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Spain
Lying on the southern periphery of Europe, Spain gives the Union its specific features in the shape of its historical relations with Latin America and the Arab world. Indeed in 711 the Barbarian kingdoms that form present day Spain came under Muslim domination. Progressively the Christians took these territories back, unifying them in the 15th century under the Catholic kings. After a period of colonial and cultural expansion there then followed a period of decline. In 1939 after three years of civil war, Franco established a dictatorship. On his death in 1975 Spain recovered democracy and joined the European Community in 1985. It then benefited from the economic support of the Union, joined the Single Market but the “economic miracle” did not withstand the collapse of the real estate bubble.
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