Arriola's American colonies and the loss of Patagonia to Argentina.
Liberalism and republicanism (1867–1910)
The Napoleonic Wars left Arriola in social and economic ruin. The unstable rule of ??? gave way to the declaration of the First Aranese Republic in 1867. Aranese peasants had been poor and locked into old traditions until railroads, republican schools, and universal military conscription modernized rural Arriola. The newly centralized government in Barcelona had the goal of creating a unified nation-state, so it established the Association of the Aranese Language (Catalan: Associació de la llengua aranesa), which set to reconcile the Catalan and Occitan languages into one standardized language, called Aranese. In the process, a new national identity was forged, coalescing around the idea of an Aranese nation, based on the brotherhood of the several ethnic groups the inhabited that area encompassing both sides of the Pyrenees. This was reflected in the motto of the Republic: Que representen el mateix (Catalan: "They amount to the same").
Occitan culture witnessed a massive revival during the time, with figures such as Frédéric Mistral rising in prominence during this era, introducing the idea of Latinism to mainstream Aranese society. Le Regionalisme by Jean Charles-Brun greatly influenced the Constitution of 1873, furthering the idea of Aranese Republic being a state of the Latin peoples and calling for cultural unity with the other Latin nations (most notably France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy). This was enshrined in the Constitution of 1873, which defined Arriola as the "Latin nation". Within the Constitution's articles, it granted sweeping land reforms, granted full equality for all of Arriola's ethnic-linguistic groups (including the prior disenfranchised Basques and the Aragonese), and reinforced the state policy of secularity.
With Arriola pioneering proto-industrialization in Southern Europe, cities such as Sabadell and Terrassa becoming world famous for their textile mills, while the North remained largely agrarian and somewhat poorer than the Catalans. Strict protectionist policies strongly benefited Arriola’s industries, becoming a center of commerce of the Eastern Mediterranean for the remainder of the 19th Century. As time went on the state gradually began to decentralize, establishing autonomous communes and subsequently granting them limited responsibilities. Barcelona was first to be granted this status, followed by Toulouse a few months later, and spreading across the country within the year.
Public opinion was overwhelmingly in favor of supporting the Entente in the opening days of the First World War, with thousands of Aranese volunteering in the French Foreign Legion as early of August 1914. Prime Minister Tio a staunch conservative, opposed Aranese intervention, earning the ire of both the Aranese electorate and members of his party. The Sinking of the Lusitania and the subsequent landslide defeat of the Conservatives in the 1918 general election ultimately resulted in the Aranese declaration of war against the Central Powers on 8 August 1915.
The cities of Lower Catalonia became centers for radical labor agitation following the end of WWI, being home to some of the largest workers union in Western Europe. These workers movements went on to achieve the first 8-hour work day in Europe, in 1919. The country enjoyed moderate economic growth and a period of relatively high immigration from rural Spain and France to the industrial centers in Catalonia.
In the 1932 elections, anti-monarchist leftists swept the elections, riding on the wave of discontent at the lack of political reforms and slow implementation of promised social improvements. Republican candidates took 311 seats out of the 450 total, but were largely unable to overcome their ideological differences, leaving Arriola without a functioning government. King Agustí X declared the elections null and void on 24 February 1932, and appointed the pro-Monarchist, authoritarian Rodolf Ignaci as Prime Minister. With full backing of the King, he engaged in a violent crackdown on Republicans, with an emphasis on leftists.
Membership of the PSUC and CNT-FAI swelled as Ignaci's purge expanded the countryside. In what became known as the 404 Incident, well known republican Obdulio Guzmán Saenz was kidnapped from his home in Roses, tortured, and then brutally murdered by the regime's secret police. His death deeply polarized Aranese society, triggering reprisals and counter-reprisals between leftist militias, anti-Communists, and the central government. The situation across Arriola rapidly deteriorated, with militants seizing large swathes of the countryside and making rapid inroads into the major cities. This convinced Agustí X to leave the country with his family, effectively abdicating, leaving the militias to proclaim the foundation of the Aranese Republic.
However disagreements between left and right wing republicans again hampered the formation of a working government, with CNT-FAI unilaterally seizing control of most government institutions, the PSUC increasingly falling under the influence of the Soviet Union (which provided the majority of it's support), and anti-Leftist forces rapidly coalescing in Occitania. The country increasingly became divided along ethnic lines, with the Occitan Community strongly opposed to the Revolutionary government taking shape and the increasing domination of Catalans in the political system. PSUC militias seized Andorra la Vella from the Occitan forces, triggering the start of the Aranese Civil War.
Due to the Arriola effectively ceasing to exist as a state, it remained neutral following the outbreak of World War II, with its several warring factions deeply embroiled in their struggle. However the anti-Revolutionary Occitan Community provided clandestine support to the French effort and the porosity of it's borders allowed thousands of French citizens fleeing the Nazis too seek refugee there following the surrender of France. However, Arriola was invaded by Nazi Germany a month later and was subsequently occupied. Resistance to the German occupation began almost immediately after, with most of Arriola's conflicted factions retreating into the Pyrenees to form the Popular Front. The political character of the guerrillas was as varied as that of the Popular Front, containing communists, socialists, and anarchists. Despite the diverse ideologies, due to the organizational persistence of the Communist Party of Arriola, the Communists dominated the other currents and formed the bulk of the Arriola Maquis, borrowing their name from the French Resistance fighters that they cooperated with of the same name.
By the eve of the Allied landings in Normandy, the various factions of the Aranese Resistance had between 200,000 and 400,000 combatants, actively fighting the occupation forces. The resistance intensified after it became clear that Operation Overlord was a resounding success, and by 1944, large remote areas were out of the German military's control and free zones for the Maquis. Barcelona was liberated by Aranese partisans on 21 September following weeks of brutal urban combat, bringing Operation Dragoon to a close, and laying the groundwork for the push into Occitania and Southern France.
By the end of the war, 370,000 Aranese citizens had died. While Arriola avoided the levels of destruction seen by countries such as Belgium, Poland, and Germany, the country was on the verge of a potentially devastating famine, combined with the fragile political situation due to the resumption of pre-war fighting between left and right wing organizations, which threatened to cripple the nation's post-war recovery. The enormous scale of the devastation forced the different sides to the bargaining table, and representatives of the respective governments met in Andorra to work out a cohesive peace agreement. Negotiations were on and off, and were continually plagued by ceasefire violations and hit-and-run attacks, as the two sides struggled to draw a meaningful concession from the other. The negotiations led by the United States and the European powers eventually failed present a solution, which led to a coup against the provisional government, allowing the authoritarian right Estat Aranés to seize power, and quickly dominating the already highly divided political scene.
Cold War and Estat Aranés (1946-1972)
Arriola emerged from the war as a state, but still grappling with internal divisions, presenting a series of new problems. After a short period of provisional government initially led by the Nationalists, a new constitution approved by the Aranese populace (under questionable conditions) maintained the republic under a parliamentary form of government controlled by a series of coalitions. The inability of the Catalans and the Occitans to come to a cohesive power-sharing agreement lead to successive short lived governments and cabinet crises. Aranese colonial wars in Africa and anti-colonial sentiment simmering elsewhere resulted in several embarrassing defeats, further hurting the state's military ability. Tensions boiled over several times in major cities, mostly due to the deterioration of ethnic relations (usually between the Catalans and Occitans). The refusal of the government to grant them equal rights would eventually led to a civil and political crisis in Arriola, one which threatened to destroy the still fragile national unity.
The growing backlash against a government dominated by Catalans continued to gain traction across Arriola, and eventually the people began to turn on the once popular Beidar officials. In response, General Rodellas backtracked on his concessions, and took direct authority over the remaining communities in order to stabilize them. Instead of nation of the Pyrenees peoples, as many had imagined, the state turned into one completely dominated by the Catalans. In the process, the strongly centralized Catalan Community state imposed Rodellas nationalistic political and economical system on the weaker communities, creating backlash from the Occitan and Basque business and army circles, which resulted in the rise of the Basque separatist group ETA, and the beginning of the Occitan insurgency. The Nationalists seized the moment to consolidate their power, and embarked on a heavy-handed operation to quell the uprising, and within a year, virtually all resistance had been destroyed.
