1 Jul, 2024 @ 12:30
1 min read

Province in Spain demands independence: Why ‘historic’ Leon wants to become its own autonomous community

THE Province of Leon is seeking to break away and become a self-governing autonomous community.

Currently part of the Castilla y Leon autonomous community, the proposal would see Leon create a new and separate community with the provinces of Zamora and Salamanca.  

The move comes after the Leon Provincial Council approved a motion introduced by the Leonese People’s Union (UPL) for the Leonese Region.

The motion was passed on Wednesday with the help of votes from the PSOE, who are governing partners, while the PP and Vox opposed it.

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Councillors from the Leonese People’s Union (UPL) and PSOE voted in favour of the motion to become autonomous

Historically, Leon was an independent kingdom until the 13th century and has retained a distinct cultural and historical identity.

Around 800 years later and that identity still remains, which is why the UPL pledged to push for independence from Castilla if it was voted into power.

UPL spokesperson, Valentín Martínez, said: “More than a right, it is an imperious necessity for the Leonese Region to be constituted as a self-governing region.” 

He also stressed that it is a ‘historical region’ that was officially recognised when the Constitution was approved, and therefore it is entitled to exercise this right under Article 2 of the Magna Carta – a reference to the Spanish Constitution of 1978.

Martínez justified the motion by pointing to ‘the terrible Leonese figures in indices such as the youth rate, the old age rate, and the ageing index, with the three provinces of the Leonese Region currently being the oldest in the community of Castilla y León, of which they were the second, fourth and seventh oldest when it was formed in 1983.’

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The city of Leon has been home to an independence movement for years

The PSOE spokesperson, Ana Arias, supported the proposal by arguing that the PP’s policies in the Community ‘have led thousands of Leonese people to leave their land without the opportunity to live with dignity’ in Leon.

The PP spokesperson, David Fernandez, hit back by asking the UPL if it had asked the opinion of the citizens of Zamora and Salamanca on the initiative.

Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? walter@theolivepress.es

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