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About Spain | Key Property Facts

Currency


Euro

Capital


Madrid

Major cities (by population)


Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Zaragoza, Malaga, Murcia, Las Palmas, Palma de Mallorca, Bilbao

Geography


Spain lies in the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, bordered by Portugal, France, Andorra and Gibraltar. It has coasts on the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Bay of Biscay to the north and the Mediterranean to the south and east. Its territory includes the Balearic Islands off the coast of Catalonia in the northeast and the Canary Islands,  located off the northwest coast of Africa. Spain has a temperate climate, with hot, clear summers inland and more moderate and cloudy summers along the coast. Spain’s landscape is mostly a large, flat plateau but with some rugged hills and the Pyrenees Mountains on the French border, to the northeast.

Economy


Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.44% (2012 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $1.352 trillion (2012 est.)
GDP (real) growth rate: 2.9% (2012 est.)

Spain’s key industries include textiles, food, metals, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, tourism and pharmaceuticals.

Legal system


Spain has a civil law system with regional variations. The country accepts compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction, with some reservations. The judiciary is independent, but case resolution is extremely slow. The Heritage Foundation comments: “The judiciary is independent in practice, but bureaucratic obstacles at the national and state levels are significant. Contracts are secure, although the courts are very slow to enforce contracts when they are not honoured”.

Demographics


The Spanish population (currently around 40.5 million) is an even mix between Mediterranean and north European ethnic types. Castillian Spanish is the official language of Spain and is spoken by 74% of the population. However, there are also several significant regional languages including Catalan (spoken by around 17% of people), Galician (7%) and Basque (2%).
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