The influence –and weakness– of Spain’s European policy in the face of the pandemic: from a diagnostic to proposals and recommendations - Elcano Royal Institute (2023)

Original version in Spanish:Influencia (y debilidad) de la política europea de España en tiempos de pandemia: del diagnóstico a las propuestas

Theme1

This paper analyses the position of Spain in the EU’s management of the present health and economic crisis.

Summary

The coronavirusrepresents a major challenge for the EU and its Member States, with Spain among the countries that will be hardest hit. The crisis has struck when the country is extremely fragile but also at a time when it aspires to play a proactive and leading role in Brussels. This paper provides an initial diagnostic of the political and economic position of Spain in the context of developments in the EU in March and April 2020. It also sets out ideas to minimise the many risks on the horizon and take advantage of the opportunities also created by the situation. It aims to help identify the supranational response most closely aligned with Spain’s national interest, taking into account a number of issues: how to address the management of the disease and the re-establishment of mobility at the European level; the crucial economic decisions for financing reconstruction (the European Stability Mechanism, coronabonds, perpetual debt and the European budget) and the specific allocation of funds (digital agenda, decarbonisation, inclusion and unemployment); the institutional and national alliances and narratives to support the measures; and the best way to connect this complex negotiation to domestic politics, given Spain’s young and polarised parliament and the risk of weakening pro-European sentiment.

Analysis

The coronavirus presents an enormous challenge for the European integration process. While all Member States are severely affected in health and economic terms, in some countries, including Spain, the effects of the disease and the consequences of confinement on employment or the outlook for the recovery and the sustainability of public finances are particularly severe. In light of the many risks, it is crucial to develop a negotiating strategy that takes these dangers into account, identifies pragmatic objectives and lives up to expectations ofa constructive relationship between Spain and the EU, both internally and at the European level.

A symmetric shock with asymmetric consequences

National health systems in almost all Member States, particularly in countries like Italy, Spain, France and the Benelux states, were unprepared for a pandemic of this scale. Hospitals have been placed under strain, there have been problems with medical supplies (largely outsourced to China), the lack of own technology has been thrown into sharp relief and we have seen instances where alert and crisis-management systems have failed. In these challenging circumstances, the EU’s role, which, in the area of health, is limited to providing support, has been marred by its slowness to react and lack of coordination,above all at the start of the crisis. Furthermore, the individual management of confinement or restrictions on mobility by Member States (applied by practically all countries) has affected the Schengen area, one of the most iconic aspects of European integration.

The economic challenge, this time an area in which the EU institutions have competence (the eurozone, the single market and the policy agenda until at least 2024), is equally daunting. In terms of Spain, while the country has shown some weakness in the area of health (due to the extremely high numbers of cases and deaths in both absolute and relative terms), its position is especially delicate as regards the impending recession. There are a number of reasons for this, including the role of tourism in the country’s economy, the high level of unemployment and lack of permanent jobs in the run-up to the crisis (which suggests a severe social impact), and the country’s high level of debt, which creates an obstacle to providing stimulus and makes European financial support vital.

The political consequences of this set of circumstances are also significant. The EU’s role in managing the health and economic dimensions of the crisis has been politicised in Spain, an aspect that is both positive, since it can be seen as a sign of maturity, and negative, since it shows the ever-fragile legitimacy of the integration process. The risk of reputational harm is a two-way street, threatening the image of the EU in certain countries (such as Italy and Spain) and these countries in the EU, should the idea that the pandemic has been particularly poorly managed or that the unsustainable fiscal policy in recent years has left countries limited room for manoeuvre take root. Yet the prevailing rhetoric is now more balanced than in 2010 and the reputations of countries such as the Netherlands, which runs the risk of being perceived as being recalcitrant in its response, is also now at stake. All this means that Spain is not on solid ground, given the distrust between creditor and debtor Member States. There is a further element of tension, since the crisis has a significant and direct impact on Italy, a founding State of the EU, its third-largest economy and whose public is wearying of the pro-EU consensus that has lasted since the 1990s.

(Video) Debate “How to fix the (global) economy post-COVID-19?”

Spanish interests in the area of health and mobility

As noted above, largely as a result of its powers, the EU has not played a significant role in the management of the pandemic itself. The Commission’s response was initially limited to pushing back against harmful national decisions to restrict exports of medical supplies between Member States, minimising the effect of restrictions of the free movement of people on the free movement of goods as much as possible and promoting research initiatives for a vaccine and cure for the disease. Nonetheless, the added value of a common response in terms of supplies (joint procurement of medical material in what is now a highly competitive market in which buyers’ economies of scale are important), the storage of stock and even production (facilitating standards to allow the repurposing of industrial production lines in Europe) has become clear.