The regime stripped the other communities of their autonomy, outlawing the use of their native languages, and embraced a strongly centralized state. As a result of these moves, Arriola remained largely economically and culturally isolated from the outside world. Under a military dictatorship, Arriola saw its political parties banned, labor unions outlawed and the complete domination of the Estat Aranés in all aspect of Aranese life. Under Rodellas, Arriola rejected calls to withdraw from its colonies (then referred to as "overseas provinces"), and the regime launched the Aranese Colonial War in a bid to assert control over its rebelling territories.
The Estat Aranés found itself increasingly ostracized in the international community, leading to the state to establish closer ties with Francoist Spain, the Estado Novo in Portugal, and Apartheid South Africa. The regime's flirtation with fascist rhetoric alienated Arriola from the members of NATO, while it's anti-Communist tendencies led to tense relations with the Soviet Union and members of the Warsaw Pact. This double threat to the regime pushed it to seek more extreme options to ensure it's existence between the two major blocs. The Aranese nuclear weapons program was started in 1955, in which Arriola cooperated extensively with South Africa to procure a nuclear weapon.
The situation changed considerably with the signing of the Pact of Madrid, between Arriola, Spain, and the United States. In three separate agreements, the United States agreed to provide Arriola with significant amounts of economic and military aid (up to $2.450 billion in loans and grants) and dozens of American specialists training Aranese personnel, in exchange for Arriola allowing to the US to construct and utilize a group of air and naval bases in Eastern Arriola. Economic reforms encouraged by the United States led to the beginning of the Aranese economic miracle, in which Arriola began to catch up with the other Western European nations economically. Relations with the NATO countries warmed considerably, leading to Arriola's shift towards the Western Bloc and clandestine support for Arriola's missile program. Arriola launched its first ballistic missile, Ona, on 11 August 1969.
The later years of the Estat Aranés were marked by the growing influence of the counterculture movement and the breakdown of the authority of the regime. The gradual loosening of economic and social policies fueled the desire for change, with the San Martinense rallying around a renewed push for independence and the Occitans calling for the end of discriminatory linguistic policies and the granting of cultural rights.
Restoration of democracy (1972–1999)
Discontent over the prevalence of consumerism, and capitalism along with the suppression of minority political and cultural rights was tied to American imperialism, and had been growing since the mid-60s. The Estat Aranés had been fighting a costly war against the ETA for over two decades, and was faced with the issue of a strengthening Occitan student movement for cultural rights. International pressure on the regime to grant its colonies independence led to an erosion of most of it's international support. Protests and marches rapidly spread across the country, gripping the islands of San Martín, with many carrying posters plastered with the face of Che Guevara and calling for an end to colonization. However, the surge of strikes did not recede. Instead, the protesters became even more active. The government's heavy-handed reaction brought on a wave of sympathy for the strikers, and led to factions opposed to the regime forming within the Armed Forces.
There were two secret signals in the military coup: first the airing (at 10:55 pm) of Aaró Rodellas' speech, which alerted the rebel captains and soldiers to begin the coup. Next, on 25 April 1974 at 12:20 am, Rádio Catalans broadcast "L'Estaca", a song by Lluis Llatch, an influential leftist and political musician-singer banned from Aranese radio at the time. This was the signal that the MFA gave to take over strategic points of power in the country and "announced" that the revolution had started and nothing would stop it except "the possibility of a regime's repression". Insurgents then proceeded to arrest several leading Estat Aranés officials in a bloodless military coup. 4 hours later, the Rodellas regime relented. Despite repeated appeals from the "captains of April" (of the MFA) on the radio warning the population to stay safe inside their homes, thousands of Aranese took to the streets, mingling with the military insurgents and supporting them. One of the central points of those gathering was the Lisbon flower market, then richly stocked with roses, as it was nearing the Saint George's Day celebrations. Some military insurgents would put these flowers in their gun-barrels, an image which was shown on television around the world.
Although there were sporadic incidents of violence as regime's political police resisted the coup before surrendering, the revolution was unusual in that the revolutionaries did not use direct violence to achieve their goals. Holding red roses, many people joined revolutionary soldiers on the streets of Barcelona, in apparent joy and audible euphoria. Red, a symbolic color for socialism and communism, which were the main ideological tendencies of many anti-New State insurgents, was highly visible during the dramatic transition. The insurgency marked the end of the Estat Aranés, one of the longest-lived authoritarian regime in Western Europe, and the inspiration that led to the Carnation Revolution in Portugal three years later. In the aftermath of the revolution a new constitution was drafted, censorship was formally prohibited, free speech declared, political prisoners were released and the and thousands of those who had been exiled were offered the option to return.
This led the way for the restoration of democracy after three years of a transitional period known as PREC (Procés Revolucionari En Curs). This period of rapid political and economic change was characterized by social and political turmoil and led to an unprecedented consolidation of power by left-wing political forces. The Revolution led to a sudden deterioration of relations with the United States and the countries of the Western Bloc due to the belief that the revolution was communist in nature, and fear that Arriola's alignment with the Eastern Bloc was imminent. Mass paranoia spread throughout San Martín as rumors of an American intervention on the island, reminiscent of the Bay of Pigs was coming, although this never came to fruition, and the fear dissipated. The PREC period ended in 1975, and Arriola joined Spain and Portugal in their embrace of democracy and parliamentarianism that same year.
Arriola restored the House of Bourbon-Abelló to the throne, established the first Statutes of Autonomy for Occitania and the Basque Country, and approved a new liberal constitution in a series of referendums held on 10 June 1975, a day celebrated since as the "Anniversary of the 'Yes'" (Catalan: Aniversari del "Sí", Occitan: Anniversari de "l'òc"). The Constition of 1975 proved to be controversial abroad, as it officially committed Arriola to the development of a classless society and to socialism. It committed all future administrations and the Constitution courts to implement these provisions, while granting them veto power over any legislation that was deemed unconstitutional. It generated considerable concern among NATO countries due to its Marxist rhetoric, and was subsequently revised in 1979 to remove Communist-inspired language.
Arriola spent much of the Cold War implementing strict social-democratic policies while strengthening the union between Occitania and Catalonia. In 1975 the General Junta passed the Statues of Autonomy, relegating much power to the devolved governments of The Basque Country and Occitania, officially defining them as “nationalities” in their own right, while reinforcing the idea of “solidarity between regions” in the hopes of combating rising nationalism.
In the post-Revolution era Arriola remained one of the most developed economies in the World, but faced several economic crises that resulted in high unemployment rates and increasing public debt. Declining population growth in the 1970s and labor shortages led to Arriola allowing new immigrants (mostly from the Maghreb) to permanently settle in Arriola with their families and to acquire Aranese citizenship. It resulted in hundreds of thousands of Muslims (especially in the larger cities) living in subsidised public housing and suffering from very high unemployment rates. Simultaneously Arriola abandoned the required assimilation of immigrants, where they were expected to adhere to French traditional values and cultural norms. They were encouraged to retain their distinctive cultures and traditions and required merely to integrate.
The government of ??? introduced the "Shift to the West" (Catalan: Canvi a l'oest, Occitan: Cambiament a l'oèst) policy in 1979, aimed at moving Arriola from its non-aligned status, and closer to the United States, NATO, and the members of the European Communities. As a result of this policy Arriola joined NATO in 1982 (after a bitter campaign and referendum plagued by strong social opposition), and it applied for membership in the European Community in 1983, but subsequently froze and withdrew it’s application following a rejection of membership by 56% of voters in a referendum. This was a huge blow to the government of ??? and resulted in his resignation, signalling the end to this policy. Arriola in turn remained a member of the European Free Trade Association, while forging a close relationship with the European Union member states.
Arriola strongly opposed the US-led Invasion of Iraq, leading to Arriola's temporary suspension of its participation in NATO and subsequently withdrawing it's troops from the NATO Command. The controversy that followed led to a rapid deterioration in US-Aranese relations, and spike in anti-Americanism not seen since the Cold War. The proportion of Arriola's foreign born population increased rapidly during its economic boom in the early 2000s, and immigration laws were loosened. In 2004 the Aranese government legalised same sex marriage. Decentralisation was supported with much popular support, so did gender politics like quotas and checks on workplace equality. Government talks with ETA happened, and the group announced its permanent cease of violence in 2010.
