In Spain, you can apply for Spanish citizenship after ten years’ of legal residency in the country through naturalisation. However, this requires taking two tests – the DELE A2 Spanish language test and the CCSE cultural test.
The Conocimientos Constitucionales y Socioculturales de España (CCSE) is a test to determine your knowledge of the Spanish Constitution and how much you know about Spanish culture, history, and society. It is a PASS or FAIL test in which you must answer 25 questions – in multiple-choice format – about Spanish Government, Law, and Citizenship (60% of the test) and about Spanish Culture, History, and Society (40%).
The Cervantes Institute provides a manual (in Spanish) to prepare for the CCSE test and we have used this document to create a special feature which we think might be of interest to people, regardless of whether or not they intend to apply for citizenship in Spain.
The manual is split into five parts and we will deal with each part in an individual manner.
Part 1 – Government, Legislation and Citizen Participation.
Part 2 – Fundamental Rights and Duties.
Part 3 – Territorial Organization of Spain. Geographical, Physical and Political.
Part 4 – Culture and History of Spain.
Part 5 – Spanish Society.
The fourth section is about the Spanish Society. We have highlighted certain information just as the Cervantes Institute has done which indicates that it is important to know. We have also kept a lot of organizations, government departments and other references in Spanish since the CCSE test will be taken in that language but have provided a translation where appropriate.
Part 5 – Spanish Society
Personal Information and Administrative Procedures
In Spain, people have a name, which can be simple or compound, and two surnames. Generally, the first is the father’s first surname and the second, the mother’s first surname, although the parents can decide another order.
Some important documents in Spain are:
- the Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI). It is mandatory for Spaniards over 14 years of age. It has an identification number with a letter at the end that also serves as the Número de Identificación Fiscal (NIF) of the holder.
- the Pasaporte. It is the official Spanish document to be able to travel to countries that do not belong to the European Union or that are not part of the Schengen area.
- the Libro de Familia. The ‘family book’ is the document that was obtained when having or adopting a child or when getting married. In it is the information of the parents and their children or only of the couple if they have no children; the procedures were carried out in the Registro Civil.
- the Registro Electrónico Individual . From May 1, 2021, it exists with the libro de familia, which it will eventually replace. It will record the birth, the legal age and the acquisition of the nationality of a person.
- the Certificado de Nacimiento. It is the document that shows when and where someone was born and is obtained from the Registro Civil (Ministerio de Justicia).
- the número de la Seguridad Social, which a person receives when they begin to work, thus contributing to the Seguridad Social. This number is obtained from the Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social.
- the Informe de Vida Laboral: the work life report. It is a document that shows the Seguridad Social contribution and the entire professional career (the companies in which they have worked and the dates and types of the contracts).
- the Tarjeta Sanitaria is the one that identifies a person who can be treated in the Spanish public health system. To request it, it is necessary to be registered in the place of residence, be affiliated with the Seguridad Social system and have aSeguridad Social number. Once all these documents have been obtained, it is requested at the Centros de Atención e Información de la Seguridad Social (CAISS) and the health centre nearest the home.
- the Carné o Permiso de Conducir is used to drive legally in Spain and can be obtained by those over 18. To obtain it, you must pass a theoretical and a practical exam, present a psychophysical aptitude report, a valid DNI or passport, and a photograph. The body responsible for examining and issuing the document is the DGT.
- the Certificaco de Empadronamiento shows the place of residence. To register, you must have an address (rental contract or property document) and present an original identity document (passport, foreigner identification card (TIE), etc. in the Municipal Register of the municipality where you live).
In official documents, the following information normally appears: name and surname; DNI (in the case of foreigners NIE —foreigner identity number— or passport); sex (male-H or female-M); domicile (address where a person lives, including street, house number, floor and door, postal code or ZIP code, town and province); place and date of birth; phone and email.
Foreigners who want to reside in Spain must carry out the necessary procedures to obtain the residence card (the NIE). In the event that they want to obtain Spanish nationality, they must carry out all the established procedures, and if the application is favourable, they would obtain the DNI.
The procedures for obtaining the different documents are carried out at:
- Ministerio de Justicia. In the Civil Registry, the registrations of newborns are processed and marriages are registered, as well as the procedures for obtaining nationality.
- Ministerio del Interior. In the police stations, the issue of DNI and passport is carried out in person.
- Consejerías de Sanidad (health departments) of the autonomous communities or Seguridad Social: the health card and the Seguridad Social number are obtained.
