ESPAÑA
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; Unidos Podemos, led by Pablo Iglesias; Ciudadanos/Ciutadans, led by Albert Rivera Díaz; Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya – Catalunya Sí, led by Gabriel Rufián; Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català, led by Artur Mas; Euzko Alderdi Jeltzalea, led by Andoni Ortuzar; Euskal Herria Bildu; Coalición Canaria – Partido Nacionalista Canario.
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); 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.
FH: 1-1, free. Econ: 8.45 (15), full democracy.
Updated: 2017 December 24.
 

O.T. FORD