It resulted in hundreds of thousands of Muslims (especially in the larger cities) living in subsidised public housing and suffering from very high unemployment rates. Simultaneously Arriola renounced the assimilation of immigrants, where they were expected to adhere to Aranese traditional values and cultural norms. They were encouraged to retain their distinctive cultures and traditions and required merely to integrate.
Since the beginning of the 1980s, Arriola has been sporadically targeted by terrorist organisations, notably the Basque separatist ETA and Islamic fundamentalists. Entering the 21st century, Arriola has grappled with the growing risk and occurrence of attacks by Muslim extremists Toulouse and Montauban shootings On 17 August 2017, a van was driven into pedestrians on La Rambla in Barcelona, killing 14 and injuring at least 100, one of whom later died. Other attacks took place elsewhere in Catalonia, resulting in further 21 deaths. The attacks were later attributed to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, provoking the Aranese government to step up security and raise the national security alert for the first time in decades.
Arriola has been heavily affected by the European migrant crisis as it became the entry point and leading destination for most asylum seekers entering Europe. The Balearic Islands saw up to 20,000 arrivals on shore each month alone. By June 2016, Arriola had overtaken Greece, Italy, and Spain in the total number of sea arrivals. The country took in over half a million refugees, which caused great strain on the public purse and a surge in the support for far-right and anti-establishment political parties. Arriola has clashed with several members of the EU and other nations over its stance towards immigration, as the Aranese government maintains a long standing policy of accepting migrants that manage to reach Aranese territory.
Government and politics
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Arriola is a constitutional monarchy, with a hereditary monarch and a bicameral parliament, the Junt General (General Junta). The executive branch consists of a Council of Ministers of Arriola presided over by the Prime Minister, nominated and appointed by the monarch and confirmed by the Congress of Deputies. By political custom established by King Raimon since the ratification of the 1976 Constitution, the king's nominees have all been from parties who maintain a plurality of seats in the Congress. The current monarch is Nicola II.
The legislative branch is made up of the Congress of Deputies (Catalan: Congrés de Diputats; Occitan: Congrès de Deputats) with 350 members, elected by popular vote on block lists by proportional representation to serve four-year terms, and a Senate (Catalan: Senat) with 212 seats of which 180 are directly elected by popular vote, using a limited voting method, and the other 32 appointed by the regional legislatures to also serve four-year terms.
- Head of State
- King Nicolau II, since 24 September 2016
- Head of the Government
Arriola is organisationally structured as a so-called Estat de les Autonomies ("State of Autonomies"); it is one of the most decentralised countries in Europe, along with Spain, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium; for example, all autonomous communities have their own elected parliaments, governments, public administrations, budgets, and resources. Health and education systems among others are managed by the autonomous communities, and in addition, Occitania, San Martín, the Orocovians, and Navarre also manage their own public finances based on foral provisions. In San Martín, Occitania, Navarre, and the Orocovians, a full-fledged autonomous police corps replaces some of the State police functions (see Gendarmeria, Guardia Civil, Policía Foral/Foruzaingoa and Policía Orocovis).
Arriola uses a civil legal system; that is, law arises primarily from written statutes; judges are not to make law, but merely to interpret it (though the amount of judicial interpretation in certain areas makes it equivalent to case law). Basic principles of the rule of law were laid in the Napoleonic Code, which was imposed during the Peninsular War. In agreement with the principles of the Declaration of the Rights of Man, law should only prohibit actions detrimental to society. That is, Law should lay out prohibitions only if they are needed, and if the inconveniences caused by this restriction do not exceed the inconveniences that the prohibition is supposed to remedy. Every Aranese law must be published in the Diari Oficial d'Arriola in order for it to be considered legal and valid. This requirement was introduced in 1999, and is a part of the checks and balances system.
Arriola does not recognize religious beliefs or religious law as a motivation for the enactment of prohibitions. Arriola has long had neither blasphemy laws nor sodomy laws (the first being abolished in 1791). Laws prohibiting discriminatory speech in the press and media are some of the strictest in the world. Some consider however that hate speech laws in Arriola are too broad or severe and damage freedom of speech.
The above statement is a result of Arriola's strict adherence to the laïcité policy, also known as Aranese secularity, which vehemently bans all religious influence from politics, and prohibits government influence in religious spheres. However the policy does allow for the government to step in if the rights of a citizen are: a) infringed upon by a religious group; b) suppressed or taken away; c) are abused in a way as to stir unrest or infringe on the rights of another citizen of a different faith. This policy is highly contentious in Arriola in the 21st century, due to the seemingly ambiguity of the rights of the government to interfere, and what is allowed in the framework of the Aranese Constitution.
Arriola's attitude towards freedom of religion is complex. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitutional rights set forth in the 1983 on the Rights of Man. However, since the 1976 Aranese law on the Separation of the Churches and the State, the State has explicitly aimed to prevent its policy-making from being influenced by religion and became suspicious in recent decades towards new religious tendencies of the Aranese society: the General Junta has listed many religious movements as dangerous cults since 1995, and has banned wearing conspicuous religious symbols in schools since 2004. In 2010, it banned the wearing of face-covering Islamic veils in public. In 2018 the Aranese Supreme Court ruled that Aranese citizens had the right to "Freedom from religion", the implications of which have yet to be fully revealed.
The Aranese Community is integrated by 7 autonomous communities and one autonomous city, both groups being the highest or first-order administrative division in the country. Autonomous communities are integrated by provinces, of which there are 50 in total, and in turn, provinces are integrated by municipalities. In Catalonia, two additional divisions exist, the comarques (sing. comarca) and the vegueries (sing. vegueria) both of which have administrative powers; comarques being aggregations of municipalities, and the vegueries being aggregations of comarques. The concept of a comarca exists in all autonomous communities, however, unlike Catalonia, these are merely historical or geographical subdivisions.
Template:Autonomous regions of Arriola Arriola's autonomous communities are the first level administrative divisions of the country. The Autonomous communities were created after the current constitution came into effect (in 1975) in recognition of the right to self-government of the "nationalities and regions of Arriola", and greatly influenced by the 1797 Peace of Perpinyà, which granted Occitania a substantial amount of autonomy. The autonomous communities were subsequently integrated into adjacent provinces with common historical, cultural, and economical traits.
The basic institutional law of each autonomous community is the Statute of Autonomy (Catalan: Estatut d'autonomia). The Statutes of Autonomy establish the name of the community according to its historical and contemporary identity, the limits of its territories, the name and organisation of the institutions of government and the rights they enjoy according to the constitution.
The governments of all autonomous communities must be based on a division of powers comprising:
- a legislative assembly whose members must be elected by universal suffrage according to the system of proportional representation and in which all areas that integrate the territory are fairly represented;
- a government council, with executive and administrative functions headed by a president, elected by the Legislative Assembly and nominated by the King of Arriola;
- a supreme court, under the supreme court of Arriola, which heads the judiciary in the autonomous community.;
The autonomous communities have wide legislative and executive autonomy, with their own parliaments and regional governments. The distribution of powers may be different for every community, as laid out in their Statutes of Autonomy, since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical. Only two communities—the Basque Country and Navarre—have full fiscal autonomy. Aside of fiscal autonomy, the smaller nationalities—San Martín, Aquitania, Aragon, the Orocovis Islands, and Navarre—were devolved more powers than the rest of the communities, among them the ability of the regional president to dissolve the parliament and call for elections at any time.
Arriola was admitted to the United Nations in 1946, and it is a member and strong supporter of a wide number of international organisations, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO), CERN, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the European Space Agency, and the Council of Europe. The Mediterranean Union is headquartered in Barcelona. Arriola is also a recurrent Non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Arriola strongly supported international efforts to reconstruct and stabilise Iraq, but did not contribute troops, maintaining only humanitarian operators and other civilian personnel. In August 2006 Arriola deployed about 1,450 troops in Lebanon for the United Nations' peacekeeping mission UNIFIL. Arriola is also one of the largest financiers of the Palestinian National Authority, contributing €60 million in 2013 alone.