Going forward, Spain must ensure the EU learns from this episode and is willing to apply the lessons in time for a second wave of COVID-19 in the autumn or to other pandemics in the future. This includes strengthening information systems and support for national health responses, building up strategic reserves of medical equipment, promoting the repatriation of some industries in this area on European soil and ensuring a more coherent reaction in the areas of security and the movement of people and goods. In the short term, however, it will be important to coordinate the exit strategies of the 27 Member States, even if this does not occur simultaneously. The existence of a European system of standardised certifications (immunity or, where applicable, a vaccine), which will make it possible to re-establish movement between countries for work or tourism, is essential to the Spanish model of production. The secure storage of sensitive data (for both the public and the authorities) and the associated requirement to develop EU digital apps and ‘clouds’ is another key aspect.

All these pan-European measures will have profound social and economic consequences for Spain in areas such as its national health system, science, innovation, industry and also the security system (eg, risks related to bioterrorism and critical infrastructure). The country must pay close attention to their design and remember that many EU decisions on industrial, scientific and technology policy in the wake of the crisis will have winners and losers (or, perhaps more accurately, some Member States will win more than others).

Spanish interests in the economic response

The economic policies adopted by the EUwill be important when it comes to reducingthe economic impact of the pandemicand taking advantage of the crisis as an opportunity to build a more integrated EU, with a more robust monetary union, which has always been among Spain’s key priorities. After some initial delay, the EU has managed to provide a reasonably satisfactory response in terms of monetary policy and has begun to outline its fiscal response.

The ECB has committed to thePandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP), which will see it buy as much public and corporate debt as necessary on the secondary market to prevent the recession evolving into a financial and debt crisis in countries with weaker fiscal positions due to higher risk premiums. It has even lifted the limits on the percentages of debt of each country it can hold on its balance sheet and the types of collateral it accepts in its financial liquidity programmes. In facing this crisis, the fact that States explicitly have a lender of last resort and that it has taken just a week to decide on measures that took two years during the Euro crisis of 2010-12, is highly positive. Had this not been the case, it would have been necessary to reconsider the mandate of the ECB. Indeed, this may still be required if other countries embark on large-scale monetary financing (direct purchase of public debt by central banks on the primary or secondary markets) and the eurozone does not. There is also the risk that, if the situation persists, institutions such as Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court, will challenge the legality of the programme. Similarly, the key to the success of PEPP (and any subsequent extensions) lies in investor expectations as other measures in the fiscal area are approved (otherwise, risk premiums could rise).

In terms of fiscal policy, it is necessary to distinguish between an initial urgent package and the design of a more ambitious recovery plan, currently being drawn up by the Commission under the mandate ofthe European Council of 23 April. The urgent decisions adopted bythe eurogroup on 9 Aprilcan be divided into three types of measures: (1) a new precautionary credit line for the ESM of €240 billion (up to 2% of the GDP of each country), which can be used to cover health costs derived from the pandemic, subject to limited conditionality that is still being negotiated; (2) a line of credit of €100 billion under the Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) programme to finance part of the salaries of workers who must remain in confinement; and (3) guarantees and other financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB), with €200 billion for European companies. This strong provisional agreement provides a package of coordinated measures, available from 1 June and may be of considerable economic and political use. Its adoption was enough to change the tone of the public in Member States of the south, who began to see the EU more as part of the solution and not the problem. However, it is important to note that this support is in the form of loans (not joint spending) and the majority of the fiscal burden will remain with the individual countries, meaning it is not fully satisfactory to highly indebted states.

Since the start of March, Spain, France and Italy, alongside Belgium, Slovenia, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg and Portugal, have been arguing for a response based on eurobonds, which would avoid increasing existing national debt and would not mean having to accept politically unacceptable conditionality (particularly relevant in the case of Italy). However, the idea of issuing shared sovereign debt, even as time-limited eurobonds or coronabonds, is equally unpalatable to Germany and the Netherlands, Madrid has been working hard to find common ground. On 19 April the Spanish government presented ‘Spain’s non-paper on a European recovery strategy’, outlining provisions to create a recovery fund of up to €1.5 trillion. The fund would not be financed by eurobonds but by perpetual debt issued by the Commission as part ofa revised Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)and the establishment of new European taxes. The money would be spent from 1 January 2021 onwards to address the economic impact of the coronavirus in each Member State. The idea has drawn praise from the international financial press and nobody denied its coherence in terms of clearly defining its objectives and how to achieve them. All in all, it was a good example of a proactive attitude, able to exert influence at the right moment in time.

