Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, España Spanish pronunciation of the title in its original version Listen and Reino de España, is a country in Southern Europe and, according to the definitions of the West, which occupies most of the Iberian Peninsula. In 2015, there were 46 million inhabitants, making it the twenty-eighth country in the world in terms of population.
Official name: Kingdom of Spain
Type of Government: Constitutional Parliamentary monarchy
Head of state: Felipe VI, King of Spain
Head of Government Mariano Rajoy (People’s Party)
Area: 504,782 km²
Capital: Madrid (3.2 million inhabitants)
Main cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao
Official language: Spanish. co-official languages in limited territoriality (the constitution specifies that in regions who wish, “regional official language” can be recognized): Basque, Catalan, Galician, Valencian.
National Day: October 12 (Discovery of America)
Population (2014): 46.5 million hab
Birth rate (2013): 9.1 per 1,000 inhabitants
Total fertility rate (average number of children per woman): 1.32
Life expectancy (2012): 79.5 for men and 85.4 for women
Literacy rate (2012): 98%
Religion (s): Roman Catholic (80%), agnostics or atheists (17%), other religions 3% (Muslim: 1,000,000 faithful, Protestants and Jews 15,000 150,000 faithful followers). The constitution proclaims the principle of state neutrality vis-à-vis religion
Human Development Index: 23th (2012)
GDP (2014): 1.057 billion euros (figure European Commission); 1034 (IMF figures)
GDP per capita (2014): 23.000 €
growth rate (2014): 1.4% – prev 2015: between 2.5 and 2.8%
Unemployment rate (2014): 24.5% – prev 2015: 22.5%
Inflation rate (2014): -0.2% (EC figure); prev 2015: -1% (EC figure), 0% (figure IMF)
Fiscal deficit (2014): – 5.6% of GDP – in 2015 prev: -4.6%
Public debt (2014): 98.5% of GDP – prev 2015: 101%
Share of main sectors in GDP:
Main clients (2013): France (16.2%), Germany (10.2%), Portugal (7.2%)
Major suppliers (2013): Germany (12.1%), France (11.6%), Italy (6.1%)
French exports to Spain (2014): 30.3 billion
French imports from Spain (2014): € 29.6 billion
French Trade Balance 2014: return to surplus: € 730 million (against a deficit of € 1.8 billion in 2013, while he was surplus to € 6.4 bn in 2007).
Consulates general of France: Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Seville
French Community: nearly 92 000 registered in the registers of French nationals abroad, of which 41 000 to 35 700 Madrid and Barcelona (estimated non members: approximately 60,000).
The oldest traces of pre-human life in Europe are found in Spain. However, modern humans arrived on foot 35,00years ago.
First inhabitants were called Iberians by the Romans. Celtic tribes also settled in Spain.
Roman conquest of Spain started as early as 200 years before our era. It took two centuries for the Romans to control whole the Iberian Peninsula.
The local population were romanized and could be integrated in to the Roman aristocracy. Several Roman Emperors were born in Spain, including Trajan under whom the Roman Empire reached his apogee.
The Germanic tribes that crossed the Rhine River when Rome weakened, during the 5th century, pushed all the way down to Spain. Visigoths and Vandals founded kingdoms in the Peninsula.
During the early Middle-Ages, Spain was invaded by Muslim Armies from North Africa. Christians and Jews still could practice their religions, even though they had to pay a tax for this.
The Muslim community grew through conversion. This was the time when Arabic sciences and arts were developing fast.
At the beginning of the 11th century, the city of Cordoba was the most sophisticated city in the world. Its scientists, mathematicians, doctors, artists were renowned.
However the Muslim population was not homogeneous. Tensions rose between the Arabs, Berbers from North Africa, freshly concerted Muslims, weakening the power of the Moorish leaders.
Muslims were not controlling the whole Peninsula.
During the 8th century, the Franks had defeated and pushed back Arab armies south of the Pyrenees. The Franks then established Christian kingdoms in Spain.
