Spain Economy Overview
Starting from the civil war, Spain closed itself in a real political isolation: among other things, it was one of the very few states of Europe to remain neutral during the Second World War and only in 1955 did it want to become part of the UN. This inevitably resulted in a series of economic “delays” in the country compared to other European states; but from the end of the 1950s Spain began a radical process of renewal. The entry into the OEEC, the European Organization for Economic Cooperation, which took place in 1959, can be indicated as a very precise beginning of this turning point and then continued with the adhesion to the EEC (1 January 1986), another fundamental step in the process of integration of Spain in the international context.
A country which had hitherto remained closed in the context of an autarchic and protectionist economic policy, which had managed to safeguard the traditional textile sector as well as the steel and metalworking sector, therefore opted for the “European” choice; this decision, which highlighted all the structural backwardness of the country, clearly implied the desire to overcome them, in order to be able to compete with foreign countries. Natural resources were systematically exploited and new thermoelectric and hydroelectric power plants were built; foreign investments were favored in industry, which found abundant manpower in the country. At the same time Spain, whose remarkable historical and artistic reasons of interest and no less important natural beauties were appropriately advertised, began to open up to tourists, whose influx soon became massive, contributing significantly to the economy and laying the foundations for the real takeoff of the nation. Ample space was left for private initiative, a sector in which substantial concessions were granted to foreign companies, which owned many of the main Spanish industrial activities. In fact, starting from the mid-1960s, numerous multinational groups invested huge capital in the country, attracted by a set of exceptionally favorable conditions. For its part, the Spanish government imparted a new dynamism to economic and financial policy, obtaining production increases from an “economic miracle”, especially in the chemical and engineering sectors. But at the first manifestation of the symptoms of the recession and the world energy crisis, the weaknesses and contradictions of the rapid economic development of a nation that, among other things, has always been dependent on foreign countries for almost all of its supply of energy, came to light. Petroleum. Spain has had to deal with the structural limits of a production structure largely subordinated to foreign interests, with the backwardness of the agricultural sector and the worsening of social imbalances (in particular the situation of the world of work is problematic, with a unemployment rate consistently among the highest in Europe: 11, 4% in 2008) and the no less pronounced gaps that exist between the various regions of the country.
According to Estatelearning, the Spanish regional problem, of very large dimensions, is deeply rooted and does not appear to be easy to solve; far from having smoothed it out, the impetuous economic development and the expensive policy of public works (especially in road communications) have, on the contrary, accentuated the negative aspects. Industrialization has led to an internal migratory movement of vast proportions, involving several million Spaniards. The areas with a typically agricultural and pastoral economy have seen their already very low demographic value further reduced, while the population tends increasingly to concentrate in some areas (in particular around Barcelona and Madrid), accentuating the already massive urbanization, which notoriously requires the construction of a wide range of social services and suitable infrastructures, not to mention the high costs involved in environmental and territorial protection. The restructuring of the industrial system has been implemented and a rigorous policy has been pursued deflationary in spite of the strong popular discontent, the economy of the early nineties saw an increase in investments in the most modern sectors of production, also benefiting from a positive development of the financial sector and the stock market. The industry has overcome the division between a scarcely advanced artisan sector and modern design plants. The branches of the sector are numerous and diversified, but while traditional industries are losing importance, investments are mainly oriented towards high-tech activities, such as information technology and telecommunications. The high economic growth recorded since the mid-eighties of the twentieth century. made it possible to reduce the tax burden (among the lowest among the countries of). Thanks to the spread of temporary work and fixed-term contracts, which make up one third of total subordinate work (and three quarters for workers under 25), new prospects have opened up in the labor market. The per capita GDP was US $ 35,331 in 2008 and in the same year the inflation rate was rather low (4.1%). On the other hand, the country’s international competitiveness worsened and in 2004 it passed to 13th place in the world ranking of the IMD (Institute for Management Development) of Lausanne.