Reino de España
Kingdom of Spain

Flag of Spain Coat of Arms of Spain
Plus Ultra
Marcha Real
Map of Spain
Government Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy
- From 1978Juan Carlos I
Prime Minister
- 1978-1981Adolfo Suárez González
- 1981-1982Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo y Bust
- 1982-1996Felipe González Márquez
- 1996-2004José María Aznar López
- 2004-2011José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
- From 2011Mariano Rajoy Brey
Legislature The Cortes
- Upper houseSenate
- Lower houseCongress of Deputies
October 31, 1978Constitution
EU accessionJanuary 1, 1986
NATO accessionMay 30, 1982
Area504,030 km²
- 201046,030,109
GDP2010 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 1,364.8 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 29,651
Flag of the Spanish State Spain
Flag of the Spanish Republic Government-in-exile

The Kingdom of Spain is a constitutional monarchy in Europe.


Spain'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.[1]


Spain's mixed capitalist economy is the 12th largest in the world, and its per capita income roughly matches that of Germany and France. However, after almost 15 years of above average GDP growth, the Spanish economy began to slow in late 2007 and entered into a recession in the second quarter of 2008. GDP contracted by 3.7% in 2009, ending a 16-year growth trend, and by another 0.2% in 2010, making Spain the last major economy to emerge from the global recession. The reversal in Spain's economic growth reflected a significant decline in construction amid an oversupply of housing and falling consumer spending, while exports actually have begun to grow. Government efforts to boost the economy through stimulus spending, extended unemployment benefits, and loan guarantees did not prevent a sharp rise in the unemployment rate, which rose from a low of about 8% in 2007 to 20% in 2010. The government budget deficit worsened from 3.8% of GDP in 2008 to about 9.7% of GDP in 2010, more than three times the euro-zone limit. Spain's large budget deficit and poor economic growth prospects have made it vulnerable to financial contagion from other highly-indebted euro zone members despite the government's efforts to cut spending, privatize industries, and boost competitiveness through labor market reforms. Spanish banks' high exposure to the collapsed domestic construction and real estate market also poses a continued risk for the sector. The government oversaw a restructuring of the savings bank sector in 2010, and provided some $15 billion in capital to various institutions. Investors remain concerned that Madrid may need to bail out more troubled banks. The Bank of Spain, however, is seeking to boost confidence in the financial sector by pressuring banks to come clean about their losses and consolidate into stronger groups.[2]


  • Juan Carlos I () (October 31, 1978 - )

Prime Minister

  • Adolfo Suárez González () (October 31, 1978 - February 25, 1981)
  • Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo y Bust () (February 25, 1981 - December 1, 1982)
  • Felipe González Márquez () (December 1, 1982 - May 4, 1996)
  • José María Aznar López () (May 4, 1996 - April 16, 2004)
  • José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero () (April 16, 2004 - December 20, 2011)
  • Mariano Rajoy Brey () (December 20, 2011 - )


Spanish Polities

Neighbouring Nations


  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview

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