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Spain — No Pain, No Gain

As the 10th largest economy in the world, can Spain gain more from Europe?

June 12, 2001

As the 10th largest economy in the world, can Spain gain more from Europe?

Spain has seen it all — world power status, kings and queens alternating with republican governments, civil war, dictatorship under Francisco Franco and, since 1975, a constitutional monarchy under King Juan Carlos. Spain’s economy currently ranks tenth in the world — which puts it into the same league as Brazil or Canada. As our new Globalist Factsheet shows, Spain is becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Are there any remnants left of the colossal Spanish Empire?

As of 1999, about 9 of every 10 Spanish speakers lived outside of Spain.

(New York Times)

How has Spain’s economy performed over the last years?

Spain’s 2002 GDP growth of 2% was its lowest since 1993 — but it still outpaced the eurozone’s GDP growth of 0.8%.

(Financial Times)

To put things into a global perspective, just how large is Spain’s economy?

In 1999, GDP of all Arab countries combined stood at $531.2 billion — less than that of Spain ($595.5 billion).

(United Nations)

How much does Spain export?

As of 1999, Spain exported goods and services worth $112.3 billion — roughly the same amount as California, the largest of the 50 U.S. States, at $108 billion.

(Financial Times)

Is Spain’s unemployment problem serious?

In 2002, Spain had the highest unemployment rate in industrialized countries, with almost 11% — followed by France (9%), Germany (8%), Japan (6%), the United States (5.6%), the United Kingdom, (5%), the Netherlands (2.7%), and Switzerland — the lowest — with 2.5%.

(International Labor Organization)

What are the prospects for Spain’s youth?

Since Generalissimo Franco died in 1975, the number of universities in Spain has more than doubled (to 66) and the number of students has tripled, to 1.5 million — or a third of all Spaniards aged 18 to 23.

(New York Times)

Is all well then for the young generation?

Although the youth unemployment rate has dropped by almost 10% since the end of 1997, it remains one of the highest rates among OECD countries at nearly 30% as of 1999.


What is the state of Spanish health care?

At 42 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants, Spain is well above the EU average of 32 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants and the OECD average of 28 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants. The United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom all have smaller ratios by comparison.


What does the country do to save money?

Between 1995 and 2002, the rate of interest Spain pays on its public debt has fallen by four percentage points to 5.4% — with each percentage point drop generating savings of €2.8 billion.

(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

Are Spanish banks engines for growth?

According to the World Bank’s rating of the health of banking systems around the world, Spain ranked fourth in the world as of 1998 — trailing the Netherlands, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. It was ahead of such countries as Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.


Why is Spain one of the main trouble spots for illegal immigration into Europe?

As of 2002, the average cost to asylum seekers of a 60-mile journey in a small boat from North Africa to Spain’s Canary Islands was over $700. Between 1999 and 2002, 3,000 died making the crossing.

(Human Rights Watch)