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Kingdom of Spain
FLAG: The national flag, adopted in 1785, consists of three horizontal stripes: a yellow one—equal in size to the other two combined—between two red ones, with the coat of arms on the yellow stripe.
ANTHEM: Marcha Real Granadera (March of the Royal Grenadier).
MONETARY UNIT: The peseta was replaced by the euro as official currency as of 2002. The euro is divided into 100 cents. There are coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents and 1 euro and 2 euros. There are notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros. €1 = $1.25475 (or $1 = €0.79697) as of 2005.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is the legal standard.
HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; St. Joseph's Day, 19 March; Epiphany, 31 March; Day of St. Joseph the Artisan, 1 May; St. James's Day, 25 July; Assumption, 15 August; National Day and Hispanic Day, 12 October; All Saints' Day, 1 November; Immaculate Conception, 8 December; Christmas, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Corpus Christi.
TIME: 1 pm = noon GMT.
Occupying the greater part of the Iberian Peninsula, Spain is the third-largest country in Europe, with an area of 504,782 sq km (194,897 sq mi). Comparatively, the area occupied by Spain is slightly more than twice the size of the state of Oregon. This total includes the Balearic Islands (Islas Baleares) in the western Mediterranean Sea and the Canary Islands (Islas Canarias) in the Atlantic Ocean west of Morocco; both island groups are regarded as integral parts of metropolitan Spain. The Spanish mainland extends 1,085 km (674 mi) e–w and 950 km (590 mi) n–s. Bordered by the Bay of Biscay, France, and Andorra on the n, by the Mediterranean on the e and s, by Gibraltar and the Strait of Gibraltar on the s, by the Gulf of Cádiz on the sw, and by Portugal and the Atlantic on the w, Spain has a total land boundary of 1,918 km (1,192 mi) and a coastline of 4,964 km (3,084 mi). Spain also holds Ceuta, Melilla, and other "places of sovereignty" in the north of Morocco.
Spain has long claimed Gibraltar, a narrow peninsula on the south coast, which was taken by a British-Dutch fleet in 1704 and became a British colony under the Treaty of Utrecht (1713). In 2003, Gibraltar residents voted to remain a British colony and demanded greater participation in talks between the United Kingdom and Spain concerning the future of Gibraltar. The United Kingdom plans to grant Gibraltar greater autonomy, but Spain does not agree with this plan.
Spain's capital city, Madrid, is located in the center of the country.
Continental Spain is divided into five general topographic regions: (1) The northern coastal belt is a mountainous region with fertile valleys and large areas under pasture and covered with forests. (2) The central plateau, or Meseta, with an average altitude of about 670 m (2,200 ft), comprises most of Castilla y León, Castilla–La Mancha, and the city of Madrid. (3) Andalucía, with Sevilla its largest city, covers the whole of southern and southwestern Spain and, except for the flat fertile plain of the Guadalquivir River, is a mountainous region with deep fertile valleys. (4) The Levante is on the Mediterranean coastal belt, with Valencia its chief city. (5) Catalonia (Cataluña) and the Ebro Valley comprise the northeastern region.
Spain has six principal mountain ranges—the Pyrenees, the Cordillera Cantábrica, the Montes de Toledo, the Sierra Morena, the Serranías Penibéticas, and the Sistema Ibérico. The principal peaks are Pico de Aneto (3,404 m/11,168 ft) in the Pyrenees and Mulhacén (3,478 m/11,411 ft) in the Penibéticas. The main rivers are the Tagus (Tajo), Duero, Guadiana, and Guadalquivir, which flow to the Atlantic, and the Ebro, which flows to the Mediterranean. The Duero and the Guadalquivir form broad valleys and alluvial plains and at their mouths deposit saline soils, creating deltas and salt marshes. The coastline has few natural harbors except the estuaries (rías) in the northwest, formed by glaciers, and those in the Levante and the south, created by sandbars during the Quaternary period.
The Canary Islands are a group of 13 volcanic islands, of which 6 are barren. They have a ruggedly mountainous terrain interspersed with some fertile valleys. Spain's highest mountain, Pico de Teide (3,718 m/12,198 ft), is on Tenerife. The Balearic Islands are a picturesque group with sharply indented coastlines; they combine steep mountains with rolling, fertile ranges.
The climate of Spain is extremely varied. The northern coastal regions are cool and humid, with an average annual temperature of 14°c (57°f); temperatures at Bilbao range from an average of 10°c (50°f) in January–March to 19°c (66°f) during July–September. The central plateau is cold in the winter and hot in the summer; Madrid has a winter average of about 8°c (46°f) and a summer average of 23°c (73°f). In Andalucía and the Levante, the climate is temperate except in summer, when temperatures sometimes reach above 40°c (104°f) in the shade. The northern coastal regions have an average annual rainfall of 99 cm (39 in); the southern coastal belt has 41–79 cm (16–31 in); and the interior central plain averages no more than 50 cm (20 in) annually.
Because of its wide variety of climate, Spain has a greater variety of natural vegetation than any other European country; some 8,000 species are cataloged. Nevertheless, vegetation is generally sparse. In the humid areas of the north there are deciduous trees (including oak, chestnut, elm, beech, and poplar), as well as varieties of pine. Pine, juniper, and other evergreens, particularly the ilex and cork oak, and drought-resistant shrubs predominate in the dry southern region. Much of the Meseta and of Andalucía has steppe vegetation. The Canaries, named for the wild dogs (Canariae insulae) once found there, support both Mediterranean and African flora. A small, yellow-tinged finch on the islands has given the name "canary" to a variety of yellow songbirds widely bred as house pets. Animal life in Spain is limited by the pressure of population and few wild species remain. As of 2002, there were at least 82 species of mammals, 281 species of birds, and over 5,000 species of plants throughout the country.
Extensive forests are now limited to the Pyrenees and the Asturias-Galicia area in the north because centuries of unplanned cutting have depleted stands. Fire eliminates 700,000 to 1,000,000 hectares of forestland each year. Government reforestation schemes meet with difficulties where sheep and goats graze freely over large areas. During the 1980s, an average of 92,000 hectares (227,000 acres) were reforested annually. Erosion affects about 18% of the total land mass of Spain.
Air pollution is also a problem in Spain. In 1995 industrial carbon dioxide emissions totaled 223.2 million metric tons (a per capita level of 5.72 metric tons), ranking Spain 20th compared to the other nations of the world. In 2000, the total of carbon dioxide emissions was at 282.9 million metric tons. Industrial and agricultural sources contribute to the nation's water pollution problem. Spain is also vulnerable to oil pollution from tankers which travel the shipping routes near the nation's shores. Spain's cities produce about 13.8 million tons of solid waste per year.
Principal environmental responsibility is vested in the Directorate General of the Environment, within the Ministry of Public Works and Urban Affairs. As of 2003, 8.5% of the country's total land area is protected, including 4 natural UNESCO World Heritage sites and 49 Ramsar wetland sites. According to a 2006 report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), threatened species included 20 types of mammals, 20 species of birds, 8 types of reptiles, 4 species of amphibians, 24 species of fish, 27 types of mollusks, 36 species of other invertebrates, and 14 species of plants. Threatened species included the Spanish lynx, Pyrenean ibex, Mediterranean monk seal, northern bald ibis, Spanish imperial eagle, Cantabrian capercaillie, dusky large blue and Nevada blue butterflies, and on the Canary Islands, the green sea turtle and Hierro giant lizard. The Canarian black oystercatcher and the Canary mouse have become extinct.
The population of Spain in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations (UN) at 43,484,000, which placed it at number 29 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In 2005, approximately 17% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 15% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 96 males for every 100 females in the country. According to the UN, the annual population rate of change for 2005–10 was expected to be 0.1%, a rate the government viewed as too low. The projected population for the year 2025 was 46,164,000. The population density was 86 per sq km (223 per sq mi).
The UN estimated that 76% of the population lived in urban areas in 2005, and that urban areas were growing at an annual rate of 0.21%. The capital city, Madrid, had a population of 5,103,000 in that year. Other large urban areas and their estimated populations include Barcelona (4,424,000), Valencia (796,549), Sevilla (704,154), Zaragoza (647,373), and Málaga (558,287).
Emigration of Spanish workers to the more industrialized countries of Western Europe, notably to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), France, Switzerland, and Belgium, increased markedly during the 1960s, but since 1973 the number of Spaniards returning to Spain has been greater than the number of those leaving. Nevertheless, more than 1.7 million Spanish citizens were residing outside the country in 1987. In 2001 there were 1,109,060 foreign residents in Spain, 2.5% of total population. There were 234,937 Moroccans, 84,699 Ecuadorians, 80,183 British, 62,506 Germans, 48,710 Colombians, 44,798 French, and 42,634 Portuguese.
Internal migration was 685,966 in 1990. In the past it has been directed toward the more industrialized zones and the great urban centers, and away from the rural areas. Rural-to-urban and urban-to-rural migration is now roughly in balance.
