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Spain and France

While the Soviet Union appeared to most Spaniards to be too far away to pose any immediate threat, Spain's most difficult relations in the postwar years were with its European neighbor to the north, France. Spain's relations with France had been troublesome since 1945, when France called for an Allied invasion of Spain to remove the last fascist dictator. When the United States and Britain refused to agree to such a course of action, France permitted anti-Franco forces to use France as a base for organizing raids into Spain. When some of these infiltrators were apprehended and executed in Spain in 1946, the Allies declared that Spain would be forbidden to join the UN while under the control of Franco. France was also the major obstacle to Spain's entry into the EC. Responding to the pressures of a strong agricultural lobby, the French government succeeded in delaying Spanish membership in the EC (see Spain and the European Community , this ch.).

French policies also exacerbated Spain's most volatile domestic political problem, that of Basque terrorism. For years, France maintained a policy of providing sanctuary to terrorists, who were seen as "resistance fighters." This policy became less tenable, however, after the democratization of Spain. Following the appearance of terrorist activity within France itself, the policy of sanctuary was markedly restricted, and by 1986 France was cooperating with Spain in efforts to combat terrorist activity (see Threats to Internal Security , ch. 5).

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Two highly readable works dealing with political and social developments in the new democratic Spain are John Hooper's The Spaniards: A Portrait of the New Spain and Robert Graham's Spain: A Nation Comes of Age. A selection of papers delivered at a conference conducted by the West European Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars deals with the dominant issues facing Spain as the country consolidates its democratic system. Titled Spain in the 1980s (edited by Robert P. Clark and Michael H. Haltzel), it includes insightful articles by leading Spanish political figures as well as papers prepared by American and British experts on Spain.

A thorough and lucidly written examination of the provisions contained in the Spanish Constitution can be found in the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly in an article by George E. Glos. Updates and elaborations of laws pertaining to the Spanish governmental system are available in Spain: A Guide to Political and Economic Institutions, by Peter J. Donaghy and Michael T. Newton. This book provides the most comprehensive treatment of Spain's major political and economic institutions and the first in-depth study of local and regional institutions to be published in English.

The rapid evolution of Spanish politics after Franco is depicted in Democratic Politics in Spain, edited by David S. Bell. Richard Gunther, Giacomo Sani, and Goldie Shabad provide a comprehensive description of the development of political parties and the political orientations of the electorate in Spain After Franco: The Making of a Competitive Party System. How these parties fared is the topic of the insightful Spain at the Polls, 1977, 1979, and 1982: A Study of the National Elections, edited by Howard R. Penniman and Eusebio M. Mujal-Leon. Group political participation, as manifested in the interest groups that influenced Spain's political development, is emphasized in Politics and Change in Spain, edited by Thomas D. Lancaster and Gary Prevost.

An excellent background for the study of Spanish foreign relations may be found in James W. Cortada's Spain in the Twentieth-Century World. Although somewhat dated, it covers the major thrust of Spain's foreign policy both before and after Franco. Spain: Studies in Political Security, edited by Joyce Lasky Shub and Raymond Carr, also provides a useful analysis of Spain's foreign policy goals. For a study of Spain's relations with the Latin American countries, see Howard J. Wiarda's The Iberian-Latin American Connection: Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)

Data as of December 1988

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Spain Table of Contents