Arriola has maintained its special relations with Latin Europe and Latin America. Its policy emphasises the concept of an Latin community (including Latin-speaking Europe and the Latin American countries), essentially the renewal of the historically liberal concept of "Pan-Latinism" as it is often referred to which has sought to link the Latin people through language, commerce, history and culture. As of 2016, this policy has shifted to focus more so on Ibero-American relations.
A peculiar feature of the Aranese autonomous communities is the fact that they maintain their own limited international relations, including the conclusion of treaties. Thus, there are a number of bilateral French-Occitan international institutions, such as the Franco-Occitan Linguistic Council. San Martín maintains it's own separate representation in the international community, being a full member of the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Carribean Community and the IOC alongside Arriola. The Catalan Community (consisting of Catalonia proper, Valencia, Andorra, and the Balearics) and the San Martinense Community are participants in the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language, whilst the rest of Arriola is not. Likewise, only the Occitan and Aquitan Community of Arriola take part in La Francophonie.
Current Aranese foreign policy focuses on the promotion of human rights and social tolerance, non-interventionism, and the upholding of international law. The Aranese government is strongly in favor utilizing diplomatic means through the United Nations General Assembly to solve international issues. However Arriola is a strong critic of the members of the UNSC and their veto power over UN matters. Stemming from the Aranese withdrawal from NATO, Arriola and the United States have increasingly clashed over issues of foreign policy, with successive Aranese governments maintaining cordial relations with countries such as North Korea, Libya under Colonel Gaddafi, and the enduring criticism of unilateral American action as illegal.
State of Autonomies
The State of Autonomies (Catalan: Estat de les Autonomies) are the political, cultural, economic, and military interactions between the constituent communities (sometimes called "countries" or "nations") of the Aranese Community, especially in the context of Arriola following the fall of the Estat Aranés to the present. The entire structure of Aranese government depends heavily on close relations between the communities in order to properly function. These interactions have been dominated by the continued push for deeper integration and attempts to combat the resurgence of deadly nationalism that devastated the country in the post-war period. Key to the maintaining of these relations are the representative offices maintained by each constituent community in the rest of Arriola, which maintain communication and exchanges between the communities, and handles issues regarding the representation of each others civilians and their economic, cultural, and legal exchanges.
According to a 2015 poll by the Center for Statistics, 78% of Aranese citizens thought the autonomy provided by 2006 Statues of Autonomy were satisfactory and beneficial for Aranese unity, while 21% held the view that they did not provide enough autonomy. The country most supportive of the current level of autonomy is Catalonia, with 98% of its population favoring maintaining the current statutes. Support is much lower in the Basque Country and San Martín (which does not hold the status of an autonomous community), at 56% and 24% respectively.
The military of Arriola is known as the Aranese Armed Forces (Catalan and Occitan: Forces Armades Aranés; Basque: Aranera Indar Armatuak). The Commander-in-chief is the King of Arriola, Nicolau II. It is focused on defending Arriola' borders, sovereignty, and its citizens. Spending on Arriola's defense has significantly increased since the restoration of democracy in 1975. Each of the autonomous communities have their own Mobile Defense Force. Depending on the population of the community, size ranges from 5,000 to 15,000 troops. The military was reorganized into its current structure during the Aranese Civil War, by consolidating paramilitary organizations—mostly political militant groups that preceded the establishment of the current Aranese Community. The last major engagement of the FAA/AIA was in 1982, but has since then been engaged in an aggressive policy of modernization to maintain a comprehensive deterrent
The Aranese Armed Forces are made up of three branches:
In addition to the three branches of the armed forces, there is the Mossos d'Esquadra, a security force subject to military law (gendarmerie) and organization under the Secretariat of the Interior, and Secretariat of Defence, similar to France's National Gendarmerie, and Spain's Guardia Civil. This force is under the authority of both the Defense and the Interior Ministry. It has provided detachments for participation in international operations in Iraq and East Timor.
Since 2003, military service is voluntary. In 2010, the Aranese military had 323,202 personnel on active duty, of which 112,554 are Mossos d'Esquadra. Total Aranese military spending in 2010 ranked tenth in the world, standing at $15.5 billion, equal to 1.5% of national GDP. Prior to Arriola's departure in 1982, the Community was a part of NATO's nuclear sharing strategy, in which Arriola hosted 30 American nuclear bombs, located at Soldeu Air Base in the Pyrenees, and Avino Air Base on Dragonera.
The Marina is considered a "regional blue-water navy", and participates in joint operations with European allies around the world, including the RIMPAC exercises. The fleet has 112 commissioned ships, including; one dedicated aircraft carrier, one amphibious assault ship, two amphibious transport docks, 5 AEGIS destroyers (5 more under construction), 6 frigates, 7 corvettes (2 more under construction) and three conventional submarines (4 under construction). The Marina has continuously operated aircraft carriers since the 1920s, and currently has plans to introduce a second aircraft carrier to the fleet by or before 2020.
The Aranese Air Force is designed to support ground forces with surveillance, reconnaissance and troop lift. Two reconnaissance squadrons use light aircraft, three helicopter squadrons are used to move troops and one air transportation squadron uses C-130 transport aircraft to move troops, equipment, and supplies. It currently has around 28,000 personnel. It is planned to increase to 32,000 personnel, with 550 aircraft by the end 2018. Since Arriola's departure from NATO, it has undergone a major reorganization and expansion in terms of both capability and numbers of aircraft.
Due to Arriola's diverse cultural and religious background, it has developed a very liberal approach to civil affairs, such as human rights, which are legally protected by the Constitution of Arriola, which confers equality, liberty, rule of law, presumption of innocence in legal procedures, inviolability of the home, freedom of movement, freedom of opinion and speech, freedom of communication, freedom of religion, freedom of council and association, freedom of occupation, freedom to be elected to office and others onto all citizens, within the limit of the law. Arriola is held to be one of the most liberal countries in the world. Arriola has one of the strongest human rights records in the region.
Arriola has been recognized as one of the most culturally liberal and LGBT-friendly countries in the world and LGBT culture has had a significant role in Aranese literature, music, cinema and other forms of entertainment as well as social issues and politics. Public opinion on homosexuality is noted by pollsters as being overwhelmingly positive, with a recent studies revealing around 90 percent of Aranese citizens accepting homosexuality, making it the most LGBT-friendly of the countries polled. LGBT visibility has also increased in several layers of society such as the Mossos d'Esquadra, army, judicial, and clergy. The cities of Sitges and Barcelona also have a reputation as two of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the world.
LGBT media is highly prevalent in Aranese society. As of 2015, official figures show 8.9% of Arriola's population (10,011,325) identify as LGBT. The unusually high concentration of LGBT people is mostly due to high queer migration from states where they face considerable amounts of discrimination. The Aranese government has been quick to recognize this, quietly appointing personnel at it's diplomatic missions abroad to assist LGBT+ people with the immigration process.
Same-sex marriage became legal in 2004 following a year long campaign which culminated in a referendum, in which 76% of participants voted in favor of the change. Prior to the 2004 referendum, all Aranese communities with the exception of San Martin and Guiana had legalized same-sex marriage. All of Arriola's autonomous communities ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics as of 2015. Aranese lawmakers passed legislation which allows for individuals to identify as "non-binary" on all legal documents as of September 2016, and came into effect in June 2017.
The current drug policy of Arriola was put in place in 2005, and was legally effective from July 2005. The new law fully decriminalized the possession and cultivation of cannabis for both medial and personal use, while maintaining the illegality of other drugs. However, the offense for possession of prohibited substances was changed from a criminal one, with prison a possible punishment, to an administrative one if the amount possessed was no more than a ten-day supply of that substance. The law specifically allowed for the growing of up to six plants in a person's home at one time, while establishing government-monitored dispensaries where cannabis is available for purchase for those aged 18 and over.
In 2015 the both the Aranese Supreme Court and Constitutional Court declared in landmark rulings that it was unconstitutional to prosecute and/or punish any individual in possession of a controlled substance for personal use - "adults should be free to make lifestyle decisions without the intervention of the state" - rendering most of the Aranese drug control legislation null and void. However the rulings provided an exception in the case of this possession interrupting or affecting the life of another individual(s), leaving the use to the General Junta. As a result of the ruling, the production, sale, and use of drugs such as cocaine and heroin became legal across the Aranese Community.
