William Chislett

William Chislett

Associate Analyst of the Elcano Royal Institute, journalist and writer. Author of the Elcano's monthly news review Inside Spain and of four books on Spain published by the Institute. Professional Website | @WilliamChislet3

Forty years of democratic Spain

Forty years ago this month, Spaniards overwhelmingly approved their new Constitution in a referendum which sealed the country’s transition to democracy. General Francisco Franco had died in 1975, after ruling Spain since 1939 following his victory in the three-year civil war. Be it economically with, for example, the creation [...]

Should Franco’s tomb be removed from his basilica?

More than 40 years after the death of General Francisco Franco, Spain’s dictator between 1939 and 1975 and the victor of the country’s 1936-39 Civil War, the new Socialist government is confronting a totemic issue –the removal of Franco’s tomb from the Valley of Fallen basilica hewn into rock [...]

Catalonia is not Scotland, despite appearances

Catalonia and Scotland share grievances that led them to hold referendums on independence, in the first case an illegal vote in 2017, in defiance of the Spanish Constitution, and the second a legal one in 2014 agreed with the UK government as Britain does not have a codified constitution. [...]

Spain ups its global presence

Spain was ranked 11th out of 110 countries in the 2017 Elcano Global Presence Index, which measures the results of internationalisation, up from 12th in 2016 (see Figure 1). Figure 1. 2017 Elcano global presence ranking, Top 20 Country Score Country Score 1. United States 2,494.1 11. Spain 233.7 [...]

Basque terrorist group ETA disbands after 60 years

It has been a long time coming, but finally the Basque separatist group ETA has dissolved itself, ending one of the longest terrorism campaigns in modern Europe with the loss of 854 lives, thousands injured and 79 kidnappings. The move, however, is far from healing the deep wounds among [...]

Spain’s protests over pensions: no room for populist measures

Old age pensioners (OAPs) have been protesting across Spain at their ‘miserable’ pensions which since 2014 have stopped being automatically indexed to inflation and have risen by only 0.25% a year under reforms aimed at making the creaking system sustainable. The population is ageing at a much faster pace [...]

Catalonia secessionist parties regain control of the region’s parliament

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s gamble that the snap election he called would help return Catalonia, one of Spain’s richest regions, to ‘normality and legality’ did not pay off, as the three pro-independence parties again won a narrow majority in the Catalan parliament on under 50% of the vote and [...]

Not everything has gone badly in Spain

In times of national angst, such as that caused by the struggle for independence in Catalonia, the most serious crisis in Spain since the attempted coup in 1981 and which turned violent when people tried to vote in last Sunday’s unconstitutional referendum, it is easy to become despondent and [...]

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