FOREX-Euro rebounds on Greek news
On 23 February 1981, rebel components among the security forces seized the Cortes in an attempt to impose a military backed government. King Juan Carlos took personal command of the military and successfully ordered the coup plotters, via national television, to surrender.
On 30 May 1982 Spain joined NATO, following a referendum. That year the Spanish Socialist Workers Party came to power, the first left-wing government in 43 years. In 1986 Spain joined the European Community; what became the European Union. The PSOE was replaced in government by the Partido Popular afterwards the latter won the 1996 General Elections; at that point the PSOE had served nearly 14 consecutive years in office.
As of November 2009, the government of Spain keeps a balanced gender equality ratio. Nine out of the 18 members of the government are women. In accordance with the administration of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Spain has been described as being "at the vanguard" in gender equality issues and as well that "[n]o other modern, democratic, administration outside Scandinavia has taken more steps to place gender issues at the centre of government". The Spanish administration has as well promoted gender-based positive discrimination by approving gender equality legislation in 2007 aimed at providing equality between genders in Spanish political and economic life. Nevertheless, in the legislative branch, as of July 2010 only 128 of the 350 members of the Congress are women. It places Spain 13th on a list of countries ranked by proportion of women in the lower house. In the Senate, the ratio is even lower, since there are only 79 women out of 263. The Gender Empowerment Measure of Spain in the United Nations Human Development Report is 0.794, 12th in the world.
So-called Estado de las Autonomías
Spain is organizationally structured as a so-called Estado de las Autonomías; it is one of the most decentralized countries in Europe, along with Switzerland, Germany and Belgium; for instance, all Autonomous Communities have their own elected parliaments, governments, public administrations, budgets, and resources. Health and education systems among others are managed regionally, and to boot, the Basque Country and Navarre as well manage their own public finances based on foral provisions. In Catalonia and the Basque Country, a full fledged autonomous police corps replaces some of the State police functions.
Autonomous communities and autonomous cities Autonomous communities are the first level administrative division in the country. These were created afterwards the 1979 and current constitution came into effect in recognition of the right to self-government to the "nationalities and regions of Spain". Autonomous communities were to be integrated by adjacent provinces with common historial, cultural, and economical traits. This territorial organization, based on devolution, is known in Spain as the "State of Autonomies".
The basic institutional law of each autonomous community is the Statute of Autonomy. The Statutes of Autonomy establish the name of the community according to its historical identity, the limits of their territories, the name and organization of the institutions of government and the rights they enjoy according the constitution.
Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Country, which identified themselves as "nationalities" were granted self-government through a rapid process. Andalusia as well took that denomination in its first Statute of Autonomy, although it followed the longer process stipulated in the constitution for the rest of the country. Progressively, other communities in revisions to their Statutes of Autonomy have as well taken that denomination in accordance to their historical regional identity, just as the Valencian Community, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, and Aragon.
The autonomous communities have wide legislative
The autonomous communities have wide legislative and executive autonomy, with their own parliaments and regional governments. The distribution of powers may be different for every community, as laid out in their Statutes of Autonomy, since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical. Only two communities-the Basque Country and Navarre-have full fiscal autonomy. Aside of fiscal autonomy, the "historical" nationalities-Andalusia, the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Galicia-were devolved more powers than the rest of the communities, amongst them the ability of the regional president to dissolve the parliament and call for elections at any time. Should the contingency arise, the Basque Country, Catalonia and Navarre have police corps of their own: Ertzaintza, Mossos d'Esquadra and the Policía Foral respectively. Other communities have more limited forces or none at all, like the Policía Autónoma Andaluza in Andalusia or the BESCAM in Madrid.
The current provincial division structure is based-with minor changes-on the 1833 territorial division by Javier de Burgos, and in all, the Spanish territory is divided into 50 provinces. The communities of Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja, the Balearic Islands, Madrid, Murcia and Navarre are the only communities that are integrated by a single province, which is coextensive with the community itself. In this cases, the administrative institutions of the province are replaced by the governmental institutions of the community.
The centre-right government of former prime minister José María Aznar worked successfully to gain admission to the group of countries launching the euro in 1999. Unemployment stood at 7.6% in October 2006, a rate that compared favorably to many other European countries, and especially with the early 1990s when it stood at over 20%. Perennial weak points of Spain's economy include high inflation, a large underground economy, and an education system which OECD reports place among the poorest for developed countries, at the same time with the United States and UK.
