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 parties: Partido Socialista Obrero Español; Podemos; Izquierda Unida; En Comú Podem.
Head of government: Pedro Sánchez, PSOE, presidente del gobierno (since 2018).
Other major parliamentary parties: Partido Popular; Vox; Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya; Ciudadanos/Ciutadans; Euzko Alderdi Jeltzalea; Euskal Herria Bildu; Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català; Junts per Catalunya.
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 Mariano Rajoy (2011-8) 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); the PP continued as a minority government. The crisis in Catalunya escalated in 2017, as the regional government held an independence referendum and the central government occupied Catalunya and disrupted the vote, deposing the regional government; a subsequent regional election gave pro-independence parties a renewed majority. The PP strengthened its plurality in a 2016 election, but it was ousted in a confidence vote in 2018 over corruption scandals, and Rajoy resigned, replaced by Sánchez. The PSOE then became the leading party in a snap election, but could not form a stable coalition, and a second election was held later that year, yielding a somewhat better result for the right and worse result for the left, but a left coalition was successfully formed nonetheless.
FH: 1-1, free. Econ: 8.45 (15), full democracy.
Updated: 2021 June 19.