Although the Spanish proposal was not endorsed at the European Council on 23 April, the Council tasked the Commission with drawing up a plan with a similar price tag in the first three weeks of May, which will include extremely long-term loans (a format more closely aligned with German interests than the zero-coupon perpetual bonds proposed by Spain) and increases to North-South transfers through the EU budgets. The decision has certain federalising potential, since funds from the plan will not be channelled through an intergovernmental organisation like the ESM but through the Commission itself, and the value of the MFF will increase from 1.2% of EU GDP to 2% (although not from direct contributions but from guarantees). The balance between transfers to the most-affected states and loans to the private sector, as well as the associated investment objectives and targets, have yet to be determined. There are also proposals for the fund to directly acquire stakes in the companies of Member States that need to be fully or partly nationalised, responding to the debate on the extent to which different countries can support businesses facing difficulties, due to their fiscal circumstances, now that limits on state aid have been temporarily lifted. If this initiative serves as a federalising impulse for the creation of ‘European champions’, it could be of interest. However, Spain must pay close attention to the small print to ensure its businesses receive sufficient funds and their headquarters do not end up transferred to other Member States.

Regardless of whether the Commission’s proposal is satisfactory to Spain and even though it will help make debt more sustainable and represents a strong starting point in political terms, it is important not to overestimate the potential of its impact on the management of the crisis in the aftermath of the pandemic. While the battle over eurobonds (or coronabonds) has not been won, both due to deeply-rooted legal objections and because the idea did not fully coincide with the interests of Spain, France and Italy, the ECB’s unconditional support and the prospect of permanently increasing the European budget represent significant progress.

Nonetheless, Spain must continue to insist that the European recovery plan does not allow the crisis to exacerbate divergences between countries and regions along a North-South divide and that it truly embodies the ideas of a ‘Europe that protects’ and a ‘social Europe’, side-lined over the last decade and increasingly demanded by its citizens. The country should aspire for the recovery fund to support the transformation of its economy, based on the principles of digitalisation, sustainability, inclusion and the fight against inequality. These objectives must also be supported by a major political consensus at the national level and ensuring Spain has projects ready in these areas to receive financing when funds become available.

The crisis also provides an opportunity to adopt a firmer stance against European tax-havens like the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg. If the ideal outcome of making fiscal decisions by qualified majority voting in the area of tax –which should be the aspiration of Spain and is expressly stated in its non-paper of 19 April– is not achieved, there should be the possibility of strengthened cooperation, excluding countries that fail to cooperate. On this issue, Germany sides with Spain, Italy and France, and Ireland is in debt due to the solidarity shown by the EU duringBrexit.

Spain must also position itself in the debate on the effects of the crisison action to address climate change. Alongside 12 other Member States, Spain explicitly supports the part of the economic stimulus for reconstruction being channelled through the European Green Deal. Member States opposed to quick progress on decarbonisation should not use the coronavirus as an excuse. Moreover, Mediterranean countries like Spain could benefit from and contribute to Europe’s climate neutrality in 2050. If there are Member States that do not believe in this strategy, they should renounce this stimulus. All Europeans would win through measures allowing Spain to capitalise on its potential for renewable energy in the medium term by strengthening its electricity links with France and the cooperation mechanisms for the exchange of renewable energy.

Another area where stimulus should be focused is the social sphere. The weakest members of society will be most affected by the economic fallout of the pandemic and recovery will require a rebuilding of the working class, which has been severely impacted by the Great Recession and the revolution heralded by new technology. This means forging a new European social contract with a fair generational component to ensure young people are not the worst affected, as was the case in 2008-13. Access to education (an area in which the EU does not have direct powers), both at the start of and throughout one’s working life, based on public–private cooperation is another area that should be studied. It is also time to temporarily trial a basic or minimum income (this need not necessarily be universal) at the European level, as well as temporary European unemployment insurance for job losses caused by the crisis. The SURE programme, mentioned above, is a step in the right direction, although it only covers people who are in employment. In general, regaining the idea of a ‘social Europe’ and linking it to the idea of European citizenship, which Spain helped develop, would be a positive outcome.