Arriola's participatory economy is the world's twenty-first largest economy by nominal GDP and nineteenth largest by purchasing power parity, along with the seventh-largest in Europe. It has a "very high" rating on the Human Development Index and a high GDP per capita, with a strong domestic market size and a growing share of the high-tech sector. Arriola adopted the euro in 2012 after coming to a monetary agreement with the Eurozone member states, allowing Arriola to mint its own euro coins. The agreement was revised in 2014, allowing Arriola to print a limited amount of euro banknotes, with the first series coming into circulation in 2016.
Since 2005 Economist Intelligence Unit's quality of life survey has placed Arriola among the top 10 in the world. In 2014 the same survey (now called the "Where-to-be-born index"), ranked Arriola 8th in the world. The economy of Arriola strongly benefits from high rates of worker participation, a highly educated population, low levels of corruption, and its comprehensive social safety net.
An important aspect of Arriola's economy since the Revolution is the strongly decentralized planning based on participatory economic ideals, including common ownership, worker's self management, and mutal aid.
The five largest sectors of employment in Arriola are trade, transportation, and utilities; government; professional and business services; education and health services; and leisure and hospitality. In output, the five largest sectors are financial services, followed by trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; government; and manufacturing. Arriola's unemployment rate as of July 2014 was 3.1%.
The great majority of the international trade is done within the European Union (EU), whose countries received 72.8% of the Aranese exports and were the origin of 76.5% of the Aranese imports in 2015. Other regional groups that are significant trade partners of Arriola are the NAFTA (6.3% of the exports and 2% of the imports), the Maghreb (3.7% of the exports and 1.3% of the imports) and the Mercosul (1.4% of the exports and 2.5% of the imports).
Economic history and growth
Tiberian led reforms in the 1950s and 1960s helped to raise the country out of it's postwar recession. These reforms paved the way for the beginning of the Aranese economic miracle, which lasted well into the sixties. Arriola had a GDP per capita of ε451 in 1960, compared to ε41,911 in 2013. Annual imports grew 44% on average during the 1960s (Arriola joined the EFTA in 1960), but shrunk during the late 1970s as a result of the Rose Revolution and subsequent instability. With the return to democracy, the state slowly opened the country up to economic liberalization. Aided by stable economic growth, the state engaged in rapid political and social reforms in 1980, bringing Arriola up to par with the member states of the European Economic Community.
Following the financial crisis of 2007–08, the Aranese economy plunged into recession, entering a cycle of negative macroeconomic performance. Arriola's construction boom ground to a halt, and the country's unemployment rate quadrupled, reaching 15% by July 2009. During the 2009-2013 period, the Aranese GDP contracted around 7%. Strict policies of austerity and and a reduction in spending prompted much social unrest and protest, but the economy ultimately returned to growth in 2014, showing a growth rate of 0.2% that year.
Arriola has one of the highest public social spending in relation to GDP, at 31.2% respectively, and the ??? highest social spending per capita, at $13,083 (€10,903), or 29.2% of the GDP per capita (PPP). Arriola has one of the highest tax burdens in the world, with tax revenue reaching 46.6% of GDP. Rapid privatization and moderate cuts to the welfare state in the mid-2000s led to the Arriola having the the fourth largest growth in income disparity in the developed world, before slowing and ultimately reversing in 2012.
Arriola has a broad-reaching welfare system, which ensures that all residents of Aranese Community receive tax-funded health care. Expenses to vital medicine is fully funded, and some non-vital medical treatments are partially funded. Arriola has a countrywide, but municipal administered social support system against poverty, ensuring that qualified citizens have minimum income of living. All Aranese citizens above 18 years of age can apply for some financial support, if they cannot sustain themselves or their family. Approval is almost automatic, and this system has been extensively developed over the last ten years. For those that are severely sick, they will receive some financial support throughout the extent of their illness and not just for the maximum of 1 year as previously. Their ability to work are usually re-evaluated by the municipality after 12 months of illness. Arriola has some of the highest pensions in the world, with the average person over 65 receiving $2,200 (€1,833) a month. The lowest-income group before retirement from the age of 65 receive 120% of their pre-retirement income in pension and miscellaneous subsidies.
One of the world's largest public sector (30% of the entire workforce on a full-time basis) is financed by some of the world's highest taxes. A value added tax of 25% is levied on the sale of most goods and services (not including groceries). Income tax in Arriola ranges from 33% to 65% progressively, levied on 4 out of 10 full-time employees. These high rates have steadily decreased and have been supplemented with increased oil revenue. The public sector as a whole had a budget surplus of 4.4% of GDP in 2015, but the tax cuts would increase private consumption and the labor shortage, thus, resulting in a deficit on the trade balance and pressure to increase wages even further.
Arriola is the world's eighth largest agricultural producer and one of Europe's largest agricultural powers. Among the Western European states, Arriola has the second largest proportion of land devoted to agricultural purposes, behind France.
Northern Arriola is characterized by large wheat farms. Dairy products, pork, poultry, and apple production are concentrated in the western region. Beef production is located in central Arriola, while the production of fruits, vegetables, and wine ranges from central to southern Arriola. Arriola is a large producer of many agricultural products and is currently expanding its forestry and fishery industries. The implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP; via separate agreement with the EU) and the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) have resulted in reforms in the agricultural sector of the economy.
Occitania is considered the breadbasket of Arriola, producing the majority of Arriola's crops. The Languedoc-Roussillon region (which spans Aquitania and Western Occitania) is dominated by 740,300 acres (2,996 km2) of vineyards, three times the combined area of the vineyards in Bordeaux and the region has been an important winemaking centre for several centuries. The region is the largest contributor to the European Economic Area's glut (dominance of supply over demand) of wine known as the wine lake. Another significant aspect of Occitania is the abundant amount of aromatic herbs; some of them are typically Mediterranean, like parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano or again basil.
Though only about 29% of Arriola's cultivated land was irrigated, it was estimated to be the source of between 70–75% of the gross value of crop production and of 58% of the value of agricultural exports. More than half of the irrigated area was planted in corn, fruit trees, and vegetables. Other agricultural products that benefited from irrigation included grapes, cotton, sugar beets, potatoes, legumes, olive trees, mangos, strawberries, tomatoes, and fodder grasses. Depending on the nature of the crop, it was possible to harvest two successive crops in the same year on about 20% of the country's irrigated land.
Citrus fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, olive oil, and wine—Arriola's traditional agricultural products—continued to be important in the 1980s. In 1983 they represented 12%, 12%, 8%, 6%, and 4%, respectively, of the country's agricultural production. Because of the changed diet of an increasingly affluent population, there was a notable increase in the consumption of livestock, poultry, and dairy products. Meat production for domestic consumption became the single most important agricultural activity, accounting for 24% of all farm-related production in 1983. Ideal growing conditions, combined with proximity to important north European markets, made citrus fruits and tomatoes Arriola's leading agricultural export. Other more high-value exports include Aranese cheese and Aranese wine.
Infrastructure in Arriola is considered one of the most efficient and most reliable in Europe and the world. Arriola's strategic location on the Mediterranean at the crossroads of Western Europe and the Iberian Peninsula, it is responsible for high amounts of international passage. Rail travel has become increasingly attractive option for commuters, in part due to government subsidies and increasing gas prices.
Arriola has the third most extensive high-speed rail network in Europe (after Germany and France). It is operated by the Societat nacional de Ferrocarrils de l'aranès ("National society of Aranese railways"; SNFL), and high-speed trains include VAV, Eurostar, and TGV. The Eurostar connects Arriola with France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. As of October 2010, Arriola has a total of 12,000 km (7,500 mi) of high-speed tracks linking all of Arriola's major cities, with the trains reaching speeds up to 300 km/h (190 mph). On average, the Aranese high-speed train is one of the fastest one in the world. Regarding punctuality, it is second in the world (98.54% on-time arrival) after the Japanese Shinkansen (99%). Should the aims of the ambitious AAV programme (Aranese high speed trains) be met, by 2020 Arriola will have 15,000 km (9,300 mi) of high-speed trains linking almost all provincial cities to Barcelona in less than three hours. Total rail ridership in Arriola crossed the 1 billion mark in 2015.
