History: with the discovery of America for Spain by Columbus in 1492, spain became a great colonial empire. After the defeat of the Spanish Armada by England in 1588, spain shrunk into a minor continental power. In 1939, it passed under the dictatorship of gen. franco. On Franco’s death in 1975, Spain became a constitutional monarchy. In 1981, there was an unsuccessful coup attempt. The Socialist Workers’ Party won four consecutive general elections from 1982 to ’93. In 1996, a coalition of conservative and regional parties came to power. Spain is one of the 25 members of the European Union.

In 1980, Catalonia and the Basque country were given autonomy. Basque extremists have continued their campaign for independence.

The moderate nationalist Basque party, PNV emerged triumphant in May, 2001 elections in Basque province. Basque voters made it clear that they neither favour ETA’s terror campaign nor approve of Govt’s no-dialogue statn.

Economy: The economy ($828b) is the ninth largest in the world. Contribution of farming and fishing to overall GDP is about 4% only (This was 65% in the 60s), industry contributes 31%, and services 65%.

Main crops are cereals, grapes, olives, vegetables and fruits. Industries include chemicals, machine tools, automobiles, ship-building, steel, textiles and processed foods, paper, cement.

Recent Events: Voters endorsed EU constitution. Spain legalized gay marriage.

St. Kitts-Nevis

History: St. Christopher (Kitts)-Nevis is two islands in East Caribbean separated by a narrow channel 3.2 km wide. The islands were given the status of an Associate State of the U.K. in 1967 and became independent on Sept. 19, 1983. At that time Anguilla was part of St. Kitts-Nevis. The Anguillians revolted against this arrangement and anguilla was separated. Nevis has the right of secession.

In August, ’98, the 62% of people of Nevis (Population: 9000) voted in favour of leaving the federation, but failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed for secession.

The population is mostly black.

Economy: The economy is agricultural, cotton and sugar being the principal crops: Industries: Sugar, construction, clothing, tourism.

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