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Portal:Spain

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THE SPAIN PORTAL
EL PORTAL DE ESPAÑA

Flag Spain
Location of Spain

Spain (Spanish: España), officially the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España), is a country in southern Europe. It is located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. The country consists of Peninsular Spain which is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, two archipelagos, one in each sea, and two autonomous cities in North Africa. The mainland area of Spain is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the southern and eastern areas, the Cantabric Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Spain is organised as a parliamentary democracy and is a constitutional monarchy. Spain has been a member of the European Union since 1986 and is a developed country, with the ninth largest economy in the world and fifth largest in the EU. With an area of 504,030 km², Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe (behind France).

Spain flourished under the Roman empire Hispania, thus becoming one of the Empire's most important regions at the time. During the times of the Middle Ages, Spain was under Germanic rule, only later to come under the rule of the Islamic caliphate. Spain emerged as a unified country in the 15th century, following the completion of the reconquest of the Iberian peninsula in 1492. It has been an important source of influence to other regions, chiefly during the Modern Era, when it became a global empire that has left a legacy of over 500 million Spanish speakers today, making it the world's second most spoken first language.

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A bonfire

The Bonfires of Saint John is a popular festival celebrated between June 19 and June 24 in Spain. The festival is considered the most important in the city of Alicante, but is celebrated in several other cities and towns across Spain. The festival consists of people gathering wood and other objects to burn on a bonfire, often sharing hot chocolates while teenagers jump over the small fires.

Before 1928 the bonfires of Saint John had been celebrated in Alicante as it had been elsewhere in Europe: by burning old pieces of furniture on the night of Saint John on June 24. The Bonfires festival was originated in 1928. Jose María Py felt that Alicante did not have an important fiesta, and adapted a Valencian festival known as the "fallas". The festival would ultimately become the most important cultural event in Alicantinian society. Bonfires are organised into commissions which fundraise and host the other events throughout the year. A member of a commission is called a foguerer. A commission usually represents one area, a place or an avenue in the city, but there are many areas with numerous commissions. (For example, Carolinas has five commissions: Carolinas Altas, Carolinas Bajas, Foguerer-Carolinas, Doctor Bergez-Carolinas and Bola de Oro.) In Alicante there are 86 commissions.

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A statue showing Christopher Columbus
Credit: Fotothing

A statue showing Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella, the statue was made in 1885.

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Antonio Gala

Antonio Gala (born 2 October 1936) is a Spanish poet, playwright, novelist and writer. Gala was born in Brazatortas, Ciudad Real (Castile-La Mancha), although he moved very soon to Córdoba and is widely considered an Andalusian. A graduate in law, philosophy, politics and economics, he has written in a wide variety of genres, including journalism, short stories, essays and television scripts. He has been awarded several prizes, not only within the field of poetry but also for his contributions to theatre and opera.

Gala's work has been more appreciated by his readership than by the critics, who find it hard to classify it due to its particular blend of lyricism and epic. Among his most successful plays are Los verdes campos del Edén (The Green Fields of Eden, National Theatre Prize "Calderón de la Barca" 1963), Anillos para una dama (Rings for a Lady, 1973), ¿Por qué corres, Ulises? (Why do you run, Ulysses?, 1975), Petra Regalada (1980), Samarkanda (1985), Carmen, Carmen (1988) and La truhana (The rogue, 1992). Among his collections of poetry are Sonetos de La Zubia (La Zubia Sonets), Poemas de amor (Love Poems), Testamento Andaluz (Andalusian Will) and Enemigo íntimo (Intimate Enemy, Adonais Prize 1959).

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In the news

  • 25 May 2018 – The opposition Workers' Party presents a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy following the publication of the sentence in the Gürtel corruption scandal, which involved the ruling PP. (El Mundo) (The Guardian)
  • 25 May 2018 – The Citizens party gives an ultimatum to Rajoy to call snap elections or otherwise they'll support the motion of no confidence. (La Vanguardia) (The New York Times)
  • 24 May 2018 – The National Audience of Spain issues a ruling in the Gürtel case, ending a 10-year trial that sentences 29 people to prison terms of up to 51 years. (El País) (BBC)
  • 24 May 2018 – The People's Party, the ruling party in the Government, is condemned as participant in a lucrative way directly. (El Mundo) (The Washington Post)
  • 24 May 2018 – The Court does not believe the statements as a witness that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy made on 26 July 2017, which could imply the fulfillment of a crime of false testimony. (El País)
  • 24 May 2018 – Around 30 people are arrested in an operation against corruption in the Provincial Deputation of Barcelona. (El Periódico)

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