Placed into practice in 2001, Plan Greco was a scheme to regularize the immigration process; it was paralleled by a labor quota system aimed at responding to short and long-term labor shortages. However, both employers and labor unions agreed that the 2002 labor quota was a failure, falling short of the necessary workers. Between 1995–2004 Spain's legal foreign-born population quadrupled from 500,000 to 2,000,000. All the same, Spain still had an estimated 1.2 million unauthorized migrants at the end of 2004. In 2005, Spain had its fifth and largest legalization program with 690,679 unauthorized foreign workers applying.
A gateway into Europe, Spain receives large numbers of non-European migrants through Ceuta and Melilla. Between 1984–98, an estimated 8,000 people were granted refugee status. In 2004, 15,675 illegal migrants traveled on 740 boats that were intercepted, and in 2005 a boat with 300 Moroccans attempting to enter southern Spain was seized. In 1998, 6,654 people applied for asylum in Spain, up from 4,730 in 1996, however by 2004 none applied. Also in 2004, 5,635 people were recognized as refugees and there were 14 others of concern to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In 2005, the net migration rate was an estimated 0.99 migrants per 1,000 population. In 2003 worker remittances were $4.7 billion.
Ethnological studies reveal a homogeneous Latin stock in three-fourths of the country. The greatest contrasts are found between those of Celtic, Iberic, and Gothic antecedents in the north and those of southern lineage. The great mobility of the population toward the urban centers, the coast, and the islands has contributed to the diffusion of ethnic characteristics.
Cultural groups, but not properly distinct ethnic groups, include the Castilians of central Spain, the Asturians and the Basques of Vizcaya, Álava, Guipúzcoa, and (in part) Navarra provinces in the north, the Catalans of Catalonia, the Galicians of the far north-west, and the Andalusians of the south. The Basques, Galicians, and Catalans consider themselves separate nations within Spain; they enjoy considerable cultural, economic, and political autonomy. Estimates of the Roma population are usually given as several hundred thousand.
According to the 1978 constitution, Spanish is the national language. Castilian, the dialect of the central and southern regions, is spoken by most Spaniards (74%) and is used in the schools and courts. Regional languages—Catalan (spoken by 17% of the population), Galician (7%), Basque (2%), Bable, and Valencian—are also official in the respective autonomous communities, where education is bilingual.
Regional languages are spoken by over 16 million persons in Spain. A majority of those who live in the northeastern provinces and the Balearic Islands spoke Catalan, a neo-Latin tongue. Galician, close to Portuguese, was used in Galicia, in the northwest corner of Spain. The Basques in northern Spain spoke Basque, a pre-Roman language unrelated to any other known tongue and using an ancient script. Bable, a form of Old Castilian was spoken in Asturias (northwest), and Valencian, a dialect of Catalan, was used by inhabitants of the eastern province of Valencia.
In 2003, the Center for Sociological Investigations reported that about 81% of respondents were nominally Catholic, but 42% admitted that they never attend Mass. In the same survey, 11.6% claimed to be agnostics and 4.1% claimed to be atheists. Protestants, numbering about 350,000, are represented by the Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities. The Federation of Spanish Islamic Entities (FEERI), located in Córdoba, reports that there are about one million Muslims, including both legal and illegal immigrants. There are about 40,000–50,000 Jews in the country. There are also about 9,000 practicing Buddhists.
Roman Catholicism was once the official religion of Spain, but the constitution of 1978 established the principles of religious freedom and separation of church and state. The Roman Catholic Church does, however, continue to maintain certain privileges, as well as monetary support, from the state.
In 2002, Spain had an estimated 346,858 km (215,538 mi) of roadways, of which 343,389 km (213,382 mi) were paved highways, including 9,063 km (5,632 mi) of expressways. The Mediterranean and Cantábrico routes are the most important. In 2003, there were 19,293,263 passenger cars and 4,255,275 commercial vehicles.
In 2004, the National Spanish Railway Network encompassed 14,781 km (9,194 mi) of broad, standard and narrow gauge railways, of which broad gauge was the largest portion at 11,829 km (7,358 mi), followed by narrow gauge at 1,954 km (1,215 mi), and standard gauge at 998 km (621 mi). A total of 7,718 km (4,801 mi) of railway (broad, standard and narrow gauge) were electrified.
Of Spain's 200 ports, 26 are of commercial significance. The largest are Barcelona, Tarragona, and Cartagena on the Mediter-ranean, Algeciras on the Strait of Gibraltar, La Coruña on the Atlantic, and Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canaries. The port of Bilbao, on the Bay of Biscay, can accommodate tankers of up to 500,000 tons. Substantial improvements were made during the 1970s at Gijón, Huelva, and Valencia. Scheduled ferry services connect Spain with neighboring countries and North Africa. In 2005, the merchant fleet was comprised of 182 vessels of 1,000 GRT or more, totaling 1,740,974 GRT. As of 2003, Spain had 1,045 km (650 mi) of navigable inland waterways.
Spain had an estimated 156 airports and airfields in 2004. As of 2005, a total of 95 had paved runways, and there were also eight heliports. Principal airports include Alicante, Prat at Barcelona, Ibiza, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria at Las Palmas, Barajas at Madrid, Málaga, Menorca, Son San Juan at Palma Mallorca, and Valencia. The state-owned Iberia Air Lines has regular connections with 50 countries and 89 cities in Europe, Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), and the Western Hemisphere. Other Spanish airlines are Aviaco, Air Europa, Viva Air, Binter Canarias, and Spanair. In 2003, about 42.507 million passengers were carried on domestic and international flights, and 879 million ton-km (546 million ton-mi) of freight.
Archaeological findings indicate that the region now known as Spain has been inhabited for thousands of years. A shrine near Santander, discovered in 1981, is believed to be over 14,000 years old, and the paintings discovered in the nearby caves of Altamira in 1879 are of comparable antiquity. The recorded history of Spain begins about 1000 bc, when the prehistoric Iberian culture was transformed by the invasion of Celtic tribes from the north and the coming of Phoenician and Greek colonists to the Spanish coast. From the 6th to the 2nd century bc, Carthage controlled the Iberian Peninsula up to the Ebro River; from 133 bc, with the fall of Numantia, until the barbarian invasions of the 5th century ad, Rome held Hispania, from which the name Spain is derived. During the Roman period, cities and roads were built, and Christianity and Latin, the language from which Spanish originated, were introduced. In the 5th century, the Visigoths, or western Goths, settled in Spain, dominating the country until 711, when the invading Moors defeated King Roderick. All of Spain, except for a few northern districts, knew Muslim rule for periods ranging from 300 to 800 years. Under Islam, a rich civilization arose, characterized by prosperous cities, industries, and agriculture and by brilliant writers, philosophers, and physicians, including Jews as well as Muslims. Throughout this period (711–1492), however, Christian Spain waged intermittent and local war against the Moors. The most prominent figure in this battle was El Cid, who fought for both Christians and Moors in the 11th century. By the 13th century, Muslim rule was restricted to the south of Spain. In 1492, Granada, the last Moorish stronghold on Spanish soil, fell, and Spain was unified under Ferdinand II of Aragón and Isabella I of Castile, the "Catholic Sovereigns." Until then, Aragón (consisting of Aragón, Catalonia, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands) had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, and had competed with Genoa and Venice. In order to strengthen the unity of the new state, Moors and Jews were expelled from Spain; Catholic converts who chose to stay were subject to the terrors of the Inquisition if suspected of practicing their former religions. The year 1492 also witnessed the official European discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus, sailing under the Castilian flag. In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese in the service of Spain, began the first circumnavigation of the world, completed in 1522 by Juan Sebastián Elcano.
The 16th century, particularly under Charles I, who was also Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, was the golden age of Spain: its empire in the Americas produced vast wealth; its arts flourished; its fleet ruled the high seas; and its armies were the strongest in Europe. By the latter part of the 16th century, however, under Philip II, the toll of religious wars in Europe and the flow of people and resources to the New World had drained the strength of the Spanish nation; in 1588, the "invincible" Spanish Armada was defeated by England. Spain's continental power was ended by wars with England, the Netherlands, and France in the 17th century and by the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), which also established the Bourbon (Borbón) dynasty in Spain. In 1808, the enfeebled Spanish monarchy was temporarily ended, and Napoleon Bonaparte's brother Joseph was proclaimed king of Spain. On 2 May 1808, however, the Spanish people revolted and, later assisted by the British, drove the French from Spain. In the post-Napoleonic period, the Bourbons were restored to the Spanish throne, but a spirit of liberalism, symbolized by the 1812 Constitution of Cádiz, remained strong.
Much of the 19th and early 20th centuries were consumed in passionate struggles between radical republicanism and absolute monarchy. Abroad, imperial Spain lost most of its dominions in the Western Hemisphere as a result of colonial rebellions in the first half of the 19th century; Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines were lost as a result of the Spanish-American War in 1898. Spain remained neutral in World War I but in the postwar period engaged in extensive military action to maintain its colonial possessions in Morocco. Early defeats in the Moroccan campaign paved the way in 1923 for the benevolent dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, who successfully ended the war in 1927 and remained in power under the monarchy until 1930. In 1931, after municipal elections indicated a large urban vote in favor of a republic, Alfonso XIII left Spain and a republic was established.
The constitution of December 1931 defined Spain as a "democratic republic of workers," with "no official religion," respecting the "rules of international law … renouncing war as an instrument of national policy and recognizing the principle of regional autonomy." Neither right nor left had a parliamentary majority, and on the whole the coalition governments were ineffective. On 17 July 1936, an army revolt against the republic took place in Spanish Morocco. On the following day, Gen. Francisco Franco landed in Spain, and for the next two and a half years, until 31 March 1939, Spain was ravaged by civil war. The two contending parties were the Republicans, made up partly of democrats and partly of antidemocratic left-wing groups, and the rebels (Nationalists), who favored the establishment of a right-wing dictatorship. Almost from the beginning, a number of foreign countries intervened. Germany and Italy furnished manpower and armaments to the Nationalists, while the USSR, Czechoslovakia, and Mexico supported the Republicans. Finally the Republicans were defeated, and General Franco formed a corporative state. Under the Franco regime, Spain gave aid to the Axis powers in World War II but was itself a nonbelligerent.
The Postwar Years
Diplomatically isolated following the end of World War II, Spain in succeeding decades improved its international standing, in part by signing economic and military agreements with the United States in 1953 and 1963. Spain was admitted to the UN in 1955. While relations with its European neighbors approached normality, the repressive nature of the Franco regime kept Spain apart from the main social, political, and economic currents of postwar Western Europe.
On 22 July 1969, Juan Carlos de Borbón y Borbón was officially designated by Franco as his successor, to rule with the title of king; formally, Franco had been ruling as regent for the prince since 1947. On 20 November 1975, Gen. Franco died at the age of 82, thus ending a career that had dominated nearly four decades of Spanish history. Two days later, Juan Carlos I was sworn in as king. He reconfirmed Carlos Arias Navarro as prime minister on 5 December. Despite Juan Carlos I's announcement, in early 1976, of a program of moderate political and social reform, the new government was received with widespread demonstrations by labor groups and Catalan and Basque separatists. Continued political unrest, coupled with a sharp rise in living costs, led ultimately to the king's dismissal of Arias Navarro, who was replaced, on 7 July, by Adolfo Suárez González.
On 15 June 1977, the first democratic elections in Spain in 40 years took place, with the Union of the Democratic Center (Unión de Centro Democrático—UCD), headed by Suárez, winning a majority in the new Cortes. The Cortes prepared a new constitution (in many respects similar to that of 1931), which was approved by popular referendum and sanctioned by the king in December 1978. In the elections of March 1979, the UCD was again the victor, and in the April local elections it captured more than 75% of the municipalities.
When Suárez announced his resignation in January 1981, the king named Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo y Bustelo to the premiership. As the Cortes wavered over the appointment, a group of armed civil guards stormed parliament on 23 February and held more than 300 deputies hostage for 17 hours. The attempted coup was swiftly neutralized by the king, who secured the loyalty of other military commanders. The plotters were arrested, and Sotelo was swiftly confirmed. A year of political wrangling followed; by mid-1982 the UCD was in disarray, and Sotelo called new elections. In October 1982, the Spanish Socialist Worker's Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español—PSOE), headed by Felipe González Márquez, won absolute majorities in both houses of parliament. The new government was characterized by its relative youthfulness—the average age of cabinet ministers was 41—and by the fact that its members had no links with the Franco dictatorship. In the 1986 and 1989 elections, the PSOE again won majorities in both houses of parliament. The PSOE failed to win a majority in 1993 but governed with the support of the Basque and Catalan nationalist parties.
A continuing problem since the late 1960s has been political violence, especially in the Basque region. Political murders and kidnappings, mainly perpetrated by the separatist Basque Nation and Liberty (Euzkadi ta Askatasuna), commonly known as ETA, by the Antifascist Resistance Groups (GRAPO), and by several rightwing groups, abated only slightly in recent years. Another uncertainty in Spain's political future was the role of the military. Several army officers were arrested in October 1982 on charges of plotting a pre-election coup, which reportedly had the backing of those involved in the February 1981 attempt. Spain joined NATO in 1982, but the membership question became so controversial that a referendum on it was held in March 1986; about two-thirds of the electorate voted, and 53% chose continued NATO membership. On 1 January of that year, Spain became a full member of the EC (now EU). In January 1988, the United States, acceding to Spain's demands, agreed to withdraw 72 jet fighters based near Madrid.
Spain received considerable recognition with the holding of the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, and Expo 92, a world's fair, in Sevilla. Other notable events included the designation of Madrid as the culture capital of Europe in 1992.
Throughout 1995–2000 Basque terrorists continued their attacks on civilian, police, and military targets and began to target more visible political targets. In August of 1995, the terrorists came close to assassinating King Juan Carlos while he was vacationing on the island of Majorca, off the southeastern coast of Spain. In 1997 Basque terrorists killed an important Socialist official of one of the Basque regions. In 2000, Jose Luis Lopez de la Calle, a Madrid newspaper columnist who was outspoken in his criticism of the Basque group, ETA, was shot to death outside his home. Thousands marched in the streets to protest his killing.
In 1995 information came to light that revealed that from 1983 to 1987 government officials in cooperation with the Civil Guard (Spain's national police force) formed death squads to hunt down and kill Basque terrorists living in France. The squads were disbanded after France agreed to greater cooperation with Spanish authorities, but not before 27 suspected Basque terrorists had been killed. The existence of the death squads may have remained a secret, but two death squad members were caught in the course of an attack and prosecuted for murder. At first government officials secured the silence of these two men by agreeing to make yearly payments to their wives, but by 1994 they felt that the story should no longer be hidden and revealed it to the world from their jail cells. Initially, Prime Minister Gonzalez had been charged with having knowledge of the attacks but an official inquiry into the charges concluded that they were groundless and he was completely exonerated.
Although French and Spanish security officials worked together to combat terrorism, violence attributed to the Basque terrorists continued into the 2000s. However, public support for Basque terrorists had waned nearly completely. A 1996 Basque execution of a kidnapped university professor brought out almost a half-million protesters in Madrid alone denouncing the Basque terrorists. A year later and again in 2000, assassinations allegedly carried out by Basque terrorists triggered large protests as well. The ETA was suspected of being behind bombings in several tourist resorts in June 2002 as an EU summit was held in Seville. In February 2003, Basque Socialist Party activist Joseba Pagazaurtundua was assassinated; the shooting was attributed to the ETA. Batasuna, the separatist Basque political party believed to be the political arm of the ETA, was banned by the Supreme Court in 2003. This ban prevented Batasuna candidates from running in municipal elections that year. In February 2005, a car bomb exploded in Madrid, injuring about 40 people: ETA was suspected of being responsible for the attack. In May 2005, the government offered to hold peace talks with the ETA if the group disarmed.
As Spain attempts to hold itself together against regional separatism, it joined with seven other nations in 1995 to create a passport-free zone that allowed much greater mobility between them. Spain also rejoined the NATO Military Command in the mid-1990s, making it once again a full member of the alliance. The adjustments to Spain's economy carried out in the mid- and late-1990s were successful. As a result, Spain was one of the 11 countries that joined together in launching the euro, the European Union's single currency, on 1 January 1999. (Greece joined shortly thereafter, bringing the number of countries in the euro zone to 12.)
On 11 July 2002, 12 Moroccan frontier guards landed on the island of Perejil, which is claimed by Spain, and claimed it as Moroccan territory. Spain's Prime Minister José María Aznar opposed the occupation, and sent troops to evacuate the Moroccan guards. Diplomatic relations between Spain and Morocco improved in December 2002, when plans were made for the return of each state's ambassadors.
During 2002 and into 2003, Aznar affirmed Spain's support for the United States and British position on the use of military force to force Iraq to disarm itself of weapons of mass destruction. Over 90% of Spain's citizens were against a war in Iraq, which began on 19 March 2003. Spain's pro-US stance alienated France and Germany, among other nations opposing the use of military force. Spain did not commit combat troops to fight alongside US and British forces, but it sent 900 troops trained in medical support and anti-mine specialties to assist the coalition forces.
On 11 March 2004, Madrid suffered a major terrorist attack as four rush-hour trains were bombed simultaneously in 10 explosions, killing 191 people and wounding more than 1,400. An Islamic group with links to the al-Qaeda organization was later blamed for the attacks. The attacks took place three days prior to general elections. On 12 March, massive demonstrations in many Spanish cities were held (some 11.4 million people took part, more than a fourth of the Spanish population), which denounced terrorism, and in part the Aznar administration for its support of the war in Iraq and the presence of Spanish troops there. In the general elections held on 14 March, the Socialists, led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, defied earlier public opinion polls and won nearly 43% of the vote for a gain of 39 seats in the Congress of Deputies. When Zapatero was sworn in as president of the government and prime minister in April, he ordered the withdrawal of all Spanish troops from Iraq. The next presidential elections were scheduled for March 2008.
In February 2005, Spanish voters approved the EU constitution in a referendum by 77%. However, the French and Dutch rejections of the constitution in May and June 2005 indefinitely shelved plans for the EU to adopt such a document for itself.
In June 2005, the Spanish parliament defied the Roman Catholic Church by legalizing gay marriage and granting homosexual couples the same adoption and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples. As of late 2005, four countries in the world—Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Canada—had legalized same-sex marriages.
Between 1966 and 1978, Spain was governed under the Organic Law of the Spanish State. A new constitution, approved by the Cortes on 31 October 1978 and by the electorate in a national referendum on 6 December, and ratified by King Juan Carlos I on 27 December 1978, repealed all the laws of the Franco regime and confirmed Spain as a parliamentary monarchy. It also guaranteed the democratic functioning of all political parties, disestablished the Roman Catholic Church, and recognized the right to autonomy of distinct nationalities and regions.
According to the constitution, the king is the head of state, symbolizing its unity. Legislative power is vested in the Cortes Generales (General Courts), consisting of two chambers: the Congreso de los Diputados (Congress of Deputies) with 350 members (deputies); and the Senado (Senate) with 259 members (senators). All deputies and 208 of the senators are popularly elected to four-year terms under universal adult suffrage. The remaining senators (51) are chosen by the assemblies in the 17 autonomous regions. The government, which is answerable to the congress, consists of the president (prime minister), vice president, and ministers, all appointed by the king. The supreme consultative organ of government is the Council of State. Also established by the constitution is the function of "defender of the people," inspired by medieval tradition and by the Scandinavian ombudsman. Suffrage is universal at age 18.
The Falange, known officially as the Nationalist Movement, was the only legally functioning party in Spain during the Franco regime. Founded in 1933 by José Antonio Primo de Rivera, it dated in its later form from 1937, when various right-wing groups were united under Gen. Franco. Nationalists, monarchists, and national syndicalists (Fascists) were the leading groups within the Falange. It lost some of its former power and much of its prestige during the last decades of Franco's regime. On 21 December 1974, the Franco government passed a law conferring a limited right of political association. On 9 June 1976, after Franco's death, the Cortes voted to legalize political parties; by the 1977 parliamentary elections, no fewer than 156 political parties were organized into 10 national coalitions and 12 regional alliances.
The Spanish political scene is characterized by changing parties and shifting alliances. The Union of the Democratic Center (Unión de Centro Democrático—UCD) was formed as an electoral coalition of smaller moderate parties. From 1977 to 1982, the UCD was the governing political body, headed first by Adolfo Suárez González and then by Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo y Bustelo. In late 1981, the UCD began to disintegrate; it won only 8% of the vote in the 1982 elections and was dissolved in February 1983. A new centrist party, the Democratic and Social Center (Centro Democrático y Social—CDS), was created in 1982. The Spanish Socialist Worker's Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español—PSOE), which traces its lineage to the late 19th century, won absolute majorities in both chambers of the Cortes in October 1982 and June 1986.
The right is represented by the Popular Party or PP, embracing the Alianza Popular, the Christian Democratic Partido Demócrata Popular, and the Partido Liberal; the coalition took 26% of the 1986 vote. An extreme rightist party, New Force (Fuerza Nueva), lost its only seat in parliament in 1982 and thereupon dissolved. The Communist Party (Partido Comunista—PC), legalized in 1977, was one of the most outspoken "Eurocommunist" parties in the late 1970s, harshly criticizing the former USSR for human rights abuses. In the 1986 election, the PC formed part of the United Left coalition (Izquierda Unida—IU), which included a rival Communist faction and several socialist parties; the IU's share of the vote was 4.6%. Nationalist parties function in Catalonia, Andalucía, the Basque Provinces, and other areas. The most powerful are the Catalan Convergence and Union (CIU), the Basque Nationalists (PNV), and the Canaries Coalition (CC).
Despite charges of corruption and economic mismanagement, the PSOE secured electoral victories in 1989 and 1993; however, the party finished 17 seats short of a parliamentary majority in 1993. A noticeable shift toward the conservative PP was evident with a 34-seat gain between 1989 and 1993. PSOE secretary-general Felipe Gonzalez Marquez received endorsement for a fourth term as prime minister, receiving support from the small Basque and Catalan nationalist parties.
In 1996, however, Gonzalez was turned out of power by José María Aznar, a young conservative leader with little international visibility. Aznar, as leader of PP, won reelection as prime minister in the March 2000 election, the first in which a center-right party won majority control of the government outright. In the March 2004 election, which was held three days after the 11 March Madrid train bombings, Aznar's PP lost 39 seats in the Congress of Deputies and the PSOE gained 35 seats to hold 164 seats in the chamber. The PSOE victory was seen to have been a reaction to the train bombings, which were blamed in part on the Aznar administration for its support of the US-led war in Iraq. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of the PSOE became prime minister.
The distribution of seats in the Congress of Deputies following the March 2004 election was as follows: PSOE, 164; PP, 148; CIU, 10; ERC (a Catalan party), 8; PNV, 7; CC, 3; IU, 2; and others, 8. Election results for the Senate were as follows: PP, 102; PSOE, 81; Entesa Catalona de Progress, 12; PNV, 6; CIU, 4; and CC, 3. The next elections for the Congress of Deputies and the Senate were scheduled for March 2008.
Spain is divided into 17 autonomous regions, each of which has an elected assembly and a governor appointed by the central government. Municipalities are gradually becoming consolidated; their number had declined to about 8,000 by the early 2000s. Each municipality has a mayor (alcalde ) and councilmen (concejales ); the councilmen, directly elected by the people, elect the mayors. Fifty-one of the 259 members of the Senate are chosen by the regional assemblies.
The statutes governing the Basque and Catalan autonomous communities, providing for regional high courts and legislative assemblies, were approved by referendum in October 1979; the statutes for Galicia in December 1980; and those for Andalucía in October 1981. Autonomy statutes for the other 11 historic regions of continental Spain and the Balearic and Canary Islands were subsequently approved and a regular electoral process begun.
According to the 1978 constitution, the judiciary is independent and subject only to the rule of law. The highest judicial body is the Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo ), the president of which is nominated by the 20 judges of the General Council of the Judiciary and appointed by the king.
Territorial high courts (audiencias ) are the courts of last appeal in the 17 regions of the country; provincial audiencias serve as appellate courts in civil matters and as courts of first instance in criminal cases. On the lowest level are the judges of the first instance and instruction, district judges, and justices of the peace.
The National High Court (Audiencia Nacional ), created in 1977, has jurisdiction over criminal cases that transgress regional boundaries and over civil cases involving the central state administration. The constitution of 1978 also established the 12-member Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucional ), with competence to judge the constitutionality of laws and decide disputes between the central government and the autonomous regions. The European Court of Human Rights is the final arbiter in cases concerning human rights.
Defendants in criminal cases have the right to counsel at state expense if indigent. The constitution prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention. Suspects may be held for no more than three days without a judicial hearing.
A jury system was established in 1995, and a new penal code was enacted in 1996.
The constitution provides for the right to a fair public trial and the government respects this provision in practice.
In 2005, Spain's active armed forces totaled 147,255 active personnel. Reservists numbered 319,000 for all three services. The 95,600-member Army was armed with 323 main battle tanks, 270 reconnaissance vehicles, 144 armored infantry fighting vehicles, 2,022 armored personnel carriers, and 2,013 artillery pieces. The Navy had 19,455 active personnel, including 814 naval aviation personnel and 5,300 Marines. Major naval units included one aircraft carrier, 12 frigates, 5 tactical submarines, 36 coastal and patrol vessels, in addition to various mine warfare, amphibious and transport vessels. The Spanish Air Force had 22,750 personnel and 177 combat capable aircraft, including 75 fighters and 91 fighter ground attack aircraft. Spain in 2005 had a paramilitary force of 73,360 personnel, of which 72,600 were members of the Guardia Civil. Another 760 comprised the Guardia Civil del Mar. Spain provided troops to UN peacekeeping and other European Union and NATO military missions in eight regions or countries. In 2005 Spain's defense budget totaled spent $8.8 billion.
Spain joined the United Nations on 14 December 1955; it participates in ECE, ECLAC, and several nonregional specialized agencies, such as the FAO, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, ILO, the World Bank, and the WHO. Spain is also a member of the Council of Europe, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, NATO, OECD, the WTO, OSCE, the Paris Club, the Western European Union, and the European Union. The nation holds observer status in the OAS and the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA).
Spain has supported UN missions and operations in Kosovo (est. 1999), Ethiopia and Eritrea (est. 2000), Burundi (est. 2004), Haiti (est. 2004), and the DROC (est. 1999). The nation is part of the Australia Group, the Zangger Committee, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (London Group), and the Nuclear Energy Agency. In environmental cooperation, Spain is part of the Antarctic Treaty; the Basel Convention; Conventions on Biological Diversity, Whaling, and Air Pollution; Ramsar; CITES; the London Convention; International Tropical Timber Agreements; the Kyoto Protocol; the Montréal Protocol; MARPOL; the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; and the UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea, Climate Change, and Desertification.
Agriculture, livestock, and mining—the traditional economic mainstays—no longer occupy the greater part of the labor force or provide most of the exports. In order to offset the damage suffered by the industrial sector during the Civil War and to cope with the problems created by Spain's post-World War II isolation, the Franco regime concentrated its efforts on industrial expansion. Especially after 1953, the industrial sector expanded rapidly. In terms of per capita income, Spain's economy stands at 80% of the four largest West European economies, with an estimated GDP (purchasing power parity) of $23,300 per person in 2004.
