Translation of Lectura 1, "Una introducción a España"

Spain is a European country. The capital of Spain is Madrid. Other important cities are Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, and Seville.

Barcelona is the industrial and literary capital of Spain. Valencia is the capital of the former kingdom of Valencia. Bilbao is the center of the Basque country.

In Spain there are strong regional tensions. Many Catalans and Basques are separatists.

Spain is a monarchy. The monarch is the king Juan Carlos I. Spanish Catholics are monarchical. The President is a right-winter, José María Aznar. In Spain at present there is a lot of unemployment and unease. The political climate is unstable.

Spain is a country preoccupied with its history. There are many happy elements, and other sad ones, in the history of Spain. Also, Spain is a country of a historical polarization. The oscillations between opposing points of view are causes of some literary and artistic glories, but also of the destruction of classical Spanish culture, a series of civil wars, and emigration. Nevertheless, there is hope of a peaceful resolution of the present conflicts. En 1992 there are commemorations of the fifth centenary of Colón's trip to the New World.