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Spain Index

Military intervention in politics has been a recurring theme in Spain since the end of the Napoleonic wars. From 1814 to 1936, Spain experienced no fewer than fifty-four attempts by the army or by groups of officers to intervene against the civilian authority. Twelve of these succeeded in overthrowing the existing regime or in abrogating its constitution. The form each of these interventions took was that of a pronunciamiento (pl., pronunciamientos), whereby a group of rebelling officers would "pronounce" what it wanted the civilian leaders to do (see Rule by Pronunciamiento , ch. 1; Historical Role of the Armed Forces , ch. 5).

The support of the armed forces was an essential factor in maintaining Franco's forty-year dictatorship. Franco was always aware of the importance of this support, and he managed to foster the belief that the army's interests would be served best by the continuation of his rule. Franco restored to the army its role of guarantor of the nation's values. At the same time, Franco was aware of the dangers of a politicized army. He retained firm control of the military establishment and prevented any individual officer from gaining a power base. If a military leader became too popular or began to question Franco's policies, he was quickly removed from any position of influence.

Following the death of Franco, King Juan Carlos and Prime Minister Suarez were able to achieve a peaceful transition to democracy by proceeding with extreme caution and consulting with the military leadership throughout the process. Thus, the military leaders retained the belief that they had the right to be consulted on matters of national importance. The democratic leftists were also aware of the ever-present possibility that reformist measures could alienate the military and could provoke a coup attempt, which led them to accept many compromises throughout the transition period.

The role of King Juan Carlos was vital in gaining the army's acceptance of the new democratic regime. He had been trained in military academies, and he understood the viewpoint of the officer corps. He made a point of establishing close ties with the armed forces after Franco's death in order to gain their loyalty to him as Franco's chosen successor. At the same time, he was able to keep the government informed as to how far it could go in the reform process without provoking a military reaction.

Although many officers did not care for the political reform program set forth by Suarez, the military leaders did not express open opposition to the democratization process until the legalization of the PCE in the spring of 1977 (see Transition to Democracy , ch. 1). They felt betrayed by Suarez, who had promised not to take such a step, and although there was no coup, they protested vehemently.

The independence with which the army leaders had expressed their revulsion at the government's decision highlighted the possibility that a powerful military organization could limit popular sovereignty. Subsequently, measures were taken to affirm the supremacy of civilian control. At the same time, the government took steps to assuage military opinion by allocating funds for the modernization of military equipment and for raising military salaries. Efforts also were made to rationalize the military career structure and to eliminate bottlenecks in the promotion process.

In succeeding months, the armed forces and the civilian government coexisted uneasily. Intermittent rumblings were heard from reactionary army leaders, who retained an antidemocratic mentality and who could not come to terms with their new position in society. The armed forces seethed with plots for military takeovers, and the government's leniency toward conspirators, rather than mollifying the military leaders, encouraged the plotters to more daring acts. This unstable situation was exacerbated by the escalation of terrorist violence. Army dissidents perceived the government as allowing the country to descend into anarchy, and military unrest culminated in the dramatic coup attempt of February 23, 1981. This attempted takeover was thwarted by the decisive intervention of King Juan Carlos, but conspiracies continued to be uncovered.

When the Socialists came to power in 1982, the deterrent power of the armed forces was still a factor to be considered. The PSOE government continued to be cautious in dealing with issues affecting the military, although it took a firmer stance than did its predecessors. As rumors of impending coups quieted, and as extreme right-wing parties failed to gain popular support, the government undertook stronger legal measures to bring the armed forces under the political control of the prime minister as well as to modernize and to streamline the military organization (see The Military in National Life; Jurisdiction Over National Defense , ch. 5).

A significant aspect of the military reorganization was the emphasis on the armed forces' role in defending the state from external, not internal, enemies. This was reinforced by Spain's entrance into NATO (see Spain and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization , this ch.). This new outward focus, combined with the general stability and conservatism of the government, helped to make military intervention in the political realm both impractical and unlikely.

