Spain Government Facts: Things To Know About The Spanish Country | Kidadl


Spain Government Facts: Things To Know About The Spanish Country

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If you are thinking of moving to Spain, there is typically a lot on your to-do list, from choosing a place to reside to enrolling your children in a local primary school and that's before you even think about locating a tapas bar in your neighborhood!

If you're thinking of migrating to Spain, it's also a good idea to learn more about this fascinating country. One approach to achieve this is to familiarize yourself with the country's national and regional politics; after all, it's critical to know whom you should be listening to in times of national crisis.

Spain is classed as a parliamentary monarchy, which is sometimes known as a democratic constitutional monarchy. As a consequence, the ruling monarch mostly acts as a ceremonial head of state. Meanwhile, the democratically elected prime minister leads the national government. Spain is ranked 22nd on the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2020 Democracy Index. Spain's present political system has existed since La Transición. In the late '70s, the nation moved from dictatorship to democracy under the former king, Juan Carlos I, after decades of military dominance by General Francisco Franco. As part of this change, the Spanish constitution was established in 1978. The existing national and regional political structures are built on this framework.

Fiestas, flamenco, tapas, and romance abound in Spain! Visitors from all over the world rush to this eternally popular tourist destination to experience the beautiful coasts, bustling towns, world-famous food, and diverse country cultural scene. It's a varied nation with a rich history, stunning scenery, and frequently odd customs.

Whether you're visiting the world-famous islands, experiencing the high-spirited atmosphere of Las Ramblas, seeing the picturesque villages steeped in history, or sinking into a pan of delectable paella, you'll be sure to come across Spain's distinct flare! Read along to find out about the prime minister of the Spanish nation and parliamentary monarchy for the Spanish citizen, regional identity and regional parliaments, national parliament and national politics, local elections for the regional parliament, democratic constitution and national unity, and many more interesting aspects! Afterward, also check out Spain food facts and soccer in Spain facts.

Fun Facts About Spain's Government

Spain has managed to emerge from a rigid and authoritarian model into a modern, liberal, and pluralistic democracy run by the parliamentary system. This makes for one of the most remarkable developments in the European political landscape as the change has been achieved without any civil war or any revolution from the public amidst an adverse economic situation.

Spain has the fourth-highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Spain is the country with the fourth-highest number, after only China and Italy. The country has 49 UNESCO  World Heritage Sites in the nation as of August 2021. When you visit Spain, you'll get the opportunity to see magnificent additions to the list such as the Alhambra; Antoni Gaud's masterpieces, including La Sagrada Familia; and the Camino de Santiago.

For almost 130 years, La Sagrada Familia has been under construction!

Even though it is still under construction, La Sagrada Familia is one of Spain's most famous structures. The unfinished Roman Catholic church of Antoni Gaud is located in Barcelona. Gaud's fanciful architectural style, which began in 1882 and continues now, is exemplified by the church. It must be completed by 2026 (on the centennial of Gaud's death); however, COVID-19 has caused construction to be delayed.

A Spanish novelist wrote the world's first 'modern book.'

Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote was originally published in 1605. The works have been translated and read in 145 languages and are widely regarded as the world's first modern book. The novel continues to have a huge impact on current western literature after 400 years.

The world's oldest restaurant is located in Madrid.

Madrid boasts of having the world's oldest restaurant, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Sobrino de Botn is a little Spanish café that has been open since 1725 and continues to thrive. Pay a visit and sample the cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig), a Sobrino de Botn specialty.

In Spain, there is a town with a distinct Japanese history.

Around 700 of the 24,000 residents of Coria del Ro bear the surname 'Japón.' This surname comes from the first official Japanese delegation to Spain in 1617, which included six samurai. The party settled in a village near Seville, and the locals adopted the surname Hasekura de Japón (later shortened to Japón).

People celebrate Christmas with 'Tio de Nadal.'

If you go to Spain during the Christmas season, you'll almost certainly run upon this cheery little fellow called 'Caga Tio'. Tió de Nadal is a Catalan Christmas ritual that roughly translates as 'Christmas log.' A hollow log with a happy face is decorated and gradually 'fed' (filled with sweets) until Christmas Eve. Then, one by one, family members pound the wooden log until it 'defecates' into the fireplace, releasing all of the sweets. Now you know why he's known as 'Caga Tio' (poo log).

In Spanish culture, it is usual to have two surnames.

People in Spanish culture have two surnames rather than one. Your father will give you the first surname, and your mother will give you a second. You'll normally just use one surname (usually the first) when addressing somebody in daily life.

Spain, like other countries across the globe, has three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judiciary. These branches carry out their varied tasks following the constitution's provisions. The president, vice-president, and Council of Ministers make up the executive. The executive is in charge of domestic and international policy and reports to the legislature. The Congress of Deputies and the Senate are the two houses of the legislature. The Congress has 350 members who represent the provinces and autonomous communities on the mainland. Members of the legislature are elected for four years. The monarch's nominated prime minister is approved by the assembly. In carrying out its tasks, the judiciary is independent of the legislative and government and is regulated by the General Council (lawyers and judges). Administrative, criminal, and labor courts are the three branches of the judiciary that administer justice. The Supreme Court of Spain is the country's highest court. Each autonomous area is governed by its Supreme Court.

