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Discovering Spain

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If you are in search of new opportunities along with a different lifestyle, Spain may be the ideal destination. Here is some general information on this South European country.

Spain is one of Southern Europe main expat destinations. Every year, the country welcomes thousands of expatriates from the European Union as well as from other countries. Stretching over some 504,030 km², it is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, France, Andorra and Portugal. Spain's capital city is Madrid and its largest cities are Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla and Malaga.

Demography

In early 2016, Spain's population amounted to around 46,438,422 inhabitants, including a large number of expatriates from across the globe since the end of the 1980s. Madrid remains the largest and most important Spanish city with a population of some 6,4 million inhabitants that keeps on growing year after year. 

Spanish culture

The Spanish flag displays red and yellow which initially are colors of Castile and Leon, as well as those Navarre and Aragon regions. The coat of arms on the flag also represents the four regions, now called Aragon, Valencia, Balearic Islands and Catalonia, while Granada's symbol appears in the base.

The Marcha Real is one of the oldest national anthems in whole Europe. However, it does not have any official lyrics, despite the willingness of many patriots. This can be explained by a lack of popular adhesion and uniformity regarding the different languages that are spoken in Spain. While Spanish and Castilian are the official languages, many other regional languages such as Catalan, Basque, Galician, and even Asturian, Leone and Aragonese, are recognized in the country. Various unformal dialects are also spoken in different regions. For instance, Extremaduran is spoken in Extremadura while Cantabrian is spoken in Cantabria and Asturias and Portuguese is spoken in Olivenza, among others.

Spain is also known to be the birthplace of many great artists such as the writer Cervantes, the famous painter Pablo Picasso and the renowned filmmaker Pedro Almodovar.

Economy

Spain is the European Union's fifth economic power, ranked twelfth in the global economy.In 2015, following several years of recession, the started to stabilize with a growth rate of 3.2%. The Spanish GDP is now estimated at some 1,081 billion euros by the European Commission.

Since the early 1990s, Spain's economy is based on various sectors, namely industry, precision engineering, electronics, pharmaceuticals, oil, gas, uranium, energy, metal ores, etc. The secondary sector and tourism, shipbuilding, automotive industry and aeronautics are other important economic pillars. In fact, these are the country's main employment generators.

Note that Spain is a member of the European Union, United Nations Organization, World Trade Organization, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, among others.

Politics

Spain is a multiple party constitutional monarchy headed by King Felipé VI who has been ruling since 2014. He is also the head of government, head of state and President of the Government. Moreover, the executive power is in the government's hands while legislative power is governed by the Spanish Parliament. The Spanish parliament is bicameral, consisting of a congress of deputies and a senate. Regarding the judiciary, it is an independent system.

Climate

Spain's climate is divided into three zones: the Mediterranean climate, the semi-arid climate and oceanic climate. The first is characterized by high and dry temperatures in summer, especially in the country's south and north-west. The semi-arid climate prevails in the South with dry temperatures, even after summer. As for the oceanic climate, it prevails mainly in coastal regions. In mountainous regions, however, temperatures are rather humid. However, Spain has very little rainfall throughout the year. Hence, water shortage due to drought.

 Useful link:

Expat.com - Spain Forum 
Spain Info www.spain.info

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See also

Alicante is one of Spain's main tourism destinations. Its different neighborhoods and its architecture depict its rich cultural and historical heritage.
Barcelona, Catalonia's economic center, attracts not only young professionals but also many foreign companies and investors looking for new opportunities.
Madrid's labor market has been facing a shortage of qualified and skilled workforce since some time. Hence, it is open to young foreign professionals.
Malaga has been one of the most affected Spanish cities by the global economic crisis. Hence its high unemployment rate during recent years.

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