In Spain, marriages can be religious or civil. Registration as a de facto couple is an alternative for many citizens who do not want to get married.
Families can be single-parent, when there is only one person at the head of it, which can be the mother or the father; or large family, when a couple has three or more children.
In Spain, the marriage of two people of different or same sex is allowed.
Divorce is allowed in Spain. In case of divorce, child custody and financial responsibility are regulated.
The public authorities must ensure the social, economic and legal protection of the family, for which the following rights are recognized:
- work permits: maternity leave for the birth and care of the minor (16 weeks for the mother and 16 for the father), nursing leave, or the reduction of the working day for being in charge of minor children.
- tax aid for families: relief for children from the Declaración de la Renta and other national and regional aid.
In Spain there are different types of housing, depending on the place (urban area or rural area) and the economic situation of the people. The most popular type of residence is the flat in an apartment building. Another modality is the single-family home, chalet or house attached to other homes, with common services.
According to the latest statistics, around 78.2% of Spaniards own a home, of which it is estimated that 28.8% are paying a mortgage or bank loan to buy it. On the other hand, the percentage of Spaniards who rent their home is close to 14.3%.
There is also viviendas de protección oficial (social housing), which have a set price and are generally subsidized by the local or regional administration.
In the neighbourhood communities there exist basic rules of social behaviour, such as respect the rules of the community; pay community expenses; do not disturb the other neighbours with noise, especially after 10.00pm; take care of common spaces.
In Spain many people have pets at home, mostly dogs, cats and birds. Animals can be purchased or adopted.
Pet owners must register their pet – especially dogs – with the local town hall and put an electronic microchip on it, keep it healthy; vaccinate it and take it for check-ups; pick up any excrement of from public roads and gardens; respect the mandatory security measures on the street (leash, muzzle, etc.) and have it insured.
Food and Drink
The gastronomy of Spain is very rich and varied. The various regions of the country have their own typical dishes, the result of the cultural and climatic variety.
Spain has great chefs, among others, the Catalans Ferran Adrià, Carme Ruscalleda and the Hermanos Roca; the Basques Juan Mari Arzak, Pedro Subijana and Martín Berasategui, the Asturian José Andrés and the Madrileños David Muñoz and Paco Roncero.
Some of the best-known Spanish foods and drinks are paella (rice, chicken, shellfish, white beans, saffron…), tortilla de patata o tortilla española (eggs, potato, onion), churros (flour, water and oil ), gazpacho (tomato, cucumber, pepper, garlic…) and sangria (wine, fruit, soft drinks…).
Typical products include olive oil, various fruits and vegetables, seafood and fish, Iberian pork products (ham, loin, chorizo) as well as sweets such as nougat, marzipan, roscón de Reyes and torrijas and drinks such as wine, cava and cider, etc.
The best-known regions for their appellations of origin (D.O.) are:
- Vino: La Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Jerez
- Sidra: Principality of Asturias
- Cava: Catalonia, for cavas
- Aceite: Andalusia and Castilla-La Mancha
- Productos Ibéricos: Extremadura, Andalusia and Castilla y León.
The aperitif, which is taken in bars or restaurants before eating, is of great importance in Spanish gastronomy. It is called differently depending on size, presentation or origin: tapa, banderilla or pincho, portion…
Mealtimes in Spain are different depending on the day of the week and the customs of each family, but it could be said that desayuno (breakfast) is normally from 7.30am to 8.30am, comida (lunch) from 2.00pm to 3.30pm and cena (dinner) from 9.00pm to 10.00pm.
Calendar: Holidays and Hours
The School Calendar begins in September and ends in June. Each autonomous community decides the start and end dates of the classes.
The Work Calendar begins in January and ends in December of each year. National, regional and local, civil and religious festivals appear in it.
The main holidays in Spain are: January 1st (Año Nuevo); Viernes Santo; May 1st (Día del Trabajador); August 15th (Asunción de la Virgen); October 12th (Fiesta Nacional de España); November 1st (Todos los Santos); December 6th (Día de la Constitución española); December 8th (Inmaculada Concepción) and December 25th (Navidad).
Other national holidays that the autonomous communities can substitute for regional holidays are: January 6th (Día de Reyes); March 19th (San José); Jueves Santo; July 25th (Santiago Apóstol). In addition, each town can determine two additional official holiday days.
