Since Spain's accession to the European Community in 1986, the Spanish scientific and technological system has been incorporated into the European one, which also initiated a new phase with the establishment of the European Single Act in July, 1987. In the context, the Interministerial Committee of Science and Technology is responsible for the coordination and follow-up of Spain's participation in the international R+D programmes.
Maritime traffic is the most heavily used transportation system for import-export commercial operations to and from Spain.
Spain's IBERIA Airlines, which is state-operated, covers all air transport within Spain and from Spain to points abroad; its subsidiary, AVIACO, covers solely Spanish domestic routes. IBERIA provides 200 reservation outlets. There are also 4,000 sales outlets in authorised travel agencies.
The Railroad Network
The Spanish state-operated railway network consists of a total of 14,582 kilometres of tracks, covering the entire country. The state-run company RENFE (RED NACIONAL DE FERROCARRILES ESPANOLES) covers an ample number of domestic lines that connect all the regions on the Iberian Peninsula. Spanish trains, the most inexpensive in Europe, have two classes. RENFE has established a series of special prices and discounts that make traveling by rail in Spain much more convenient.
The National Highway Network
Roadways have been, together with maritime navigation, the oldest means of transportation in Spain. However, the present national highway system has been formed and developed this century in proportion to the increase in automobile traffic. Significant precedents can be found in the extensive Roman road network, the stone roadways made by the Arabs, much less developed, and the royal through fares, begun in the 18th century by the Bourbons. All of these networks have left their imprint on today's system.
The entirely of the Spanish road system has a total length of 325,333 km., of which 20,701 kms. are State roads, and 71,502 kms. Autonomous Communities' roads. The latter were really State roads until 1983 (national county and local roadways) when they were turned over to the Autonomous Communities. The rest of the network is made up of 64,660 kms. which are maintained by the Provincial and Island Councils, and 168,470 kms. belonging to the City Councils and different governmental agencies such as ICONA, the Ministry of Defence, Hydrographic Confederation, etc. The big lane highways (motorways with tolls, freeways and motorways) make up 5,103 kms.
The Spanish Postal and Telegraph Service has over 12,000 offices all over the country, including small villages, railway stations, ports and airports. They provide a wide range of modern and efficient services. The principal offices in Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao, as well as those located in the international airports, are open 24 hours a day. The services carried out by the Postal Service are of two fundamental types: those that are purely postal in nature such as those relating to different kinds of correspondence, and those that are known as postal banking services, dealing with money, such as postal and telegraphic money orders. In each office, there is a service called the "Postal List" where one can register to receive all types of correspondence, packages or money orders which, in turn, can be forwarded to hotels or any other address. Concerning Telegraph Services, most postal branch offices offer telegram, telex and telegraph services, for both national and international communications. It is aldo possible to find this type of service in large hotels.
NATIONAL R+D PROGRAMMES (1992-1995)
Life and Natural Resource Quality
* Food Technology
* Health and Pharmaceutics
* Agrarian Sciences
* Environment and Natural Resources
* Production and Materials
* Communication Technology
* Advances Technological Production
* Information and Communications Technologies
* Space Research
Programmes of: * Social, Economic and Cultural Studies
Horizontal and Special Programmes
* Professional Researcher Personnel Training
* Antartic Research
* High Energy Physics
* Information for Scientific and Technological Development Research
AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES PROGRAMMES
* Fine Chemistry ( Catalunya )
* Teacher Training and Improvement of Research Personnel (Ministry of Education and Science)
* Agrarian and Food R+D (Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food)
* General Furthering of Knowledge (Ministry of Education and Science)