Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture

By Eamonn Rodgers; Valerie Rodgers | Go to book overview

has been slow, barely reflecting the enormous decline in labour from the agricultural sector in the twentieth century. Programmes designed to improve the size structure of holdings through the consolidation of farms and dispersed plots of land have been in operation since the early 1950s and are now supported by the Common Agricultural Policy. The aims and scope of these programmes have varied from the limited rearrangement of properties to wholesale rural development. Most progress has been made in the grain lands of the central plateau (the Meseta), but even here consolidation has frequently left farms too small to support a family. There is some evidence that apart from intensive farming (where the number of farms has been increasing), the number of small holdings is declining, but the process is slow. While people have moved to towns, families have been reluctant to sever their rural roots, modest rural homes being transformed into modern second homes with accompanying land.


Further reading

g
Guedes, M. (1981) ‘Recent Agricultural Land Policy in Spain’, Oxford Agrarian Studies, 10: 26-43.

n
Naylon, J. (1959) ‘Land Consolidation in Spain’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 49: 361-73.
——(1961) ‘Progress in Land Consolidation in Spain’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 51: 335-8.

O
O’Flannagan, P. (1980) ‘Agrarian Structures in North Western Iberia. Responses and their Implications for Development’, Geoforum 2, 157-69 (on the problems of small farms and the process of consolidation in Galicia).
——(1982) ‘Land Reform and Rural Modernization in Spain: a Galician Perspective’, Erdkunde, 36: 48-53 (on the problems of small farms and the process of consolidation in Galicia).

KEITH SALMON


mining

Spain possesses a rich and diverse variety of mineral resources that have supported mining and quarrying activities throughout the country, embracing sources of energy (coal, oil, gas and uranium), metallic minerals (copper, iron, lead, mercury, pyrites, tin, wolfram, zinc, silver and gold), non-metallic minerals (including potash and salt), and quarry products (such as limestone, sand and gravel, granite, marble and slate).

In the last quarter of the twentieth century coal and metallic mineral mining were in decline, a process slowed by government subsidies, direct government intervention and the remnants of protectionism. Weak prices, shifting patterns of demand, liberalization of markets and increased international competition, rising production costs, low-grade deposits, exhaustion of deposits and more stringent environmental regulations, combined to reduce these activities to a fraction of their former size. A recovery in mineral prices, new prospecting techniques and production technologies may enable output of some of these minerals to recover but there is unlikely to be any increase in employment. Quarry products, on the other hand, continue to respond to the cyclical pattern of demand in the construction industry.

Apart from problems endemic to mining itself, domestic markets for many minerals have shrunk. In some cases raw material processing industries have closed or raw materials have been displaced by new production technologies (for example in iron and steel). The liberalization of other markets, such as electricity generation, metal manufacturing, heavy chemicals and fertilizers, has enabled manufacturers to buy raw materials more cheaply on the open market. The consequent decline of raw material production has left the country dependent on imports, especially of energy and metals. In the mid-1990s there was a trade deficit in energy, metallic and non-metallic minerals, with a surplus only on quarry products.

Energy products have represented the largest component of the mining industry by value of output, while quarry products account for the majority of mineral workings. Within the energy sector, coal and lignite account for most of the value of output and employment. In metallic minerals, zinc and precious metals (gold and silver) are the principal products followed by iron and mercury. Almost all lead, copper, pyrites and tin production had ceased in the mid 1990s. Of non-

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Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction x
  • Acknowledgments xii
  • Structure xiii
  • Architecture xiv
  • A 1
  • Further Reading 7
  • Further Reading 11
  • Further Reading 29
  • Further Reading 37
  • Further Reading 41
  • B 44
  • Further Reading 47
  • Further Reading 65
  • C 70
  • Further Reading 81
  • Further Reading 93
  • Further Reading 100
  • Further Reading 113
  • Further Reading 128
  • D 135
  • Further Reading 136
  • Further Reading 140
  • E 152
  • Further Reading 155
  • Further Reading 166
  • Further Reading 171
  • F 173
  • Further Reading 185
  • Further Reading 206
  • G 213
  • Further Reading 227
  • Further Reading 229
  • Further Reading 231
  • Further Reading 242
  • H 245
  • I 261
  • Further Reading 266
  • J 276
  • Further Reading 280
  • K 283
  • L 285
  • Further Reading 292
  • M 313
  • Further Reading 332
  • Further Reading 335
  • N 359
  • Further Reading 362
  • Further Reading 365
  • O 376
  • P 384
  • Further Reading 429
  • Q 430
  • R 433
  • Further Reading 435
  • Further Reading 436
  • Further Reading 439
  • Further Reading 443
  • References 452
  • S 464
  • Further Reading 471
  • Further Reading 475
  • T 502
  • Further Reading 508
  • Further Reading 509
  • U 526
  • Further Reading 536
  • V 537
  • Further Reading 538
  • Further Reading 539
  • Further Reading 544
  • W 545
  • X 550
  • Y 552
  • Further Reading 553
  • Z 554
  • Index 557
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