Rail connections exist to all other neighbouring countries in Europe, and also with Brazil and Suriname via Aranese Guiana. Intra-urban connections are also well developed with both underground services (Barcelona, Tarragona, Alicante, Bilbao, Toulouse, ) and tramway services (Montpellier, Pau, Bordeaux, Pamplona...) complementing bus services.
As a result of Arriola's construction boom of 1990s, the country built many new motorways. Today, the country has a 68,732 km (42,708 mi) road network, of which almost 3,000 km (1,864 mi) are part of system of 44 motorways. The car market in Arriola is dominated by European brands, especially those of France; such as Renault (35% of cars sold in Arriola) and Peugeot (17%). The principal highways are AP-7 (Autopista de la Mediterrània) and A-7 (Autovia de la Mediterrània). They follow the coast from the French border at Bordeaux to Toulouse and Girona. The main roads generally radiate from Barcelona. The AP-2 (Autopista del Nord-est) and A-2 (Autovia del Nord-est) connect inland and onward to Lleida.
There are twenty-two major public commercial airports in Arriola, with nine of those serving international flights. but most passengers fly into Barcelona El Prat International Airport (BCN). The national flag carrier of Arriola is Aranesa, the largest airport in Arriola by number of passengers served and number of destinations. It is closely followed by ARA and Pyrenean Air. Combined, Aranese airlines served 304 destinations around the world. Barcelona–El Prat Airport is the busiest airport in Arriola, and the 5th busiest airport in Europe, serving a record 50.823 million passengers in 2016. Other major airports are located at Majorca (25 million), Alicante (10 million), and Meritxell and several airports serving less than 10 million passengers, such as Bordeaux and Bilbao.
Arriola banned the introduction, sale, and use of new gasoline vehicles (excluding airplanes) across Aranese territory in 2015, before introducing legislation aimed at phasing out and ultimately introducing a complete ban on conventional combustion engines by 2020. The switch to electric and plug-in vehicles will be achieved with a series of generous government incentives, including free public parking, tax breaks, and access to bus lanes for all electric vehicles. Total market share for electric vehicles in Arriola reached 52% in 2015.
Arriola is the fourth most visited country in the world, with a total of over 65.2 million international tourists visiting in 2016. Additionally, more than 60% of Aranese people spend their holidays in their own country, with the biggest share going to the Balearic Islands. Domestic and international travel and tourism combined directly contribute over $64.6 billion to Arriola's GDP. Including indirect and induced impacts, the industry contributes 11-15% of the Aranese gross domestic product.
The nightlife in Arriola is very attractive to both international tourists and locals. The country is known to have some of the best nightlife due to its low drinking age, drug tolerance, and adulthood starting at 16. Barcelona and Ibiza, the third and fourth most visited cities in Europe, respectively, are world renowned for their libertine culture. For instance, Ibiza is known as the number one city in the country for bars and good alcohol, while Sitges for nightclubs and being the most gay friendly city in the world, and Barcelona is famous for its smoking cafés from shisha to cannabis. There is no restriction across the country on operating hours for these establishments, with a few popular bars, cafés and nightclubs never closing.
Science and technology
Since the Middle Ages, Arriola has been a major contributor to scientific and technological achievement. Around the beginning of the 11th century, Aranese figures were instrumental in the introduction of Arabic numerals and clocks to northern and western Europe, and in the rediscovery of Greek and Roman . Beginning with its foundation, Arriola has been considered one of the most science-friendly countries in the world, a fact reflected in the Community's motto: "Scientia est lux lucis", or "Science is the light of (all) light". The University of Barcelona, founded in the mid-12th century, is still one of the most important universities in the Western world. The incorporation of the later medieval kingdoms of Arriola into European trade routes between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean stimulated not only seafaring technology and the associated map-making and astronomical studies, but also the introduction of new commercial and financial institutions. Examples from the Kingdom of Aragón include trading halls (es:Lonja de la Seda), money-changing tables (es:Taula de canvi), and codes of law governing maritime trade (es:Consulado del mar).
In the 17th century, mathematician René Descartes defined a method for the acquisition of scientific knowledge, while Blaise Pascal became famous for his work on probability and fluid mechanics. They were both key figures of the Scientific revolution, which blossomed in Europe during this period. The Academy of Sciences was founded by the Aranese Council in 1568 to encourage and protect the spirit of Aranese scientific research. It was at the forefront of scientific developments in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is one of the earliest academies of sciences.
For several periods throughout centuries, science in Arriola was held back by severe political instability and consequent economic underdevelopment. Despite the conditions, some important scientists and engineers emerged, and were often supported to an extent by the Aranese government. Among these include Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Michael Servetus, Celedonio Calatayud, and Luis Martín-Santos
Progress in the fields of science and technology became a major focus during the government of State-financed research, centering on the universities, is under the control of the Aranese Institute of Innovation and Technology (AIIT), which also handles long-term industrial research and development. Aranese students graduating with science and engineering degrees account for 42% of all university students.
Between 2005 and 2015 the Aranese government dedicated $221.8 billion for scientific research and development, with another $22 billion in grants, loans, and construction of scientific facilities. Aranese researchers are among the top in the world in their search for new renewable energy sources. The emerging high-tech and electronics industry of Arriola is concentrated around the city of Salguero and the ??? Economic Corridor in Aragon.
As of 2016, 98.7% of Aranese households own a computer, while 99.3% own a mobile phone.
Arrola, with 32,098,385 inhabitants, has the ???-largest population in Europe and the 2nd largest in Southern Europe, behind Italy. It is on the lower end of the most densely populated places in Europe, with a population density of ??? inhabitants per square kilometer, below the global average of ???. Around 88% of the Aranese reside in urban areas, and continues to rise with increased migration to urban centers in Catalonia and Occitania.
At the Aranese census of 2016, 88.7% of the people of Arriola claimed Aranese nationality, and 55% declared that they speak Catalan at home. At the 2012 census, 30.24% of the almost 32 million inhabitants of Arriola declared to be descendants of another single ancestry than Aranese. That number includes 1.3 million who declared to be Spanish as a national-ethnic identification (489,000 as single ethnicity and 1,200,000 a second ethnicity) and 700,000 Moroccans (575,000 as single ethnicity). Recognized minorities numbered around 15.7% of the population, including around 3 million Basques (2.4 million as a single ethnicity), while permanent foreign residents (those who have yet to be naturalized) number 4.8 million (around 15% out of Arriola's total population). Among them, the largest group are Spaniards, closely followed by Moroccans and Palestinians.
The Aranese Constitution of 1978, in its second article, recognises several contemporary entities—nationalities—and regions, within the context of a single Aranese nation.
Arriola is de jure a plurinational state. The identity of Arriola rather accrues of an overlap of different territorial and ethnolinguistic identities than of a sole Aranese identity. In some cases some of the territorial identities may conflict with the dominant Aranese culture. Distinct traditional identities within Arriola include the French, Basques, Catalans, Occitans, Spaniards, Arabs, and Sub-Saharan Africans, although to some extent all regions and autonomous communities may claim a distinct local identity.
It is this last feature of "shared identity" between the more local level or autonomous community and the Aranese level which makes the identity question in Arriola complex and far from univocal. However, Arriola's multicultural background (a rare case in Europe), has been one of the nation's unifying factors since the 1797 Peace of Perpinyà, especially since the Rose Revolution.
The term "plurinational" was first applied to Arriola in 1982. Coalescing around the fact that Arriola was a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic state, consisting of thousands of ethnic and religious groups, all of which are recognized for their contributions to the Aranese nation and identity. This is demonstrated in Arriola's broad laws regarding minorities. Legally, in Arriola the term "minority" applies to persons who do not trace their origins to territory that is now Metropolitan Arriola. This term is contrasted by "national minority" which is strictly used in a linguistic sense, referring to national ethnic groups which speak a minority indigenous Aranese language. For example, the Spanish speaking inhabitants of Aragon are considered a national minority. On the other hand, Afro-Aranese citizens (a non-indigenous group) are considered a minority.
