Coordinating Audit Functions in the European Union
Edited by Milagros Garciá Crespo
Chapter 5: The system of public control in Spain
Milagros García Crespo INTRODUCTION For nearly 40 years, and up to 1975, when General Franco died, Spain was ruled by a dictatorship. As has been said many times before, the transition towards a democratic system was exemplary and allowed in a short time the adoption by consensus of a Constitution, approved in 1978, which after four decades signalled the beginning of modernization. The State model established by the new democratic Constitution is a parliamentary monarchy. There is strict separation of duties between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. Legislative power is vested in the Cortes Generales, which consist of the Congress of Deputies (the lower house) and the Senate (the upper house). The Congress is the more powerful of the two chambers and can revoke decisions made by the Senate. The international isolation of Spain during the dictatorship period resulted in a set of political, social and economic organizations which were highly centralized. The new Constitution had to tackle the question of decentralization, giving way to the creation of autonomous regions, the Comunidades Autónomas, enjoying a considerable degree of selfgovernment. Since 1978, the process of decentralization has gone a long way, although not without tensions, and the Spanish territory has ﬁnally been divided into 17 autonomous communities, varying greatly in size, population, economic capacity and desire for self-rule. The territorial arrangement set up by the Constitution incorporates also the province and the borough as autonomous bodies for the management of their own particular interests. Side by side...
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