At a glance
Spain has been a member of the euro area since 1 January 1999. Euro banknotes and coins were introduced on 1 January 2002. Until that date the euro was the official currency but only existed as 'book money'. The euro replaced the Spanish peseta (ESP) at a conversion rate of EUR 1 = ESP 166.386
Spain is represented by Mariano Rajoy Brey, Prime Minister, at Euro Summit meetings and by Luis de Guindos Jurado, at Eurogroup meetings.
- Adoption of the euro: 01/01/1999
- Former currency: Spanish peseta (EUR 1 = ESP 166.386 )
- GDP per capita (current prices): €23 300 (2011 - Eurostat)
- Number of votes at the Council of the EU: 27
- Member of the Schengen area: Yes
- Official languages: Spanish (es)
The Kingdom of Spain is a highly decentralised state, composed of 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities.
The Chamber of Deputies has 350 members elected for four years.
The Senate has 264 seats, which are filled for four years. 208 senators are elected at provincial level by direct universal suffrage.
Each autonomous community appoints at least one senator, with one additional senator for every million inhabitants in its territory.
- Political system: monarchy
- Voting age: 18, voting not compulsory
- National Day: 12 October (Hispanic Day, anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus – 1492)
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