Spain – Profile 2018-12-03T11:12:45+00:00

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Spain

Spain Profile
General Information

Spain lies at the extreme southwest of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula and has borders with France, Gibraltar, Portugal and across the Mediterranean with Morocco. It occupies approx. 504,782 square kilometers. The capital is Madrid and other important cities are Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Zaragoza and Bilbao. There are 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities.

Population

The population of Spain is approximately 46.7 million of which 94% are Roman Catholic.

Language

The official language is Castilian Spanish; however other languages such as Catalan, Basque and Galician are spoken in the autonomous regions and officially recognised.

Political Structure

Spain is a parliamentary monarchy and the King, Juan Carlos I, is the Head of State. A new constitution was approved by the Parliament on October 31st 1978, subsequently ratified by a referendum, in which basic democratic rights and freedom of expression are recognised following the lines of most modern democratic constitutions.

The parliament (Cortes Generales) is made up of the “Congreso de los Diputados” (Lower House of Parliaments) and the “Senado” (Senate). The members are elected by universal suffrage every four years.

The country is divided into 17 autonomous regions, each of which enjoys a defined system of self-government. Spain is a member of the EU since 1986, NATO, WTO and a signatory to the GATT agreement.

Infrastructure and Economy

After 15 years of above average GDP growth the Spanish economy began to slow in late 2007 and entered into a recession in 2008 with the collapse of the building and real estate industry. Spain’s tourism industry has also suffered due to the world economic crisis with many tourists now opting for destinations outside the Euro Zone.

Currency

Euro

Exchange Control

No exchange control for setting up a business in Spain or to invest into Spanish companies or Real Estate. Dividends, profits and proceeds from sale or liquidation may be repatriated without restriction. Certain transactions need to be reported to the Bank of Spain for statistical purposes.

Type of Law

Civil Law

Principal Corporate Legislation

Companies Act, revised in 1989 and 1995 in order to comply with EU legislation. In 1996 new regulations for the Mercantile Register were approved