Kingdom of Spain
CAPITAL : Madrid
FLAG : The national flag, adopted in 1785, consists of three horizontal stripes: a yellow one—equal in size to the other two combined—between two red ones, with the coat of arms on the yellow stripe.
ANTHEM : Marcha Real Granadera (March of the Royal Grenadier).
MONETARY UNIT : The peseta was replaced by the euro as official currency as of 2002. The euro is divided into 100 cents. There are coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents and 1 euro and 2 euros. There are notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros. As of May 2003, €1 = $1.0977 (or $1 = €0.911).
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; St. Joseph's Day, 19 March; Epiphany, 31 March; Day of St. Joseph the Artisan, 1 May; St. James's Day, 25 July; Assumption, 15 August; National Day and Hispanic Day, 12 October; All Saints' Day, 1 November; Immaculate Conception, 8 December; Christmas, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Corpus Christi.
TIME : 1 PM = noon GMT.
Spain, a member of the European Union and the World Trade Organization, adheres to EU and GATT trading rules. Spain determines customs duties based on cost, insurance, and freight (CIF), and applies the EU Common External Tariff to non-EU imports. Most customs costs amount to 20-30% of CIF, including tariffs, value-added tax (16%), and customs agent and handling fees.
A housing boom beginning around 1998-2001 saw the creation of over two million new houses with about 600,000 new houses built in 2000. In 2000, about 20% to 25% of the housing market was attributed to those building second homes/vacation homes. Preliminary results from the 2001 census indicate a total of over 14 million dwelling units nationwide.
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