I wish I'd understood the Galician words, but I was still enchanted by the ceremony. Here are the lyrics, both in Galician and then in English, of a traditional queimada:. Mouchos, coruxas, sapos e bruxas. Lume das Santas Companhas, mal de ollo, negros meigallos, cheiro dos mortos, tronos e raios. Pecadora lingua da mala muller casada cun home vello.
E cando este brebaxe baixe polas nosas gorxas, quedaremos libres dos males da nosa alma e de todo embruxamento. Owls, white owls, toads and witches. Evil demons and devils, spirits of the snowy vales.
Crows, salamanders and witches, charms of the healers. Rotten, holey canes, home of worms and vermin. Sinful tongue of the evil woman married to an old man. Useless womb of the unmarried woman, meow of cats in heat, dirty coat of the misbegotten goat da cabra mal parida. With this ladle I will raise the calls of this flame to resemble those of hell, and witches will flee on their broomsticks, going to bathe at the beach of thick sands na praia das areas gordas.
In , when the oil tanker Prestige sank and covered the Galician coast in oil, Fraga was accused by the grassroots movement Nunca Mais "Never again" of having been unwilling to react. In several parties and individuals abandoned the BNG.
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Topographically, a remarkable feature of Galicia is the presence of many firth -like inlets along the coast, estuaries that were drowned with rising sea levels after the ice age. Erosion by the Atlantic Ocean has contributed to the great number of capes. These archipelagos provide protected deepwater harbors and also provide habitat for seagoing birds.
A inventory estimates that the Galician coast has archipelagos, islets, and freestanding rocks. Other significant islands are Islas Malveiras, Islas Sisargas, and, the largest and holding the largest population, Arousa Island. Galicia is quite mountainous , a fact which has contributed to isolate the rural areas, hampering communications, most notably in the inland. Other  tall peaks are Pena Survia 2, metres or 6, feet in the Serra do Eixe, O Mustallar 1, metres or 6, feet in Os Ancares , and Cabeza de Manzaneda 1, metres or 5, feet in Serra de Queixa, where there is a ski resort.
Other rivers run directly into the Atlantic Ocean or the Cantabrian Sea , most of them having short courses.
Galicia's many hydroelectric dams take advantage of the steep, deep, narrow rivers and their canyons. Some rivers are navigable by small boats in their lower reaches: this is taken great advantage of in a number of semi-aquatic festivals and pilgrimages. Galicia has preserved some of its dense forests.
It is relatively unpolluted, and its landscapes composed of green hills, cliffs and rias are generally different from what is commonly understood as Spanish landscape. Nevertheless, Galicia has some important environmental problems.
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Deforestation and forest fires are a problem in many areas, as is the continual spread of the eucalyptus tree, a species imported from Australia, actively promoted by the paper industry since the midth century. Galicia is one of the more forested areas of Spain, but the majority of Galicia's plantations, usually growing eucalyptus or pine, lack any formal management. Apart from tree plantations Galicia is also notable for the extensive surface occupied by meadows used for animal husbandry, especially cattle , an important activity.
Hydroelectric development in most rivers has been a serious concern for local conservationists during the last decades. Fauna, most notably the European wolf , has suffered because of the actions of livestock owners and farmers, and because of the loss of habitats, whilst the native deer species have declined because of hunting and development.
Oil spills are a major issue. The Prestige oil spill in spilt more oil than the Exxon Valdez in Alaska. Galicia has more than 2, plant species and 31 endemic plant taxons. In the interior regions of the country, oak and bushland predominates. Galicia has inventoried species of vertebrates , including 12 species of freshwater fish, 15 amphibians , 24 reptiles , birds, and 59 mammals. The animals most often thought of as being "typical" of Galicia are the livestock raised there. The last is an endangered species , although it is showing signs of a comeback since Galicia is home to one of the largest population of wolves in western Europe.
Galicia's woodlands and mountains are also home to rabbits , hares , wild boars , and roe deer , all of which are popular with hunters.
From a domestic point of view, Galicia has been credited for author Manuel Rivas as the "land of one million cows". Galician Blond and Holstein cattle coexist on meadows and farms. Being located on the Atlantic coastline, Galicia has a very mild climate for the latitude and the marine influence affects most of the province to various degrees.
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In comparison to similar latitudes on the other side of the Atlantic, winters are exceptionally mild, with consistently rainfall. At sea level snow is exceptional, with temperatures just occasionally dropping below freezing; on the other hand, snow regularly fell in the eastern mountains from November to May. Overall, the climate of Galicia is comparable to the Pacific Northwest ; the warmest coastal station of Pontevedra has a yearly mean temperature of The more mountainous parts of the provinces of Ourense and Lugo receive significant snowfall during the winter months.
