Spain is a social, democratic state, the political form of which is a parliamentary monarchy. The Constitution is in force, approved by a national referendum on December 6, 1978 and entered into force on December 29, 1978. Check computerminus for political system of Spain.
Administratively, Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities of the Kingdom of Spain (Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Balearic Islands, Valencian Community, Galicia, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castile-La Mancha, Castile and Leon, Catalonia, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, Basque Country, Extremadura). Ceuta and Melilla are also administered as autonomous communities. Each of the communities consists of one or more provinces, there are 50 provinces in total. The largest cities: Madrid, Barcelona (1.6 million inhabitants), Las Palmas (897 thousand), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (819), Valencia (739), Seville (701), Zaragoza (604), Malaga (531), Bilbao (354 thousand inhabitants). Nine other Spanish cities – Santiago de Compostela, Granada, Salamanca, Avila, Segovia, Cuenca, Caceres, Toledo, Cordoba – are recognized by UNESCO as a heritage of mankind (more
The head of state is King Juan Carlos I (since November 22, 1975). He is also the highest representative of the Spanish state in the international arena, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the head of the Supreme Council of Defense, the guarantor of democratic values and the Constitution of the country. The king acts and makes decisions with the approval of the country’s parliament, which, in turn, shares responsibility for the decisions made with the king. The King appoints the Chairman of the Government (Prime Minister) and, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, members of the Cabinet of the Council of Ministers.
The head of the executive branch – the chairman of the government, as a rule, is the leader of the party that has the majority of seats in the Congress of Deputies. Since 1996 this post has been occupied by José Maria Aznar Lopez. The highest advisory body of the government is the State Council, which consists of 29 members.
Legislative and control functions over the activities of the government are assigned to the Parliament (Cortes General), consisting of two chambers. Most of the powers belong to the lower house, the Congress of Deputies (350 seats). The bills adopted by him are submitted for consideration by the upper house – the Senate (259 deputies), but the Congress of Deputies can override the veto of the Senate by a majority of votes. Parliament is elected by direct, secret ballot by Spanish citizens who have reached the age of 18 for a period of 4 years: Congress deputies – on a proportional basis according to the party list, senators – on the basis of territorial representation. 208 senators are elected by proportional representation from each autonomous community and each province, 51 senators are elected by the parliaments of the autonomous communities. According to the results of the last parliamentary elections on March 12, 2000, the seats in the Senate are distributed as follows: the conservative People’s Party (PN) – 127 seats, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) – 61 seats, regional parties: the Catalan Convergence and Union Party (CiS) – 8, Basque Nationalist Party (BNP) – 6, Canary Coalition (CC ) – 5, Party of Independent Lanzarote (PNL) – 1 place. As part of the Congress of Deputies, the NP has 183 seats (46.6%), PSOE – 125 (34.1%), KiS – 15 (4.2%), the coalition “United Left” (OL) – 8 (5.5 %), BNP – 7 (1.5%), KK 4 – (1%), Galician Nationalist Bloc (GNB) – 3 (1.3%), Party of Andalusia – 1 (0.9%). The president of the lower chamber of deputies is Luisa Fernando Ludi, the president of the chamber of the Senate is Esperanza Aguirre Gil de Biedma.
According to the status (approved by referendum in October 1979), each autonomous community has its own parliament (legislative assembly), a president elected by the parliament, and a government with broad powers at the regional level in the field of land use, construction, transport and public works, economic development, tourism, culture, health and education. The President of the Parliament is also the highest representative of the region at the state level. However, in the event of conflict situations, state interests prevail over regional ones. The parliaments of the Autonomous Communities are elected for a term of 4 years on a proportional basis based on party lists. Each of the 50 provinces has its own municipal council, headed (since 1997) by a delegate appointed by the regional authorities.
The judicial system includes the Supreme Court (Supreme Tribunal), consisting of 20 members appointed by the king for 5 years, 19 territorial high courts, criminal courts of first instance in each province, district, municipal and special courts. There is also a Constitutional Court, consisting of 12 members appointed by the king for 9 years, whose functions include monitoring the observance of the Constitution.
An innovation of the 1978 Constitution is the post of “defender of the people” of collective and individual rights, recognized today for all Spanish citizens.
