Letter: Spanish lesson for the Scots

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a Spaniard who spends large periods in Britain, I think that Britain has plenty to learn from Spain on the dangers of devolution.

Spanish devolution was devised as a solution to the Catalan and Basque problems. It has aggravated them, and has created many other problems. Soaring nationalism everywhere in Spain, the climate of civil confrontation in the Basque provinces, ETA, linguistic discrimination in several regions, costly and corrupt regional governments, and too many and redundant administrations ; these are the problems that devolution has either created or failed to ameliorate in Spain.

As regions are not significantly smaller than the whole nation, devolution does not actually make government appreciably closer to the people. Instead of devolution to regions, it would be much better to preserve the central government while giving more power to local councils and towns.

MIGUEL NAVARRO NAVARRO

London W6

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