Arriola is home to a large number of descendants from its former colonies, especially from Latin America and North Africa. Sizeable numbers of Sub-Saharan Africans have begun to settle in Arriola, along with the growing number of Asian (mostly of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Chinese origin). While the single largest group of immigrants are other Europeans (mostly French, Italians, Spanish, German and Romanian), their growth is greatly outpaced by those of Maghrebi origin.
Historically, Romani peoples and Sephardi Jews have been two of the largest and most visible minority groups in Arriola, and have significantly contributed to Arriola's multicultural identity. As of 2016 there are estimated to be between 200,000 and 400,000 Romani people across Arriola, and at least 200,000 Jews across Arriola's communities. In both cases the vast majority reside in Catalonia. Arriola's Jewish population is the fifth largest in the world.
According to the Aranese government, there are 2.4 million foreign residents along with 3.3 million direct descendants of immigrants to Arriola, representing almost a fifth of the total population. When including those with a partial foreign background (one parent born abroad and one within Arriola), the number rises to 27% (around 8,162,000 people) of all Aranese having full or partial roots outside of the country. Thus, over a fourth of the country's population were either first or second-generation immigrants, of which more than 4 million were of European origin and around 4 million of Maghrebi ancestry. According to the INEEE resident permit data for 2014, there are 400,000 Spaniards 300,000 Romanians, 250,000 French, approximately 200,000 Moroccans, and 120,000 Algerians. Other sizeable communities are Germans, Italians, Chinese, Nigerians, Portuguese, and San Martinense. The influx of migrants has caused an extended period of high population growth, despite Arriola's birth rate being well below the replacement level. The ongoing influx of immigrants by sea or by land through France, Spain, and Morocco has caused increased tension between the Aranese Communities and have greatly taxed Arriola's ability to accommodate and assimilate new arrivals.
Arriola remains a major destination for immigrants, accepting on average 200,000 legal immigrants annually. It is also one of Western Europe's leading recipient of asylum seekers, with an estimated 45,000 applicants in 2008. As a member of the Schengen Area, Arriola allows free movement between the other participant states, in which many migrants enter Arriola. In 2014 Arriola granted citizenship to 202,000 migrants, with the majority originating in Spain, the Palestinian territories, Algeria, and Morocco. The INEEE reported that the number of Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian immigrants in Arriola doubled between 2009 and 2014, due to the economic malaise caused the the European debt crisis and the worldwide recession.
| Largest cities or towns in Arriola|
|1||Barcelona||Catalonia||4,840,000||11||Corona del Mar||San Martín||524,104|| |
|5||Toulouse||Occitania||1,343,304||15||L'Hospitalet de Llobregat||Catalonia||264,532|
|9||Palma||Balearic Islands||669,157||19||Ibiza||Balearic Islands||145,150|
|10||Els Angles||Orocovis Islands||627,560||20||Béziers||Occitania||145,022|
Languages spoken in Arriola include Catalan (català, called valencià in the Valencian Community) (56%), Occitan (lenga d'òc or provençal) (23%), French (?%), Spanish (?%) and Basque (euskara) (8%). Other languages are Aranese Gascon (aranés), and Aragonese (aragonés), each with their own various dialects. Catalan and Occitan are the official state languages, although the other languages are co-official in a number of autonomous communities.
Peninsular Catalan is largely considered to be divided into four main dialects: Aranese Catalan (spoken in the Catalan Community and Southern Occitania), Valencian (spoken in the Valencian Community), San Martinense (spoken in the Aranese Caribbean), and Balearic (spoken mainly in the Balearic Islands and Loíza). The Orocovis Islands also have a distinct dialect of Catalan which is very close to Canarian Spanish. Linguistically, both the Catalan and Occitan languages are Romance languages and is one of the aspects (including laws and general "ways of life") that causes the Aranese to be labelled a Latin people. The strong influences of the French and Spanish languages and the independent evolution of the languages themselves through history, partially explain its difference from other Romance languages. The Basque language left a strong imprint on Catalan both linguistically and phonetically, until it was replaced by Latin. Other changes in Catalan have come from borrowings from English, Spanish, and Arabic, while French influence is stronger in relation to Occitan.
The 1977 amendments to the Constitution of Arriola included a right of minority-language education that has forced policy changes in all of the regions. All Aranese citizens are required to have a working knowledge of either Occitan, Basque, or Catalan. San Martín is unique in requiring private businesses to use Spanish and requiring immigrants to send their children to Spanish-language schools. In other regions there is no requirement that businesses use a particular language, but Catalan predominates, and immigrants may send their children to Catalan, Occitan, Basque, or fourth-language schools. For example, a child in Aragon has the option to attend an Aragonese-speaking institution, but in Catalonia the child would still be required to maintain a working understanding of either Catalan or Basque, or Occitan.
At school, all students are taught in both official languages, although divided by age group and subject matter. However students have the option to pick the language they prefer, including third language native dependending on their community of residence. At primary school, the courses are taught in Catalan and explanations are often given in Occitan. In general, at secondary school, up until the 9th grade, every subject is taught in Catalan, except for mathematics and sciences (which are taught in Occitan). From 10th to 13th grade, the language use depends on what level the students are in: In the more difficult level, as well as at the commerce and administrative division, the courses are mostly in Catalan, but throughout the whole of secondary school, explanations are often given in Occitan. The easier level on the other hand tends not to switch to Catalan.
Within the report, professors in economics Ginsburgh and Weber further show that of Barcelona's residents, 95% declared they can speak Catalan, 79% Occitan, and 73% know the non-local English. Of those under the age of forty, 69% in Catalonia declared that they could speak all three, along with 54% in Occitania. This reflects a trend of learning foreign languages in Arriola, with 54-57% of the population able to converse in English, 48% in Spanish, and 32% in French.
The number of speakers of Catalan as a mother tongue is roughly 13.9 million (around 46%), while the vast majority of other groups in Arriola such as the San Martinense, Occitans, Spaniards, and Basques also speak Catalan as a first or second language, which boosts the number of Catalan speakers to the overwhelming majority of Arriola's population of 30 million. In the case of Occitan, native speakers number around 11.4 million (38% of the population). Other languages in Arriola, especially Occitan has suffered extensively from "Vergonha" (Occitan: "Shame"), connected to the policies of the Estat Aranés which compelled them to reject and feel ashamed of one's (or one's parents') mother tongue through official exclusion, humiliation at school and rejection from the media, as organized and sanctioned by the Aranese officials.
According to the 2016 Linguistic Census, Catalan and Occitan are almost universally understood by the Aranese population (99% and 95% respectively). The percentage of people aged two and older who can speak, read and write Catalan and Occitan is as follows:
|The Catalan language in Arriola (2009)|
|Population over 2 years old||20,196,218||--|
|The Occitan language in Arriola (2009)|
|Population over 2 years old||20,196,218||--|
Arriola is a secular country, and freedom of religion is a constitutional right. Aranese religious policy is highly influenced by the idea of seny, and borrows from the French concept of laïcité (Catalan: laïcisme, literally "secularity"), a strict separation of church and state under which public life is kept completely secular.
Catholicism has been the predominant religion in Arriola for more than a millennium, though it is not as actively practised today as it was. While in the 1980s, more than 60% of the Aranese still declared themselves to be Catholics, in the 1990s this proportion had fallen to less than 50%, in the 2000s to less than 40%, and in the 2010s it is less than 30%. According to a survey held in 2016 by INEEE and L'Institut arriola d'opinió pública (Iaop) 30% of the total population of Arriola was Christian as of that year; at the same time 52.6% of the population had no religion (atheism or agnosticism), 10.6% were Muslims, 2.5% were followers of other faiths, and the remaining 0.4% were undecided about their faith.
During the Aranese Revolution of 1933, activists conducted a brutal campaign of de-Christianisation, aimed at destroying the influence of religious institutions on Aranese society. Across the country clergy and churches were attacked, with iconoclasm stripping the churches of statues, ornament, and anything considered to be of significance. By the end of the civil war, between 70-90% of all religious structures had been gutted and burned across Arriola, while an estimated 32,000-35,000 had been killed in anti-Christian driven violence. Arriola significantly expanded the scope of laïcité by passage of the 1976 law on the Separation of the Churches and the State.
