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Popular destinations SPAIN

AndalusiaCataloniaCosta blanca
Costa bravaCosta del solEl hierro
FormenteraFuerteventuraGran canaria
IbizaLa gomeraLa palma


State structure

The head of state of Spain, the "Rey de España", is the King of Spain. The king is inviolable and the responsibilities lie with the prime minister and his cabinet. Nevertheless, the king can exercise great influence through his powers. He ratifies and enacts laws; he convenes the Houses of Parliament, dissolves them and organizes elections and referendums. He is also commander in chief of the armed forces and appoints and dismisses ministers.

Cortes SpainCortes SpainPhoto: Ben Bender CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

The government consists of the Prime Minister or Presidente del Gobierno, possibly vice-presidents and ministers. The Prime Minister can be compared to the British Prime Minister and the German Chancellor.

The parliament consists of two chambers: the Lower House or Congreso de los Diputados with 350 members and the Senate or Senado with 254 members. Each province may delegate two members to the Congreso, except Ceuta and Melilla. The other members are elected per province and the size of the population is decisive in terms of the number of members that are delegated. For the Senado, the 47 mainland provinces each elect four senators. Mallorca can choose three. The Senate represents the population of the provinces as a whole, regardless of their size. This system is on the nomination to be abolished.

For the current political situation of Spain see chapter history.

Administrative division.

Ibiza has five municipalitiesIbiza has five municipalitiesPhoto: Joan M. Borràs CC 2.5 Generic no changes made

Ibiza, together with Formentera, forms an autonomous region, one of the Comunidades Autónomas, with its own government and parliament (Spanish: Consells). Each Autónomia has a varying package of powers that is laid down in an Estatuto de Autonomía. Each Autonomía has a regional parliament (Asamblea Legislativa), a regional government (Consejo de Gobierno), a regional president (Presidente del Consejo) and a regional supreme court (Tribunal Superior de Justicia). The regional parliament consists of one chamber from which the regional prime minister is elected.

Spain is divided into 50 provinces, with the main provincial body being the Diputacíon Provincial, the Provincial Council. It contains between 25 and 51 members or diputados. These are elected by municipal councilors. The diputados again elect a daily board, the Comisíon de Gobierno.

In 1998 there were 8 097 municipalities or municipios in Spain. In municipalities between 250 and 100,000 inhabitants, the municipal council or Ayuntamiento has between 5 and 25 members. An Ayuntamiento consists of a mayor or Alcalde, one or more deputy mayors or Tenientes de Alcalde and councilors or Consejales.

There are still many municipalities with fewer than 100 inhabitants. Of all municipalities, 86% has less than 500 inhabitants. Ibiza has five municipalities.


Logo of universitat de les illes balears, IbizaLogo of universitat de les illes balears, IbizaPhoto: Rotger CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

The education system in Spain has been changing dramatically since 1990. Primary education already works with the new system. Pre-primary education (Jardin de Infancia and Escuela de Párvulos) consists of a three-year and a six-year system that is not compulsory.

Primary education from 6 to 12 years old (Educación Primaria) is compulsory and free. This phase in education consists of three cycles of two years each. This is followed by compulsory secondary education (Educación Secundaria Obligatoria) from 12 to 16 years old. After this, compulsory education ends. The ESO has two cycles of two years, after which one receives a certificate with which one can, among other things, go to vocational training.

After compulsory education, students can continue studying for the Bachillerato, which gives access to the university.

Secondary vocational education (Formación Profesional Grado Medio) is not much appreciated in Spain. It will take an average of about two years and train directly for professions.

Higher professional education (Formación Profesional Grado Superior) and the university (Universidad) form the final part of the education system. Spain currently has 62 state universities and some twenty private universities. The University of Salamanca dates back to 1218, making it one of the oldest universities in the world.

The Balearic Islands also have a university, the Universitat de les Illes Balears, with an annex in Ibiza. A special feature is the Morna International College, whose study program is based on English education and teaches in English. The children learn Spanish from the age of three and German from the age of five. Most of the teachers and educators have studied in England.


Mallorca & Ibiza, Menorca & Formentera
APA Publications

Mischke, R. / Ibiza, Formentera
Het Spectrum

Rokebrand, R. / Reishandboek Ibiza en Formentera

Sale, R. / Ibiza & Formentera

Schmid, N. / Ibiza, Formentera

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info