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In the late 1970s the government of Spain underwent a transformation from the authoritarian regime (1939-1975) of Francisco Franco to a limited monarchy with a powerful parliament. The 1978 constitution established Spain as a parliamentary monarchy, with the Prime Minister responsible to the bicameral Cortes elected every 4 years. The type of government in Spain is Constitutional monarchy where Juan Carlos proclaimed King in November 22, 1975.
The political structure in Spain consists of three branches. The Executive branch which consists of the President of government nominated by monarch. The president of the government is subject to approval by democratically elected Congress of Deputies. The Legislative branch consists of the bicameral. The Cortes, which is a 350 seat Congress of Deputies (elected by the the Hondot system of proportional representation) and a Senate. Four senators are elected in each of 47 peninsular provinces. 16 senators are elected from the three island provinces, and Ceuta and Melilla elect two each; this accounts for 208 senators. The parliaments of the 17 autonomous regions also elect one senator as well as one additional senator for every 1 million inhabitants within their territory (about 20 senators). The Judicial branch in Spain follows the Supreme Tribunal heads system comprising territorial, provincial, regional, and municipal courts.
Spain has a population of 40,077,100 (2002 estimate). The Spanish people are essentially a mixture of the indigenous peoples of the Iberian Peninsula with the successive peoples who conquered the peninsula and occupied it for extended periods. These added ethnologic elements include the Romans, a Mediterranean people, and the Suevi, Vandals, Visigoths (Goths), and Teutonic peoples. Semitic elements are also present. The populations of several regions in Spain have kept a separate identity, culturally and linguistically. These include the Basques, who number about 2.1 million and live chiefly around the Bay of Biscay; the Galicians (about 2.5 million), who live in north-western Spain; and the Catalans of eastern and north-eastern Spain. The nomadic Spanish Gypsies, who are also called Gitanos, are a separate ethnic group.
Spain has no official religion. The constitution of 1978 disestablished the Roman Catholic Church as the official state religion, while recognizing the role it plays in Spanish society. More than 90% of the population are at least nominally Catholic. There are small communities of Protestants, Jews, and Muslims. Most of the people of Spain speak Castilian Spanish, other native languages are spoken in some native areas around Spain.
Spain occupies the greater part of the Iberian Peninsula, and bordered on the north by the Bay of Biscay, France, and Andorra; on the east by the Mediterranean Sea; on the south by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean; and on the west by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.
Spainís total area is 504,750 sq. km. (194,884 sq. mi.), including the Balearic and Canary Islands. Spainís total area is about the size of Arizona and Utah combined. Spainís capital city is Madrid, about 5 million people live in it. Other major cities in Spain are Barcelona (2.0 million), Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Malaga (528,000).
Spain contains lots of mountains and high areas. The climate is temperate, which is clear and hot in summers in general, and more moderate and cloudy along coast. The weather in winter is cloudy, cold in interior, party cloudy and cool along coast.
Spainís major natural resources are Coal, lignite, iron ore, uranium, mercury, pyrites, fluorspar, gypsum, zinc, lead, tungsten, copper, kaolin, hydroelectric power. The Agricultural and products dorm the sea equals 3.28% of Spainís GDP. Examples for these products are grains, vegetables, citrus and deciduous fruits, wine, olives and olive oil, sunflowers, livestock.
The most valuable natural resource of Spain is the soil. Although Spanish soils need careful irrigation and cultivation, they are a rich and valuable resource. Semi-arid chestnut-brown soils cover the central plateau, and red Mediterranean soils cover the southern area and the north-eastern coastal region. A gray desert soil, often saline, is found in the south-east. The forest of northern Spain has gray-brown forest soils, and the forest in the Cantabrian Mountains has leached podzolic soils.
Spain maintains well-equipped armed services; compulsory military service was phased out in January 2002 in preparation for a standing army. Since 1989 women have been accepted into all branches of the forces. In 2001 the country had an army of 92,000, a navy of 26,950, including 7,200 marines, and an air force of 24,500. The paramilitary Guardia Civil had a strength of 75,000. The government has close defense ties with the United States, which has maintained naval and air bases in Spain. The country became a member of NATO) in 1982, and reaffirmed that alliance in a public referendum in 1986. One provision of the referendum, however, was a reduction of US troops stationed in Spain.
