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Expats in Spain

Expats in SpainSpain: An Overview

The Kingdom of Spain occupies the greater part of the Iberian peninsula in south-western Europe and is the continent's third largest and sixth most populous country. Spain's territory also includes two island groups, the Balearic and Canary Islands, and the Moroccan enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

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Hispania was a province of the Roman empire until its collapse in 476 AD. After this, Germanic tribes invaded, led by the Visigoths (Western Goths), who set up a kingdom which lasted until the early 8th century. Then, in 718, Spain was conquered by the Moors (Arabs and Berbers) and nearly all of the peninsula came under Islamic rule. This was a great time for the arts, culture and technology as the Arabs led the West in these fields at that time. Their capital, Cordova, was then one of the greatest cities in the world.

In the Middle Ages, Christian states in the north started the gradual reconquest of the peninsula. The Reconquista was completed in 1492, with the capitulation of the last Moorish state, Granada. This was also the year that Christopher Columbus, a Genovan under pay of the Spanish monarchy, landed in the Bahamas, thus discovering the New World.

In 1506, Spain became the leading nation in the Habsburg Empire by marriage. This meant that the Spanish monarch had rule over large areas of Europe together with rapidly expanding parts of the Americas. In 1520, Hernán Cortés completed the conquest of Mexico, and in 1533 Francisco Pizarro destroyed the Incan Empire. Both of these conquests were brutal, with the 1532 Battle of Cajamarca in Peru being little more than a massacre.

Vast amounts of silver and gold were discovered in the Americans, and these were used to consolidate the Habsburg position in Europe, fund further conquests and compete with their main rivals, Bourbon France. However, the influx of bullion also caused inflation, and rebellion in the Low Countries and war with England and France ate away at Spanish coffers. Spain's ambitions in Europe were expensive and unrealistic. The Inquisition was also a factor, encouraging dissension and corruption, while stifling any form of independent thought.

In 1640, Portugal seceded from Spain, and in 1643, the French comprehensively defeated the Spanish army at Rocroi. Five years later, the United Provinces of the Netherlands formally achieved independence. These events marked a downturn in Spanish fortunes, and by 1700, when the Habsburg line failed, Spain was a spent force, with France overtaking it as the great power in Europe.

The War of Spanish Succession (1701-14) saw Spanish territory further reduced. However, the 18th century was a period of recovery for Spain, especially in economic terms. In the early 19th century, Spain's American colonies gained their independence, and in 1898, Spain lost further overseas territory to the United States (which Spain had originally helped to create.)

In the 20th century, tensions between Nationalists and Republicans led to the Civil War (1936-39), which ended in rule by the Fascist dictator Francisco Franco, who suppressed the Basques, Catalans and other minorities. After Franco died in 1975, the Spanish monarchy weas restored and the economy slowly recovered. Spain joined the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1986.

Spain’s economy has suffered hugely during the recession. After becoming part of the EU, Spain enjoyed rapid growth; over the past 40 years its tourist industry grew to be the second largest in the world and accounted for around 50% of GDP in 2006. The property boom that followed contributed almost 16% of GDP and employed 12% of the workforce. The collapse of the property boom has led to high increases in personal debt with unemployment now at the 26% mark.

Personal income tax ranges from 24% to 45%. For 2012 and 2013 tax years, a supplementary tax of between 0.7% and 7% applies.

Country Name: Spain
Coordinates: 40°00'N 4°00'W
Capital: Madrid
Capital Coordinates: 40°26'N 3°42'W
Other Main Cities: Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Malaga, Murcia
Population: 47265321
Area: 505992
Official Language(s): Spanish
Ethnic Group(s): 88% Spanish, 12% other
Demonym: Spanish, Spaniard
Currency: Euro, EUR, €
GDP: $1.411 trillion
Time Zone: CET (UTC+1), Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
International Dialling Code: 34
Internet TLD: .es
ISO: ES
Electricity Voltage: 220 Volts AC (50Hz)

 

 

Latest Forum Posts in 'Spain'

 