The most common vacation periods, which coincide with school holidays, are Christmas (from December 24 to January 6), Easter (around the end of March or the beginning of April), and summer (between the months of July and August)
Spain’s time is GMT/UTC + 1 hour in winter or + 2 hours in summer, except in the Canary Islands, which is one hour less. Hours may vary by establishment.
Educational centres normally have a schedule from 9.00am to 5.00pm from Monday to Friday; shops and establishments such as tobacconists and pharmacies open from Monday to Saturday and are open from around 10.00am to 8.00pm, with a break for lunch. These hours may vary in winter and summer.
Education is a citizen’s right; it is compulsory and free (except books and educational materials) from 6 to 16 years old, what is called educación básica española.
The Ley Orgánica para la Mejora Educativa (LOMCE) includes the right of parents and legal guardians to choose the type of education and the centre for their children, within the framework of constitutional principles.
It also regulates the organization and operation of the centres and promotes collaboration between the family and the school, for greater participation and responsibility of the students and parents in the operation of the centres.
Summary of the Spanish Educational System
Educación Infantil – It is not mandatory. It is divided into two cycles, the first from 0 to 3 years and the second from 3 to 6 years and the latter is free.
Educación Primaria – It is compulsory and free. It is the first compulsory stage from 6 to 12 years old.
Educación Secundaria Obligatoria – ESO: it is the second and last mandatory stage for 12 to 16 year olds.
Educación Secundaria No Obligatoria
- Bachillerato: It lasts two academic years, which are taken between 16 and 18 years old. This title allows access to the different teachings of higher education.
- Formación Profesional Básica (FP): it can be accessed between the ages of 15 and 17 if they have passed the first cycle of Compulsory Secondary Education (up to the third year).
- Formación Profesional de Grado Medio: to be able to access it is necessary the title of Graduated in Compulsory Secondary Education.
- Formación Profesional de Grado Superior: to be able to access it is necessary to have a Bachillerato degree, take a free test for people over 25 or from an Intermediate Grade. The title of superior technician is obtained and the training lasts two years.
- Enseñanza Universitaria: To access, in addition to the Baccalaureate degree, the passing of an evaluation test for access to the University (EvAU) is required. University studies are divided into 3 cycles:
– Grado: general training oriented to the exercise of professional activities. The Degree is obtained, consists of at least 240 credits and lasts about 4 years
– Máster: advanced training aimed at academic or professional specialization. The Master’s Degree consists of between 60 and 120 credits, depending on whether it lasts 1 or 2 years.
– Doctorado: advanced training in research techniques. The title of Doctor is obtained after passing a period of training and research as well as after the preparation and presentation of the doctoral thesis.
- Special system education: Artistic, sports and language education.
– Enseñanzas Artísticas: music, dance, dramatic art, design or visual arts in elementary, middle or higher grade training cycles.
– Enseñanzas Deportivas: organized in intermediate and higher level training cycles, respectively receiving the title of Sports Technician or Higher Sports Technician in the corresponding sports speciality.
– Enseñanzade Idiomas en Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas: (EOI): they are organized into three levels corresponding to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and to access it is a requirement to be 16 years old.
There are different types of centres:
- centros públicos: lay centres, financed and managed by public authorities. They have limited places and to access them you have to meet a series of requirements (for example, proximity to the home). The centre’s students, parents and teachers participate in its control and management;
- centros concertados: private centres, most of them religious, receive aid from the Public Administration in basic education. They have freedom of management although the Government establishes a limit of students per class, dates, admissions, etc.;
- centros privados: private educational centres financed exclusively by the parents of the students. They have complete freedom of management and a certain freedom of curriculum, within the limits of the regulations.
The types of educational centres that we find are:
- guarderías: for children under 3 years old, based on a playful project, and physical and social development;
- escuelas infantiles: based on an educational project;
- colegios públicos o privados: which may have primary and secondary education, and in some cases also high school;
- institutos de educación secundaria: All compulsory secondary education between the ages of 12 and 16 and the baccalaureate (non-compulsory secondary education) are offered, as well as vocational training courses and other compensatory education programmes. They are also usually the centers where the official language schools (EOI) are located;
- centros de educación de adultos: to provide people over 18 years of age with the possibility of completing (obtaining the Título de Graduado en Educación Secundaria Obligatoria), update or expand their training; Likewise, those over 25 years of age have the option of accessing the University after passing a special test;
- universidades públicas y privadas.
The Spanish educational system grants scholarships both for the different stages or types of education (nursery; primary and secondary; high school; vocational training; artistic and sports education; languages; religious and military studies; to study at the University), as well as to help in schooling expenses (for example, educational support; purchase of textbooks and teaching materials; school canteen service or school transportation).
The Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional (MEFP) offers a service to request the homologation or validation of non-university qualifications obtained abroad.
Other services are:
- bibliotecas: free access and where you can consult or borrow books; with video library, computer room, Wi-Fi connection, study area, etc.
- museos: offer virtual or guided tours, workshops, etc.
- centros culturales públicos: they offer virtual or guided tours, workshops, etc.
The Sistema Nacional de Salud is the set of health services offered by the public authorities of Spain. The powers of health are of the Central Administration, through the Ministerio de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar Social, and the autonomous communities. The Ministerio de Sanidad proposes and executes the Government’s policy in matters of health, planning and health care and consumption, to ensure citizens the right to health protection.
The health facilities are:
- centro de salud: for primary health care where doctors, paediatricians, nurses and non-health professionals provide their services;
- centro especializado: where different health professionals care for patients with certain pathologies or of a certain age group or with common features;
- hospital: for the clinical admission of a patient or specialized assistance, especially surgery.
Spain also have urgencias (A&E) provided by hospitals, as well as asistencia médica domiciliaria (home health care) if the patient needs it.
To access the health system you need a tarjeta sanitaria. Citizens can also apply for the tarjeta sanitaria europea (European Health Card) which is valid for two years. Each citizen is assigned a doctor (family doctor) to whom an appointment must be made. The card is also necessary to access medical prescriptions or specialist doctors.
The training and prevention campaigns stand out, as well as the financing of some medicines according to age.
Spain stands out for the high degree of organ donation. The Organización Nacional de Trasplantes received the Premio Príncipe de Asturias in 2010.
Social services and aid programs and Security
The Ministerio de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar Social oversees issues related to social integration, the family, the protection of minors and care for dependent or disabled people and equality, as well as fighting against discrimination and gender violence.
Through Seguridad Social, the State offers aid such as pensions for widows, orphans or permanent incapacity for work; For their part, the different autonomous communities, together with the Ministerio de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar Social, offers aid for the family, children, youth or those over 65 years of age (reduction in the price of prescription drugs in the Sistema Público de Salud; in the price of public transport, shows and museums, etc., as well as special conditions on trips promoted by IMSERSO).
There are non-governmental organizations, such as Cáritas, the Cruz Roja, and the Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (AECC) that offer social, economic or health care of great importance.
The Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles (ONCE) collaborates in the care and defense of the rights of people with different types of disabilities and was awarded the Premio Príncipe de Asturias de la Concordia in 2013 for its international work.
The Observatorio Estatal de la Discapacidad (OED), created by the Ministerio de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar Social, is at the service of public authorities, universities and the service sector, to improve the situation in Spain of people with any type of disability.
The different autonomous communities and the central administration are responsible for civil protection and emergency care in Spain, in addition to the State Security Forces and Corps.
The 112 telephone number is free and offers help to citizens in the event of any type of emergency (health, fire, rescue or public safety) in the European Union.
In Spain, the 112 call centres depend on the autonomous communities, according to the Dirección General de Protección Civil y Emergencias.
Media and Information
The media have an important social function (cultural and political), which is changing due to the greater presence on the Internet and social networks.
In television, there are the following operators with national broadcast:
- Public channels: RTVE Corporation (Spanish Radio Television): La 1 (generalist), La 2 (cultural), Clan (children), 24 hours (news) and Teledeporte (sports).
- Private channels: Atresmedia (Antena 3, Neox, Nova, Atres Series, La Sexta, Mega); Mediaset España (Telecinco, FDF, Boing, Cuatro, Divinity, E. Energy, Be Mad); Net Television (Disney Channel, Paramount Channel); I watch TV (DMax); ADSL (IPTV) and fiber optic television platforms (Movistar TV, Orange TV and Jazzbox); regional cable platforms (Euskaltel — R — TeleCable), and one with a practically national reach, Ono. Thematic channels are also offered (such as FOX, Canal Cocina or Canal+ 1).
- Regional public television channels: Canal Sur (Andalusia), ETB Euskal Telebista (Basque Country), Telemadrid (Community of Madrid), TV3 Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals (Catalonia), TVG Galician Radio Television Company, etc.
In the written media:
- National: ABC, El Mundo, El País, La Razón, La Vanguardia;
- Regional: El Correo, La Voz de Galicia, El Periódico de Catalunya;
- Sports: AS, Marca, Mundo Deportivo;
- Business: Cinco Días, Expansíon, etc.