As a pro-European country, Spain must continue to encourage the debate on fiscal and political union, which will mean showing a willingness to trade sovereignty (in fiscal, labour and other public policy areas) for permanent joint European spending. It should be for other countries to pay the price if they do not wish to move forward with the required integration.

The political narrative

The result of the general election that took place in Spain in April 2019 initially appeared to favour the idea thatthe country could play a greater role in the new European political cycle. This objective would be achieved by taking advantage of a number of favourable circumstances: economic recovery, strong pro-European sentiment and the vacuum left by Brexit. However, a year further on, it is fair to say that this desire has not been fulfilled. While some progress has been made, with Spanish parties increasing their influence in the European Parliament, alongside the de-escalation ofthe Catalan conflictandthe appointment of a Spaniard to one of Europe’s top jobs, the long period without a stable government, the fragile coalition that was eventually formed and internal political polarisation in the country have shown Spain to be weaker than originally thought, significantly shrinking the window of opportunity. The coronavirus has reduced this space further. If Spain squanders this momentum, it will be the fifth time in 20 years that both internal and external desires to play a more proactive and influential role in the EU have failed to bear fruit. This was the case during the final years of the Aznar presidency (in the context of the Iraq conflict and the estrangement of the Franco-German axis). It was also the case with the two terms of Rodríguez Zapatero (due to the failure of the European Constitution and then the economic crisis). Finally, it was the case with Rajoy (whose ambitions were frustrated by the pro-independence movement). If a country promises five times to strengthen its leadership in Europe but fails to do so as a result of causes both within and beyond its control, its reputation is clearly tarnished.

However, it is not just about ensuring Spain’s objectives in Europe are not frustrated. The converse also holds: in the domestic arena, it is important to avoid resentment taking root among the public as a result of believing the solution to the pandemic, in terms of both health and the economy, is the responsibility of an EU that is unable to step up to the mark. If we can no longer benefit from the relative economic improvement, which so far has been an objective benefit for the country, damaging the clear pro-European sentiment that persists among the Spanish public would clearly be an act of self-harm.

Despite the challenges presented by the crisis, it also creates opportunities for Spanish interests, not least in terms of the country’s ability to exert its weight as the EU’s fourth Member State, both in institutional and economic terms and intellectually. Spain has ranked among the five most important countries (which make up 70% of GDP of the EU 27) in the debates in the eurogroup and the European Council, as well as in the press, the business sector and among experts. More assertive and with greater cohesion than a decade ago, as well as being more aligned with the Commission and with the benefit of certain sympathy from Germany and even the Netherlands, the South, which in contrast to 2010, now includes France, has achieved a more balanced negotiating position. Moreover, Madrid has also been able to avoid unnecessary open conflict with Berlin and the Hague while persisting on the issue of eurobonds. Moreover, it has restored communication with Rome, showing that if Spain is to occupy fourth place, its interests are not served by a weak partner in third (note, however, that this relationship must be handled with caution to avoid importing foreign and dangerous Eurosceptic debates). Other coalitions have also emerged, grouped around issues such as the rule of law and climate change, which have softened the North-South divide and allowed Spain to show its clear pro-European sentiment (notwithstanding that these alliances portend future turbulence along the East-West axis, which will also need to be managed).

Regardless, when it comes to the strategy and priorities of Spain’s action in the context of the EU response to the coronavirus, we must recall that the its European policy is about much more than the coordinated formulation and effective defence of the country’s positions in supranational decision-making. While this aspect is undeniably important, the relationship between Spain and the EU is politically much richer and more delicate. It also plays a fundamental domestic role by providing coherence and authority for the country’s programme of internal reforms to build a more competitive, innovative, sustainable, secure and internationalised country. In doing so, it provides a valuable example of consensus on the content of national policies implemented to achieve these objectives. The growing scarcity of such consensuses makes it all the more valuable, given the confrontational and ultimately polarised nature of Spanish democracy.

Any strategy for European policy in times of crisis must take into account the need to address these two aspects simultaneously. This means maximising influence (or minimising weakness) on the European agenda, while promoting the idea that this agenda is not foreign or imposed but is based on the joint leadership of a project that belongs to the country and is shared by the vast majority of the Spanish public.

