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Spain Government Profile 2017

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Country nameconventional long form: Kingdom of Spain
conventional short form: Spain
local long form: Reino de Espana
local short form: Espana
etymology: derivation of the name "Espana" is uncertain, but may come from the Phoenician term "span," related to the word "spy," meaning "to forge metals," so, "i-spn-ya" would mean "place where metals are forged"; the ancient Phoenicians long exploited the Iberian Peninsula for its mineral wealth
Government typeparliamentary constitutional 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 has 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; Canarias (Canary Islands); Cantabria; Castilla-La Mancha; Castilla-Leon; Cataluna (Castilian), Catalunya (Catalan), Catalonha (Aranese) [Catalonia]; Ceuta*; Comunidad Valenciana (Castilian), Comunitat Valenciana (Valencian) [Valencian Community]; Extremadura; Galicia; Illes Baleares (Balearic Islands); La Rioja; Madrid; Melilla*; Murcia; Navarra (Castilian), Nafarroa (Basque) [Navarre]; Pais Vasco (Castilian), Euskadi (Basque) [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)
Independence1492; the Iberian peninsula was characterized by a variety of independent kingdoms prior to the Muslim occupation that began in the early 8th century A.D. and lasted nearly seven centuries; the small Christian redoubts of the north began the reconquest almost immediately, culminating in the seizure of Granada in 1492; this event completed the unification of several kingdoms and is traditionally considered the forging of present-day Spain
National holidayNational Day (Hispanic Day), 12 October (1492); note - commemorates COLUMBUS' arrival in the Americas
Constitutionhistory: previous 1812; latest approved by the General Courts 31 October 1978, passed by referendum 6 December 1978, signed by the king 27 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978
amendments: proposed by the government, by the General Courts (the Congress or the Senate), or by the self-governing communities submitted through the government; passage requires three-fifths majority vote by both houses and passage by referendum if requested by one-tenth of members of either house; proposals disapproved by both houses are submitted to a joint committee, which submits an agreed upon text for another vote; passage requires two-thirds vote in Congress and simple majority vote in the Senate; amended 1992, 2007, 2011 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system with regional variations
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Spain
dual citizenship recognized: only with select Latin American countries
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years for persons with no ties to Spain
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: King FELIPE VI (since 19 June 2014); Heir Apparent Princess LEONOR, Princess of Asturias, daughter of the monarch, born 31 October 2005
head of government: President of the Government or Prime Minister Mariano RAJOY (since 20 December 2011); Vice President (and Minister of the President's Office) Soraya SAENZ DE SANTAMARIA (since 22 December 2011)
cabinet: Council of Ministers designated by the president
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the monarch usually proposes the leader of the party or coalition with the largest majority of seats as president, who is then indirectly elected by the Congress of Deputies; election last held on 26 June 2016; vice president and Council of Ministers appointed by the president
election results: percent of National Assembly vote - NA
note: there is also a Council of State that is the supreme consultative organ of the government, but its recommendations are non-binding
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral General Courts or Las Cortes Generales consists of the Senate or Senado (266 seats as of 2017; 208 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 58 appointed by the regional legislatures; members serve 4-year terms) and the Congress of Deputies or Congreso de los Diputados (350 seats; 348 members directly elected in 50 multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 2 directly elected from the North African Ceuta and Melilla enclaves by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms or until the government is dissolved)
elections: Senate - last held on 26 June 2016; Congress of Deputies - last held on 26 June 2016 (next to be held no later than June 2020)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PP 149, PSOE 62, Podemos 20, ERC 12, EAJ/PNV 6, other 17; Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PP 33.0%, PSOE 22.7%, Podemos 21.1%, C's 13.0%, ERC-CatSi 2.6%, CDC 2.0%, EAJ/PNV 1.2%, other 4.4%; seats by party - PP 134, PSOE 84, Podemos 67, C's 32, ERC-CatSi 9, EAJ/PNV 5, other 19
