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39. Moreno, 1997, p. 67. 40. Andrew Reynolds, ‘A constitutional pied piper: the Northern Irish Good Friday Agreement’, Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 114, No. 4, Winter 1999/2000, pp. ’, Political Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1, January–February 2000, pp. 78–101. 41. McGarry and O’Leary, p. 19. 42. Sheridan, 1987, p. 2. 43. Evans and O’Leary, p. 81. 44. McGarry and O’Leary, Chapter 1. 2 After the death of dictator Franco in 1975, Spain went through a deep process of democratic decentralisation, achieved in a climate of consensual politics.

31 The clear victory of the PNV/EA coalition can be interpreted not only as support for a coalition of democratic nationalist parties but also as a reaction against the Spanish media campaign which portrayed PNV and EA as ‘demons’, or as being ‘the same’ as ETA. The aggressive campaign of the PP in the Basque Country, where it hoped to win the elections after the signing of a ‘Pact for the Liberties’ with the PSOE, also contributed to produce an electoral ‘backlash’ against its pretensions. As has often been the case in Spain since the transition to democracy, nationalists in the three ‘historical nationalities’ (Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia) have gained support in elections by portraying themselves as ‘victims’ of political attacks by the Spanish state, whether this is dictatorial or democratic.

In spite of its short existence, the Second Republic (1931–39) contributed largely to the resolution of ethno-territorial conflicts in Spain. The most notable improvement was the constitutional design of state as a regional model, situated somewhere between a unitary and a federal state. This led to the achievement of statutes of autonomy for Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia, the three ‘historical nationalities’. Three days after the proclamation of the Second Republic in 1931, an assembly of Basque mayors organised by José Antonio Aguirre, leader of the Basque Nationalist Party, claimed their right to autonomy and home rule within a Spanish federal republic, by the legendary Oak of Gernika.

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