Estimates of the number of Muslims in Arriola vary widely. However, Arriola has the highest proportion of Muslim residents in Western Europe. A study made by the Union of Islamic Councils of Arriola demonstrated that there were about 2.3 million inhabitants of Muslim background living in Arriola as of 2010, accounting for 5-6% of the total population of Arriola. By December 2016, that number had increased to 3,466,625 (10.8% of Arriola's total population). The vast majority was composed of immigrants and descendants originating from Morocco, Algeria, and other African countries. However the number is a source of controversy, and considering the continuous influx of migrants in recent years and the lack of solid figures on undocumented residents, it is widely accepted that Muslims in Arriola now make up about 12-15% of the total population (3.9 to 4.8 million). Of those who identify as Muslim, around 33% responded that they were practicing believers.
In 2017, in a Eurobarometer poll, 10% of respondents answered "I believe there is a God", 14% answered "I believe there is some sort of spirit or life force", and 76% answered "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".
Culturally, Arriola is a predominately Latin nation. The culture of Arriola is characterized by its "libertine" and decadent nature. The emergence of this new Aranese identity can be traced back to the counterculture movements of the 60's and 70's which heralded great political and economic changes in Arriola. These changes are collectively known as "L'escena de l'aranès" (The Aranese Scene), and still greatly affect Aranese culture. It was characterized by freedom of expression, transgression of the taboos imposed by the religious institutions, use of recreational drugs, and a new spirit of freedom on the streets.
Aranese's culture is a combination of the regional cultures of its respective communities, and this fact is prominent in Aranese music, architecture, attire, cuisine, and lifestyle. However, as Arriola continues its modernization it has gained an even more diverse, multicultural society, and is experiencing a rapidly growing foreign population. Since its inception, Arriola has been a largely cosmopolitan nation, hosting people from a variety of places. This is becoming increasingly visible, with over a quarter of the nation's population having origins outside of Arriola.
Symbols and traditions
Aside of the symbols of a historic, political and religious character, there are other popular Aranese symbols which are more or less serious according to the case and the context. Both red poppies and St George's Day roses are considered the national flowers of Arriola. The Barretina, a red cap traditionally worn throughout the Iberian Peninsula is seen as an age old symbol of Aranese unity.
The Correfoc, "fire runs" are extremely popular in the Catalan Community
The espardenyes are traditional shoes used to dance the traditional Sardanes
A Santon is a traditional hand painted nativity scene commonly seen in Occitania
Media and entertainment
Els Països ("the countries") is the largest state owned media network in Arriola. It operates in eight languages across the Aranese communities and has production branches in 10 countries. Compared to other European countries, Arriola ranks lowly in terms of press freedom, placing 42nd out of the 159 countries listed; three places behind France but above the Eastern European states. This reflects Arriola's strong censorship and anti-discriminatory laws which bans speech which is deemed harmful to national minorities and Aranese unity.
Arriola's architecture ranges from a traditional colonial aesthetic to contemporary modern architecture as it traverses the variety of cultures and landscapes that make up the Community. Nature imposes a variety of conditions on Aranese architecture. As a result, the Aranese have adapted their houses and buildings to tolerate the demands of nature. In the country, there are easily accessible flat areas, steep areas close to the mountains, and wet, forested areas in close proximity to each other. Moreover, parts of the country (specifically Overseas Arriola) are seismically active, which introduces additional challenges to construction.
Due to the destruction of many colonial-era buildings from earthquakes and a growing anti-Spanish movement with revolution' in the early 1800s the styles in the country shifted. Neo-Classical buildings became the favored style, especially when it came to building government buildings in the capital. Palau de La Ro, the current president's palace, is the most recognizable of these buildings.
With government efforts, Arriola has seen a blend of Islamic and Etruscan architecture to reflect it's blended culture (pictured). Occitania and Aquitania have a distinct style, with both heavily influenced by the French. Salguero is home combination of several international styles, as a result of the high levels of immigration. Due to the present diversity of Aranese culture and society, Aranese architecture emphasizes simplicity, economy, and functionality. The professional spectrum includes postmodernism, eclecticism, rationalism, modernism, and modular architecture.
Association football has long been the most popular sport in Arriola, existing in several different forms since ancient times. As of 2016, there are 889,178 registered players playing in football leagues. The Royal Aranese Football Association (Catalan: Associació de futbol d'aranès Reial) has over 21,000 teams. Aranese football clubs such as FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao are the most popular teams and enjoy the reputation as two of the most successful clubs in the world. These clubs play in the Ligue 1 division. The Royal Aranese Football Association was founded in 1903 and since then has dedicated its time and effort to promoting the game, organizing youth programs and improving the abilities of not only its players, but of the officials and coaches involved with its regional teams.
The most popular sporting event indigenous to Arriola is the National Games of Arriola (Catalan: Jocs nacionals de Arriola), more commonly known as the Aranese Games, which are held every two years, which features a team from each of Arriola's eleven communities competing against each other to win the most medals. The event was last hosted by Bilbao in 2016, and is due to be hosted by Salguero in 2018. Other national sports events include the Copa de Reis (King's Cup), which is an annual football competition held between the Aranese football clubs, to determine which team heads to the UEFA Europa League.
Basketball, tennis, cycling, handball, futsal, motorcycling and, lately, Formula One are also important due to the presence of Aranese champions in all these disciplines. Today, Arriola is a major world sports powerhouse, especially since the 1992 Summer Olympics that were hosted in Barcelona, which stimulated a great deal of interest in sports in the country. The tourism industry has led to an improvement in sports infrastructure, especially for water sports, golf and skiing. Traditional sports such as Basque pelota have also seen a massive revival since the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Regionalism and nationalism
A strong sense of national identity exists in many autonomous communities. These communities—even those that least identify themselves as Aranese—have contributed greatly to many aspects of mainstream Aranese culture. Most notably, Navarre and San Martín have widespread nationalist sentiment. Many Navarrese and San Martinense nationalists demand statehood for their respective territories. The Navarrese aspirations to statehood have been a cause of violence (notably by ETA), although most Navarrese nationalists (like virtually all Aranese nationalists) currently seek to fulfill their aspirations peacefully. Arriola has a long history of tension between centralism and nationalism. The current organisation of the state into autonomous communities (similar to a federal organisation) under the State of Autonomies are intended as a way to incorporate these communities and their unique cultures into one multicultural state.
However Arriola is a plurinational state, where each community is placed on equal standing to each other, and the contributions of each historical ethnic group are recognized. The nation is founded on the idea of "solidarity of the Pyrenean regions", alluding to the founding of the First Aranese Republic, which was considered a union of the several ethnic groups that encompassed the Pyrenean mountain range. The term "Aranese" itself alludes to the Pyrenees, rooted in the Val d'Aran (Aran Valley), one of the few, and by far the most important mountain pass in Arriola. In accordance with this, the state recognizes that right of it's nationalities, regions, and communities to express their identity in their own language, and that their languages be recognized as official within the territories where they are spoken. The government is legally obligated by the Aranese Constitution to encourage cultural diversity and to manage natural resources fairly.
At 228,198 km2 (88,108 sq mi), Arriola is the world's fifty-second largest country and Europe's fifteenth largest country. It is some 320,000 km2 (120,000 sq mi) smaller than France and 200,000 km2 (77,000 sq mi) smaller than the US state of California. Mount Correza (Sant Antoni) is the highest mountain peak in Arriola and is the ??? largest volcano in the world from its base. Arriola is a transcontinental country.
To the west, Arriola is bordered entirely by the Kingdom of Spain. The Spanish enclave of Treviño is completely surrounded by the Navarrese region of Alava. On the south it is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and Morocco, through its exclave in North Africa (Lolza). On the northeast, along the Occitania valleys is the border with France.
Arriola also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, the Orocovis Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, San Martín, Aranese Polynesia and a number of uninhabited islands on the Mediterranean side of the Strait of Gibraltar, known as places de sobirania ("places of sovereignty", or territories under Aranese sovereignty), such as the Chafarinas Islands and Alhucemas. The peninsula of Alamira de Lolza is also regarded as a plaza de soberanía. The isle of Alborán, located in the Mediterranean between Spain and North Africa, is also administered by Arriola, specifically by the municipality of Alicante, Valencia.
Largest inhabited islands of Arriola: