Officially: Reino de España.
English: Spain.
Seat of government: Madrid.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The parliament (Cortes Generales) comprises the Congreso de los Diputados, elected by party-list proportional representation in the provinces, which chooses the prime minister (presidente del gobierno), and the Senado, elected with equal representation by modified block vote in the provinces or chosen by regional legislatures.
Governing party: Partido Popular.
Head of government: Mariano Rajoy, presidente del gobierno (since 2011).
Other parliamentary parties: Partido Socialista Obrero Español, led by Pedro Sánchez; Podemos, led by Pablo Iglesias; Ciudadanos/Ciutadans, led by Albert Rivera Díaz; Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, led by Gabriel Rufián; Democràcia i Llibertat, led by Francesc Homs.
Recent history: Under a previous conservative government of the PP, led by José María Aznar (1996-2004), the state pursued nationalist policies which the subsequent socialist government mostly left intact. The state has sought sovereignty over Gibraltar, but maintained its contrary claim to Ceuta and Melilla; and it has backtracked further on autonomy, to say nothing of self-determination, for minorities, particularly in Euskal Herria. Parliament in Euskal Herria has voted for effective independence under nominal control of España, but the central government has refused this. The PSOE took power in 2004, led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (2004-11), when the Aznar government hastily and wrongly blamed a Madrid terrorist attack on Euskadi ta Askatasuna. A 2008 election renewed the mandate for the PSOE, again without an absolute majority. In 2011, the PP won an absolute majority, and Rajoy became prime minister. In 2014, the central government began a stand-off with the government of Catalunya over its right to hold an independence referendum. The general election in 2015 saw a large drop for both PP and PSOE, especially in favor of new parties (Podemos and Ciudadanos), with no coalition yet able to form a government.
FH: 1-1, free. Econ: 8.45 (15), full democracy.
Updated: 2016 March 30.