Just like the sovereign debt crisis, the COVID-19 crisis shows that not all roads to integration are positive for Spain. The national position must be more clearly defined to proactively guide behaviour in Brussels. The care taken by Spain to emphasise avoiding a more unequal EU and a weakening of the single market (‘all rules and financing by the MFF should ensure that the cohesion and convergence objectives, as well as a level playing field for companies and states within the Single Market, are reinforced’) instead of grounding its ambitions in solidarity in its proposal for the recovery was a smart move. However, having identified how to embody the national interest in specific policies, the challenge, as was the case with the design of the cohesion funds in the 1990s, lies in being able to accommodate them in the larger EU agenda. Asthe COVID-19 crisishas shown once again, this means avoiding introspection and ensuring anticipation replaces Spain’s preference for a more reactive approach. It also requires effective communication with the Commission and the Parliament, intellectual complicity in the Brussels universe of ideas and political empathy from and towards countries more inclined to support states they believe to be willing to trade solidarity for stability and/or a genuine willingness to share sovereignty. This is precisely where the national interest lies, although there is no reason why it should fully coincide –and indeed it does not– with France, Italy or Portugal.

However, as well as being able to translate the national interest into a European context, Spain must also be able to translate the European interest into its national politics, allowing it to feed back into its national interest. In the 1980s and 1990s the economic requirements of the accession criteria, single market reform and convergence criteria all supported a modernisation agenda and openness that would otherwise have been undermined by internal cracks. In the context of the post-coronavirus reconstruction, a more integrated Europe, which pays serious attention to competitiveness, environmental sustainability, innovation, social protection and fiscal stability, can once again strengthen the steering capacity of a state seeking to renew its model of production and governance. There is no need to reject EU support in doing so with a debate that is too narrowly focused on conditionality (and, once again, alien to our political reality). Spain benefited from the ESM in 2012 in the recovery of part of its banking sector and the experience was neither humiliating nor negative. The crucial point is that any conditions for accessing more financing (whether through the budget, the ESM, the ECB or joint debt at some point in the future) are not imposed and do not go against the country’s definition of its national interests. Spain is a country with significant weaknesses in the areas of education, technology, employment, inequality, renewable energy and even institutional design. Many of these weaknesses were consistently and jointly identified with the Commission in successive European Semesters. It would be pointless to ignore the EU’s potential –as clearly demonstrated by the virtuous relationship between 1986 and 2001– to provide the incentives for the reforms required to make progress in these areas.

Conclusions

The coronavirus represents a major challenge for the EU and its Member States, with Spain among the countries likely to be hardest hit. The first and biggest strategic danger posed by the crisis threatens not only Spain but the integration process itself, since the crisis is simultaneously affecting its three most iconic achievements: the single market, the European monetary union andthe Schengen area. Spain’s membership of the EU is so important that it is often confused with the ambitions of the country itself, such that supporting the solidity of the process (whose resilience is not without limits) is itself a priority. However, we must remember that the EU has been forged in crises and there is also an opportunity to strengthen integration. The definition of Spain’s overall position in Brussels should weigh up both these aspects, with an ambitious pro-European attitude that accommodates the country’s national interests as part of the broader European context. This is true of both the health response (and the re-establishment of mobility) and the complex economic response. It should be translated into specific proposals formed alongside with the European political narrative taking shape in Brussels and other European capitals but also at home.

The task must be carried out simultaneously at both the supranational and internal levels. It is imperative for Spain’s EU position on the coronavirus to reflect a project with broad political and social support. This means strengthening communication between the government and the opposition at this critical juncture (taking advantage of the fact that the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, the People’s Party and Citizens are all part of the same coalition in the European Parliament). It is also the time to negotiate and present a major sociopolitical consensus on the same scale as the Moncloa Pacts of 1977, with the involvement of civil society (businesses and unions). However, the key issue is the public. The current widespread weakening of political legitimacy, the signs of a recession and the climate of internal polarisation (with radical parties) must not be allowed to tarnish the EU’s image in Spain. Recent weeks have shown that, despite the problems created by the crisis, the country can find space to make progress and find support for its interests. This room for manoeuvre is increased by playing a more proactive role in Europe and eschewing the politics of resentment.

Ignacio Molina
Senior Analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute |@_ignaciomolina

Federico Steinberg
Senior Analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute| @Steinbergf

1An early version of this paper was presented as an input paper at the virtual seminar‘COVID-19 and the influence of Spain in the EU’ on 20 April as part ofthe Spanish Influence Ecosystem project in Brussels. The authors would like to express their gratitude for the comments made by the event’s participants and the ideas debated with other Elcano Royal Institute analysts during the course of those weeks, particularly Félix Arteaga, Gonzalo Escribano, Enrique Feás, Lara Lázaro, Iliana Olivié, Andrés Ortega, Miguel Otero and Luis Simón.

