the Protection of
Minorities in Spain
Eduardo J. Ruiz Vieytez
This chapter examines the political organization of the Spanish State from a territorial approach. After a brief introduction about the Spanish Kingdom and its linguistic and national plurality, it describes the territorial model foreseen in the Constitution of 1978 and the Acts on Autonomy passed by the Central Parliament and offers some conclusions, including prospects for future development.
The Kingdom of Spain occupies most of the Iberian Peninsula and includes the Balearic Isles (Mediterranean Sea), the Canary Islands (Atlantic Ocean), and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the North African coast. The current population of Spain is about 39 million people. Far from being culturally homogeneous, in linguistic terms, approximately 25 percent of the Spanish population have a mother tongue that is not Spanish. Catalan, Galician, and Basque are official languages in their own communities, together with Castilian Spanish, and there are special policies to procure their normalization in the Autonomous Communities of Catalonia, Galicia, and the Basque Coun-