Politics and economy
Domestically situation of
the Spanish Constitution of 1978 provides that Spain is a parliamentary monarchy. Parliament (Cortes) is composed of a Congress (Chamber of Deputies) and the Senate, elected for four years. The next general election must occur not later than 14 March 2008. Spain is divided into 17 autonomous regions: Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, the Balearic Islands, the Basque Country, Cantabria, Castile and León, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia, the Canary Islands , Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, Rioja and Valencia. The 17 autonomies is divided into 50 provinces. In addition, the two autonomous areas on the north coast of Africa, Ceuta and Melilla. Autonomy shall have considerable expertise and chooses every four years its own parliament, which appoints a local government. The ongoing negotiations on new statutes for autonomy are focusing on the balance of power between central government and local government, including the question of skills, funding and recognition of national and linguistic identity. Catalonia, Basque Country and Galicia, a special independent position, and especially the former two have strong desires for increased degree of autonomy. Foreign policy Spain has been a member of the EU since 1986 and of NATO since 1982. The main priorities of the Socialist government’s foreign and security policy is weighted in relation to France and Germany, transatlantic relations, including Latin America, and the relationship between the Mediterranean and the Middle East. In Spain, there are virtually always ruled consensus around integration seeking EU policy of strengthening of cooperation in all significant areas of cooperation including support for EU enlargement. Spain was the first country that approved the EU Constitutional Treaty by means of a referendum held on 20 February 2005. The relationship with the US has been central to the Spanish security and defense policy since the first American bases on Spanish soil was established in 1953. With the withdrawal of the Spanish troops from Iraq in May 2004 broke the current government, however, with the otherwise close political and diplomatic alliance that has traditionally existed between the two countries. the relationship with Latin America and the countries of North Africa, particularly Morocco, plays a special role for Spain of historical, geographical and cultural reasons. Spain wants the EU’s engagement in these regions expanded. Gibraltar and the question of sovereignty remains problematic in Spain compared to the UK. In September 2006, the two countries, however, an agreement with the aim of improving conditions for the people of Gibraltar and strengthen cooperation between the two countries accordingly. Economic situation Since the transition from dictatorship to democracy and Spain’s entry into the EU, the country has experienced high economic growth, particularly over the last ten years when growth has been significantly above the EU average. In 2005, Spain’s GDP growth of 3.4%, and the outlook is for an increase of just 3% in both 2006 and 2007. It has managed to balance the public finances and reduce unemployment significantly to approximately 8.5% (Q2 2006) The Spanish growth is largely driven by domestic demand and growth in the construction industry. There is deficit of trading as well as balance of payments, which is attributed to low productivity, strong domestic demand and a lack of competitiveness . Inflation is one of the highest in the EU (4% in the period August 2005 – July 2006). Tourism is still Spain’s biggest source of revenue, accounting for approximately 10% of the country’s GDP. The European market is crucial for Spanish foreign trade. EU countries purchase more than 70% of total Spanish exports, but it now aims also against the major emerging markets, such Asia. Spain is the leading investor countries in Latin America and North Africa (especially Morocco).Denmark has a significant trade surplus in relation to Spain, Denmark’s 10th largest trading partner. May you discover an error or to have additions, we will be very grateful if you write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . We will, as quickly as possible, investigate and correct this.