Flags of Spain and the European Union. Photo: Arturo Rey (@arturorey)

FAQs

How was Spain affected by the pandemic? ›

Spain has been one of the countries most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the first confirmed case was reported on January 31, 2020, there have been over 405,000 cases and 28,000 deaths in Spain. The economic and social impact is without precedent.

How did the EU react to the pandemic? ›

The EU's response to the COVID-19 pandemic

The EU and its member states are working together to reinforce national healthcare systems and contain the spread of the virus. At the same time, the EU and its member countries are taking action to mitigate the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 and support the recovery.

What are the major problems in Spain? ›

Spain
  • Covid-19.
  • Migrants and Asylum Seekers.
  • Poverty and Inequality.
  • Right to Housing.
  • Gender-Based Violence.
  • Abortion.
  • Right to Education.
  • Disability Rights.

What are the strengths of Spain? ›

One of Spain's biggest strengths is its popularity as a European tourist destination. With rich culture, beautiful beaches, and a warm climate, Spain is an attractive tourist destination for travellers from all corners of the world.

How was Spain's economy affected by Covid? ›

Despite a sharp rebound in the third quarter, the Spanish economy remains 8.7 percent below its level a year ago—one of the largest contractions in Europe. The magnitude of the drop reflects the large-scale spreading of infections, which required strict lockdown measures.

What difficulties do we face in the pandemic period? ›

The enormous scale of the crisis and the impact it is having are naturally causing a lot of fear, uncertainty and anxiety across the globe. Add social isolation, disrupted work and family routines, cabin fever and economic instability, and it is understandable that our mental health is suffering.

What was major impact of the COVID-19 pandemic? ›

From school closures to devastated industries and millions of jobs lost – the social and economic costs of the pandemic are many and varied. Covid-19 is threatening to widen inequalities everywhere, undermine progress on global poverty and clean energy, and more.

How the economy has been affected due to pandemic? ›

The toll the COVID-19 pandemic has exacted on the global economy has been significant, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimating that global median GDP dropped by 3.9% from 2019 to 2020, making it the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

How do you cope with the effects of the pandemic? ›

Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations. While social distancing measures are in place, try connecting online, through social media, or by phone or mail.

What were the causes of Spain's downfall? ›

Many different factors, including the decentralized political nature of Spain, inefficient taxation, a succession of weak kings, power struggles in the Spanish court and a tendency to focus on the American colonies instead of Spain's domestic economy, all contributed to the decline of the Habsburg rule of Spain.

What are the most serious economic problems facing Spain? ›

These include low productivity, high structural unemployment, the fight against climate change, population ageing and inequality. These challenges should be addressed through a resolute agenda of structural reforms, underpinned by the use of the European funds.

What are the major problems in Spain 2022? ›

Spain's real GDP growth rate is set to slow during the latter stages of 2022 and 2023 because of the adverse effects on confidence from the prolonged Ukrainian conflict, an unprecedented squeeze on household budgets, persistent supply chain disruption, and lower COVID-19-related health spending.

When did Spain become weak? ›

Spain experienced its greatest territorial losses during the early 19th century, when its colonies in the Americas began fighting their wars of independence. By the year 1900 Spain had also lost its colonies in the Caribbean and Pacific, and it was left with only its African possessions.

What were the positive and negative effects of the colonization for Spain? ›

The changes were both negative and positive. Colonization helped the countries become unified under one language and religion. However, Spanish colonization had a negative impact by creating more poverty and discrimination toward the native people.

What made Spain successful? ›

Spain grew rich from the gold and silver it found after conquering native civilizations in Mexico and South America.

How is the economic situation in Spain? ›

October 2022. GDP growth in 2022 is revised upwards (4.4%) and the outlook deteriorates in 2023 (1.0%).

Is Spain still in economic crisis? ›

Spain's own Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility (Airef) has warned that the Spanish economy will enter a technical recession in the first quarter of 2023, largely because negative GDP in the fourth quarter of 2022 will extend into the first quarter of 2023.

What factors influence COVID-19? ›

Climate, air pollution, and the built environment have long been recognized to influence viral respiratory infections, and studies have established similar associations with COVID-19 outcomes. More limited evidence links chemical exposures to COVID-19.