Spain has traditionally been an agricultural country and is still one of the largest farming producers in Western Europe, but since the mid-1950s industrial growth has been rapid. A series of development plans, initiated in 1964, helped the economy to expand, but in the later 1970s an economic slowdown was brought on by rising oil costs and increased imports. the government emphasized the development of the steel, shipbuilding, textile, and mining industries. Today, Spain has a gross domestic product around two thirds that of the leading western European economies. Spain derives much income from tourism.
Spainís GDP in 2000 was $558.3 billion in current prices (seventh-largest OECD economy). The annual growth rate was 4.1%, and the per capita GDP was $13,203.
Spainís exports in 2000 were estimated to be 113.7. Major exports were automobiles, fruits, minerals, metals, clothing, footwear, textiles. Major exportsí markets were EU 70.63%, US. 4.4%. The Imports were estimated to be $153.4 billion. Examples for imports are petroleum, oilseeds, aircraft, grains, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, fish. Major Imports source were EU 63.14%, US. 5.25%.
View on World Problems
After the return of democracy following the death of General Franco in 1975, Spain's foreign policy priorities were to break out of the diplomatic isolation of the Franco years and expand diplomatic relations, enter the European Community, and define security relations with the West. As a member of NATO since 1982, Spain has established itself as a major participant in multilateral international security activities. Spain's EU membership represents an important part of its foreign policy. Even on many international issues beyond western Europe, Spain prefers to coordinate its efforts with its EU partners through the European political cooperation mechanism. Spain did lots of work to have relations with all of the countries around the world. Spain improved its relation with Israel and Albania. The only country that Spain doesnít have diplomatic relations with is North Korea.
Spain concentrate on lots of issues. Spain has maintained its special identification with Latin America. Its policy emphasizes the concept of Hispanidad, a mixture of linguistic, religious, ethnic, cultural, and historical ties binding Spanish-speaking America to Spain. Spain also continues to focus attention on North Africa, especially on Morocco. This concern is dictated by geographic factors and long historical contacts, as well as by the two Spanish enclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the northern coast of Africa. Spain also aids significantly Equatorial Guinea. In its relations with the Arab world, Spain frequently supports Arab positions on Middle East issues. The Arab countries are a priority interest for Spain because of oil and gas imports and because several Arab nations have substantial investments in Spain.
Spain has good relations with all of the European countries. Spainís policy is always similar to the United States policy because of their similar goals and benefits. Spain works hard to stop terrorism, because of the terrorist attacks that occur in Spain. Resistance Groups are responsible for the terrorist attacks inside Spain, commonly known as GRAPO. GRAPO is an urban terrorist group that seeks to overthrow the Spanish Government and establish a Marxist state. It opposes Spanish participation in NATO and the US. presence in Spain and has a long history of assassinations, bombings and kidnappings, mostly against Spanish interests, during the 1970s and 1980s.
The Iberian Peninsula has been occupied for many millennia. Beginning in the ninth century BC, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and Celts entered the Iberian Peninsula, followed by the Romans, who arrived in the second century BC. During the 16th century, Spain became the most powerful nation in Europe, due to the immense wealth derived from its presence in the Americas.
In the last two centuries Spain faced lots of wars to maintain stability. Upon the death of General Franco in November 1975, Prince Juan Carlos de Bourbon y Bourbon, Franco's personally designated heir, assumed the titles of king and chief of state. Dissatisfied with the slow pace of post-Franco liberalization, in July 1976, the King replaced Franco's last Prime Minister with Adolfo Suarez. Suarez entered office promising that elections would be held within one year, and his government moved to enact a series of laws to liberalize the new regime. Spain's first elections to the Cortes (Parliament) since 1936 were held on June 15, 1977. Prime Minister Suarez's Union of the Democratic Center (UCD), a moderate center-right coalition, won 34% of the vote and the largest bloc of seats in the Cortes. Under Suarez, the new Cortes set about drafting a democratic constitution that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in a December 1978 national referendum.
1-The question of rebuilding Iraq.
After the "Iraqís freedom" operation, there are lots of talks about the question of who is going to rebuild Iraq? Some countries say that the united nations should be responsible of rebuilding Iraq. The United States and the United Kingdom say that only them should participate in the process of rebuilding Iraq. The USA and the UK came out with their decision because both of them are the only countries that participated in the war and lost lots of money. The USA and the UK want to cover the costs of the war by benefiting from the rebuilding of Iraq.
Spain as an ally for both of the United States and the United kingdom will stand with every clause that gives the benefit only for the countries that participated in the war. Spain had a major role in the meetings of the NATO and other major meetings concerning the war on Iraq. Spain will stand with every close that benefit itself and its two allies.