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo (consists of the court president and organized into the Civil Room with a president and 9 judges, the Penal Room with a president and 14 judges, the Administrative Room with a president and 32 judges, the Social Room with a president and 12 judges, and the Military Room with a president and 7 judges); Constitutional Court or Tribunal Constitucional de Espana (consists of 12 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the monarch from candidates proposed by the General Council of the Judiciary Power, a 20-member governing board chaired by the monarch that includes presidential appointees, and lawyers and jurists confirmed by the National Assembly; judges can serve until age 70; Constitutional Court judges nominated by the National Assembly, executive branch, and the General Council of the Judiciary, and appointed by the monarch for 9-year terms
subordinate courts: National High Court; High Courts of Justice (in each of the autonomous communities); provincial courts; courts of first instance
Political parties and leadersAmaiur [Xabier ERREKONDO] (a separatist political coalition that advocates Basque independence from Spain)
Asturias Forum or FAC [Cristina COTO]
Basque Country Unite (Euskal Herria Bildu) or EH Bildu [Pello URIZAR] (coalition of 4 Basque pro-independence parties)
Basque Nationalist Party or PNV or EAJ [Andoni ORTUZAR]
Canarian Coalition or CC [Claudina MORALES Rodriguez] (coalition of five parties)
Canarian Nationalist Party or PNC [Juan Manuel GARCIA Ramos]
Catalan Agreement of Progress (Entesa Catalonia de Progress) or ECP [Carles BONET i Reves] (Senate coalition of Catalan parties - PSC, ERC, ICV, EUA)
Catalan European Democratic Party or PDeCat [Artur MAS]
Ciudadanos Party or C's [Albert RIVERA]
Compromis [Monica Oltra JARQUE]
Galician Nationalist Bloc or BNG [Ana PONTON Mondelo]
Gomera Socialist Group or ASG
Initiative for Catalonia Greens or ICV [Joan HERRERA i Torres and Dolors CAMATS]
Podemos [Pablo IGLESIAS Turrion]
Popular Party or PP [Mariano RAJOY Brey]
Republican Left of Catalonia or ERC [Oriol JUNQUERAS i Vies]
Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Pedro SANCHEZ]
Union of People of Navarra or UPN [Javier ESPARZA]
Union, Progress and Democracy or UPyD [Gorka MAEIRO]
United Left or IU [Alberto GARZON] (a coalition of parties including the Communist Party of Spain or PCE and other small parties; ran as Popular Unity or UP in 2015 election)
Yes to the Future or Geroa Bai [Koldo MARTINEZ] (a coalition of four Navarran parties)
Political pressure groups and leadersAssociation for Victims of Terrorism or AVT (grassroots organization devoted primarily to supporting victims of the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist organization)
Catholic Church
Socialist General Union of Workers or UGT (includes the smaller independent Workers Syndical Union or USO)
Trade Union Confederation of Workers' Commissions or CC.OO.
Spanish Confederation of Employers' Organizations or CEOE
other: business and landowning interests; free labor unions (authorized in April 1977); university students
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CAN (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Pedro MORENES Eulate (since 24 April 2017)
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 York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
consulate(s): Kansas City (MO)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Kris URS (since January 2017) note - also accredited to Andorra
embassy: Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid
mailing address: PSC 61, APO AE 09642
telephone: [34] (91) 587-2200
FAX: [34] (91) 587-2303
consulate(s) general: Barcelona
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; the triband arrangement with the center stripe twice the width of the outer dates to the 18th century
note: the red and yellow colors are related to those of the oldest Spanish kingdoms: Aragon, Castile, Leon, and Navarre
National symbol(s)Pillars of Hercules; national colors: red, yellow
National anthemname: "Himno Nacional Espanol" (National Anthem of Spain)
lyrics/music: no lyrics/unknown
note: officially in use between 1770 and 1931, restored in 1939; the Spanish anthem is the first anthem to be officially adopted, but it has no lyrics; in the years prior to 1931 it became known as "Marcha Real" (The Royal March); it first appeared in a 1761 military bugle call book and was replaced by "Himno de Riego" in the years between 1931 and 1939; the long version of the anthem is used for the king, while the short version is used for the prince, prime minister, and occasions such as sporting events

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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