Dear Editor,

READ with interest your Viewpoint article in Thursday's paper. Started me thinking about American history. In particular the American Civil war. That war resulted in a loss of over a million casualties, and cost in excess of $6'190'000'000 1879 dollars. The commonly accepted cause of the war was the issue of slavery, but the underlying cause was the issue of a centralist Federal Government vs. the rights of the individual states or sections to determine their own laws. (Very simplified reasons) historians still can't agree on true causes, other than stubborn pride and self interests. The end effect of the war was the creation of a centralized government, that governed with the view of the greater good of the entire nation rather then that of the individual states. And this is where I disagree with your view of the “regional leaders knowing better what is good for their area”. Your statement may be true, but as history would indicate, what is good for an individual region may well not be in the interests of the State. If various provinces in Spain do receive autonomous status how can they work with the central government? Who will pay pensions, who will be responsible for the very good health care that we take for granted, irrigation projects, transportation systems, armed forces, just to name a few. How can you give a province autonomy in how they collect taxes, and how they spend this revenue without centralized government. I am a guest here in Spain and will not presume to say what is the best answer. That is an issue to be determined by my hosts. However I will say that you should be very careful in what you wish for - you just may get your wish.

Best regards,

Dan Hamilton