12.3. Elements of the financial system
Spain's financial system has undergone major changes since 1975 and until the country's accession to the EU, when it adapted to the conditions of the European Union.
Central Bank. The leading role in the financial system of Spain is played by the Bank of Spain (Banko de Espana) - the central bank of the country. Prior to the reform, a similar role was played by the Institute de Official (ICO), which supervised state-owned banking institutions, each specialized in financial transactions in selected industries such as industry, shipbuilding, agriculture, etc.
The second level of the banking system - are commercial banks, most of which began to form in the second half of the 1970s. They began to rapidly strengthen, many of them became joint-stock companies, specializing in different industries and services. In the early 1990s. in Spain, a banking crisis broke out, the consequences of which were the concentration of banks; At the same time, their influence on the economy and ties with industry groups of the economy increased. The Banking Law adopted by the Cortes provided for the prohibition of direct participation in industry by private banks in accordance with the Second European Directive (Directive 89/646), which sets limits on these types of banking activities.
The largest Spanish bank is Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo - this bank is one of the three largest bikes in Spain and has more than 800 offices throughout Spain. As a result of the merger of the second and third largest savings banks in Spain, Caja Madrid and Caja de Ahorros de Valencia, Castellon, Alicante (Bancaja) created the largest Sberbank of the country, and the merger process was in accordance with the model approved by the Bank of Spain. Cooperativas de Credito is a private banking organization that was originally created to promote the country's regional development. There are about 40 such banking organizations in Spain, many of them found themselves in a critical situation in 2008-2009, they received large financial assistance from the government. But in general, the banking system of Spain is not particularly developed, and companies are largely focused on cooperation with banks from other EU countries.
It should be noted that the global crisis of 2008-2010. for Spain it was difficult, and it can not be said that the crisis for this country is over. There has been no significant growth of the economy, unemployment remains at the level of 13-15%, the budget deficit has increased, finances are in an upset state. The situation is aggravated by the fact that the tourism sector of the economy is in a state of depression, and this sector has been a key element of Spain's rapid economic development in recent decades.
12.5. International economic relations
After the end of World War II, Spain, unlike other countries in Western Europe, did not become a party to the active process of liberalizing foreign trade. This situation, conditioned by the political regime of Franco, persisted until the late 1950s.
It is interesting that the Economic Stabilization Plan, adopted in 1959 under the conditions of the current Franco regime, gave impetus to a certain, albeit somewhat slow, development of not only the economy but foreign trade ties. But they were very modest, reflecting the weakness of the country's economic potential and its isolation from the outside world. Back in the late 1970s. Spain stood far away from the integration process in Europe.
The situation began to change rapidly since the early 1980s, especially after Spain became a member of the EEC. The integration of Spain into the European Union was the result of many changes in the country's politics. Under the pressure of the European Union, Spain had to change the main features of fiscal and tariff policy. This led to a reduction in restrictions, which adversely affected the production and competitiveness of the country in some industries, such as steel and shipbuilding. The most important event that had a big impact on the country's foreign trade was the introduction of the Common Tariff System (OTC) with countries outside the European Union and the process of eliminating tariff barriers for the member countries of the Union, which was due to WTO rules. At the end of 1992, according to the signed EU Accord, Spain became a full member of the EU countries' tariff union
In terms of the structure of Spanish foreign trade, more than 75% of the country's total imports and 70% of its exports come from goods supplied from EU countries and countries that have preferential agreements with the Union; this allows Spain to carry out foreign trade, free from high tariffs. Moreover, tariff barriers for the remaining 25% of imports have become less significant, given that prior to joining the Union they exceeded the European standards by almost three times. In general, integration has led to significant liberalization of the Spanish economy. The first significant results appeared already at the end of the reform in foreign trade in the form of a significant increase in imports: during the period from 1986 to 1990, the volume of imports grew by an average of 17.5% annually. In the 1990's. The growth rate stabilized at a lower level (6.4% from 1990 to 1999), while the volume of exports increased continuously (10.8% in the period 1986-1990). In 2001-2004, The volume of imports increased annually by 7%, exports - by 3.7%. At the same time, 72% of the total trade turnover of Spain falls on the European Union countries, mainly France, Germany, Great Britain, Benelux; a significant place in its trade is occupied by the countries of North Africa and Latin America. Economic ties between Spain and Russia are generally insignificant, they are based primarily on the growing flow of Russian tourists and the purchase of real estate in Spain.
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