CiU

CiU
   Convergence and Unity is the name given to the Catalan centre-right political party which has dominated Catalan politics during the post-Franco era. It is a coalition between two parties, the CDC (Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya-Democratic Convergence of Catalonia) and the UDC (Unió Democràtica de Catalunya-Democratic Union of Catalonia), which has been operative since September 1978.
   The CiU has been the main political group in the Generalitat, or Catalan autonomous parliament, since 1980. It obtained its first overall majority in 1984, a feat it repeated in 1988 and 1992. It lost this overall majority in 1995, but still governs in the Generalitat. The CiU has also been relatively successful in elections to the Madrid parliament, increasing its representation from eight deputies and one senator in 1979, to twelve deputies and seven senators in 1982, eighteen deputies and eleven senators in 1986, to eighteen deputies and twelve senators in 1989, when it became the third political force in the Spanish state. Although it achieved one fewer deputy in 1993 than in 1989, it was by now the main Catalan political party in Madrid, and it increased its influence at state level enormously when it entered into an agreement to support the minority Socialist government of Felipe González. Since 1996 it has supported the minority PP government of José María Aznar.
   CiU has also had success at local and at European elections, although the success is a qualified one in the case of the former. Despite its hold on many municipalities, it has never managed to wrest control of Barcelona City Council from the socialists, and in 1995 its then General Secretary, Miquel Roca i Junyent, failed in his attempt to become Mayor of Barcelona ahead of the incumbent Pasqual Maragall. CiU obtained three MEPs in 1987, and two in 1989. At the elections to the European Parliament in 1994, CiU stood in a coalition with the PSM (Naciona-listes de Mallorca—Mallorcan Nationalists) and the Unitat del Poble Valencia (Valencian People's Unity Party), obtaining three seats. One of CiU's MEPs, Carles Gasòliba i Böhm, is Treasurer of the Liberal Group of the European Parliament.
   CDC has been the dominant partner in the CiU alliance, and has 30,000 members. The coalition has tended to be dominated by CDC and its charismatic leader and President of the Generalitat since 1980, Jordi Pujol. Nevertheless, the leader of UDC, Josep M.Duran i Lleida, has been developing a strong political profile, and is President of the Christian Democratic International group. The coalition between the two parties has held firm, although relations between the two leaders have not always been easy, particularly over CiU's support for the González Government between 1993 and 1996.
   DAVID GEORGE

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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