From 1974 through the early 1980s, the Spanish economy was adversely affected by international factors, especially oil price increases. Tourism is a major source of foreign exchange, and in 2000 was generating 10% of GDP (up from 3.3% in 1995) and employing, directly or indirectly, one eighth of the labor force. Spain is the world's second most popular tourist destination, after France. Spain had 53.6 million tourists in 2004, a 3.4% increase over 2003, despite the terrorist attacks on Spain's commuter trains on 11 March 2004, which killed 191 people and injured 1,500. The annual GDP growth rate during 1974–77 was 3%, higher than that in other OECD countries, but the inflation rate reached 24% in 1977. Real GDP growth slowed to about 1.6% during 1980–85, averaged 3.5% between 1985 and 1992, but slowed to a yearly average of 1.3% between 1993–95. By 1998, however, it had increased to 3.5%, and in 1999 and 2000, averaged over 4%. The global economic slowdown after 2001 helped reduce GDP growth to 2.5% in 2001 and to 2.3% in 2002. Real GDP growth averaged 3.3% over the period 2000–04. Spanish economic growth was expected to be 3.1% in 2005, due to strong momentum in the domestic economy, and then was forecast to gradually slow to 2.4% by 2007. This slowdown was forecast to stabilize the large current account deficit, which was estimated at 5.9% of GDP in 2005.
Consumer prices rose 37% between 1989 and 1995, and unemployment rose from 17.3% to 21.3%, the highest in the EU. Macroeconomic improvements from 1995 to 1998, however, were sufficient for Spain to be included in the first group of EU members to enter the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in 1999. By 1998 inflation had been reduced to 1.8%. From 1999 to 2002, inflation was held to between 2% and 4%. Unemployment fell to 18.7% in 1998 and then to 15.7% in 1999. Although still quite high, unemployment continued to fall—to 13.9% in 2000 and 10.5% in 2001—before registering an increase to 11.2% in 2002. The inflation rate averaged 3.3% from 2000–04. Inflation was predicted to fall from the rate of 3.4% in 2005, as was unemployment; the unemployment rate in 2004 stood at 10.4%. The Rodriguez Zapatero government pursued job creation upon coming into power in April 2004; joblessness is among the highest in the EU, and profound changes to labor market regulations have been called for to reduce unemployment further.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2005 Spain's gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $1.0 trillion. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars. The per capita GDP was estimated at $25,100. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 3.3%. The average inflation rate in 2005 was 3.4%. It was estimated that agriculture accounted for 3.4% of GDP, industry 28.7%, and services 67.9%.
According to the World Bank, in 2003 remittances from citizens working abroad totaled $6.068 billion or about $148 per capita and accounted for approximately 0.7% of GDP. Foreign aid receipts amounted to $672 million and accounted for approximately 3.7% of the gross national income (GNI).
The World Bank reports that in 2003 household consumption in Spain totaled $485.78 billion or about $11,819 per capita based on a GDP of $838.7 billion, measured in current dollars rather than PPP. Household consumption includes expenditures of individuals, households, and nongovernmental organizations on goods and services, excluding purchases of dwellings. It was estimated that for the period 1990 to 2003 household consumption grew at an average annual rate of 2.6%. In 2001 it was estimated that approximately 33% of household consumption was spent on food, 11% on fuel, 3% on health care, and 5% on education.
In 2005, Spain's labor force totaled an estimated 20.67 million. As of 2004, the workforce was distributed as follows: services 64.6%; manufacturing, mining and construction 30.1%; and agriculture 5.3%. Employment in agriculture has been in steady decline; many farm workers have been absorbed by construction and industry. Unemployment averaged about 22% during 1997, but had fallen to 11% by 2002. As of 2005, Spain's unemployment rate was estimated at 10.1%.
The constitution of 1978 guarantees the freedom to form unions and the right to strike. The law provides for the right to bargain collectively, and unions exercise this right in practice. In the private sector, as of 2005, 85–90% of workers were covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Discrimination against union activity is illegal. In 2005, approximately 15% of the workforce was unionized.
The monthly minimum wage was $620 in 2005. This wage provides a decent standard of living for a family. The regular work-week was 40 hours, with a mandated 36-hour rest period. In addition, workers receive 12 paid holidays per year and one month's paid vacation. The legal minimum age for employment was 16 years, and this is enforced by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
During 1970–2003, the proportion of the GDP from agriculture fell from 11.3% to 3%, and the proportion of workers employed in agriculture decreased from 26% to about 7%. Arable cropland in 2003 covered 18,715,000 hectares (46,245,000 acres), of which 67% was used for field crops, and 33% planted with olive trees, vineyards, and orchards.
In 2003, Spain's crop output was valued third highest among the EU nations, at over €27.1 billion. Agricultural commodities harvested in 2004 (in thousands of tons) included wheat, 7,108; barley, 10,609; corn, 4,748; rice, 900; beans, 19; sugar beets, 6,997; sunflower seeds, 785; grapes, 7,148; peaches, 1,107; potatoes, 2,570; and tomatoes, 4,367. Grapes are cultivated in every region; the most important olive groves are in Andalucía. After France and Italy, Spain is the world's leading wine producer, with an estimated 421 million liters produced in 2004. Within the domestic market, the use of sunflower oil and soybean oil has grown considerably.
Agricultural mechanization has been increasing steadily. In 2003 there were 943,653 tractors and 50,454 harvester-threshers. The use of fertilizers has also increased. The Institute for Agrarian Development and Reform directly or indirectly regulates some 10 million hectares (25 million acres) of land, promoting intensive cultivation and irrigation to improve productivity.
Spain's pastures cover about 23% of the total area. Because much of Spain is arid or semiarid, sheep are by far the most important domestic animals. In 2005, Spain's livestock population (in millions) included sheep, 22.5; hogs, 25.2; and cattle, 6.7. There also were 2.8 million goats, 240,000 horses, 142,000 asses, and 110,000 mules in 2005. Meat production that year included (in thousands of tons): pork, 3,310; poultry, 1,341; beef and veal, 715; and lamb and mutton, 235. In 2005, milk production was 7.4 million tons (12% from sheep and goats); 725,000 tons of eggs were also produced.
Fishing is important, especially along the northern coastline. The Spanish fishing fleet is the largest within the European Union (EU). As of 2004, the fleet had a capacity of 491,246 gross tons, 26% of EU total and about 6% of the world's fishing fleet capacity.
In 2004, the total quantity of fish caught by Spanish vessels and landed in Spanish ports amounted to 875,000 tons (including nonedible fish). The main species landed in 2003 were (in thousands of tons): sardines, 55.8; yellow-fin tuna, 108.7; skipjack tuna, 155.4; and Atlantic mackerel, 23.6.
The most common species processed by the Spanish canning industry are: tuna, mussels, sardines, white tuna, cephalopod, mackerel, and anchovy. In 2003, Spain exported 95.9 million tons of canned fish, valued at $385 million. Exports of seafood that year amounted to 529.6 million tons, worth $1,105 million.
The main aqua-cultural commodities are mussels, trout, oysters, clams, and gilthead bream. Mussel production began in 1940 in northwestern Spain, and today there are thousands of floating mollusk beds found in many Spanish bays. Trout farming began in 1960, and is located in the north and northwest. In 2003, aquacultural production included 248,827 tons of mussels and 33,113 tons of trout. Spain is the world's second leading producer of mussels after China.
Spain's forested area in 2004 was estimated at 15 million hectares (37 million acres), of which 7.5 million hectares (18.5 million acres) was commercial forest (73% softwood, 27% temperate hardwood). The northern Cantabrian range accounts for about one-third of the timberland. In addition, Spain has 2.5 million hectares (6.2 million acres) of woodlots typically comprised of oaks and cork trees, located mostly in the west (especially in Estremadura and Salamanca). During 1999–2003, the annual average area reforested was 75,000 hectares (185,000 acres).
Round wood production in 2004 was 16.3 million cu m (575 million cu ft), with about 13% used as fuel wood. Spain is one of the largest producers of cork, its most important commercial forest product. Spain's annual production of cork amounts to about 110,000 tons, or 32% of world production. Scotch and maritime pine, as well as radiata pine, are the main softwood lumber species produced in Spain; eucalyptus and poplar are the principal hardwood species. In 2004, Spain imported $4.9 billion in forest products, primarily lumber ($989.4 million) and wood-based panels ($699 million).
