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Spain Flag

Spain Flag
Flag of Spain
Spain flags for displaying indoors or out.
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Spain

Spain Background

Spain's powerful world empire of the 16th and 17th centuries ultimately yielded command of the seas to England. Subsequent failure to embrace the mercantile and industrial revolutions caused the country to fall behind Britain, France, and Germany in economic and political power. Spain remained neutral in World Wars I and II, but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). In the second half of the 20th century, Spain has played a catch-up role in the western international community; it joined the EU in 1986. Continuing concerns are Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorism and further reductions in unemployment.

Spain Economy

Spain's mixed capitalist economy supports a GDP that on a per capita basis is 80% that of the four leading West European economies. Its center-right government successfully worked to gain admission to the first group of countries launching the European single currency (the euro) on 1 January 1999. The AZNAR administration has continued to advocate liberalization, privatization, and deregulation of the economy and has introduced some tax reforms to that end. Unemployment has been steadily falling under the AZNAR administration but remains high at 11.7%. The government intends to make further progress in changing labor laws and reforming pension schemes, which are key to the sustainability of both Spain's internal economic advances and its competitiveness in a single currency area. A general strike in mid-2002 reduced cooperation between labor and government. Growth of 2.4% in 2003 was satisfactory given the background of a faltering European economy. Adjusting to the monetary and other economic policies of an integrated Europe - and reducing unemployment - will pose challenges to Spain over the next few years.

Spain Location

Southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France

Spain Flag

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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