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    Spain Government 1998

      Country name
      conventional long form: Kingdom of Spain
      conventional short form: Spain
      local short form: Espana

      Data code SP

      Government type parliamentary monarchy

      National capital Madrid

      Administrative divisions 17 autonomous communities (comunidades autonomas, singular - comunidad autonoma); Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias, Canarias, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, Cataluna, Communidad Valencian, Extremadura, Galicia, Islas Baleares, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, Pais Vasco (Basque Country)
      note: there are five places of sovereignty on and off the coast of Morocco (Ceuta, Mellila, Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera) with administrative status unknown

      Independence 1492 (expulsion of the Moors and unification)

      National holiday National Day, 12 October

      Constitution 6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978

      Legal system civil law system, with regional applications; does not accept 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 king
      head of government: President of the Government Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez (since 5 May 1996); First Vice President Francisco ALVAREZ CASCOS Fernandez (since 5 May 1996) and Second Vice President (and Minister of Economy and Finance) 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 king is a hereditary monarch; president proposed by the king and elected by the National Assembly following legislative elections; election last held 3 March 1996 (next to be held by NA March 2000)
      election results: Jose Maria AZNAR elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - NA

      Legislative branch bicameral The General Courts or National Assembly or Las Cortes Generales consists of the Senate or Senado (256 seats; 208 members are directly elected by popular vote and the other 48 were 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 3 March 1996 (next to be held by March 2000); Congress of Deputies - last held 3 March 1996 (next to be held by March 2000)
      election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PP 132, PSOE 96, CiU 11, PNV 6, IU 2, others 9; Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PP 38.9%, PSOE 37.5%, IU 10.7%, CiU 4.6%; seats by party - PP 156, PSOE 141, IU 21, CiU 16, other 16

      Judicial branch Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo

      Political parties and leaders
      principal national parties, from right to left: Popular Party or PP [Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez]; Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Joaquin ALMUNIA Amann, secretary general]; Spanish Communist Party or PCE [Julio ANGUITA Gonzalez]; United Left or IU (a coalition of parties including the PCE and other small parties) [Julio ANGUITA Gonzalez]
      chief regional parties: 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]); Basque Nationalist Party or PNV [Xabier ARZALLUS Antia]; Canarian Coalition or CC (a coalition of five parties) [Lorenzo OLLARTE Cullen]

      Political pressure groups and leaders on the extreme left, the Basque Fatherland and Liberty or ETA [Herri BATASUNA] and the First of October Antifascist Resistance Group or GRAPO use terrorism to oppose the government; free labor unions (authorized in April 1977); Workers Confederation or CC.OO; the Socialist General Union of Workers or UGT and the smaller independent Workers Syndical Union or USO; business and landowning interests; the Catholic Church; Opus Dei; university students

      International organization participation AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 8, 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), MINUGUA, MTCR, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNU, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

      Diplomatic representation in the US
      chief of mission: Ambassador Antonio OYARZABAL MARCHESI
      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 (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Lawrence G. ROSSIN
      embassy: Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid
      mailing address: APO AE 09642
      telephone: [34] (1) 587-2200
      FAX: [34] (1) 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

      NOTE: The information regarding Spain on this page is re-published from the 1998 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Spain Government 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Spain Government 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-Dec-01
    Copyright © 2001 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)