Data as of December 1988

BackgroundSpain's powerful world empire of the 16th and 17th centuries ultimately yielded command of the seas to England. Subsequent failure to embrace the mercantile and industrial revolutions caused the country to fall behind Britain, France, and Germany in economic and political power. Spain remained neutral in World Wars I and II but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). A peaceful transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco FRANCO in 1975, and rapid economic modernization (Spain joined the EU in 1986) gave Spain a dynamic and rapidly growing economy and made it a global champion of freedom and human rights. The government continues to battle the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist organization, but its major focus for the immediate future will be on measures to reverse the severe economic recession that started in mid-2008.
LocationSouthwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France
Area(sq km)total: 505,370 sq km
land: 498,980 sq km
water: 6,390 sq km
note: there are two autonomous cities - Ceuta and Melilla - and 17 autonomous communities including Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, and three small Spanish possessions off the coast of Morocco - Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera
Geographic coordinates40 00 N, 4 00 W
Land boundaries(km)total: 1,917.8 km
border countries: Andorra 63.7 km, France 623 km, Gibraltar 1.2 km, Portugal 1,214 km, Morocco (Ceuta) 6.3 km, Morocco (Melilla) 9.6 km

Coastline(km)4,964 km

Climatetemperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast

Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico de Teide (Tenerife) on Canary Islands 3,718 m
Natural resourcescoal, lignite, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, magnesite, fluorspar, gypsum, sepiolite, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land
Land use(%)arable land: 27.18%
permanent crops: 9.85%
other: 62.97% (2005)

Irrigated land(sq km)37,800 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources(cu km)111.1 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 37.22 cu km/yr (13%/19%/68%)
per capita: 864 cu m/yr (2002)
Natural hazardsperiodic droughts
Environment - current issuespollution of the Mediterranean Sea from raw sewage and effluents from the offshore production of oil and gas; water quality and quantity nationwide; air pollution; deforestation; desertification
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - notestrategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar; Spain controls a number of territories in northern Morocco including the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, and the islands of Penon de Velez de la Gomera, Penon de Alhucemas, and Islas Chafarinas
Population40,525,002 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure(%)0-14 years: 14.5% (male 3,021,822/female 2,842,597)
15-64 years: 67.4% (male 13,705,107/female 13,601,399)
65 years and over: 18.1% (male 3,071,394/female 4,282,683) (2009 est.)
Median age(years)total: 41.1 years
male: 39.7 years
female: 42.5 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate(%)0.072% (2009 est.)
Birth rate(births/1,000 population)9.72 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)9.99 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)0.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization(%)urban population: 77% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 4.21 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.59 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 80.05 years
male: 76.74 years
female: 83.57 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate(children born/woman)1.31 children born/woman (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Spaniard(s)
adjective: Spanish
Ethnic groups(%)composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types

Religions(%)Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%
Languages(%)Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%, are official regionally

Country nameconventional long form: Kingdom of Spain
conventional short form: Spain
local long form: Reino de Espana
local short form: Espana
Government typeparliamentary monarchy
Capitalname: 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 divisions17 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 (Catalonia), Comunidad Valenciana (Valencian Community), 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)
Constitutionapproved by legislature 31 October 1978; passed by referendum 6 December 1978; signed by the king 27 December 1978