How does this pandemic affect your thoughts and feelings? ›

Information overload, rumors and misinformation can make your life feel out of control and make it unclear what to do. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may experience stress, anxiety, fear, sadness and loneliness. And mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression, can worsen.

How do you deal with stress in a pandemic essay? ›

Many health centers provide or give access to online mental health services.
...
Interview With a Mental Health Professional
  1. Self-care, not school work, should be your No. 1 priority. ...
  2. Set healthy boundaries with your loved ones. ...
  3. Set boundaries with yourself. ...
  4. Create a happy workspace. ...
  5. Follow a daily routine.

How has life been affected by the pandemic? ›

In addition to having grave health consequences, the pandemic has also crushed our goals, upended our family dynamics and job roles and undermined out economic stability. As a result, the unprecedented global crisis caused by the pandemic has had a major impact on our mental health.

What are the two reasons why the early revolution against the Spanish failed? ›

Most of these revolts failed because the majority of the local population sided up with the well-armed colonial government, and to fight with Spanish as foot soldiers to put down the revolts.

What two problems helped to weaken the Spanish Empire? ›

What problem helped to weaken the spanish empire? The inflation or increase of taxes, spain exporting goods to other countries which made spain's enemies rich, and the dutch revolt weakened spain.

What caused tensions with Spain? ›

Newspapers in the U.S. printed sensationalized accounts of Spanish atrocities, fueling humanitarian concerns. The mysterious destruction of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana's harbour on February 15, 1898, led to a declaration of war against Spain two months later.

What challenges face Spain in the 21st century? ›

This includes state-sponsored terrorism, domestic extremism, religious extremism and violent secessionist movements. Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

What are the disadvantages of living in Spain? ›

The heat can be a huge drawback, because it's often so extreme that you can barely go outside during the hottest parts of the day (12-8pm), so you're limited to getting things done in the early morning or late at night.

What is Spain doing about poverty? ›

In March 2019, the Spanish government adopted a new “National Strategy to Prevent and Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion”. This Strategy includes measures aimed at improving the income guarantee system and combating child poverty. It has been assessed positively by non-governmental organisations.

What weakened Spain's economy? ›

The government in Spain, short of revenue for its expensive imperial projects, increased the fiscal burden and manipulated the coinage, triggering inflation and further damaging the Spanish economy.

Is Spain closed because of Covid? ›

Spain Permits Entry for Travellers From Third Countries With COVID-19 Recovery Certificates. Travellers from third countries who in the last 180 days have been infected from COVID-19, and have recovered from it, can now enter Spain.

Is there a lot of corruption in Spain? ›

In 2011 it was rated 30th least corrupt country in the world On Transparency International's 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, Spain scored 61 on a scale from 0 ("highly corrupt") to 100 ("highly clean").

How did Spain's economy become weak over time? ›

Although during Philip's reign Spain was at the height of its power and influence, its wealth was illusory and soon to fall into rapid decline. Philip's excessive expenditure had made the economic foundations of Spain very fragile. This was added to by other factors such as plagues, bad harvests and population growth.

What weakened the Spanish empire why did Spain lose power? ›

The cause of the decline of Spain? Horrific long-term inflation and hyperinflation caused by the New World silver pouring into the Spanish economy after 1530 or so. This one economic problem caused a cascade of events in Spain's economy that ultimately destroyed its prosperity and led to Spain's long-term decline.

How did Spain lose power in its empire in the Americas? ›

The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. As a result Spain lost its control over the remains of its overseas empire -- Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines Islands, Guam, and other islands.

What do you think is the negative effect of Spanish colonization in the Philippines? ›

Spanish colonization (1521-1896) led to the decline of pre- existing and often prosperous economic and political centers in the Philippines, due to lack of any real incentives for the “Indios” (e.g., see Mojares 1991).

What are the effects of the colonization of Spain in the Philippines? ›

Spanish conquest eventually wrought fundamental changes in the lives of the native population. The Spaniards introduced new customs and a new religion. They brought over new practices and institutions from their earlier colonial experiences in Latin America.

What are the disadvantages of Spanish colonization in the Philippines? ›

Two main ways that Spain was detrimental to Filipinos was by improper taxation and the friars and priests enforcing religion, language, and social norms.

What was Spain's main goal in the world? ›

Motivations for colonization: Spain's colonization goals were to extract gold and silver from the Americas, to stimulate the Spanish economy and make Spain a more powerful country. Spain also aimed to convert Native Americans to Christianity.

