From 2007 onwards there was an economic crisis worldwide. Spain suffered from this particularly. Unemployment has been falling since 2014, but is still at a high level. In 2015 it was 22 percent, in 2016 it was 19.6 percent, and in 2017 it was 17.2 percent. The debt is also high.
Spain’s main economic sectors are tourism, communications and information technology, metal processing, mechanical engineering, agriculture and petrochemicals (which makes products from natural gas and oil).
For the gross domestic product who services the most earned (74.2 percent). Industry accounts for 23.2 percent, agriculture only 2.6 percent.
Tourism and other services
Tourism is one of the services. Spain is one of the most popular travel destinations worldwide. The British, German and French make up the largest groups of visitors. Between 52 and 65 million tourists come every year. Other major areas of service are commerce, transport, and communication and information (telephone, internet, television).
Metal processing, mechanical engineering and petrochemicals are the most important branches of industry. Textiles and shoes, food and drinks, cars and medicines are also manufactured. The most important export partners are France and Germany. You may know the car brand Seat and the clothing brand Zara. The Spanish industry is particularly concentrated in Catalonia and the Basque Country.
Grains (especially wheat and barley), olives, grapes, sugar beets, corn, potatoes and citrus fruits are grown in Spain – especially oranges, followed by mandarins and lemons. Viticulture is also important. Sunflowers are grown to make oil, cotton for textiles. Cattle, pigs and poultry are bred. Dairy cows are kept. There is fishing on the coasts. Sardines, cod, cod and tuna are the most commonly caught.
History and Politics
Prehistory: Iberians, Celts and Basques
The area of today’s Spain was settled 1.3 million years ago. Around 6000 BC BC the hunters and gatherers settled down. The Neolithic Age began. Probably in the 4th millennium BC The Iberians came to the area in the 3rd century BC, making them the oldest ethnic group here. The Iberian Peninsula was named after them. From around 500 BC Celts immigrated from the north. The third group of the oldest peoples are the Vascones or Basques.
Phoenicians and the Rabbit Land
Around 1000 BC Phoenicians came to the sea coast. These merchants and sailors established colonies throughout the Mediterranean. One of them was Cádiz, located in what is now Spain. The Phoenicians called the land Ishapan: land of the rock hyrax. They took the many rabbits that ran around here to be rock hyrax. From Ishapan the Romans made later Hispania, from which Spain was.
In the Second Punic War (Rome against Phoenician Carthage) the Romans came to Spain for the first time. In the next few centuries they finally extended their rule over the entire Iberian Peninsula. The Spanish language (Castilian) developed from spoken Latin. In the 4th century the Roman Empire fell apart, Spain now belonged to Western Rome.
According to best-medical-schools, Goths moved to France and Spain in the 5th century. They founded the Visigoth Empire. They were driven out of France by the Franks and so they settled in Spain. Toledo was their capital.
Moors and Reconquista
Moors invaded Spain in 711. They were Berbers from North Africa who were Islamized by the Arabs. So they brought their Muslim faith with them. The Moors established their empire al-Andalus. They ruled the Iberian Peninsula for centuries. It was not until 1492 that they could be completely driven out.
A few years after the conquest by the Moors, however, the reconquest by the Christians, the Reconquista, began. However, it lasted for several centuries. It started from the north, where the Moors could never really consolidate their rule.
Kingdoms of Asturias, Navarre, León, Aragon and Castile
Here in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, several kingdoms emerged, initially the Asturian Kingdom in the northwest, and the Kingdom of Navarre to the east. Asturias was divided in 910 and after reunification in 924 it became the Kingdom of León. The Kingdom of Aragón was established in 1035, followed by the Kingdom of Castile in 1038, which united with León in the 13th century. In the 15th century, Castile, Aragon and Navarre remained.
The Catholic Kings: Inquisition and Discovery of America
Isabella of Castile married (still as a princess) Ferdinand of Aragón. The resultant unification of the two empires formed the cornerstone for a whole Spanish empire.
The two “Catholic Kings” had all other religions persecuted, and the Spanish Inquisition began. All Jews had to leave the country. With Isabella’s and Ferdinand’s support from Christopher Columbus, the latter discovered America, which in turn became the basis for the Spanish colonial rich.
Charles V, King of Spain
Isabella and Ferdinand’s daughter married the Habsburg Philip the Fair. Her son Karl became King of Spain in 1516 as Charles V. In 1519 Karl also became king and then emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation. The religious wars of this time involved Charles in wars, especially against France and Turkey.
The Reformation could not stop Karl, although in 1521 he imposed an imperial ban on Martin Luthe r. The Reformation prevailed. In 1556 Karl had to abdicate. The Habsburg Empire was divided. Charles’s son Philip received Spain, the Netherlands, Burgundy and the possessions in Italy.