Spain had some of the most mineralized territory in Western Europe, including the volcanic-hosted massive sulfide (VMS) deposits of the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB) of southern Spain. The IPB alone was estimated to have yielded 1.7 billion tons of sulfides, and more than 80 VMS deposits have been recorded in which individual tonnages were in excess of one million tons. Spain had the largest known reserves of celestite (Europe's sole producer, ranking second in world production, behind Mexico); was home to the richest mercury deposit in the world and one of the biggest open-pit zinc mines in Europe; and remained the leading producer of sepiolite, with 70% of world reserves (around Madrid). Spain was the largest EU producer of mine lead and zinc, and a major producer of pyrites, among other nonferrous and precious metals. Production far exceeded domestic consumption for most nonmetallic minerals, and Spain was a net exporter to other EU countries of lead, mercury, nonmetallic-mineral manufactured products, slate, other crude industrial minerals, and zinc. In terms of value, Spain was one of the leading EU countries, with one of its highest levels of self-sufficiency in mineral raw materials. Almost all known minerals were found in Spain, and mining was still a notable, though much diminished, factor in the economy. Of the 100 minerals mined, 18 were produced in large quantities—bentonite, copper, fluorspar, glauberite, gold, iron, lead, magnetite, mercury, potash, pyrites, quartz, refractory argillite, sea and rock salt, sepiolitic salts, tin, tungsten, and zinc. Metals and chemicals were leading industries in 2002. The output of lead, zinc, and copper ores, all once important to the Spanish economy, has been declining. The number of active operations has halved in recent years, with copper production a notable casualty. Quarried mineral products, particularly quarried stone, accounted for a significant share of the value of all minerals produced.
Lead mine output was 1,765 metric tons in 2003, down from 6,171 metric tons in 2002 and 36,000 metric tons in 2001. Zinc mine output totaled 44,600 metric tons in 2003, down from 69,926 metric tons in 2002 and from 164,900 metric tons in 2001. Copper mine production in 2003 was estimated at 643 metric tons, down from 1,248 metric tons in 2002 and from 9,748 metric tons in 2001. Gold mine output in 2003 totaled 5,362 kg, up from 5,158 kg in 2002 and from 3,720 kg in 2001. Silver mine output in 2003 totaled 2,246 kg in 2003, down from 3,409 kg in 2002, and from 54,836 kg in 2001. Germanium oxide, tin, titanium dioxide, and uranium also were mined. Because of market conditions, iron mining was halted in 1997, after 588,000 tons (metal content) was produced in 1996. Iron ore was one of Spain's principal mineral assets, with 6 million tons of total reserves in the north (Basque provinces, Asturias, León) and in Andalucía; the Alquife mine, in Granada, which was closed for maintenance, had a capacity of 4 million tons per year.
Among industrial minerals, Spain in 2003 produced an estimated: 10 million tons of marl; 12 million tons of dolomite; 5 million tons of ornamental marble; 2.48 million tons of limestone; 690,395 metric tons (reported) of meerschaum sepiolite; 594,355 metric tons of potash (reported); and 150,000 metric tons of calcined magnesite (from deposits in Navarra and Lugo), unchanged from 2002. Spain also produced barite, bromine, calcium carbonate, hydraulic cement, clays (including attapulgite, bentonite, and washed kaolin), diatomite, tripoli, feldspar, fluorspar (acid-grade and metallurgical grade), gypsum, anhydrite, andalusite kyanite, hydrated lime and quicklime, mica, nitrogen, mineral pigments (ocher and red iron oxide), pumice, salt (including rock, marine, and by-product from potash), silica sand (including as by-product of feldspar and kaolin production), soda ash, natural sulfate (including glauberite and thenardite), large quantities of all stone (including basalt, chalk, ornamental granite, ophite, phonolite, porphyry, quartz, quartzite, sandstone, serpentine, slate), strontium minerals, sulfur, talc, and steatite.
Historically, minerals belonged to the state, with the industry comprising a mix of state-owned, state-and-privately owned, and privately owned companies. However, the Spanish government has been moving rapidly toward privatization and continued to do so in 2003. In mid-2002, legislation was passed that would abolish state and private monopolies. The economic development of certain areas, such as the Asturias and the Basque regions, was based on their mineral wealth, and mining continued to be an important current and potential source of income in these and other mineral-rich areas. The independent government of Andalucía completed its first mining development plan (1996–2000). Several old and new prospects were being evaluated, and exploration activity was high, particularly for feldspar (in Badajoz, Toledo, and Salamanca), garnet (Galicia), pyrites (Badajoz), and rutile and zircon (Cuidad Real). The main polymetallic deposits included Tharsis, Scotiel, Rio Tinto, and Aznalcollar.
Spain has only small reserves of oil and natural gas, with coal being the country's most abundant energy source.
As of 1 January 2002, Spain's proven reserves of oil and natural gas came to 10.5 million barrels and 254.9 million cu m, respectively. In 2004, Spain's production of oil averaged 5,980 barrels per day in 2004 (7,099 barrels per day in 2001), while consumption in that year averaged 1.5687 million barrels per day. As a result, Spain had to rely heavily on imports to meet its petroleum needs. Spain has seven active oil fields all of them operated by Repsol-YPF. Spain's refining sector has a combined capacity of 1.27 million barrels and is spread among seven refineries, of which the largest is the Cadiz plant operated by Cepsa, with a capacity of 240,000 barrels per day. However, Repsol-YPF has the largest total capacity at 520,000 barrels per day.
As with oil, Spain relies heavily on imports to meet its natural gas needs. In 2003, Spain produced 7.3 billion cu ft of natural gas, but demand that year totaled 822 billion cu ft. Spanish demand for natural gas rose sharply between 1993 and 2003, increasing by 266%, and was driven in large part by the introduction of gasfired power plants. In 2002, of the 1,073.7 billion cu ft of natural gas imported by Spain, Algeria was the main source, providing 627.7 billion cu ft, followed by Norway at 116.0 cu ft and Qatar at 107.2 billion cu ft. Nigeria, Oman and other countries accounted for the remainder.
Spain's most abundant energy source is coal. In 2003, Spain had reserves of 584 million short tons, with production in that year at 22.7 million short tons. However, as with oil and natural gas, demand for coal in 2003 outstripped supply, with consumption at 45.6 million short tons, thus necessitating imports to fill the gap.
Spain is the European Union's fifth-largest electricity market. Production of electricity in 2002 reached 230.082 billion kWh, of which fossil fuels accounted for 134.834 billion kWh, hydropower at nuclear at 59.865 billion kWh, hydropower at 22.807 billion kWh and geothermal/other sources at 12.576 billion kWh. Demand for electric power in 2002 totaled 219.305 billion kWh. Electric power capacity in 2002 totaled 50.591 million kW, of which conventional thermal capacity accounted for 26.359 million kW, hydroelectric at 12.744 million kW, nuclear at 7.519 million kW, and geothermal/other at 3.969 million kW. Spain, as of July 2005, had nine nuclear reactors in operation. However, the Jose Cabrera nuclear plant is slated for closure in April 2006.
Industrial production grew by 3% in 2004, and industry accounted for 28.5% of GDP. The chief industrial sectors are food and beverages, textiles and footwear, energy, and transport materials. Chemical production, particularly of superphosphates, sulfuric acid, dyestuffs, and pharmaceutical products, is also significant. Of the heavy industries, iron and steel, centered mainly in Bilbao and Avilés, is the most important. Petroleum refinery production capacity at Spain's nine refineries was 1.27 million barrels per day in 2004. Approximately three million automobiles were produced in Spain in 2004; automobiles are Spain's leading manufacturing industry, accounting for about 5% of GDP and exporting more than 80% of output.
Prior to the 1990s wave of privatization, government participation in industry was through the National Industrial Institute (INI), which owned mining enterprises, oil refineries, steel and chemical plants, shipbuilding yards, and artificial fiber factories, or through Patrimonio. As of 2005, Telefónica, Gas Natural, and the petrochemical company Repsol had been privatized. A wave of consolidations was taking place in the energy industry, as Gas Natural launched a $28.1 billion unsolicited bid for Endesa, a Spanish electricity company, mirroring a series of energy deals taking place across Europe in 2005. In the Spanish mobile-phone market, which was growing strongly in 2005, France Télécom bought an 80% stake in Amena, Spain's third-largest mobile phone operator, behind Telefónica and Britain's Vodafone.
Industries demonstrating significant growth in the early 2000s were metalworking industries, due to increased production in shipbuilding, data-processing equipment, and other transportation equipment. Other growth sectors included food processing, medical products and services, chemicals, computer equipment, electronics, footwear, construction and security equipment, cosmetics and jewelry, and industrial machinery. In the early 2000s, the construction industry was aided by such public works projects as a high-speed train link between Madrid and Barcelona, and an increase in property development on the Mediterranean coast.
Foreign competition has cut into the Spanish textile industry. Following the expiration of the World Trade Organization's longstanding system of textile quotas at the beginning of 2005, the EU signed an agreement with China in June 2005, imposing new quotas on 10 categories of textile goods, limiting growth in those categories to between 8% and 12.5% a year. The agreement runs until 2007, and was designed to give European textile manufacturers time to adjust to a world of unfettered competition. Nevertheless, barely a month after the EU-China agreement was signed, China reached its quotas for sweaters, followed soon after by blouses, bras, T-shirts, and flax yarn. Tens of millions of garments piled up in warehouses and customs checkpoints, which affected both retailers and consumers.
The Council for Scientific Research, founded in 1940, coordinates research in science and technology and operates numerous constituent research institutes in a wide variety of disciplines. The Royal Academy of Exact, Physical, and Natural Sciences, founded in 1916, is the nation's chief scientific academy. The National Science Museum and the National Railway Museum are located in Madrid, and two geology museums are located in Barcelona. Spain has 32 universities, colleges, and polytechnics offering courses in basic and applied sciences.