What is the reason why Spain colonized the Philippines? ›

Spain had three objectives in its policy toward the Philippines, its only colony in Asia: to acquire a share in the spice trade, to develop contacts with China and Japan in order to further Christian missionary efforts there, and to convert the Filipinos to Christianity.

What influenced Spain? ›

Spanish culture was influenced by the Celtics, the Phoenicians of the eastern Mediterranean, the Carthaginians and the Germanic tribe known as the Visigoths. But, it was the Romans, and later the Muslims from North Africa, who played the greatest role in shaping Spain's cultural future.

When did the pandemic hit Spain? ›

The COVID-19 pandemic in Spain has resulted in 13,614,807 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 116,108 deaths.
...
COVID-19 pandemic in Spain
Arrival date31 January 2020 (2 years, 10 months and 3 days)
Confirmed cases13,614,807
Hospitalized cases230,392 (total) 5,663 (in last 7 days)
Recovered150,376
10 more rows

When did the Covid pandemic start in Spain? ›

National universal surveillance of confirmed COVID-19 cases of any severity was implemented. Following the protocol, the first imported case in Spain was detected in La Gomera, in the Canary Islands, on 31 January, while the first case of locally acquired COVID-19 was confirmed on 26 February [5,6].

How did the Spanish flu affect Spain? ›

Health was appalling, and infant mortality rates were dramatic. Life expectancy was slightly more than 41 years. Spanish flu mortality rates were very high—among the highest in the developed world. The flu killed more than a quarter of a million people, about 1.25 per cent of Spanish population.

How strong is Spain's economy? ›

Economy of Spain
Statistics
GDP$1.389 trillion (nominal, 2022) $2.216 trillion (PPP, 2022)
GDP rank16th (nominal, 2022) 16th (PPP, 2022)
GDP growth2.4% (2018) 2.0% (2019) −11.3% (2020e) 5.1% (2021)4.3% (2022e) 1.2% (2023e)
GDP per capita$29,198 (nominal, 2022) $46,551 (PPP, 2022)
37 more rows

Is the Spanish economy in trouble? ›

Despite the strong recovery of the Spanish economy in the second half of 2021, GDP per WAP stood in the fourth quarter of 2021 still 4.6% below its level in 4Q2019.

Does Spain still have Covid restrictions? ›

Travel in Spain

Some public health measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 remain in force across Spain and may vary between regions. See Use of face masks and Public spaces and services for further information.

Is Spain still in lockdown? ›

There are currently no additional restrictions in Madrid. Just like in the rest of Spain, masks are only compulsory on public transport, in hospitals, nursing homes and chemists.

When did Covid become a pandemic? ›

The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, has declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic (1).

What was the economic impact of the Spanish flu pandemic? ›

During both the pandemics, the economies registered a fall in the per capita GDP. Maddison Project Database (2020), as depicted in Figure 3, suggests that during the influenza pandemic, per capita GDP fell from US$1111 in 1917 to US$968 in 1918. However, in the later years, the per capita GDP began to rise.

What was the Spanish flu How did that pandemic affect the world? ›

The Spanish flu was a pandemic — a new influenza A virus that spread easily and infected people throughout the world. Because the virus was new, very few people, if any, had some immunity to the disease. From 1918 to 1919, the Spanish flu infected an estimated 500 million people globally.

Why was Spain blamed for the Spanish flu? ›

The pandemic broke out near the end of World War I, when wartime censors suppressed bad news in the belligerent countries to maintain morale, but newspapers freely reported the outbreak in neutral Spain, creating a false impression of Spain as the epicenter and leading to the "Spanish flu" misnomer.

What is the COVID Protocol to enter Spain? ›

U.S. citizens can travel from the United States to Spain if they show that they are vaccinated against COVID-19, or have a recovery certificate , or show a negative diagnostic test result (NAAT or RAT) performed either within 72 hours prior to departure to Spain for a NAAT (e.g. PCR test) or within 24 hours prior to ...

Is there a third wave of COVID in Spain? ›

Abstract. A third wave of COVID-19 occurred after Christmas 2020 in Madrid, one of the European pandemic epicenters. We noticed 6 major differential features to previous waves. First, household contacts were a large proportion of cases.

What does Spain require for entry COVID? ›

Proof of recovery from COVID: Documentation issued by relevant government authorities or by a physician a minimum of 11 days after the initial positive result via NAAT or rapid antigen test.

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