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

Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief 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 Minister of the Presidency) Maria Teresa FERNANDEZ DE LA VEGA Sanz (since 18 April 2004), Second Vice President (and Minister of Economy and Finance) Elena SALGADO Mendez (since 8 April 2009), and Third Vice President (and Minister of Regional Affairs) Manuel CHAVES Gonzalez (since 8 April 2009)
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 9 and 11 April 2008 (next to be held in March 2012); vice presidents appointed by the monarch on the proposal of the president
election results: Jose Luis Rodriguez ZAPATERO reelected President of the Government; percent of National Assembly vote - 46.94%
Legislative branchbicameral; General Courts or Las Cortes Generales (National Assembly) consists of the Senate or Senado (264 seats as of 2008; 208 members directly elected by popular vote and the other 56 - as of 2008 - appointed by the regional legislatures; to serve four-year terms) and the Congress of Deputies or Congreso de los Diputados (350 seats; each of the 50 electoral provinces fills a minimum of two seats and the North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla fill one seat each with members serving a four-year term; the other 248 members are determined by proportional representation based on popular vote on block lists who serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 9 March 2008 (next to be held not later than March 2012); Congress of Deputies - last held on 9 March 2008 (next to be held not later than March 2012)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PP 101, PSOE 88, Entesa Catalona de Progress 12, CiU 4, PNV 2, CC 1, members appointed by regional legislatures 56; Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PSOE 43.6%, PP 40.1%, CiU 3.1%, PNV 1.2%, ERC 1.2%, other 10.8%; seats by party - PSOE 169, PP 154, CiU 10, PNV 6, ERC 3, other 8; note - seats by party in the Congress of Deputies as of 15 December 2009 - PSOE 169, PP 153, CiU 10, PNV 6, ERC 3, other 9

Judicial branchSupreme Court or Tribunal Supremo

Political pressure groups and leadersAssociation for Victims of Terrorism or AVT (grassroots organization devoted primarily to opposing ETA terrorist attacks and supporting its victims); Basta Ya (Spanish for "Enough is Enough"; grassroots organization devoted primarily to opposing ETA terrorist attacks and supporting its victims); Nunca Mais (Galician for "Never Again"; formed in response to the oil Tanker Prestige oil spill); Socialist General Union of Workers or UGT and the smaller independent Workers Syndical Union or USO; Trade Union Confederation of Workers' Commissions or CC.OO.
other: business and landowning interests; Catholic Church; free labor unions (authorized in April 1977); university students
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), 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, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Flag descriptionthree 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 is quartered to display the emblems of the traditional kingdoms of Spain (clockwise from upper left, Castile, Leon, Navarre, and Aragon) while Granada is represented by the stylized pomegranate at the bottom of the shield; the arms are framed by two columns representing the Pillars of Hercules, which are the two promontories (Gibraltar and Ceuta) on either side of the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar; the red scroll across the two columns bears the imperial motto of "Plus Ultra" (further beyond) referring to Spanish lands beyond Europe

Economy - overviewThe Spanish economy grew every year from 1994 through 2008 before entering a recession that started in the third quarter of 2008. Spain's mixed capitalist economy supports a GDP that on a per capita basis is approaching that of the largest West European economies. The Socialist president, Jose Luis Rodriguez ZAPATERO, in office since 2004, has made mixed progress in carrying out key structural reforms. The economy was greatly affected, especially after Zapatero's second term began in April 2008, by the bursting of the housing bubble and construction boom that had fueled much of the economic growth between 2001 and 2007. The global financial crisis exacerbated the economic downturn. GDP growth in 2008 was 1.2%, well below the 3% or higher growth the country enjoyed from 1997 through 2007. The Spanish banking system is considered solid, thanks in part to conservative oversight by the European Central Bank, and government intervention to rescue banks on the scale seen elsewhere in Europe in 2008 was not necessary. After considerable success since the mid-1990s in reducing unemployment to a 2007 low of 8%, Spain suffered a major spike in unemployment in the last few months of 2008, finishing the year with an unemployment rate over 13%.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.402 trillion (2008 est.)
$1.39 trillion (2007 est.)
$1.341 trillion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$1.602 trillion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate(%)0.9% (2008 est.)
3.6% (2007 est.)
4% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$34,600 (2008 est.)
$34,400 (2007 est.)
$33,200 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 3.4%
industry: 29%
services: 67.6% (2008 est.)
Labor force22.85 million (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 4%
industry: 26.4%
services: 69.5% (2008 est.)
Unemployment rate(%)11.3% (2008 est.)
8.3% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line(%)19.8% (2005)
Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 26.6% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index32 (2005)
32.5 (1990)
Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)29.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $598.1 billion
expenditures: $659.1 billion (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)4.1% (2008 est.)
2.8% (2007 est.)

