Spain history of colonization, military dictatorship and trade isolationism have all shaped the contemporary business environment today. But 30 years after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, Spain finally seems to be shrugging off some of the trappings of that time. Values such as loyalty and solidarity, so strong during the Franco dictatorship, are giving way to stronger awareness of human rights, tolerance, and individual freedom.
Some 80% of Spaniards profess to be Roman Catholic but many are secular and there is a wide gap between stated belief and actual lifestyle. The church, too, is becoming more separate. New laws have made gay marriage legal, divorce both much easier and faster and separated the church from involvement in state education. There has been a crackdown on domestic violence in what has traditionally been thought of as a macho culture. Even bullfighting, the very heart of the machismo Spanish psyche, has been banned in Barcelona.
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