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Spain: Government

Government Spain
Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Spain
conventional short form: Spain
local short form: Espana
Government type:
parliamentary monarchy
Capital:
Madrid
Administrative divisions:
19 autonomous communities (comunidades autonomas, singular - comunidad autonoma); Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias, Baleares (Balearic Islands), Ceuta, Canarias (Canary Islands), Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, Cataluna, Communidad Valencian, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Melilla, Murcia, Navarra, Pais Vasco (Basque Country)
note: three small Spanish possessions are located off the coast of Morocco: Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera; Ceuta and Melilla gained limited autonomous status in 1994
Independence:
the Iberian peninsula was characterized by a variety of independent kingdoms prior to the Moslem 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 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 (and Minister of Economy) Rodrigo RATO Figaredo (since 4 September 2003) and Second Vice President (and Minister of the Presidency) Javier ARENAS (since 4 September 2003)
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
election results: Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez (PP) elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 44.54%; note - the Popular Party (PP) obtained an absolute majority of seats in both the Congress of Deputies and the Senate as a result of the March 2000 elections
elections: the monarch is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually proposed president by the monarch and elected by the National Assembly; election last held 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA March 2004); vice presidents appointed by the monarch on the proposal of the president
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)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - PP 44.6%, PSOE 34.1%, CiU 4.2%, PNV 1.5%, CC 1.1%, PIL 0%; 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
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)
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 [Mariano RAJOY]; 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; free labor unions (authorized in April 1977); Socialist General Union of Workers or UGT and the smaller independent Workers Syndical Union or USO; university students; Workers Confederation or CC.OO; Nunca Mais (Galician for "Never Again"; formed in response to the oil tanker Prestige oil spill)
International organization participation:
AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MONUC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNU, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Francisco Javier RUPEREZ Rubio
chancery: 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
FAX: [1] (202) 833-5670
telephone: [1] (202) 452-0100, 728-2340
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador George L. ARGYROS
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 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

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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