Kingdom of Spain

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Kingdom of Spain Evangelia Gouda


  • located in the southwest Europe, in the Iberian peninsula

  • 5th most populated country in the EU with 46 million people, holds the 9.1% of total EU population

  • joined the EU in 1986, member of both the eurozone and the Schengen area

  • 16th largest economy worldwide, 5th largest in the EU, 4th largest in the eurozone

  • parliamentary constitutional monarchy

cabinet: Council of Ministers designed by the President

  • decentralized administration with 17 autonomous communities

  • special case: Catalonia’s independence movement

  • member of the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), Council of Europe (CoE), Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Organization for Economic Co-operation and development (OECD), World Trade Organization (WTO)


  • open-up the economy

  • greater presence on the international scale

  • implement reforms/ modernize social and economic structure

Political History

  • Spanish Empire during 16th and 17th centuries

  • Age of Exploration (Christopher Columbus)

  • Spanish colonization of the America

  • chaos of 19th century (3 assassinated prime ministers in 24 years, 1897, 1912,1921 respectively)

  • 1931 republic from monarchy

  • coup by militaries right after the elections with the fear of a red revolution

  • Francisco Franco, Spanish General and head of state from 1936 to 1975

  • neutrality during World War II

  • 1950 semi-pluralist authoritarian system

  • during Cold War Franco was one of the world’s foremost anticommunist figure

  • 1960 economic development and democratic improvements

  • restored monarchy, Juan Carlos I

  • Spanish transition to democracy

  • 1976 Adolfo Suarez Prime Minister

  • elections in 1977, Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez (Spanish Socialist Worker Party)

  • 6th December 1978 new Constitution

  • between 1980-82 Catalonia, Basque country, Galicia and Andalusia gained self-government

  • peaceful rotation of socialists and conservative governments

  • PSOE and PP in power

  • the end of bipartisan system? (rise of Podemos and Citizens)

European Policy

  • historical bipolar political system (PP and PSOE), no radical changes towards european policies, continuously towards “europeanization”of Spanish policy

  • in favor of further EU deepening and the federalist model

  • socialist government supported the Economic and Monetary Union(EMU), settled out by Maastricht Treaty,1992

  • Gonzalez(prime minister 1974-97 longest mandate ,in Spain’s history) proposed the adoption of the “Cohesion Fund” in order to help poorer countries within the Union

  • Spanish government also proposed the european citizenship in the Treaty of Maastricht

  • supported European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) after Saint Malo agreements

  • welcoming Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in order to deal with terorrism (Aznar ETA)

  • welcoming enlargement to southeast and central Europe

  • influenced the other EU members to built stronger relations with Latin America

  • promoted the European Mediterranean Partnership with countries of North Africa, Barcelona 1995

  • member of the eurozone, Schengen Agreement, positive towards to Common Foreign Policy and further political integration

  • voted in a referendum for for the ratification of the european constitution (76.72% in favor, 42.32% against, 57.7% abstention) , 20 February 2005

National Economy

  • 5th largest economy in the EU based on nominal GDB

  • member of G20

  • $1.556 trillion GDP for 2014

  • economy based on tourism as well as on exporting goods such as vehicles, machines, oil, pharmaceuticals, cloths, fruits, iron and steal

  • trade partners are mainly the EU and China

  • most important Spanish companies are: Inditex, Repsolt, Amandeus IT Group, Abengoa, Grifols, Zara

Economic Crisis

  • highly influenced be the economic recession of 2008-12

  • house bubble effect and unsustainably high GDP growth rate were the main causes

  • July 2012, took 100billion euro rescue package by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to recapitalize banks

  • Troika (EC, ECB, IMF) proposed an economic recovery program

  • high unemployment rates 22.5% (June 2015)

  • recovering with growth 0.9% in spring 2014 after the strict reforms implemented by the government

  • further reforms to encourage enterprise resulted in Spain being ranked from the 52nd to 33rd in 2014 ‘ease of doing business’ according to World Bank

Refugees Crisis

  • 2001-07 waves of new immigrants (4.800.000 immigrants living in Spain consisting the 15% of the population) social impact of “New Spain” and socialist governance contributed in granting amnesty to 700.000 illegal immigrants in 2005

  • in 2008 both the PP and PSOE agreed that immigrants boosted national economy but they need to focus on integration

  • in 2007 Spanish government provide 2.6 billions to help immigrants

  • regarding the on going refugees; crisis, Spanish government is negative towards immigration inflows

  • Mariano Rajoy declared that Spain will accept only 3,000 immigrants due to the economic difficulties that the country is facing, this number raised to 17.000 arrivals

  • the state is not able to provide them with the necessary and most of the refugees want to move to Germany or Sweden

Spanish Language and Culture

  • 17th and 18th century empire power, colonies over the seas

  • second most widely spoken language, 559 million people as native language, 559 million people as first or second foreign language

  • official language of 21 countries

  • Instututo Cervantes in 20 countries


(standard eurobarometer, May 2015)

  • optimistic about the future of the EU (59%)

  • feeling like a european citizen (69%)

  • would like to know more about their rights as citizen of the EU (68%)

European ElectionsResults (2014)

  1. People’s Party 26.1% , 16 seats

  2. Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party 23% , 14 seats

  3. Plural Left 10% , 6 seats

  4. We can (Podemos) 8% , 5 seats

  5. Progress and Democracy 6.5% , 4 seats

  6. Coalition for Europe 5,42% , 3 seats

  7. Left for the Right to decide 4.1% , 2 seats

  8. Citizens 3.02% , 2 seats

  9. The People’s decide2.08% , 1 seat

  10. European Spring 1,92% , 1 seat

Catalan Issue

  • Catalonia for 1.000 years had been a distinct region and has its own language

  • after the limits set to the autonomy of Catalonia a separatist movement raised in 2010 in Barcelona

  • Barcelona the capital of Catalonia is one of the most high-profile cities, contributing 19% of Spain’s GDP

  • Spanish economic crisis hit Barcelona

  • separatists (Junts per si/ United for Yes) took control of Catalonia’s regional government 39.54% , September 2015

  • the regional government voted in favor of the independence of Catalonia (September 2015)

  • the central government in Madrid asked from the Supreme Court to check the constituency of this resolution

  • Catalonia want to become independent but still remain in the EU

  • the European Commission is trying to remain out of this debate, thus politicians such as A.Merkel and D.Cameron is in favor of a united Spain


  • Madrid was the first european capital to be hit by external terrorist attacks

  • interior terrorism: the issue of Basque separatists and ETA terrorist organization

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