Spain

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Introduction - Spain:
Location - Spain:
People - Spain:
Government - Spain:

Country name

conventional long form: Kingdom of Spain
conventional short form: Spain
local long form: Reino de Espana
local short form: Espana

Government type

parliamentary monarchy

Capital

name: Madrid
geographic coordinates: 40 24 N, 3 41 W
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
note: Spain is divided into two time zones including the Canary Islands

Administrative divisions

17 autonomous communities (comunidades autonomas, singular - comunidad autonoma)and 2 autonomous cities* (ciudades autonomas, singular - ciudad autonoma); Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias, Baleares (Balearic Islands), Ceuta*, Canarias (Canary Islands), Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, Cataluna, Comunidad Valenciana, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Melilla*, Murcia, Navarra, Pais Vasco (Basque Country)
note: the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla plus three small islands of Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera, administered directly by the Spanish central government, are all along the coast of Morocco and are collectively referred to as Places of Sovereignty (Plazas de Soberania)

Independence

the Iberian peninsula was characterized by a variety of independent kingdoms prior to the Muslim occupation that began in the early 8th century A.D. and lasted nearly seven centuries; the small Christian redoubts of the north began the reconquest almost immediately, culminating in the seizure of Granada in 1492; this event completed the unification of several kingdoms and is traditionally considered the forging of present-day Spain

National holiday

National Day, 12 October (1492); year when Columbus first set foot in the Americas

Constitution

approved by legislature 31 October 1978; passed by referendum 6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978

Legal system

civil law system, with regional applications; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: King JUAN CARLOS I (since 22 November 1975); Heir Apparent Prince FELIPE, son of the monarch, born 30 January 1968
head of government: President of the Government (Prime Minister equivalent) Jose Luis RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO (since 17 April 2004); First Vice President and Deputy Prime Minister (and Minister of the Presidency) Maria Teresa FERNANDEZ DE LA VEGA (since 18 April 2004) and Second Vice President (and Minister of Economy and Finance) Pedro SOLBES (since 18 April 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers designated by the president
note: there is also a Council of State that is the supreme consultative organ of the government, but its recommendations are non-binding
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually proposed president by the monarch and elected by the National Assembly; election last held on 14 March 2004 (next to be held in March 2008); vice presidents appointed by the monarch on the proposal of the president
election results: Jose Luis RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 52.29%

Legislative branch

bicameral; General Courts or National Assembly or Las Cortes Generales consists of the Senate or Senado (259 seats; 208 members directly elected by popular vote and the other 51 appointed by the regional legislatures; to serve four-year terms) and the Congress of Deputies or Congreso de los Diputados (350 seats; members are elected by popular vote on block lists by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 14 March 2004 (next to be held in March 2008); Congress of Deputies - last held on 14 March 2004 (next to be held in March 2008)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - PP 49%, PSOE 38%, Entesa Catalona de Progress 5.7%, PNV 2.8%, CC 2.4%, CiU 2%; seats by party - PP 102, PSOE 81, Entesa Catalona de Progress 12, PNV 6, CiU 4, CC 3; Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PSOE 43.3%, PP 37.8%, CiU 3.2%, IU 3.2%, ERC 2.5%, PNV 1.6%, CC 0.9%, other 7.5%; seats by party - PSOE 164, PP 148, CiU 10, ERC 8, PNV 7, IU 5, CC 3, other 5

Judicial branch

Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo

Political parties and leaders

Aragonese Party or CHA [Bizen FUSTER]; Basque Nationalist Party or PNV [Josu Jon IMAZ]; Basque Solidarity or EA [Begona ERRAZTI]; Canarian Coalition or CC [Paulino RIVERO Baute] (a coalition of five parties); Convergence and Union or CiU [Artur MAS i Gavarro] (a coalition of the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia or CDC [Artur MAS i Gavarro] and the Democratic Union of Catalonia or UDC [Josep Antoni DURAN i LLEIDA]); Entesa Catalonia de Progress (a Senate coalition grouping four Catalan parties - PSC, ERC, ICV, EUA); Galician Nationalist Bloc or BNG [Anxo Manuel QUINTANA Gonzalez]; Initiative for Catalonia Greens or ICV [Joan SAURA i Laporta]; Navarra yes or Na Bai [Uxue BARKOS Berruezo] (a coalition of four Navarran parties); Popular Party or PP [Mariano RAJOY Brey]; Republican Left of Catalonia or ERC [Josep-Lluis CAROD-ROVIRA]; Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Jose Luis RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO]; United Left or IU [Gaspar LLAMAZARES Trigo] (a coalition of parties including the PCE and other small parties)

Political pressure groups and leaders

business and landowning interests; Catholic Church; free labor unions (authorized in April 1977); Socialist General Union of Workers or UGT and the smaller independent Workers Syndical Union or USO; university students; Trade Union Confederation of Workers Commissions or CC.OO.

International organization participation

AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMEE, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Carlos WESTENDORP
chancery: 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 452-0100, 728-2340
FAX: [1] (202) 833-5670
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Eduardo AGUIRRE, Jr.
embassy: Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid
mailing address: PSC 61, APO AE 09642
telephone: [34] (91) 587-2200
FAX: [34] (91) 587-2303
consulate(s) general: Barcelona

Flag description

three horizontal bands of red (top), yellow (double width), and red with the national coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band; the coat of arms includes the royal seal framed by the Pillars of Hercules, which are the two promontories (Gibraltar and Ceuta) on either side of the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar

Economy - Spain:
Communications - Spain:
Transportation - Spain:
Military - Spain:
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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