Catalonia (Catalan: Catalunya; French: Catalogne; Spanish: Cataluna), officially the Republic of Catalonia (Catalan: República de Catalunya) is a southwestern European nation located on the eastern shore of the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered to the west and south by Spain, to the north by France and Andorra, and is bordered to the east by the Mediterranean Sea, where it shares a partial sea border with Spain's Balearic Islands.
Catalonia was for much of its existence a part of Spain, and was suppressed and persecuted as the hotbed of opposition to the Francoist regime in the 1930s and during World War II. The German invasion of Spain began with the Gerona landings in late 1944 launched from Italy and Catalan was occupied by the Central Powers until 1948, when it held a plebiscite in conjunction with national elections to achieve independence. Josep Tarradellas became the first Prime Minister, leading a unity government for fifteen years from 1948 until he resigned in 1963 during a time of outstanding economic growth in Catalonia, a period known as the Iberian Miracle. After the Catalan Unity (Unitat Català) collapsed in 1964, Catalonia was ruled for 18 years by the center-left Independent Democracy (DI), and experienced similar diversification, deindustrialization and social liberalism as other Western powers, particularly in the Gràcia District of Barcelona. The DI would rule through social tumult and economic stagnation until the Convergence and Union alliance (CiU) took power in the 1982 elections, in which Jordi Pujol became Prime Minister and would remain so for 22 years until his party was defeated in 2004, making him the longest-interred democratically-elected Prime Minister in history.