Radio has a great presence in Spain. The public channel is Radio Nacional, and among the private ones with the largest audience are COPE, Onda Cero, Punto Radio and Cadena SER.
More and more Spaniards carry out procedures through the Internet, for example, requesting prior appointments for health care, paying bills, dealing with banks, electronic commerce, etc.
The legal system of units of measurement is the Sistema Internacional de Unidades (SI) of the Conferencia General de Pesas y Medidas (CGPM) existing in the European Union.
The main magnitudes of measures that comprise the SI are:
- Length: metre (m)
- Mass: kilogram (KG)
- Time / Duration: second (s)
Non-SI units whose use is accepted by the SI and which are authorized:
- Time: minute (min) / hour (h) / day (d)
- Area: hectare (h)
- Volume: litre (L, l)
- Weight: tonne / metric ton (t)
Here are some examples of expressing measures:
- Un cuarto … Un cuarto de litro (250ml) Un cuarto de kilo (250g)
- Medio … Medeo litro (500ml) Medio kilo (500g)
- Tres cuartos … Tres cuartos de litro (750ml) Tres cuatros de kilo (750g)
On the other hand, there are differences in the measurement system for clothing (sizes) and footwear (number).
Most shops are open from 10.00am to 2.00pm and from 5.00pm to 8.00pm from Monday to Saturday, although in summer they can be extended. Many shopping centres are open from 10.00am to 10.00pm every day.
Article 51 of the Spanish Constitution guarantees the safety, health and economic interests of consumers and users through effective procedures.
In the regulations of the shops there are measures related to the labeling (expiration date, price before and after the sales), to the information that is given to the consumer about the product (banking products, insurance, private labels), to the product warranty (two years for new products), or the conditions of exchange, repair or return.
On the one hand, the Agencia Española de Consumo, Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición protects consumers and users and, on the other, the Consejo de Consumidores y Usuarios (constituted in November 1991) defends the interests of consumers and users and makes decisions related with consumer policy.
Services and Public Spaces
The public spaces that offer services to citizens are:
- farmacias: where prescription drugs are sold, some with financial assistance from the Public Administration and have established minimum hours and an on-call service to serve citizens 24 hours a day;
- correos: place where postal deliveries are made;
- estancos: establishment where stamps and tobacco are sold;
- quioscos: a place where newspapers, magazines, collectibles, etc. are sold.
In cities there are zonas de recreo y de descanso, such as parks, gardens or sports facilities. In these places of leisure activities, in the open air, there are some rules:
- Respect other people, representatives of order (public and private) and street furniture.
- Respect the written rules of the establishment or public thoroughfare in which one is.
- Respect the opening and closing hours of the facilities.
- Do not consume drinks or food, if it is not allowed.
- Do not smoke in front of a hospital or educational centre.
- Do not step on the grass of the squares, nor pick flowers.
- Take care that pet owners comply with the rules in public areas.
- Collaborate with security agents, if necessary.
It is necessary to be careful in natural parks and protected areas to avoid fires.
Urban and Intercity Transport in Spain
In Spain there is an extensive network of roads, toll motorways and motorways, which run throughout the country. The road network can be state, regional or local.
In recent years there have been fewer fatal accidents on the roads, thanks to:
- control de velocidad (kilometres/hour), specifically, the limit on highways or motorways is 120 km/h, on conventional roads it is 90 km/h and within the city it is 50 km/h;
- uso de medidas de seguridad in the car such as the mandatory use of seat belts for all occupants and regulations on the use of baby seats;
- and control de alcoholemia (limit of 0.5 g/l in blood) and other substances.
Vehicle owners must fulfil a series of obligations, such as registering the car and registering it; have up-to-date car insurance; make the necessary revisions (Inspección Técnica de Vehículos, ITV); pay annual taxes; do not let people without a license drive the car; have a valid license; respect traffic regulations and not have lost all the points on the license (in this case the driving license is withdrawn).
Regarding urban transport, Spain has a good combined system of public transport (metro, bus, tram, taxi), which is completed with the train network (commuter, medium and long distance).
Taxis can be of various colours, fares can vary from area to area and can be hailed at taxi stands or on the road if they have a green light on or a ‘free’ sign.
RENFE (Red Nacional de Ferrocarriles Españoles) was the national train company until 2004 when it was divided into two new entities: ADIF (in charge of the Spanish railway infrastructure) and Renfe Operadora (in charge of the publicly owned railways).