In 1987–97, science and engineering students accounted for 31% of university enrollment. In 2002, of all bachelor's degrees awarded, 23.8% were for the sciences (natural, mathematics and computers, engineering). In 2002, total expenditures on research and development (R&D) amounted to $9,101.393 million, or 1.04% if GDP. Of that amount, the business sector accounted for the largest portion at 48.9%, followed by the government at 39.1%. Higher education and foreign sources accounted for 5.2% and 6.8%, respectively. In that same year, there were 742 technicians and 2,036 scientists and engineers engaged in R&D per one million people. High technology exports in 2002 were valued at $6.777 billion, or 7% of the country's manufactured exports.
Madrid and Barcelona are the primary commercial hubs for distribution of goods throughout the country. Spain has no free ports, but free-zone privileges are granted at Barcelona, Bilbao, Cádiz, Vigo, and the Canary Islands. There are bonded warehouses at the larger ports. The government has established a market distribution program to regulate the flow of goods to and from the producing and consuming areas. Since 1972, wholesale market networks have been established in cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants. The National Consumption Institute promotes consumer cooperatives and credit unions.
A wide variety of shops are available in Spain, from small specialty boutiques to large department stores, shopping centers, and outlet stores. Franchises are becoming more popular throughout the country. As of 2003, there were about 960 franchise firms with over 48,000 franchised units represented in the country, with national companies holding ownership of 82% of them. Direct marketing and sales, particularly through mail order and television sales, are also gaining in popularity. A 16% value-added tax applies to most goods and services. This rate is reduced for some products, such as food, books, and medical supplies. Advertising is largely through newspapers, magazines, radio, and motion picture theaters.
Usual business hours are from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday. Banks are open from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, Monday through Friday, and to 1 pm on Saturday. Department stores are often open from 10 am to 8 pm, Monday through Saturday. Many small shops and businesses are often closed in the afternoons, from 2 pm to 4 or 5 pm.
Traditionally, exports consisted mainly of agricultural products (chiefly wine, citrus fruits, olives and olive oil, and cork) and minerals. While agricultural products and minerals remain important, they have, since the 1960s, been overtaken by industrial exports. Imports habitually exceed exports by a large margin.
Of Spain's export commodities, transport-related items make up more than 20% of the total. Fruits, nuts, and vegetables are also exported in sizable amounts. Spain is the world's largest producer of olive oil; the country supplies about one-third of the olive oil in the world. Footwear and chemicals (chiefly pharmaceuticals) are other important exports.
The liberalization of product markets and more effective antitrust mechanisms have been called for as ways to boost Spain's economic growth potential. Merchandise exports rose to $184.1 billion in 2004. Strong domestic demand resulted in a larger increase in imports, causing the trade deficit to widen from $45.1 billion in 2003 to $65.8 billion in 2004. Spain's leading markets in 2004 were France (19.4% of all exports), Germany (11.7%), and Portugal and Italy (each with 9% of Spain's total exports). In all, the EU accounted for 73.9% of Spain's total exports. Leading suppliers in 2004 were Germany (16.1% of Spanish imports), France (15.2%), Italy (9.1%), and the United Kingdom (6.1%). The EU made up 65.6% of all imports that year.
Tourism, remittances from Spaniards living abroad, investment income, and loans to the private sector have been the principal factors that help to offset recurrent trade deficits, especially deficits in merchandise trade and net investment income. Between 1992 and 1995 exports grew by 70% and imports grew by approximately the same amount. In 2000, Spain experienced a large increase in its trade deficit due in large measure to increased petroleum prices, the weakness of the euro, and decreased competitiveness. The current account deficit widened considerably in 2004 to 5.3% of GDP, up from 3.6% in 2003, largely due to the large trade deficit of $65.8 billion, which was caused by strong domestic demand and an increase in imports. In 2004, the current account balance stood at -$30.89 billion.
The banking and credit structure centers on the Bank of Spain, the government's national bank of issue since 1874. The bank acts as the government depository as well as a banker's bank for discount and other operations. The European Central Bank determines monetary policy for the EU. Other "official" but privately owned banks are the Mortgage Bank of Spain, the Local Credit Bank of Spain, the Industrial Credit Bank, the Agricultural Credit Bank, and the External Credit Bank.
In 2002, the private banking system consisted of 146 banks, comprising national banks, industrial banks, regional banks, local banks, and foreign banks. The liberalization of the banking system and Spain's entry into the EC raised the number and presence of foreign banks. During the process of financial liberalization required by the EU, the government tried to promote a series of mergers within the banking industry, which it hoped could enable the banks to compete more effectively. As a result, there were two major mergers: Banco de Vizcaya and Banco de Bilbao formed Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBV), and Banco Central and Banco Hispanoamericano merged to form Banco Central Hispanoamercano (BCH). The government also brought together all the state-owned banking institutions to form Corporación Bancaria de España, better known by its trade name Argentaria, whose most important component is Banco Exterior (BEX). The government subsequently privatized a 50% stake in Argentaria in 1993 and a further 25% in early 1996. Ultimately, the state sold its remaining 25% share in Argentaria, thereby leaving the banking sector entirely in private hands. In October 1999, BBV took over Argentaria to create Spain's largest banking group. The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand deposits—an aggregate commonly known as M1—were equal to $193.7 billion. In that same year, M2—an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits,
|Italy-San Marino-Holy See||15,486.4||19,348.6||-3,862.2|
|(…) data not available or not significant.|
|Balance on goods||-42,923.0|
|Balance on services||30,922.0|
|Balance on income||-11,919.0|
|Direct investment abroad||-23,350.0|
|Direct investment in Spain||25,513.0|
|Portfolio investment assets||-91,061.0|
|Portfolio investment liabilities||40,908.0|
|Other investment assets||-14,437.0|
|Other investment liabilities||70,570.0|
|Net Errors and Omissions||-6,237.0|
|Reserves and Related Items||15,487.0|
|(…) data not available or not significant.|
its, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds—was $548.2 billion. The money market rate, the rate at which financial institutions lend to one another in the short term, was 4.36%.
Spain has major stock exchanges in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, and Valencia. These exchanges are open for a few hours a day, Tuesday through Friday. Since 1961, foreign investment in these exchanges has increased rapidly. The major commercial banks invest in the equity and debt securities of private firms and carry on brokerage businesses as well. Latibex, a Madrid-based stock exchange providing a market for the trading (in euros) of Latin American stocks, opened in late 1999. The exchange lists companies based in Latin American nations such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, and Venezuela. As of 2004, there were 3,272 companies listed on the BME Spanish Exchanges, which had a market capitalization of $940.673 billion.
Insurance companies are supervised by the government through the Direccion General de Seguros. The Spanish insurance market is characterized by a relatively large number of insurers with one organization dominating the industry. Latest information available indicates an insurance market in Spain with moderate penetration when compared to North America and Europe, especially for life products. Recently, however, Spanish insurance firms such as Euroseguros are taking advantage of linguistic, cultural, and historical ties and are expanding operations to Latin America. Compulsory insurance includes third-party automobile liability, workers' compensation, hunters', nuclear and professional liability, and personal injury insurance. Workers' compensation and property insurance can only be obtained through the government. Spain's insurance market is made up of both local and foreign insurers, with the local insurers often owned by Spanish banks. In 2003, the value of all direct insurance premiums written totaled $47.014 billion, of which nonlife premiums accounted for $26.972 billion. In that same year, the top nonlife insurer was MAPFRE Mutualidad, which had gross written nonlife premiums of $2,088.2 million, while the country's leading life insurer was Mapfre Vida, which had gross written life insurance premiums of $1,808.6 million.
The public sector deficit in 1996 was equivalent to 4.3% of GDP (compared to 3.8% in 1993 and 4.4% in 1992). Because of Spain's desire to enter the European Monetary Union, it had to meet stringent limits on its public debt and finances, including a 3% debt-to-GDP ratio. The government trimmed the budget by reducing the civil service payroll and limiting transfers to government-owned companies.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated that in 2005 Spain's central government took in revenues of approximately $440.9 billion and had expenditures of $448.4 billion. Revenues minus expenditures totaled approximately -$7.5 billion. Public debt in 2005 amounted to 48.5% of GDP. Total external debt was $1.249 trillion.
Government outlays by function were as follows: general public services, 28.6%; defense, 3.7%; public order and safety, 3.8%; economic affairs, 6.2%; environmental protection, 0.2%; housing and community amenities, 0.1%; health, 15.3%; recreation, culture, and religion, 1.2%; education, 1.6%; and social protection, 39.3%.
|Revenue and Grants||212,571||100.0%|
|General public services||60,492||28.6%|
|Public order and safety||8,104||3.8%|
|Housing and community amenities||263||0.1%|
|Recreational, culture, and religion||2,530||1.2%|
|(…) data not available or not significant.|
As of 2005, Spain had a basic corporation tax rate of 35%. A reduced rate of 30% is applied to companies with annual turnover of less than €6 million in the preceding tax year on initial profits of €90,151. Generally, capital gains are taxed at the corporate rate, while dividends, interest and royalties are subject to withholding taxes of 15%, 15% and 25%, respectively.