The sunniest city is Pontevedra with 2, sunny hours per year. Climate data for some locations in Galicia average — : . Galicia has partial self-governance, in the form of a devolved government , established on 16 March and reinforced by the Galician Statute of Autonomy , ratified on 28 April There are three branches of government : the executive branch , the Xunta de Galicia , consisting of the President and the other independently elected councillors;  the legislative branch consisting of the Galician Parliament ; and the judicial branch consisting of the High Court of Galicia and lower courts.
The Xunta de Galicia is a collective entity with executive and administrative power. It consists of the President , a vice president, and twelve councillors. Administrative power is largely delegated to dependent bodies. The President of the Xunta directs and coordinates the actions of the Xunta. He or she is simultaneously the representative of the autonomous community and of the Spanish state in Galicia. He or she is a member of the parliament and is elected by its deputies and then formally named by the monarch of Spain.
The Galician Parliament  consists of 75 deputies elected by universal adult suffrage under a system of proportional representation. The franchise includes also Galicians who reside abroad. Elections occur every four years. The last elections, held 25 September , resulted in the following distribution of seats: .
There are municipalities Galician : concellos in Galicia, each of which is run by a mayor-council government known as a concello. Galicia is also traditionally subdivided in some 3, civil parishes , each one comprising one or more vilas towns , aldeas villages , lugares hamlets or barrios neighbourhoods. Galicia's interests are represented at national level by 25 elected deputies in the Congress of Deputies and 19 senators in the Senate — of these, 16 are elected and 3 are appointed by the Galician parliament.
Prior to the territorial division of Spain Galicia was divided into seven administrative provinces : . Municipalities are divided into parishes, which may be further divided into aldeas "hamlets" or lugares "places". This traditional breakdown into such small areas is unusual when compared to the rest of Spain. Roughly half of the named population entities of Spain are in Galicia, which occupies only 5. It is estimated that Galicia has over a million named places, over 40, of them being communities. In comparison to the other regions of Spain, the major economic benefit of Galicia is its fishing Industry.
Galicia is a land of economic contrast. While the western coast, with its major population centers and its fishing and manufacturing industries, is prosperous and increasing in population, the rural hinterland—the provinces of Ourense and Lugo —is economically dependent on traditional agriculture, based on small landholdings called minifundios.
However, the rise of tourism, sustainable forestry and organic and traditional agriculture are bringing other possibilities to the Galician economy without compromising the preservation of the natural resources and the local culture. Traditionally, Galicia depended mainly on agriculture and fishing. Reflecting that history, the European Fisheries Control Agency , which coordinates fishing controls in European Union waters, is based in Vigo.
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Nonetheless, today the tertiary sector of the economy the service sector is the largest, with , workers out of a regional total of 1,, as of Of their eight brands, Zara is the best-known; indeed, it is the best-known Spanish brand of any sort on an international basis. In , 5. The unemployment rate stood at Galicia's main airport is Santiago de Compostela Airport. Having been used by 2,, passengers in , it connects the Galician capital with cities in Spain as well as several major European cities.
The most important Galician fishing port is the Port of Vigo ; It is one of the world's leading fishing ports, second only to Tokyo , with an annual catch worth 1, million euros. Beyond these, Galicia has other organized ports. The first railway line in Galicia was inaugurated 15 September Several high-speed rail lines are under construction.
Galicia's inhabitants are known as Galicians Galician : galegos , Spanish : gallegos. For well over a century Galicia has grown more slowly than the rest of Spain, due largely to a poorer economy compared with other regions of Spain and emigration to Latin America and to other parts of Spain. Sometimes Galicia has lost population in absolute terms. In , Galicia had Spain's densest population and constituted As of [update] , only 6. This is due to an exodus of Galician people since the 19th century, first to South America and later to Central Europe and to the development of population centers and industry in other parts of Spain.
According to the census, Galicia has a fertility rate of 1.
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The population of the rest of the province, including the City and Naval Station of nearby Ferrol and Santiago de Compostela, was , Economic development and mechanization of agriculture resulted in the fields being abandoned, and most of the population moving to find jobs in the main cities. The number of people working in the Tertiary and Quaternary sectors of the economy has increased significantly. Since , the absolute number of births in Galicia has been increasing. Since , the Galician life expectancy has increased by five years, thanks to a higher quality of life.
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