OFFICIAL NAME: Kingdom of Spain
CAPITAL: Madrid
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Monarchy
AREA: 504,782 Sq Km (194,897 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 39,439,400


Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Spain is located on the Iberian Peninsula in South West Europe and includes the Balearic and Canary Islands as well as the Moroccan enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. It is bound by France and Andorra to the northeast, Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the southeast and east, the Strait of Gibraltar and Morocco to the south and the Bay of Biscay to the northwest. Continental Spain consists of the Meseta or Central Plateau which is surrounded by the Baetic, Andalusian and Iberian Mountains to the south and southeast, and the Pyrenees to the north as well as the Cordillera Cantabrica to the northwest. Along the northwest coast there are Rias which form several good harbors. The country has over 1,800 rivers and streams of which the Douro, Tajo, Guadiana, Ebro, Guadalquivir, Mino, Segura and the Jucar are the principal rivers. Major Cities (pop. est.); Madrid 2,909,800, Barcelona 1,623,500, Valencia 752,900, Seville 659,100, Zaragoza 586,200 (1991). Land Use; forested 32%, pastures 21%, agricultural-cultivated 39%, other 8% (1993).


CLIMATE: Spain has a Mediterranean climate in the southern and eastern coastal areas as well as a temperate climate further inland. The central Meseta has hot summers and cold winters, while the southern regions at the foot of the mountains have the warmest winter temperatures in mainland Europe. On the Atlantic coast summers are not as hot with temperatures and rainfall decreasing inland. Average annual precipitation in the north and northwest is 890 mm (35 inches) or more and the Meseta receives between 305 mm to 635 mm (12 to 25 inches) annually. Average temperature ranges in Madrid are from 1 to 8 degrees Celsius (34 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 17 to 31 degrees Celsius (63 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit) in July.


PEOPLE: Spain has four major ethnic groups that are divided by language, Castilian, Basque, Catalan and Galician which combined account for almost the entire population. Other ethnic minorities include Gitanos, Magyars, Gypsies and Jews.


DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 79.1 persons per sq km (205 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 78.4% urban, 21.6% rural (1990). Sex Distribution; 49.1% male, 50.9% female (1993). Life Expectancy at Birth; 74.4 years male, 80.3 years female (1993). Age Breakdown; 18% under 15, 25% 15 to 29, 21% 30 to 44, 17% 45 to 59, 10% 60 to 69, 9% 70 and over (1993). Birth Rate; 9.9 per 1,000 (1991). Death Rate; 8.7 per 1,000 (1991). Increase Rate; 1.2 per 1,000 (1991). Infant Mortality Rate; 7.7 per 1,000 live births (1990).


RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians with 97% of the population Roman Catholic while less than 1% are Protestant.


LANGUAGES: The official language is Castilian Spanish with 17% of the population speaking Catalan while 7% speak Galician, 2% speak Basque and the remainder speak Castilian. Other minority languages include Asturian


EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: less than primary education 46.1%, of which 34.5% have no formal schooling, primary 34.0%, lower secondary 9.3%, upper secondary 3.3%, higher 7.1% (1981). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 26,004,225 or 92.8% (1983).


MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: During the 1950's and 1960's Spain had one of the highest rates of economic growth in the world. In 1953 Spain signed a defense agreement with the US which allowed the establishment of US bases on its territory and in 1955 became a member of the UN. In 1968 Spain granted Equatorial Guinea independence. In 1969 Crown Prince Juan Carlos was designated as successor to Gen. Francisco Franco, dictator and Chief of State since the end of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). In Dec. 1973 militant Basque separatists assassinated Prime Minister Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco in a bomb explosion. In response Gen. Franco introduced new laws which allowed for the execution of 5 of the 11 extremists imprisoned for the assassination. As a result of the executions many European and Scandinavian countries severed diplomatic relations with Spain. On Nov. 20, 1975 Gen. Franco died and was succeeded by Juan Carlos who embarked on a program of democratization. In 1976 political parties were legalized and in 1977 the Democratic Center Union (UCD) were elected to government. In 1978 a referendum approved a new constitution that allowed for the establishment of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy as the system of government. In Jan. 1981 Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez Gonzalez resigned and was replaced by Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo. In Feb. 1981 there was an unsuccessful coup attempt to overthrow the government. In May 1982 Spain was admitted to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and in Oct. 1982 Felipe Gonzalez Marquez of the Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol (PSOE) was elected Prime Minister. In Jan. 1986 Spain became a full member of the European Community (EC) and in 1986 Prime Minister Gonzalez was re-elected. In Dec. 1987 Spain and Britain signed an agreement over Gibraltar which allowed for the joint use of its airport. In Oct. 1989 Gonzalez was re-elected for a third term in office. In Apr. 1990 Henri Parot, a Basque and leader of the Euzkadi ta Azkatasuna (ETA), a terrorist organization which carried out low level letter box bombings, was arrested. During 1990 there was a growing insurgence in Catalan nationalism. In Jan. 1991 Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Guerra Gonzalez resigned over a scandal involving his brother. In May 1991 the government announced that it would be merging all its official financial institutions and two large private banks, the Banco Central and Banco Hispano Americano, announced they would also merge. In June 1991 the treasurer and chief financial officer of the ruling PSOE were forced to resign over allegations of laundering illegal donations to the PSOE, although an official PSOE inquiry later found the allegation unwarranted. In July 1991 the government signed a treaty of economic and technology cooperation with the USSR. In Sept. 1991 the Catalan state parliament rejected the Esquerra Republicana Catalana's (ERC) motion for independence. In 1992 Spain received an increased international profile by hosting the World Expo in Seville as well as the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona. In July 1992 the ETA proposed a truce during the Olympic Games which was rejected by the government, although despite threats the games proceeded without any major incident. On Aug. 17, 1992 the ETA resumed terrorist activities in the Basque region. In Sept. and Nov. 1992 a major European currency crisis forced the devaluation of the peseta while labor unrest and unemployment increased. In Oct. 1992 the central bank partially lifted exchange controls in the attempt to re-attract foreign investment and confidence. In Nov. and Dec. 1992 the PSOE headquarters were searched following a scandal over illegal sources of finance. Also in 1992 the Parliament (Cortes) ratified the Maastricht Treaty on European union. In 1993 the ruling PSOE continued to be plagued by allegations and scandals involving party corruption. In March 1993 the Supreme Court confirmed through a government auditor's report that two PSOE officials had operated front companies and accepted tax-free bribes for government contracts. On March 2, 1993 Prime Minister Gonzalez announced a US $2.5 billion program to combat rising unemployment. In June 1993 following elections for the Congress of Deputies, the PSOE and Gonzalez won 159 of the 350 seats by the Popular Party (PP) which won 141 seats. In July 1993 Gonzalez survived a vote of no confidence and with the support of the Basque and Catalan nationalists returned to office for his 4th term. Also in July 1993 Prime Minister Gonzalez made a deal with trade union leaders in which he agreed to amend a strike law if they supported a pact for moderate salaries and labor reforms in return for guarantees not to initiate mass layoffs. On July 5, 1993 the ETA kidnapped the head of the Ikusi engineering firm and demanded a ransom. In Aug. 1993 ETA supporters clashed with peace campaigners during fiestas in San Sebastian and Bilbao that resulted in some 80 injuries and 16 arrests. Also in Aug. 1993 the French and Basque police coordinated the arrest of eight ETA members for extortion of 30 Basque companies. On Aug. 15, 1993 two ETA bombs exploded in crowded Barcelona restaurants resulting in the injury of 5 people. In Oct. 1993 regional presidential elections resulted in the Manuel Fraga Iribarne of the PP scoring an overwhelming victory over the PSOE and the ETA was suspected of assassinating a Spanish Air Force General. Also in Oct. 1993 Prime Minister Gonzalez announced he had reached an agreement with Catalan nationalists over concessions for the autonomous region.


CURRENCY: The official currency is the Euro divided into 100 cents.


ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $533,986,000,000 (1993). Public Debt; Ptas 34,448,000,000,000 (1993). Imports; Ptas 12,348,734,000,000 (1994). Exports; Ptas 9,796,340,000,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; USD $19,425,000,000 (1993). Balance of Trade; Pta -1,853,900,000 (1994). Economically Active Population; 15,468,200 or 39.5% of total population (1994). Unemployed; 16.6% (1994).


MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are other EU countries and Japan.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Almonds, Cereals, Coal, Cork, Copper, Cotton, Fruit, Fish, Grapes, Iron, Lead, Lignite, Mercury, Olives, Sugar Cane, Timber, Tin, Tobacco, Tungsten, Vegetables, Zinc.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Cement, Chemicals, Engineering, Fishing, Food Processing, Forestry and Timber Products, Iron and Steel, Mining Manufactures, Metal Processing, Petroleum Refining, Transport Equipment, Wine Making, Yarns and Textiles.

MAIN EXPORTS: Chemicals, Fruit and Vegetables, Iron and Steel, Machinery, Motor Vehicles, Olive Oil, Petroleum Products, Shoes, Small Metal Manufactures, Textiles, Wine.


TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 12,563 km (7,806 mi) (1988), passenger-km 15,480,000,000 (9,619,000,000 passenger-mi) (1990), cargo ton-km 11,256,000,000 (7,709,000,000 short ton-mi) (1990). Roads; length 318,022 km (197,610 mi) (1988). Vehicles; cars 10,787,500 (1989), trucks and buses 2,019,908 (1989). Merchant Marine; vessels 2,338 (1990), deadweight tonnage 6,185,027 (1990). Air Transport; passenger-km 22,848,000,000 (14,197,000,000 passenger-mi) (1989), cargo ton-km 764,436,000 (523,562,000 short ton-mi) (1989).


COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 119 with a total circulation for 51 of 2,516,299 (1993). Radio; receivers 12,000,000 (1994). Television; receivers 17,000,000 (1994). Telephones; units 15,476,776 (1987).


MILITARY: 206,000 (1995) total active duty personnel with 70.2% army, 15.5% navy and 14.3% air force while military expenditure accounts for 1.8% (1993) of the Gross National Product (GNP).


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