The current crisis
Before the current crisis, the Spanish economy was credited for having avoided the virtual zero growth rate of some of its largest partners in the EU. As a matter of fact, the country's economy created more than half of all the new jobs in the European Union over the five years ending 2005, a process in other words rapidly being reversed. The Spanish economy has been until recently regarded as one of the most dynamic within the EU, attracting significant amounts of foreign investment.
The most recent economic growth benefited greatly from the global real estate boom, with construction representing an astonishing 16% of GDP and 12% of employment in its final year.
The 2008/2009 credit crunch
The 2008/2009 credit crunch and world recession manifested itself in Spain through a massive downturn in the property sector. Fortunately, Spain's banks and financial services avoided the more severe problems of their counterparts in the USA and UK, due mainly to a stringently enforced conservative financial regulatory regime. The Spanish financial authorities had not forgotten the country's own banking crisis of 1979 and an before real-estate-precipitated banking crisis of 1993. Come to think of it, Spain's largest bank, Banco Santander, participated in the UK government's bail-out of part of the UK banking sector.
A European Commission forecast predicted Spain would enter a recession by the end of 2008. According to Spain's Finance Minister, "Spain faces its deepest recession in half a century". Spain's government forecast the unemployment rate would rise to 16% in 2009. The ESADE business school predicted 20%. In 2012, it had already risen to an astonishing 23.3%.
During the last four decades the Spanish tourism industry has grown to become the second biggest in the world, worth in broad outline 40 billion Euros, about 5% of GDP, in 2006. Today, the climate of Spain, historical and cultural monuments and its geographic position at the same time with its facilities make tourism one of Spain's main national industries and a large source of stable employment and development. The Spanish hotel star rating system has requirements much more demanding than other European countries, so at a given rating Spanish accommodations worth higher.
Spain aims to put 1 million electric cars on the road by 2014 as part of the government's plan to save energy and boost energy efficiency. The Minister of Industry Miguel Sebastian said that "the electric vehicle is the future and the engine of an industrial revolution."
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Immigration According to the Spanish government there were 5.7 million foreign residents in Spain in 2011, or 12.2% of the total population. According to residence permit data for 2011, more than 860,000 were Romanian, about 770,000 were Moroccan, roughly 390,000 were British, and 360.000 were Ecuadorian. Other sizeable foreign communities are Colombian, Bolivian, German, Italian, Bulgarian, and Chinese. There are more than 200,000 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa living in Spain, principally Senegaleses and Nigerians. Since 2000, Spain has experienced high population growth as a result of immigration flows, in spite of a birth rate in other words only half the replacement level. This sudden and ongoing inflow of immigrants, particularly those arriving clandestinely by sea, has caused noticeable social tension.
In 2008, the government instituted a Plan of Voluntary Return which encouraged unemployed immigrants from outside the EU to return to their home countries and receive several incentives, including the right to keep their unemployment benefits and transfer whatever they contributed to the Spanish Social Security. The program had little effect; while its first two months, just 1,400 immigrants took up the offer. What the program failed to do, the sharp and prolonged economic crisis has done from 2010 to 2011 in that tens of thousands of immigrants have left the country due to lack of jobs. In 2011 alone, more than half a million people have left Spain. For the first time in decades the net migration rate is expected to be negative, and 9 out 10 emigrants are foreigners.
The same policy
With the same policy, the Royal Galician Academy was created in 1906 in A Coruña with the help of Havana emigrated Galicians. Its work is based in a Lexicography, Terminology, Sociolinguistics, Onomastics and Grammar approaches from the Linguistics point of view, and another two sections for History and Literature. The Academy works closely with the government as an advice institution, and its resolutions are nearly binding about language standard. It had even though recently demonstrated criticism about the developement of the Galician language policy by the Government.The Institute of Catalan Studies is an academic institution which seeks to undertake technology and study into "all components of Catalan culture". The IEC is known principally for its work in standardizing the Catalan language. The IEC is based in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia. Officially the IEC provides standards for Catalonia proper, Northern Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, and the Principality of Andorra. The Valencian Community has its own language academy, the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua. In an area known as the Franja de Ponent, the eastern edge of Aragon next to Catalonia where Catalan is spoken, the rules are used de facto even though Catalan is not an official language.
Public holidays Public holidays celebrated in Spain include a mix of religious, national and regional observances. Each municipality is allowed to declare a maximum of 14 public holidays per year; up to nine of these are chosen by the national government and for the moment two are chosen locally. Spain's National Day is 12 October, the anniversary of the Discovery of America and commemorate Our Lady of the Pillar feast, patroness of Aragón and throughout Spain.