Government of Spain
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Spain is a constitutional monarchy whose government is defined by the Constitution of Spain. This was approved by a general referendum of the people of Spain in 1978. The final interpretation of the Constitution, in the case of dispute, is the business of the Constitutional Court of Spain.
There are three main institutions known as the Cortes Generales, which are legally independent:
- The Congress of Deputies, a general assembly of representatives whose controlling faction forms an executive government and proposes legislative changes,
- The assembly of senators consider the wider implications and compatibility of proposed legislation,
- The judicial branch composed of a hierarchy of law courts which ensure that any proposed or imposed executive enforcement complies with Spanish and European law.
Head of State
- The Monarchy of Spain holds the constitutional head of state, which has no executive role, other than appointing officials, requiring reports of official activities and representing Spain at formal and ceremonial occasions. The king is also the commander in chief of the Spanish Armed Forces in which capacity he suppressed the 23-F Spanish coup d'état attempt in February 1981.
- The king, currently Felipe VI, has held this position since 19 June 2014. His predecessor, Juan Carlos I, abdicated the throne. This is a hereditary post. Daughters can inherit only if the monarch has no sons.
- The heir presumptive is Leonor, Princess of Asturias.
- The Military Chief of Staff (Jefe de Estado mayor) is General Admiral Fernando García Sánchez.
Heads of Government
- President of the Government, sometimes misleadingly called "the Spanish President", is the first minister and is elected by the Congress of Deputies. He is informally but internationally and commonly referred to as the "Prime Minister". The current holder is Mariano Rajoy Brey, who was elected on 21 December 2011. He appoints a number of vice-presidents ordered numerically according to rank and responsible for their respective major ministries such as Finance, Foreign affairs, Domestic administration, etc.
Presidents of the Governments of Spain since the Spanish transition to democracy
|President||Party||Term of office||Legislature|
|Adolfo Suárez||Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)||2 April 1979||26 February 1981||I|
|Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo||Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)||26 February 1981||2 de December 1982|
|Felipe González||Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)||2 de December 1982||5 May 1996||II, III, IV, V|
|José María Aznar||People's Party (PP)||5 May 1996||17 April 2004||VI, VII|
|José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero||Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)||17 April 2004||21 Deciember 2011||VIII, IX|
|Mariano Rajoy||People's Party (PP)||21 December 2011||20 December 2015||X|
|No majority party (Provisional government)||20 December 2015||Present||XI|
Shown here is the official logo of the Government of Spain. On the left are the EU and the Spanish flags; in the centre is the coat of arms of Spain and the words Gobierno de España (in English: "Government of Spain"); and on the right side is a representation of La Moncloa, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Spain, where press conferences are given and the Council of Ministers meets. Below it is a variant design for the Ministry of Finance.
- "El presidente Mariano Rajoy anuncia la composición del nuevo Gobierno de España". Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- (Spanish) Spanish cabinets from 1931 to 2004
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