INSTRUMENTS
By mahendra, 2nd Sep, 22:34
For genuine and Serious inquiry of any form of banking instrument (BG/SBLC/MTN/DLC/LC) Which can be engage in PPP Trading,… Read

 

Real Estate Spain
By mahendra, 2nd Sep, 22:33
For genuine and Serious inquiry of any form of banking instrument (BG/SBLC/MTN/DLC/LC) Which can be engage in PPP Trading,… Read

 

Real Estate Spain
By inlandandalucia, 31st Aug, 04:50
If you have the desire to purchase your own home in Spain, contact us the team of Inland Andalucia. We are top rated real es… Read

 

Best Tapas in Barcelona
By DanBlystone, 1st May, 12:24
My favorite is Cal Pep - try the trifàsic (calamares, whitebait and prawns)! I wrote a list of my top 10 here… Read

 

Air conditioner needed
By Gary.Baldy, 4th Nov, 09:33
Am sorted now DQ. It was only the summer temperature I was looking for relief from.… Read

 

Broadband
By DQ, 4th Oct, 21:22
What is the fastest speed available? and is this country-wide or? Read

 

Air conditioner needed
By DQ, 4th Oct, 21:21
Is the a/c needed for temperature or does it get humid where you live? Read

 

Pet Insurance
By DQ, 4th Oct, 21:20
Cover you dog or cat in what way? Is this 100% insurance or what exactly do they cover? Does it include medicine or surgery?… Read

 

Builders
By Stelvio, 3rd Sep, 13:14
It's a very tricky thing to recommend (so I'm not going to - sorry). Even well established builders are going bust at the mom… Read

 

Best Tapas in Barcelona
By Stelvio, 3rd Sep, 13:03
A couple of the places mentioned are listed here: I dare say the others will be well worth a visit. I'll try and repor… Read

 

Spain Expat Service Providers

Expatriate Healthcare Experts in Moving

Country Information

Financial Considerations In Spain

Financial Considerations In Spain

» Money Transfers
» Foreign Exchange
» Banking
» Pensions
» Investment
» Wealth Management
» Property Investment
» Insurance

 

Taxation In Spain

Taxation In Spain

» Overview of Tax Issues
» Employment Taxation
» Business Taxation
» Investment Taxation
» Tax Treaty Considerations

 

Healthcare In Spain

Healthcare In Spain

» National Health Services
» Doctors and Hospitals
» Health Insurance
» Health Emergencies

 

Education In Spain

Education In Spain

» State School Systems
» Private Schools
» International Schools
» Universities
» Language Schools

 

Immigration In Spain

Immigration In Spain

» Visas and Passports
» Settlement, Residence and Citizenship
» Family Members and Marriage
» Working

 

Employment And Business In Spain

Employment And Business In Spain

» Finding a Job, CVs, Interviews and Etiquette
» Work Culture and Labour Market
» Owning and Operating a Business
» Business Groups, Associations and Networking
» Business Taxation

 

Accommodation In Spain

Accommodation In Spain

» Where to Live
» Finding, Buying and Renting
» Mortgages

 

Relocation In Spain

Relocation In Spain

» International Relocation
» Repatriation
» Expats Relocating with Families and Pets

 

Social And Cultural Traits In Spain

Social And Cultural Traits In Spain

» Languages
» Guide to Cultural Traits
» Expat Groups

 

Living In Spain

Living In Spain

» Safety and Emergencies
» Retirement
» Family Life and Childcare
» Solo Living and Dating
» Shopping
» Entertainment, Media and Television
» Arts and Culture
» Fitness and Sport
» Communications
» Driving and Public Transport
» Government, Politics and Legal Systems
» Regions and Cities


 


 




Moving to Spain

If you are considering moving to Spain or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Spain section including; details of immigration and visas, Spanish forums, Spanish event listings and service providers in Spain.

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Living in Spain

From your safety to shoppingliving in Spain can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Spain with relevant news and up-to-date information.

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Working in Spain

Working in Spain can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Spain, and general Spanish culture of the labour market.

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