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2010.es TODAYSPAINTODAYSPAINTODAYSPA
Presidencia 2010.es
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Spain today 2009 is an up-to-date look at the primary DAYSPAINTODAYSPAINTODAYSPAINTO
aspects of our nation: its public institutions and political
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2010
2010
scenario, its foreign relations, the economy and a pano-
ramic view of Spain’s social and cultural life, accompanied
by the necessary historical background information for
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each topic addressed DAYSPAINTODAYSPAINTODAYSPAINTO
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Acknowledgements

The Secretary of State for Communication wishes to thank all of the


Ministerial Departments and public and private institutions for their
collaboration in providing texts, graphs, pictures and selected photographs,
which have made the publication of this book possible.
2010
General catalogue of official publications
http://www.060.es

This publication was prepared by the General-Directorate of International Information


under the Secretariat of State for Communication

Publisher: Ministry of the Presidency


Publishing coordination: Carmen de Francisco
NIPO (official publications identification number): 000-10-021-0
Graphic design and electronic publishing: Imprenta Nacional del Boletín Oficial del Estado
(National Printing Press of the Official State Bulletin)
2010

Madrid
MINISTRY OF THE PRESIDENCY
FOREWORD

I am delighted to present this new edition of the book Spain Today 2010, which
has been published again this year to offer an up-to-date overview of our country. Its
purpose is to document the current situation in Spain, providing information on the
political, cultural and economic changes that the country has experienced. The pu-
blication also aims to present the principal traits that characterise our history, culture,
society and democratic institutions to those who are less familiar with our country.

The book is also intended as a guide for foreign readers who are curious about
and interested in the Spain of today. Furthermore, it is a reference for anyone wishing
to keep abreast of the social, cultural and political progress of recent years or learn
about the evolution of the Spanish economy and how it is responding, after nearly a
decade of constant growth, to the economic recession with instruments such as
Plan E and the sustainable economy strategy.

Our foreign policy, which is of particular interest to all given Spain’s presidency
of the European Union this year, is also addressed and explained in this volume.
Indeed, one of the objectives of the Spanish presidency is to promote economic re-
covery in Europe by improving coordination among all member-states and appro-
ving a new European strategy for sustainable growth in the period leading up to
2020.

In addition to this objective, Spain will be working to ensure the full and effec-
tive implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, thereby reinforcing the European Union’s
presence and influence in the new international context. These efforts will place
European citizens at the centre of the Union’s policies, with initiatives aimed at in-
creasing their rights and freedoms. Spain Today 2010 is therefore a volume designed
for anyone with an interest in discovering modern-day Spain.

NIEVES GOICOECHEA
Secretary of State for Communications
INDEX

Chapter I. The Country and its Population ........................................................... 13


Geography ............................................................................................................. 14
Population ............................................................................................................. 21
Chapter II. History and Culture ............................................................................... 27
History ................................................................................................................... 28
From Prehistoric Times to the Discovery of America ........................................... 28
From the Discovery of America to the 20th Century ............................................. 33
Democracy ............................................................................................................ 45
Chronology ............................................................................................................ 50
Culture ................................................................................................................... 52
Chapter III. The Organisation of the State ............................................................ 63
The Spanish Constitution of 1978 ......................................................................... 64
The Institutions ..................................................................................................... 64
The Symbols of the State ...................................................................................... 66
The Territorial Organisation of the State .............................................................. 67
The Languages of Spain ........................................................................................ 79
The Political Arena: Historical and Constitutional Foundations .......................... 81
The Defence of Liberties ....................................................................................... 86
Chapter IV. Foreign Policy ........................................................................................ 87
Spain and the European Union ..................................................................................... 88
Spain and International Organisations ........................................................................ 91
Spain and the Defence of Human Rights .................................................................... 94
Spain and the Mediterranean ....................................................................................... 96
Spain and Sub-Saharan Africa ....................................................................................... 100
Spain and the Asian-Pacific Region ............................................................................... 101
Spain and its Bilateral Relations .................................................................................... 103
Spanish Cooperation: A New Policy for Development and the Eradication
of Poverty ..................................................................................................................... 110
Spain and Latin America ................................................................................................. 113
The Alliance of Civilisations ........................................................................................... 115
Chapter V. Defence Policy ........................................................................................ 119
The Armed Forces, Closer to Society .................................................................... 120
Chapter VI. Economic Policy and the Social Protection Model .......................... 127
Introduction to the Economic Policy ............................................................................ 128
The Spanish Economy Today: Economic Structure by Sectors ................................ 130
10