What is known as the “Reconquista” finally gave back the entire Spain to the Christian Kings.
In 1492, the last Muslim city, Granada, would surrender to the troops of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
1492 is also the year when Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer, discovered Americas, for the account of the King and Queen of Spain.
The Spanish Empire develops. The Spaniards extended their reach to the Apemricas but also in Asia to the Philippines.
During the 16th century, Spain was the leading power in Europe. It was said that the sun never sets on Charles V Empire. He would also control parts of France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Spain drew an enormous wealth from the Americas. During Renaissance, the kings of Spain commissioned explorations, sciences, arts.
This Golden Age will slowly disappear due to the political and religious turmoil in Europe.
A succession war broke up in 1701. A new dynasty, originating from France, took power. They renovated the monarchic system and the administration.
Ideas of the Age of Enlightment developed in a society that had remained quite conservative.
In 1793, Spain joined the first coalition against the French Republic.
In 1807, Napoleon’s armies entered the country to invade Portugal. They also took control of Spain.
American colonies rebelled and fought for independence.
At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Spain was ruined and politically unstable.
At the end of 19th century, Cuba and the Philippines rebelled for independence. The USA got involved. Spain lost its two last colonial possessions outside of North Africa.
20th century brought no peace. Spain knew a very troubled and violent period culminating with the breakout of the Civil War in 1936.
During three years, Nationalists forces, supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, fought the Soviet supported Republicans. Both sides committed atrocities that led to the violent death of more than 500 000 people.
In 1939, General Franco established a strong authoritarian regime.
Spain remained neutral during World War II. However, its sympathy was towards the Axis.
At the end of the war, Spain was isolated and not offered to join the United Nations.
In 1955, realizing the threat of Russian moves into the Mediterranean Sea, the USA established a military presence in the Peninsula.
This contributed to take Spain out of isolation. Industrialization promoted economic growth.
Franco died in 1975. King Juan Carlos II took power. Democracy was re-established in 1978.
Spain joined the European Union in 1986.
Good to know
Spain uses the Euro (€)
The Euro (€) is the currency of the Economic and Monetary Union, inside the European Union.
19 countries of the European Union have chosen Euro as their currency, thus creating the Eurozone.
Four European micro-states, Monaco, Andorra, San Marino and Vatican City, are authorized to use Euro as well.
Two countries, non-members of Economic and Monetary Union, namely the Kosovo and the Montenegro, are also using it besides their national currencies.
The Euro has been circulated since January 1st 2002, replacing the national currencies of the member-countries.
The Euro is the second most used currency, behind the US Dollar, for the number of transactions.
The Euro is managed by the European Central Bank and the Eurosystem that comprises the 19 Central Banks of the member-countries.
Even if each member prints its own banknotes or mints its own coins, they are usable indiferently within the Eurozone.
Where to go?
How to settle there?
To do business
Personal income tax
Both the central government and the local government apply a progressive scheme.
|Taxable income (€)||State tax (%)||Regional tax (%)||Total (%)|
|Up to 12,450||9.5||9.5||19|
|From 12,451 to 20,200||12||12||24|
|From 20,201 to 35,200||15||15||30|
|From 35,201 to 60,000||18.5||18.5||37|
In regions such as Andalousia or Catalogna, higher rates can go up to 49 %
Corporate income tax
The general tax rate on profit is 28 %. However,
– Newly created company can benefit from a 15 % tax rate
– Companies will a turnover below 5 M€ and less than 25 employees are taxed at 25%
The general rate is 21 %.
A reduced rate at 10 % applies on transportation, health products,…
A super reduced rate at 4 % applies an food, medecine,…
|Type||In service||On order|
|C212 (EW, Recce)||5|
|CN 235 (MPA)||8|
|CL 215 (Fire fighting)||14|
|CL 415 (Fire fighting)||3|
|Falcon 20 (EW)||2|
|King Air 90||3|
|Type||In service||On order|
|Type||In service||On order|