2-The question of reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Different reports and researches showed that North Korea is having mass destruction weapons and tries to improve its abilities to threat its neighbor South Korea. Countries around the world ask the North Korean government to get rid of the weapons and stop threatening South Korea.
Spain, as a country that supports peace around the world, wishes that the North Korean government get rid of the weapons so it will stop threatening South Korea. Spainís major goal is to try to solve the problem peacefully so war donít occur.
3-The question of guaranteeing peace and security in Cote D'Ivoire.
On September 19, 2002 the problems started in Cote D'Ivoire, when a coup d'etat attempted but failed to dislodge the government of President Laurent Gbagbo. Since that date problems are rising inside the country. French army tries to bring peace and protect citizens of the United States and other countries that live in Cote D'Ivoire.
Spain as one of the major countries of the world these days try hard to bring peace to the country. Spain encourages the presence of French army in the African country, so problems canít rise more than now. Spain encourages every close that asks to solve the problem peacefully.
4-The question of reforming the Security Council.
Some countries are asking for changes in the form of the Security Council. Countries like Germany are hoping to have permanent seat in the SC and to have the Veto power. Some countries encourage the step of reforming the Security council and other countries disagree.
Spain as an ally of the United States stands against the question of reforming the Security Council. The United States has a strong policy against reforming the SC, because it doesnít want more countries that have policies against the United States to have a Veto power.
5-The question of the roll of the media in portraying conflicts.
The roll of media is really important to picture conflicts that occur around the world. As the technology becomes better everyday, people are knowing more things and faster than before. The war on Iraq showed the importance of media in conflicts. Everyone saw how the media was used by the two sides of the war to get support and win the war.
The war on Iraq showed that some countries can use the media to lie on people and say things other than what is happening in the war. For example, the Iraqi television showed pictures of American prisoners, which is against Genevaís protocol. Spain as a country that stands with human rights and freedom, will stand with every clause that improves the role of media in conflicts. Spain will try hard to have clauses that encourage saying the truth on the media.
A. The question of rebuilding Iraq.1. Resolved the UN should lift all the sanctions that are on Iraq; 2. Reminds that the UN must not emphasize anymore that Iraq is a country that support terrorism; 3. Asks that the UN should send medical aids to Iraq; 4. Asks that the UN shouldnít interfere in the issue of Iraqís oil production now.
B. The question of reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula.1. Asks the UN to ask North Korea to get rid of all mass of destruction weapons; 2. Encourage diplomatic talks between South Korea and North Korea; 3. Recommends the UN should sent troops to the North Korean peninsula to decrease the military threat between the two countries. 4. Proposes that the UN should ask all the nations to stop providing weapons to North Korea.
C. The question of guaranteeing peace and security in Cote D'Ivoire.1. Resolves the UN should keep the French army in Cote D'Ivoire to secure and reduce tensions in the country; 2. Recommends that the UN should send troops to Cote D'Ivoire to talk and arrange meetings between the sides that are involved in the conflict to solve the problem; 3. Asks the UN should punish people that raise tension in the country and the ones that threat security and kill people; 4. Requests the UN should send all kind of aids to the country immediately.
D. The question of reforming the Security Council.1. Resolves UN should keep the form of Security Council without changing; 2. Recommends the UN shouldnít increase or decrease the number of the 5 countries that have the veto power; 3. Asks the UN should make sure in the future that the countries that enter the SC have good record in human rights programs, and that they must fight terrorism inside their countries.
E. The question of the roll of the media in portraying conflicts.1. The UN should encourage the media coverage that takes part in viewing the true picture of what happens in wars; 2. The UN should punish or threat any authority that shows untrue things about wars or number of victims; 3. The UN should make sure that all media authorities should follow Geneva Protocol, otherwise these authorities will be punished.
From the country where the great civilizations were found. From the country, which looks to the future by eyes full of hope to have a better life where people live in peace.
Spain is her ladies and gentlemen to make the world a better place to live. Spain is her so we can solve the problems in a diplomatic way and hope that wars and violence never occur again.
Ladies and gentlemen, Spain hopes to participate successfully in solving the problems around the world. Ladies and gentlemen lets think about Cote D'Ivoire and how can we solve the problem peacefully. Lets think about Iraq, and how we can rebuild it so it can be a better place for Iraqis.
Ladies and gentlemen, lets make the security council the place where we can solve our problems to make the world a better place to live.