The Political-Economic Model Based on Macroeconomic Stability and


Productivity Growth .................................................................................................. 131
Agriculture and Fishing in Spain ................................................................................... 134
Spanish Tourism Policy .................................................................................................... 135
The Tax System .................................................................................................................. 137
The Transport System in Spain ...................................................................................... 142
The Working World .......................................................................................................... 147
The Role of Immigrants in the Economy ..................................................................... 150
Social Security and the Social Welfare System ........................................................... 151
Chapter VII. Health and Consumer Affairs ............................................................ 159
The National Health System ........................................................................................... 160
Services Covered by the National Health System ..................................................... 162
National Health System Resources and Activities ..................................................... 163
Funding and Public Health Expenditure ...................................................................... 166
Citizens and the Health Care System ............................................................................ 167
Future Challenges of the National Health System ..................................................... 167
Consumer Protection ...................................................................................................... 169
Chapter VIII. Education ........................................................................................... 171
The Spanish Education System ...................................................................................... 172
General Principles of the Education System: the Legal Framework ....................... 172
General Structure of the Education System ................................................................ 173
General Administration of the Education System ..................................................... 179
Education Policy ................................................................................................................ 181
Higher Education .............................................................................................................. 184
2009 Action Plan ................................................................................................................ 186
University Entrance Requirements ............................................................................... 187
Current Organisation of University Education........................................................... 188
Grants and Bursaries Policy ............................................................................................ 193
Constitution of the Ministry of Science & Innovation
and the Ministry of Education Coordination Committee ................................. 196
Chapter IX. Research, Science,Technology and Innovation ............................... 197
Research, Science, Technology and Innovation ......................................................... 198
The Technical-Scientific System .................................................................................... 200
R&D and Innovation Intermediaries ............................................................................ 202
Research Funding and Grants ........................................................................................ 204
The National R&D and Innovation Plan ....................................................................... 205
The ENCYT and the New Science Law ......................................................................... 205
Internationalisation .......................................................................................................... 206
Chapter X. The Natural, Rural and Marine Environment ................................... 209
Climate Change ................................................................................................................ 210
Environmental Assessment ........................................................................................... 211
The Rural Environment ................................................................................................... 213
Agriculture in Spain ......................................................................................................... 213
Livestock Breeding ........................................................................................................... 214
The Fishing Industry in Spain ........................................................................................ 215
Water ................................................................................................................................... 216
The Natural Environment and Biodiversity ................................................................ 219
The Marine Environment ................................................................................................ 223
Table of Contents 11

Chapter XI. Equality Policy ....................................................................................... 227


Ministry of Equality .......................................................................................................... 228
Chapter XII. Housing Policy ..................................................................................... 231
Spanish Housing Policy in 2009 ..................................................................................... 232
Chapter XIII. Culture ................................................................................................. 235
Thirty Years of Culture in Spain ..................................................................................... 236
Chapter XIV. Sports ................................................................................................... 243
Sports in Spain .................................................................................................................. 244
Chapter XV. The Media ............................................................................................. 251
Panorama of the Media in Spain ................................................................................... 252
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PULATIONTHECOUNTRYA
NDITSPOPULATIONTHECO titude – over 600 metres above sea level. As
such, it is the second-highest country in Eu-
UNTRYANDITSPOPULATI rope, surpassed only by Switzerland, where
the average altitude is 1,300 metres. This is
ONTHECOUNTRYANDITS due to the presence at the centre of the pe-
ninsula of a vast plateau, known as the Me-
seta, divided into two smaller plateaus by
POPULATIONTHECOUNTRY the Sistema Central mountain range. A series
of other mountain ranges around the plateau
GEOGRAPHY
and yet others located on the periphery of
Most of Spain’s national territory is located the peninsula round out the topography.
on the Iberian Peninsula – which it shares There are two depressions – the Ebro and the
with Portugal and Andorra – situated in the Guadalquivir river valleys – located between
southwest corner of Europe. However it also the Meseta and the peripheral ranges. The
comprises the Canary Islands and the Balea- mountain ranges, which except for the Sis-
rics, a few smaller islands, and the cities of tema Ibérico (Iberian System) and the Cor-
Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa. dilleras Costero-Catalanas (Catalonian-Coas-
With a surface area of 506,030 square ki- tal Ranges) generally run from west to east
lometres, Spain is among the fifty largest coun- exert a tremendous influence on the conti-
tries in the world. The mainland territories oc- nental climate by creating natural barriers
cupy an area of 493,514 square kilometres; the against banks of moist air from the Atlantic
Balearic Islands, 4,992 square kilometres; Ocean, which would otherwise temper in-
the Canary Islands, 7,492 square kilometres; land temperatures.
and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla, 32 square
kilometres. Rivers
The geological history of the Iberian Penin-
sula has given rise to mountains organised in The natural fluvial regime of Spain’s rivers
large chains surrounding a high inland plateau mainly depends on the pattern of precipita-
situated at over 600 metres above average sea tion, where its waters originate and transform
level. As a result of this layout, the peninsula is into surface water or groundwater runoff.
characterised by a rich variety of unique en- However, this natural fluvial pattern is affect-
claves and natural environments. If there is one ed by human action in the form of infrastruc-
characteristic that differentiates the surface of tures used to regulate and modify its temporal
the peninsula from the rest of Europe, it is distribution, as well as other types of actions
clearly its diversity. that remove volumes of water from rivers.
Due to its geographic location, Spain is The diversity of climates in Spain, toge-
influenced by two very different seas: the At- ther with other morphological and geological
lantic Ocean, vast and open; and the Mediter- factors, explains the enormous contrasts in
ranean Sea, whose only physical connection its present-day hydrographical composition.
to the former is the narrow opening of the
Straits of Gibraltar, which permits the ex- Climate
change of water between the two masses of
very different salinity and temperature. The Although the climates in Spain are difficult
Spanish coastline is 5,755 kilometres long. to classify because of their heterogeneity, it is
possible to distinguish the following types:
Topography • Atlantic or Oceanic Climate
• Continental Climate
The surface of Spain is extremely varied and • Mediterranean Climate
characterised by a relatively high average al- • Mediterranean Mountain Climate
The Country and its Population 15

140° 160° 180° 160° 140° 120° 100° 80° 60° 40° 20° 0° 20° 40° 60º 80° 100° 120° 140° 160° 180° 160° 140°

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