Stock of money$NAnote: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 16 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money and quasi money circulating within their own borders
Stock of quasi money$NA
Stock of domestic credit$3.45 trillion (31 December 2008)
$2.976 trillion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.132 trillion (31 December 2008)
$1.8 trillion (31 December 2007)
$1.323 trillion (31 December 2006)
Public debt(% of GDP)40.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
53.2% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - productsgrain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish
Industriestextiles and apparel (including footwear), food and beverages, metals and metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, machine tools, tourism, clay and refractory products, footwear, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment

Industrial production growth rate(%)-2.3% (2008 est.)

Current account balance-$154.1 billion (2008 est.)
-$145.4 billion (2007 est.)
Exports$285.9 billion (2008 est.)
$256.7 billion (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities(%)machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medicines, other consumer goods
Exports - partners(%)France 18.4%, Germany 10.6%, Portugal 8.7%, Italy 8%, UK 6.7%, US 4.2% (2008)
Imports$415.5 billion (2008 est.)
$380.2 billion (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities(%)machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, measuring and medical control instruments
Imports - partners(%)Germany 14.5%, France 11.1%, Italy 7.4%, China 6.3%, UK 4.6%, Netherlands 4.4% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$20.25 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$19.05 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external$2.317 trillion (31 December 2008)
$2.299 trillion (31 December 2007)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$636.5 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$570.7 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$605.3 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$687.4 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.6827 (2008 est.), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004)

Currency (code)euro (EUR)

Telephones - main lines in use20.2 million (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular49.682 million (2008)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: well developed, modern facilities; fixed-line teledensity is roughly 50 per 100 persons
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is nearly 175 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 34; submarine cables provide connectivity to Europe, Middle East, Asia, and US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to adjacent countries
Internet country code.es
Internet users25.24 million (2008)
Airports153 (2009)
Pipelines(km)gas 7,738 km; oil 560 km; refined products 3,445 km (2008)
Roadways(km)total: 681,224 km
paved: 681,224 km (includes 13,872 km of expressways) (2006)

Ports and terminalsAlgeciras, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cartagena, Huelva, Tarragona, Valencia
Military branchesSpanish Armed Forces: Army (Ejercito de Tierra), Spanish Navy (Armada Espanola, AE; includes Marine Corps), Spanish Air Force (Ejercito del Aire Espanola, EdA) (2009)
Military service age and obligation(years of age)20 years of age (2004)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 10,033,069
females age 16-49: 9,764,937 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 8,139,020
females age 16-49: 7,899,157 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 199,124
female: 187,224 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures(% of GDP)1.2% of GDP (2005 est.)
Disputes - internationalin 2002, Gibraltar residents voted overwhelmingly by referendum to remain a British colony and against a "total shared sovereignty" arrangement while demanding participation in talks between the UK and Spain; Spain disapproves of UK plans to grant Gibraltar greater autonomy; Morocco protests Spain's control over the coastal enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and the islands of Penon de Velez de la Gomera, Penon de Alhucemas, and Islas Chafarinas, and surrounding waters; Morocco serves as the primary launching site of illegal migration into Spain from North Africa; Portugal does not recognize Spanish sovereignty over the territory of Olivenza based on a difference of interpretation of the 1815 Congress of Vienna and the 1801 Treaty of Badajoz

Electricity - production(kWh)283.2 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 50.4%
hydro: 18.2%
nuclear: 27.2%
other: 4.1% (2001)
Electricity - consumption(kWh)276.1 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - exports(kWh)16.92 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports(kWh)5.88 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production(bbl/day)28,130 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption(bbl/day)1.562 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports(bbl/day)226,900 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - imports(bbl/day)1.813 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
Economic aid - donorODA, $3.814 billion (2006)

Oil - proved reserves(bbl)150 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production(cu m)17 million cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption(cu m)38.18 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)2.548 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)0.5% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS140,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths2,300 (2007 est.)
Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.9%
male: 98.7%
female: 97.2% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2006)
Education expenditures(% of GDP)4.2% of GDP (2005)

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