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  • Population: 44.1 million (official figure, 2005)
  • Capital: Madrid
  • Area: 505,988 sq km (195,363 sq miles)
  • Major languages: Spanish (Castilian), Catalan, Gallego (Galician), Euskera (Basque)
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Life expectancy: 76 years (men), 83 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 Euro = 100 cents

Spain was one of the world’s last remaining fascist countries under General Franco who ruled until his death in 1977. Franco’s rule kept Spain in the dark ages of Europe and even kissing in public could get you in trouble with the police.
Now Spain receives more tourism than any other European country and its Costa del Sol holidays have turned some of the beaches into overdeveloped monstrosities beaches are almost uniformly lined with high rise holiday villas. Good fun to be had inland though.