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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Spain Government




Spain    Government Top of Page
Country name: conventional long form:  Kingdom of Spain

conventional short form:  Spain

local short form:  Espana
Government type: parliamentary monarchy
Capital: Madrid
Administrative divisions: 17 autonomous communities (comunidades autonomas, singular - comunidad autonoma); Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias, Baleares (Balearic Islands), Canarias (Canary Islands), Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, Cataluna, Communidad Valencian, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, Pais Vasco (Basque Country)

note:  there are five places of sovereignty on and off the coast of Morocco: Ceuta and Melilla are administered as autonomous communities; Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera are under direct Spanish administration
Independence: 1492 (expulsion of the Moors and unification)
National holiday: Hispanic Day, 12 October
Constitution: 6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978
Legal system: civil law system, with regional applications; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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 Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez (since 5 May 1996); First Vice President Juan Jose LUCAS (since 28 February 2000) and Second Vice President (and Minister of Economy) Rodrigo RATO Figaredo (since 5 May 1996)

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

elections:  the monarch is hereditary; president proposed by the monarch and elected by the National Assembly following legislative elections; election last held 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA March 2004); vice presidents appointed by the monarch on proposal of the president

election results:  Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez (PP) elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 44%
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 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA March 2004); Congress of Deputies - last held 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA March 2004)

election results:  Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PP 127, PSOE 61, CiU 8, PNV 6, CC 5, PIL 1; Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PP 44.5%, PSOE 34%, CiU 4.2%, IU 5.4%, PNV 1.5%, CC 1%, BNG 1.3%; seats by party - PP 183, PSOE 125, CiU 15, IU 8, PNV 7, CC 4, BNG 3, other 5
Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo
Political parties and leaders: Basque Nationalist Party or PNV [Xabier ARZALLUS Antia]; Canarian Coalition or CC (a coalition of five parties) [Paulino RIVERO]; Convergence and Union or CiU [Jordi PUJOL i Soley, secretary general] (a coalition of the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia or CDC [Jordi PUJOL i Soley] and the Democratic Union of Catalonia or UDC [Josep Antoni DURAN y LLEIDA]); Galician Nationalist Bloc or BNG [Xose Manuel BEIRAS]; Party of Independents from Lanzarote or PIL [Dimas MARTIN Martin]; Popular Party or PP [Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez]; Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Jose Luis Rodriguez ZAPATERO]; United Left or IU (a coalition of parties including the PCE and other small parties) [Gaspar LLAMAZARES]
Political pressure groups and leaders: business and landowning interests; Catholic Church; Euskal Herritarok or EH [Herri BATASUNA]; free labor unions (authorized in April 1977); on the extreme left, the Basque Fatherland and Liberty or ETA and the First of October Antifascist Resistance Group or GRAPO use terrorism to oppose the government; Opus Dei; Socialist General Union of Workers or UGT and the smaller independent Workers Syndical Union or USO; university students; Workers Confederation or CC.OO
International organization participation: AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNTAET, UNU, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador Francisco Javier RUPEREZ

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, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador Edward L. ROMERO

embassy:  Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid

mailing address:  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

 

Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook








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