The AVE, ALVIA and ALARIS trains are the main exponents of the high-speed network.
Main rules of behaviour in public transport:
- Respect the line of people waiting.
- Respect other people, the representatives of order (public and private) and the assets of the service.
- Respect the established rules (among them, those that refer to the transport of luggage in each means).
- Do not talk to the driver, except in an emergency.
- Let out before entering.
- No smoking.
- Give the seat to the elderly, people with reduced mobility or pregnant women.
- Do not remain in the corridors during the trip on buses and trains, or in places of passage, nor remain in the access doors of the transport.
- On a bus, it is recommended to carry just enough money for the ticket.
- When seats are numbered, occupy the seat assigned on the ticket.
- Collaborate with security agents, if necessary.
In Spain there are 48 public airports, of which 7 are international.
Cities that stand out for their transport networks:
- First cities with a metro system: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao and Alicante.
- Most important airports: Madrid (Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas), Barcelona (Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat), Palma de Mallorca (Son Sant Joan) and Málaga (Pablo Picasso).
- Most important ports: Algeciras, Barcelona, Las Palmas, Bilbao, Valencia and Vigo.
Economy and Work
Spain’s economy, in absolute terms, occupies the fifth position in the European Union, and is number 13 in the world.
In relative terms (purchasing power), the IMF estimates that Spain is in position 16 in 2021. The currency of Spain is, since 2002, the euro.
Some characteristics of the Spanish economy:
- In the first place is the tertiary sector or service sector, in second place is the secondary sector (industry and construction) and in third place is the primary sector (agriculture, fishing and livestock).
- The GDP per capita in Spain is below the EU average (in the EU the GDP per capita is €29,766 and in Spain it is €23,690). The communities with the highest index per inhabitant are the Community of Madrid, the Autonomous Community of Navarra and Catalonia; and with a lower index they are found in Melilla, Andalusia and Extremadura.
- The Spanish labour market is characterized by a high unemployment rate (15.98% according to INE data in July 2021) as well as a high rate of temporary contracts.
- Spanish companies stand out in activities related to infrastructures and telecommunications; the railway, financial and textile sectors; and tourism.
- Regarding tourism, the Government puts the number of international tourists who visited Spain in 2019 at 83.7 million. According to the 2017 report of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), Spain is the third country in the world in number of foreign tourists. The tourism sector is an important engine in the increase of new jobs. The public company Paradores de Turismo de España, S.A. is a hotel chain that contributes to territorial integration, recovery and maintenance of the historical-artistic heritage of Spain and the preservation and enjoyment of natural spaces.
- Spain imports oil and derivatives; automobile components; textiles and clothing, etc.; and exports automobiles; fruits and vegetables; wine, oil, footwear; medications etc. These transactions are carried out mainly with countries of the European Union.
- Spain has an important position in innovation, with significant developments in renewable energy, biotechnology, the pharmaceutical sector, transport and small and medium technology industries.
- Some of the most important economic institutions in Spain are the Banco de España, the Stock Exchange (the IBEX 35), the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX), the Economic and Social Council of Spain (CES) or the Spanish Social Security .
Three Spanish brands are among the hundred most valuable in the world: Movistar, Grupo Santander and Inditex.
The minimum age to work in Spain is 16 years. People can be classified as:
- employed (people who have a job),
- inactive (people not included in any of the previous concepts);
- and retirees (people over 65 who have retired).
Employees who work in the state, regional or local administration may be civil servants or public employees.
In labour legislation, the Código Laboral, Seguridad Social and the Estatuto de los Trabajadores stand out. Collective agreements are the agreements that are signed between the company and the workers’ representatives (unions) on working conditions. There is a Comisión Consultiva Nacional de Convenios Colectivos (CCNCC), in which the Administración General del Estado, the Organizaciones Sindicales and the most important Asociaciones Empresariales are represented.
Regarding fiscal or tax payment policy, in Spain the following are distinguished:
- impuestos directos are applied on the possession of assets and the obtaining of income, such as personal income tax (IRPF), Non-Resident Income Tax (Impuesto sobre la Renta de no Residentes) or Corporation Tax (Impuesto de Sociedades).
- impuestos indirectos are applied to consumption or by acts of transmission such as VAT (IVA) or Special Taxes (Impuestos Especiales) on alcohol and alcoholic beverages, hydrocarbons, tobacco and the registration of means of transport. Annually, individuals and companies must make the income statement to pay taxes to the State.