Spain is one of the 17 eurozone members most affected by the crisis, with record unemployment in industrialized countries, which in late January reached 23.3% according to Eurostat European statistics.
DATE OF ENTRY INTO THE EURO AREA: Spain is one of the first countries in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), established in 1999, though the currency did not begin circulating until January 1, 2002.
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: 1.073 billion euros in 2011 (Eurostat). Growth: +0.7% in 2011, -1% forecast in 2012 and +0.4% in 2013 (European Commission).
PUBLIC DEBT: 641.802 million euros, ie 61% of GDP in 2010 versus 40.1% in late 2008. In 2011, 68.3%, according to preliminary figures from Eurostat, the estimated 73.8% in 2012 and 78% in 2013.
PRIVATE DEBT: In 2010, gross debt of Spanish households was equivalent to 90% of GDP and the business to 205% (IMF).
DEFICIT: 8.51% of GDP in 2011, well above the 6% promised to Brussels, according to the Government. The European Commission is expected this fall by 5.9% in 2012 and 5.3% in 2013, but since then, Madrid has agreed to lower it to 5.3% in 2012 and 3% in 2013.
UNEMPLOYMENT has the highest rate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), with 23.3% in late January (Eurostat). The European Commission estimated this fall by 20.9% in 2012 and 20.3% in 2013 but since then the Government has acknowledged that unemployment will reach 24.3% in late 2012.
Inflation: 3% in 2011, 1.3% in 2012 and 1.3% in 2013 (European Commission).
AVERAGE MONTHLY SALARY: 1632.65 euros in the fourth quarter of 2011 (National Statistics Institute). The minimum wage per month is 641.4 (Finance Act 2011).
POPULATION: 47,190,493 inhabitants (2011), fifth most populous country in the European Union. Capital: Madrid, 3.265 million inhabitants (2011).
LANGUAGE: Spanish is the official national language. At a regional level, are also official Euskera (Basque), Catalan and Galician.
Religion: Catholic (75%), other religions (2.5%).
ECONOMY: Spain is the fourth largest eurozone economy dominated by services, including tourism is the first country’s economic activity.
Industry, although declining, remains a pillar of the Spanish economy, with the agri-food, automotive and construction.
GRADE: Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch, the three major credit rating agencies have downgraded several times in recent years, Spain’s sovereign rating due mainly to the huge deficits of the autonomous communities.
POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS: constitutional monarchy since 1975, preceded by 36 years of dictatorship. The king is the head of state and armed forces. The government is led by the president emerged from the legislative elections every four years in renewing the Congress of Deputies and the Senate. The two chambers are the courts.
Recent Legislation: November 20, 2011, won by the Popular Party. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, inaugurated on December 21.
Category: Business News