Aragon is a historical country of the Iberian Peninsula, currently organized as an autonomous community within Spain, officially as a “historical nationality” (Statute of Autonomy of Aragon). Aragon was sovereign from the Middle Ages until 1707, when its autonomous laws and institutions were canceled by the Spanish monarchy. The Aragonese people sought to partially recover self-government in Republican Spain via a Statute of Autonomy (1936) that was not approved due to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. The establishment of the current autonomy dates from 1982, when the Aragonese Statute was approved.
A part of Catalan nationalism sees the Eastern, Catalan-speaking zone of Aragon, La Franja, as a part of the Catalan Countries.
Aragon is divided between three linguistic areas: Spanish, Catalan, and Aragonese. Only Spanish is official according to the Statute of Autonomy of Aragon. However, the other two are officially recognised by the Law of Languages of Aragon (2013).
Catalan is the language of the comarcas of Ribagorça, Llitera, Baix Cinca, and Matarranya, in Aragon's far east, a territory collectively known as La Franja. Between 25,600 and 37,000 people know Catalan in La Franja, according to data, respectively, from the study L’aragonés y lo catalán en l’actualidat, based on data from the 2011 census, and an estimate by the Plataforma por la Lengua based on sociolinguistic surveys. Furthermore, the first of these two publications shows that, in Aragon as a whole, Catalan has 55,500 speakers, 12,300 in the country’s capital Zaragoza.
The linguistic domain of Aragonese coincided, in the mid-20th century, with Pyrenean and pre-Pyrenean areas, mostly within the province of Huesca, in a territory collectively known as Alto Aragón. Historically, the Aragonese language territory extended as far as the present-day province of Teruel. According to L’aragonés y lo catalán en l’actualidat, 8,400 people speak Aragonese in Alto Aragón, which only represents a third of the 25,500 people who speak the language in the country as a whole, 7,200 of them in Zaragoza. Within Alto Aragón, Aragonese is spoken, or has been until recent decades, in several dialects, the main ones being, west to east: Ansotano, Cheso, Tensino, Belsetán, Chistavín and Ribagorzano.
Politics and administration
Like all the other autonomous communities of Spain, Aragon has its own parliament (the Cortes de Aragón) and government (the Gobierno de Aragón or Diputación General), vested with executive and legislative powers. Spain-wide parties have always led the Aragonese governments. Aragonese parties —be them regionalist of federalist— used to get some 25% of the votes in Aragonese parliamentary elections during the 1990s, and were thus in a position to condition the majority parties; however, since then, they have dropped to less than 12% of the votes in the 2019 Aragonese election.
Aragonese regionalism is mainly represented by the Aragonese Party (conservative) while federalist sstances are mostly taken on by the Chunta (centre-left). Both parties have to date continuously had seats in the Cortes de Aragón.
In the Spanish Congress of Deputies, since 2019, the Teruel province’s regionalist party Teruel Existe (centre to centre-left) has had one seat. Teruel Existe has pushed for the creation party Aragón Existe. Both Aragonese organizations are part of the party federation España Vaciada.
Pro-sovereignty and pro-independence supporters, besides from a small sector within the Chunta, are to be found mostly in parties with no seats in the Cortes, such as Puyalón and Aragonese State.
Parliament and government
Government: PSOE-PAR-CHA-Podemos coalition. PP and Vox are in talks to form a right-wing government ather the May 2023 election
Head of government: Javier Lambán (PSOE), since 2015
Distribution of seats in Parliament (May 2023 election). 67 members:
Popular Party (pro-autonomy/centralist, centre-right and right) - 28
Socialist Party (pro-autonomy, centre-left and centre) - 23
Vox (centralist anti-autonomy, far right) - 7
Chunta Aragonesista (federalist/sovereignist, centre-left) - 3
Aragón Existe (pro-autonomy/provincial and rural interests, centre to centre-left) - 3
Podemos (federalist, centre-left and left) - 1
United Left (federalist, centre-left and left) - 1
Aragonese Party (regionalist, centre-right) - 1
(Last updated July 2023.)