Located at the crossroads of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Europe and Africa, Spain’s history and culture are made up of a rich mix of diverse elements.
Through exploration and conquest, Spain became a world power in the 16th century, and it maintained a vast overseas empire until the early 19th century.
Spain’s modern history is marked by the bitterly fought Spanish Civil War of 1936-39, and the ensuing 36-year dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.
After Franco’s death in 1975, Spain made the transition to a democratic state and built a successful economy, with King Juan Carlos as head of state.
The constitution of 1978 enshrines respect for linguistic and cultural diversity within a united Spain. The country is divided into 17 regions which all have their own directly elected authorities.
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The English broadsheet, The Guardian, reports:
Leader of socialist PSOE faces uphill battle with just 84 seats in 350-seat parliament
Pedro Sánchez was sworn in as Spain’s new prime minister on Saturday, a day after the socialist leader overthrew his conservative predecessor, Mariano Rajoy, in a historic vote of no confidence provoked by anger over corruption in Rajoy’s party.
Sánchez, whose PSOE party relied on support from the anti-austerity Podemos party as well as Basque and Catalan nationalists to depose Rajoy, will have to govern with just 84 MPs in Spain’s 350-seat parliament.
The 46-year-old former economics professor has promised to address the “pressing social needs” of citizens in the country still plagued by high unemployment and the effects of the financial crisis, but he faces an uphill battle. Analysts warn that parliamentary consensus will be in short supply, making significant social reforms hard to achieve.
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