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8/7/2006 4:48 pm

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The Autonomous Community of Catalonia (Catalan: Comunitat Autònoma de Catalunya; Spanish: Comunidad Autónoma de Cataluña; Aranese: Comunautat Autonoma de Catalonha), known informally as Catalonia, is today one of the 17 autonomous communities that constitute Spain. Its territory corresponds to most of the historic territory of the former Principality of Catalonia. The autonomous community of Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² with an official population of 7.083.600 (2006). Immigrants from outside Spain represent 12.2% of the total population [1].

Catalonia was officially recognised as a nationality in the Catalan Statute of Autonomy enacted in 1979 pursuant to the Spanish Constitution of 1978.

As of June 18, 2006, Catalonia voted to adopt a new Statute of Autonomy, including a provision defining Catalonia as a nation (albeit without legal value).

Official languages are Catalan, Spanish (also known as Castilian), and (in Val d'Aran) Aranese.
Catalonia is the original heartland of the Catalan language, and remains the most important and largest territory where the language is spoken.

Catalan is one of the two official languages of Catalonia, as established in the Catalan Statute of Autonomy [2]: the other is Castilian, which is the language throughout Spain (its official status confirmed by the 1978 Spanish Constitution). Catalonia has regulated its institutions and their various jurisdictions within the framework provided by the Spanish constitution in the "Sau Statute."

The Catalan Government has a policy of promoting the Catalan language. Thus, state education is partly given in Catalan and partly in Spanish, and government bureaucracy is entirely in Catalan, Catalan media is heavily subsidised and business are required to display all information (e.g. menus, posters) at least in Catalan. Whilst these efforts have ensured that Catalan is increasingly dominant at an official and academic level, there is no evidence that they have changed the social use of the language, with people whose mother tongue is Spanish still using Spanish as their everyday language. Some Catalan speakers argue that this policy is necessary to protect their language in the face of residents and immigrants who fail to learn or use Catalan.

Catalan is properly regarded by most linguists as being an Ibero-Romance language (the group that includes Spanish). It has many features of Gallo-Romance languages such as French.

Occitan, in its Aranese variety (a dialect of Gascon) is official and subject to special protection in the Val d'Aran (Aran Valley). This small region of 7,000 is the only place where Occitan (spoken mainly in France and some Italian valleys) has full official status


The Government of Catalonia is known as the Generalitat in the Catalan language. It consists of a Parliament, a President and an Executive Council. Local governments include comarques (roughly equivalent to counties), as well as smaller forms of municipal administration. Catalonia is divided into four provinces: Barcelona, Girona (Gerona in Spanish), Lleida (Lérida in Spanish, Lhèida in Aranese), Tarragona
The capital of Catalonia is the city of Barcelona
the second biggest in Spain.
As a great seaside resort lots of people around the world like to spend his vacation here.

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