This country-specific section gives a comprehensive description of Spanish business culture which will help you to interact more effectively with your Spanish clients and colleagues.
INFORMATIONS ABOUT SPAIN
* Spain was the second more former European colonial power after Portugal, the country grew rich from the 15th century to 16th century, butdeclined with the loss of its colonies throughout the 19th century.
* 1936 to 1939: time of the Civil war which opposed nationalists against republicans. In 1939, Francisco Franco became dictator of Spain after the bloody three-year Spanish civil war. That is why Spain remained neutral during the WWII but maintained good relations with the Nazis. Franco stayed at the head of the country until1975, year of his death, and designated Prince Juan Carlos as the future king to keep the country stability in 1969. This civil war caused a serious traumatism in the Spanish people’s mind.
* Prince Juan Carlos became king of Spain in 1975 and soon had to put down attempted military coup & managed to keep Spain under civilian rule.
* 1978: Spain became a constitutional monarchy.
*1980: Spain granted autonomy to Catalonia and the Basque country. But political violence continues mainly in the Basque region because they want total independence from Spain.
Political structure of State | Parliamentary Monarchy |
Head of State | King Juan Carlos I, since November 22nd 1975 |
Prime Minister | José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, since April 17th, 2004 andhas been reelected on March 9th, 2008. |
Party in power | Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) |
Territorial organization | Territorially, the State is organized into municipalities, provinces and autonomous communities. There are 17 autonomous communities and two cities (Ceuta and Melilla). |
European Union | Member State since 1986 |
Concerning the territorial organization, as we justsaid, Spain is composed of 17 autonomous communities, to which Melilla and Ceuta have to be added. Those two are considered as autonomous cities at the border of Morocco. It is also important to note that The Balearic and Canary Islands are part of Spain.
Each autonomous community has wide legislative and executive autonomy, with their own parliaments and regional governments. The distribution ofpowers may be different for every community, as laid out in their Statutes of Autonomy.
There are also subdivisions in communities: you can find provinces which are the territorial divisions designed to carry out the activities of the State, and municipalities which have to manage the internal affairs of the community. The communities of Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja, the Balearic Islands,Madrid, Murcia and Navarre, having been granted autonomy as single-provinces for historical reasons, and are counted as provinces as well.
Nevertheless, Spain still requests the return of Gibraltar, which has been under British control since 1704.
Moreover it is important to know that, with an area of 504,030 km², Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union afterFrance.
According to the World Bank, Spain's economy is the ninth largest worldwide and the fifth largest in Europe. It is also the 3rd largest world investor
The Spanish economy had been until recently regarded as one of the most dynamic within the EU, attracting significant amounts of foreign investment. During the last four decades the Spanish tourism industry has grown tobecome the second biggest in the world, worth approximately 40 billion Euros, about 5% of GDP, in 2006.
However, at the end of May 2009 unemployment had already reached 18.7% (37% for youths).
* There is no official religion but 97% of the population is Catholic.
* Spanish, with the Castilian dialect, is spoken all over the country and so is the only language with...