The red and golden-yellow colors of Spain's flag were first used in the late 1700s by the King of Spain, as he tried to easily differentiate his ships from those of other countries.
Coat of Arms
Location Kingdom of Spain is located in southwestern Europe its mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary to the north by France, and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal
A Continental Mediterranean climate in the inland areas of the Peninsula (largest city, Madrid).
A Mediterranean climate region extends from the Andalusian plain along the southern and eastern coasts up to the Pyrenees, on the seaward side of the mountain ranges that run near the coast (largest city, Barcelona). They get warm winds from the Saharas called Leveche, also known as Sirocco.
An Oceanic climate in Galicia and the coastal strip near the Bay of Biscay or (largest city,) Bilbao. This area is often called Green Spain.
A Subtropical climate in Canary Islands is a very humid place and the islands have palm trees and beaches.
Spain’s Political System
Head of Government
President of the Government: José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, elected March 14, 2004.
First Vice President and Minister of Presidency: María Teresa Fernández de la Vega.
Second Vice President and Minister of Economy and Finance: Pedro Solbes.
Head of State
King Juan Carlos I, since November 22, 1975
Council of Ministers (Spanish Consejo de Ministros) designated by the president.
Spain's economy is the eighth largest worldwide and the fifth largest in Europe.
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007est.): $1.352 trillion; per capita $30,100. Real growth rate: 3.8%. Inflation: 2.8%. Unemployment: 8.3%.
Spain’s economy has created more than half of all the new jobs in the European Union over the five years ending in 2005.
The Spanish economy has benefited greatly from the global real estate boom, with construction representing 16% of GDP and 12% of employment.
* Labor force: 20.67 million; agriculture 5.3%, manufacturing, mining, and construction 30.1%, services 64.6% (2004 est.). * Industries: textiles and apparel (including footwear), food and beverages, metals and metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, machine tools, tourism, clay and refractory products, footwear, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment. * Natural resources: coal, lignite, iron ore, uranium, mercury, pyrites, fluorspar, gypsum, zinc, lead, tungsten, copper, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land. * Exports: $194.3 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medicines, other consumer goods. * Imports: $271.8 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, measuring and medical control instruments. * Major trading partners: France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, UK, Netherlands (2004).
Spanish Military The armed forces of Spain are known as the Spanish Armed Forces ( Spanish : Fuerzas Armadas Españolas ). Their Commander-in-chief is the King of Spain , Juan Carlos I .  The Spanish Armed Forces are divided into three branches:  Army ( Ejército de Tierra ) Navy ( Armada ) Air Force ( Ejército del Aire ) The North Atlantic Treaty Organization Spain spends 6.6-billion pesetas--39 million euro—per day on defense .
Population Pyramid Population (2007 est.): 40,448,191 (growth rate: 0.1%); birth rate: 10.0/1000; infant mortality rate: 4.3/1000; life expectancy: 79.8; density per sq mi: 210 Ethnicity/race: composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types Religions: Roman Catholic 94%, other 6% Languages: Castilian Spanish 74% (official nationwide); Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2% (each official regionally) Literacy rate: 98% (2003 est.)
European Union member?
Spain is a member of the European Union (EU). In 2002 the euro was implemented as the common currency for most EU member countries.
Flamenco is most commonly found in the Spanish region of Andalusia . It started out as the typical music and dance of the gypsies that inhabited the south of Spain.
The Roman Catholic religion is still very much a central part of life for many Spaniards, as can be seen in the many religious festivals, parades and celebrations that are held in honor of the Madonna and patron saints.
Mealtimes are important to Spaniards. Eating is not only about the delicious dishes typical of Spain but also about socializing – a great way to get together with family and friends and enjoy their company. In Spain, friends and family always come first.
Customs and Traditions
Sports and recreation Spain is a major world sports power, especially since the 1992 Summer Olympics that were hosted in Barcelona and promoted a great variety of sports in the country. Bullfighting in Spain is something very Spanish – undoubtedly one of Spain’s most recognized cultural features, this old art form is becoming more and more controversial as many animal rights groups speak out against it. Nevertheless, the bull fights and bull runs in Pamplona never fail to draw large crowds, not only from Spain itself but from other parts around the world.