Among the outstanding figures of the period of democratic transformations in Spain, Adolph Suarez Gonzalez and Filipe Gonzalez Marquez deserve special mention. Suarez was chairman of the government of Spain in 1976–81 and of the ruling centrist party at that time, the Union of the Democratic Center (UDC). The main merit of A. Suarez is the implementation of the policy of “national accord”, which ensured the rapid and successful dismantling of the Francoist authoritarian system, which included political amnesty, the legalization of political parties (including the CPI), democratic trade unions, the restoration of diplomatic relations with the USSR, and the holding of the first free parliamentary elections after 1936, which was won by the centrist coalition of the SDC led by him, the development and adoption of the Constitution of 1978. Gonzalez – leader of the PSOE, chairman of the government of Spain (in 1982-96), politician, politician, gave the country a European dynamism. During his time in power, the PSOE managed to rethink the ideological foundations of the party, carry out deep structural transformations in the economic and social sphere, increase the level of GDP per capita by more than 3 times, ensure Spain’s entry and active membership in the EU, and modify the system of Spain’s participation in NATO.
Among political parties, two national parties have real influence – the ruling conservative, center-right People’s Party (party chairman José María Aznar López) and the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero). The NP (originally known as the People’s Alliance) was created in 1976 as a result of the merger of seven political groups that received very modest results in the first democratic elections in 1977. The founder and main ideologist of the party is one of the famous public and political figures of the era of Francoism, Manuel Fraga Iribarne. The PSOE is one of the oldest in Europe, created in 1879 by the typographical worker Pablo Iglesias. From the moment of its creation and until the coming to power of Franco, the PSOE has always played an important role in the political life of the country: it was a member of the Second International, was the largest party of the Popular Front during the civil war of 1936–39. During the Francoist period, being in an illegal position, the party somewhat weakened its activities. However, from the beginning 1970s in connection with the election of a new general secretary (F. Gonzalez), the PSOE becomes the leading opposition party in the country. In the 1982 elections, she won a triumphant victory, receiving the support of 12 million votes, which gave her an absolute majority in parliament (202 deputy mandates in the lower house and 134 seats in the Senate), and allowed her to form a government cabinet headed by Prime Minister Gonzalez. Among the regional parties: BNP (Javier Arsalhos Antia, founded in 1985 by Sabino Arana, Christian nationalist in its ideology); KiS (President Jordi Pujol i Soler, represents the coalition of the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia and the Democratic Union of Catalonia, both parties created at the beginning. 1930s, national-centric in their ideology); GNB (Jose Manuel Beiras); KK, consisting of 5 parties (Paulino Rivero); Party of Independent Lanzarote (Dimas Martin Martin); the left movement is represented by the United Left party (OL, general coordinator Gaspar Llamazares Trigo, created in 1986 as an electoral coalition of the Communist Party of Spain (CPI), the Socialist Action Party (PSD), the Republican Left party and independent, some other small parties, subsequently left the coalition).
The trade union movement, which has 15 million members, is primarily represented by the fairly powerful General Union of Workers (GTU), created by the PSOE in 1888, and the Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions of the Left, created in 1956 and playing a significant role in the struggle against the Francoist regime (numbers 900,000 people). members), the pro-government Trade Union Syndicate of Workers (AKP), a number of university unions. Numerous industry and regional business associations operate in the country, united in a national patronage – the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (ICOP), created in 1977, which plays an important role in developing the economic and social policy of the government. According to sociological surveys, the Spanish Catholic Church is the most trusted among more than 50% of Spaniards, including Opus Dei, a hierarchical clerical organization that tries to combine faith and professional work in its ideology. Along with public organizations loyal to the government, there are several left-wing extremist organizations: the Basque Motherland and Freedom (ETA), a closed military-terrorist organization founded in 1959; GRAPO (“Group of anti-fascist resistance on October 1”), created in 1975. They oppose the Constitution and the status of an autonomous community, considering it an attempt to eliminate national historical and cultural traditions.
