A Brief History of Spain

Into the New Millenium

2003 - International Brigade recognition. The Spanish Government recognized the endeavours of all members of the International Brigades and the sacrifices made in their efforts to defend the Republic. The Government decreed all members of the Brigade to be Honorary Citizens of Spain

2003 Valencia was chosen to host the 2007 America's Cup. This will be the first European venue since 1851 for sailings oldest tournament. Valencia, on Spain's eastern coast, was chosen for its tourism infrastructure and because steady summer breezes guarantee start times for the 32nd edition of the race. It is the first time the event has been held off mainland Europe in its 152-year history because none of the European challengers had won hosting rights until this year's stunning triumph by a Swiss boat. The 2007 race is expected to broaden the appeal of the race yet further after being dominated by American and Australasian vessels for so long.
Valencia, Spain's third largest city, is surrounded by some of the most popular holiday resorts in Europe and the prospect of drawing huge crowds for what has often been seen as an elitist sport clearly weighed heavily in the selection. www.americas-cup-valencia.co.uk

2004 March 11th The Madrid Train Bombing and the Emergence of Al Qaeda. This atrocious act of terror killed 190 people and injured over 1600 and, many say regrettably, changed the course of Spanish politics.

2004 April 5th Spanish National Election. Sr José María Aznar’s Conservative party lost the election in a disastrously controversial election greatly influenced at the last minute by the monstrous terrorist bomb attack in Madrid. Initially everyone, including the Government and the media, blamed the Basque separatist movement. This statement was then refuted by the opposition party and heralded as a political ruse in an effort to influence the election.
On its past handling of the country’s economy, the Conservative party should have won but due to this terrorism and the plethora of misinformation, the Conservative Party lost the election. Much controversy still lingers over whether or not this bomb outrage was partly supported by the Basque militants.

The new Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, leader of Spain's centre-left PSOE says his party is the first democratic government to have a 50/50 per cent composition of men and women in its Cabinet and has appointed Senora María Teresa Fernández de la Vega as his Government’s Deputy Prime Minister.

2004 April 18th Spanish Prime Minister, José Zapatero ordered Spanish troops to withdraw from Iraq.

2005 Senora María Teresa Fernández, the new deputy Prime Minister, sstated that she is a strong advocate of the country’s new law allowing embryonic stem cell research, stating that it is "pure common sense" because she considers it is unethical to place obstacles or difficulties in the way of scientists who are using their talents and knowledge to improve our capacity to fight disease. Also, that stem-cell research is one of the most promising fields in the search for treatments for diseases which currently have no cure such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
Andalucía is one of the Spanish regions with the most advanced capacity to perform stem-cell research and is in cooperation with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Comment Having lived here for the past four years I would say Spain has become an excellent democracy and a wonderful place to live.

[Practical Hints
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