Historical Facts About Spain's Government

Gen. Francisco Franco controlled Spain from the end of the Spanish Civil War in April 1939 to November 1975. His regime's ideas were enshrined in a series of Fundamental Laws (passed between 1942 and 1967) that proclaimed Spain a monarchy and formed the Cortes, a legislative body. Franco's regime, however, was very different from Spain's present constitutional traditions.

During Franco, members of the Cortes, or procuradores, were chosen based on 'organic democracy,' rather than 'one vote, one person' which was the democratic concept. The procuradores represented the fundamental institutions of Spanish society, rather than individual residents: families, villages, universities, and professional organizations. Furthermore, the administration was not answerable to the Cortes, who had no control over government expenditures and whose members were merely chosen and fired by the state's ruler.

Spain has been intimately associated with the Roman Catholic Church for most of its history, particularly since the Reconquista in 1492. This identity, as well as the church's virtual religious monopoly, have been imposed artificially to a great extent since the 16th century. The Jews were compelled to convert or leave the nation in 1492, while the Muslims were forced to leave the country in 1502. The Inquisition, a church court, enforced religious conformity from 1478 to 1834.

Spain is classed as a parliamentary monarchy

Facts About Spain's Political Parties

In Spain, there are several political parties, many of which operate at the municipal, regional, and national levels. Here's a quick rundown of Spain's major political parties.

PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol): Founded in 1879 and known in English as the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, PSOE is Spain's oldest political party. It has been in power in modern democratic Spain for longer than any other political party. The party's ideology is most progressive. The party was founded by Pablo Iglesias Posse, a union organizer. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is the current leader as of July 2021.

Partido Popular (PP): The Popular Party (in English) was founded in 1976 by Manuel Fraga, a Spanish scholar, and politician under Franco's dictatorship. It has a liberal-conservative, Christian-democratic philosophy. The party continued to govern until 2018 and is now led by Pablo Casada in opposition.

Unidos Podemos (UP): This coalition of minor progressive parties, formerly known as Unidos Podemos, was formed in 2016 to participate in the general election. Podemos, Izquierda Unida, and several minor parties are among them. Since the general election in 2020, the party has been in a ruling coalition with PSOE. Yolanda Dáz Pérez is the current leader of UP.

There are many regional legislatures for the regional government also called the Spanish political system. The Spanish economy is the fifth largest in the European union economic systems. The regional autonomy of European countries depends on European elections.

Facts About Spain's Electoral Process

General elections, elections to the legislatures of autonomous communities (regional elections), municipal elections, and election results to the European Parliament are the four forms of elections in Spain. General elections and elections to autonomous community legislatures are held when the term of the national or regional legislature ends, normally four years after the last election; however, fresh elections are possible. Elections to municipalities including insular councils, as well as the European Parliament, are held on predetermined dates; however, certain local government entities (such as provincial councils) are not directly elected. In most elections, party-list PR is used, although the Senate uses the plurality method.

The electoral law of 1985 lays out in full the provisions that govern the conduct and administration of elections. The Electoral Commission (Junta Electoral), a permanent body of eight Supreme Court judges and five political scientists or sociologists selected by the Congress of Deputies, oversees the elections under this statute. The Interior Ministry assists the Electoral Commission in its duties. On election day, electoral boards, which are made up of people chosen by lottery, manage polling places.

The Spanish state designs the ballot paper's format, but the law enables political parties to print and distribute their ballot papers, either by mailing them to voters or by other methods such as street distribution, as long as they follow the official model. After that, the government pays for all printed ballot papers. Voters must then mark these at the voting station or outside the polling station, and deposit them into sealed envelopes that are subsequently placed inside polling station ballot boxes. After polls have closed, the votes are tallied at each polling station in the presence of officials from political parties and candidates. The ballots are subsequently shredded, save for those that are deemed invalid or disputed by the candidates' representatives, which are kept for further examination. As a consequence, complete recounts are unattainable.

Different elections are held in Spain for different officials in various government positions. Members of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate are chosen in general elections, while local and regional autonomous government representatives are elected in separate elections. Spanish people above the age of 18 as well as European Union members are eligible to vote. Elections are normally conducted every four years or when the monarch dissolves the legislature.

The Spanish constitution, enacted in 1978, defines the separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial departments. It also promotes the fundamental ideals of liberty, justice, and equality, as well as many other foundations of Spain's contemporary democratic system. These three branches of government carry out the following functions.

The national government, or executive branch, of Spain's political system is led by the prime minister (now Pedro Sanchez). The deputy prime ministers and other ministers are part of this branch.

The Spanish parliament, or Cortes Generales, is divided into two chambers: the lower house, the Congreso de Los Diputados (Congress of Deputies); and the upper house, the Senado (Senate).

The judicial branch in Spain consists of judges and magistrates who are autonomous, liable, and solely subject to the rule of law. The head of the Tribunal Supremo (Supreme Court) is chosen by the General Council's 20 justices. A three-fifths vote in parliament is required to select these judges.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Spain government facts: things to know about the Spanish country then why not take a look at Spain flag facts or Spain crafts.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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