The internal policy of Spain is aimed primarily at “building a state of self-governing regions”, ensuring their mutual solidarity. The process of regionalization, which began in 1978, took place along the following main lines: the development of the status of autonomous communities, the implementation of administrative reform by transferring power and resources to autonomous communities and municipalities through a complex process of negotiations and constitutional amendments. Particular attention is paid to the development of a policy to smooth out economic and social disparities within the framework of a single regional policy of the EU. There is also an active fight against corruption of state and party officials, crime (especially among young people), and illegal immigrants.
The foreign policy of modern Spain is formed under the influence of factors arising from its membership in NATO, the EU, and other international organizations, as well as taking into account bilateral military-political cooperation with the United States, traditional ties with Latin America, the countries of the Mediterranean, the Middle East. Almost three quarters of the 20th century Spain for a number of reasons, primarily because of the forty years of the Francoist dictatorship, was in a long international isolation. Spain remained neutral in the 1st World War and formally during the 2nd World War, in fact being an ally of Germany and Italy. In the 1950s and 60s. after a short post-war period of international isolation, an active military-political rapprochement between Spain and the United States begins, and indirectly with NATO, given the key role of Washington in this organization, a course is taken towards economic integration with the EU countries. However, Spain managed to fully normalize its relations with the democratic states of Western Europe only in the post-Franco period. In 1981–82, the process of signing and ratifying the Protocol on Spain’s accession to NATO was completed. At the same time, the question of the nature of this membership remained open until the nationwide referendum of 1986, which approved the special status of Spain’s participation in NATO, limited only by political structures. Accession to the EU (1986) opened a “green light” for connecting Madrid to the Western European Union (1988), and from January 1, 1990 to NATO’s military budget. After the collapse of the USSR, Spain completely changes the previous concept of national security, which was limited exclusively to the defense of its own territory, and becomes an active and full-scale participant in all North Atlantic actions to ensure collective security, including peacekeeping operations (in the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, etc.). On January 1, 1999, Spain, after a long and difficult process of forming the Spanish model of NATO membership, fully joined its integrated military structure. The main arguments for making such a decision by the Aznar government were: the disappearance of bipolarity and the transformation of the alliance into a major center of power, the start of NATO expansion to the east, the reformation of NATO’s integrated military structure after the end of the Cold War and, as a result, the threat of Spain turning into a second-rate partner. Due to skillful foreign policy maneuvering, Madrid, however,
A priority place in foreign and defense policy is also occupied by bilateral Spanish-American military cooperation, which Madrid can potentially use as a field for maneuvers and an additional “power” lever in resolving foreign policy issues. Realizing the importance of the Atlantic direction of its foreign policy, Spain nevertheless quite actively advocates the development of a European identity in the field of defense and security, welcomes the deepening of integration processes within the EU, and advocates the consistent “growing” of the WEU into the European Union. In this regard, Madrid believes that the strengthening of transatlantic solidarity and the development of European integration are two, on the one hand, parallel, and on the other hand, complementary processes that should not be opposed to each other. Keeping within the framework of its foreign policy priorities, Spain does not refuse to actively defend its own position on certain international problems, which may not coincide with the line of Washington, partners in NATO, the EU and the WEU. However, the degree of such autonomy is not so high as to give rise to accusations of Madrid in its infidelity to the principles of Western solidarity.
The total number of the Armed Forces of Spain is 177.95 thousand people, including 9.4 thousand women. They consist of the Ground Forces – 118.8 thousand people. (including women – 6.6 thousand people), Naval – 26.95 thousand people. (1.6 thousand) and the Air Force – 22.75 thousand people. (1.2 thousand) forces. The main areas of deployment of the Spanish Armed Forces: land – the Balearic and Canary Islands, the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla; naval bases – El Ferrol (province of La Coruña), San Fernando and Rota (Cadiz), Cartagena (Murcia), Las Palmas and Palma de Mallorca (Canary Islands), Mahon (Menorca). The number of foreign contingents of the Spanish peacekeeping forces (in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Yugoslavia) – 2.85 thousand people. The number of reservists is 328.5 thousand people. The American military contingent in Spain is 2.13 thousand people, incl. Naval forces – 2080 people. and the Air Force – 250 people. The Spanish Armed Forces are recruited on the basis of universal conscription (service life 9 months, draft age 20 years). Since December 2002, a decision was made to gradually switch to a contract basis, to a fully professional army. Military spending ca. $7 billion, or 1.1% of GDP (2001).