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Even to an outsider like myself, not only in the theatre was such disunity evident, but in much else in government Spain. Alvarez del Vayo, Socialist Minister of Foreign Affairs, once asked, ‘Why is it Spain's people are so great, but her leaders so small?

Langston Hughes, ‘I Wonder as I Wander’: An Autobiographical Journey


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Overview: Spain


An article in the Madrid daily, ‘El País’ by commentator Josep Ramoneda considered that Mr Rajoy was bent on a retrogressive reform programme that preferred to concentrate power among the government’s cronies rather than redistribute it. Mr Rajoy was seen to be silently effecting his programme, not even resorting to the cover of populism to deceive the electorate. Mr Ramoneda also alleged that the PP’s legislative action was aimed at ‘strengthening the privileges of those who possessed most’, and of ‘traditional influence groups.’ The journalist singled out what had become known as the ‘Wert law’ (after Education Minister Wert) whereby, according to the Minister, ‘ those who can’t get a 6.5’ (mark out of ten) ‘had better leave off studying.’ The opposition and its supporters characterised the Wert law as pure elitism, describing it as ‘a synthesis of the arrogance of these neo-liberals who speak of liberty but are methodically interventionist whenever their interests are concerned.’

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Profile: South Sudan

- Timeline

- Political structure

- Population,

- Education  

- Health

- Welfare

- Main cities

- Languages spoken

- Media

- Economy

- Agriculture

- Industry and manufacturing

- Tourism

- Mining,

- Hydrocarbons

- Energy

- Financial markets

- Banking and insurance

- Time

- Geography

- Climate

- Dress codes

- Entry requirements

- Health (for visitors)

- Hotels

- Credit cards

- Public holidays

- Working hours

- Telecommunications

- Electricity

- Social customs and useful tips

- Security

- Getting there

- Getting about


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Key Facts

Key Facts:

Key Facts
Official name: Reino de España (Kingdom of Spain)
Head of State: King Felipe VI (since 19 June 2014)
Head of government: Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey (PP) (from 20 Dec 2011, re-elected 20 Dec 2015)
Ruling party: Partido Popular (PP) (Popular Party) (from 20 Nov 2011, re-elected 20 Dec 2015)
Area: 504,782 square km, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, and the Ceuta and Melilla enclaves in North Africa
Population: 46.46 million (2013)
Capital: Madrid
Official language: Castilian Spanish, Catalan (in Catalonia including the Balearics), Basque (in the Basque provinces), Valencian (Province of Valencia), Galician (Galicia).
Currency: Euro (€) = 100 cents
Exchange rate: €0.89 per US$ (Sep 2015)
GDP per capita: US$30,278 (2014)
GDP real growth: 1.39% (2014)
GDP: US$1,406.86 billion (2014)
Labour force: 23.03 million (2014)*
Unemployment: 24.45% (2014)
Inflation: -0.18% (2014)
Balance of trade: -US$28.51 billion (2014)
Annual FDI: US$31.42 billion (2011)
* estimated figure

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