Spain, as of 2005, had a progressive individual income tax with a top rate of 45%. The tax is imposed on aggregate income and includes dividends, interest and royalties received. However, dividends received from a resident company may be subject to an imputation credit. There is also a wealth tax with a maximum rate of 2.5%.
The main indirect tax is Spain's value-added tax (VAT), introduced 1 January 1986 as a condition for membership in the European Union (EU). As of 2005, the VAT had a standard rate of 16%, with two reduced rates: 4% on basic necessities; and 7% on food, dwellings, tourism and certain transport services. Indirect taxes include levies on inheritances, documents, sales, special products (alcohol, petroleum, and others), luxury items, and fiscal monopolies.
Spain, a member of the European Union and the World Trade Organization, adheres to EU and GATT trading rules. Spain determines customs duties based on cost, insurance, and freight (CIF), and applies the EU Common External Tariff to non-EU imports. Most customs costs amount to 20–30% of CIF (cost, insurance, freight), including the duty, the VAT, and customs agent and handling fees.
In keeping with the rest of the European Union, in recent years the Spanish government has instituted a wholesale revision of its previously restrictive foreign investment laws. With the exception of strategic sectors, up to 100% foreign investment is permitted in all sectors of the Spanish economy. The corporation tax is levied at a standard rate of 35% and at 30% on the first €90,151 for companies with a turnover of less than €5 million.
In 1998, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow was nearly $12 billion, up from $7.7 billion in 1997, and peaking at $37.5 billion in 2000. In 2001, FDI inflow fell to $21.8 billion. From 1998 to 2001 FDI inflow averaged about $19 billion a year, and in 2001 cumulative FDI stock totaled approximately $157 billion. Outward FDI from Spain from 1998 to 2001 averaged about $31.1 billion, and in 2001 cumulative foreign stock held by Spaniards totaled about $184 billion.
In 2004, new investment in Spain totaled $18.4 billion. Spanish FDI outflows totaled $54.5 billion. In 2004, cumulative FDI stock in Spain totaled $346.7 billion. Cumulative outward FDI stock totaled $332.6 billion. In 2003, most new FDI in Spain came from (in order): the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, Luxembourg, Italy, Germany, France, and Sweden. From 2000–04, FDI inflows as a percentage of GDP averaged 4%. In 2004, Spain was the 11th most attractive country in the world for US investors, up from 17th place, according to the FDI Confidence Index. In 2004, Spain was the largest net EU-25 investor, while the United Kingdom was the largest net recipient of FDI.
After 1939, Spanish economic policy was characterized by the attempt to achieve economic self-sufficiency. This policy, largely imposed by Spain's position during World War II and the isolation to which Spain was subjected in the decade following 1945, was also favored by many Spanish political and business leaders. In 1959, following two decades of little or no overall growth, the Spanish government acceded to reforms suggested by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), OECD, and IBRD, and encouraged by the promise of foreign financial assistance, announced its acceptance of the so-called Stabilization Plan, intended to curb domestic inflation and adverse foreign payment balances.
Long-range planning began with Spain's first four-year development plan (1964–67), providing a total investment of p355 billion. The second four-year plan (1968–71) called for an investment of p553 billion, with an average annual growth of 5.5% in GNP. The third plan (1972–75) called for investments of p871 billion; drastic readjustments had to be made in 1975 to compensate for an economic slump brought on by increased petroleum costs, a tourist slowdown, and a surge in imports. A fifth plan (1976–79) focused on development of energy resources, with investments to increase annually by 9% increments. A stabilization program introduced in 1977 included devaluation of the peseta and tightening of monetary policy. The economic plan of 1979–82 committed Spain to a market economy and rejected protectionism.
Accession to the EU generated increased foreign investment but also turned Spain's former trade surplus with the EU into a growing deficit: the lowering of tariffs boosted imports, but exports did not keep pace. The government responded by pursuing market liberalization and deregulation, in hopes of boosting productivity and efficiency to respond to EU competition. A number of projects, such as the construction of airports, highways, and a highspeed rail line between Madrid and Seville, received EU funding. To prepare Spain for European economic and monetary union, the government in 1992 planned to cut public spending. The currency was devalued three times in 1992–93. Additionally, Spain was a principal beneficiary of the EU's "harmonization fund." This fund provides financial support to poorer EU nations to attempt to reduce the disparities in economic development.
After an economic downturn in the early and mid-1990s, the Spanish economy turned around to register a new dynamism characterized by strong growth rates and a rise in foreign investment sparked by increased liberalization. Moreover, unemployment dropped and inflation remained in check. Spain capped its success by entering the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in 1999. Reducing the public sector deficit, decreasing unemployment, reforming labor laws, lowering inflation, and raising per capita gross domestic product (GDP) were all goals in the early 2000s. Economic growth was forecast at 3.1% in 2005. The construction sector was thriving, driven by higher levels of investment and public infrastructure projects.
Spain cushioned the effects of the 2001–03 global economic slowdown on its economy through effective management of fiscal policy, but the constraints of the European Stability and Growth Pact—which requires EU members to keep their budget deficits within 3% of GDP—continues to limit freedom to maneuver. After coming to power in April 2004, the Socialist government made little change in economic policy. Despite a decline in unemployment in the early 2000s, the jobless rate remains one of the highest in the EU. Expansion of the services sector, including retailing, tourism, banking, and telecommunications, has led to recent economic growth. Spain has developed a greenhouse industry in the southeast region of the country, which has become one of the most competitive suppliers of fresh produce to the main European markets. Fishing remains a growth industry as well.
The social insurance system provides pensions for employees in industry and services, with a special system for the self-employed, farmers, domestic workers, seamen and coal miners. The system is funded through employee and employer contributions, and an annual government subsidy. The fund provides for health and maternity benefits, old age and incapacity insurance, a widow and widower pension, orphan pension, a family subsidy, workers' compensation, job-related disability payments, unemployment insurance and a funeral grant. Retirement is set at age 65, but is allowed at age 64 under certain conditions. Maternity benefits are payable for 16 weeks, and is applicable to adoption as well. Fathers may also take parental leave. Work injury legislation was first instituted in 1900 and covers all employed persons. It is funded solely by the employer.
Discrimination against women in the workplace persists although it is prohibited by law. The female rate of unemployment is about twice that for men, and the median salary for women was lower than that of men. There are a growing number of women entering the medical and legal professions. Women take an active role in politics. The law prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace but it is not effectively enforced. The government takes steps to address the problems of domestic abuse and violence against women. The Integral Law Against Gender Violence enacted in 2005 provides harsher penalties to those convicted of domestic violence. The government is strongly committed to children's welfare and rights.
Roma minorities suffer from housing, education, and employment discrimination. The government provides mechanisms for legal redress for discrimination and harassment for Roma and other minorities. In addition, a growing number of right-wing extremist attacks against minorities have been reported in recent years. Human rights abuses have been committed by both the government and Basque (ETA) separatist groups. The ETA has carried out killings and kidnapping, while the government has failed to prevent the mistreatment of prisoners.
Following the adoption of the country's constitution, Spain's health care system underwent major reforms in the 1980s and 1990s. Instead of being organized directly as part of the social security system, it was transformed to the more decentralized National Health System. Coverage was extended further than before and the primary care network was reorganized. Spanish officials say that public contributions to the cost of health care must be limited in the face of potentially unlimited demand. Total health care expenditure was estimated at 7% of GDP.
The public sector in health care is the largest and continues to grow. There are 354 public hospitals, 149 private hospitals, and 312 private business hospitals. The public health sector contracts a significant number of beds from both types of private hospitals. As of 2004, there were an estimated 320 physicians, 362 nurses, 43 dentists, 77 pharmacists per 100,000 people. Recent programs have created special residences for elderly and retired people, eye clinics, a network of government health centers in the principal cities, and more than a dozen human tissue and organ banks for transplantation and research.
As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 9.3 and 9.2 per 1,000 people. About 59% of married women (ages 15 to 49) were using contraception. Average life expectancy in 2005 was 78 years. That year the infant mortality rate was 4.42 per 1,000 live births, down from 38 in 1965. Immunization rates for children up to one year old were: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 88%; polio, 88%; and measles, 90%.
Leading causes of death were communicable diseases and maternal/perinatal causes, noncommunicable diseases, and injuries. The HIV/AIDS prevalence was 0.70 per 100 adults in 2003. As of 2004, there were approximately 140,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. There were an estimated 1,000 deaths from AIDS in 2003.
The smoking rates for both men and women in Spain are above the average of "high human development" countries as defined by the World Bank. Approximately 58% of men and 27% of women were smokers. However, the likelihood of dying after the age of 65 of heart disease was below the highly industrialized country average at 235 (male) and 277 (female) per 1,000 people.
A housing boom beginning around 1998-2001 saw the creation of over two million new houses with about 600,000 new houses built in 2000. In 2000, about 20–25% of the housing market was attributed to those building second homes/vacation homes. At the 2001 census, there were about 20,