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Country Descriptions: Spain is a highly developed and stable democracy with a modern economy.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: A passport is necessary but a visa is not required for tourist or business stays of up to three months. For further information concerning entry requirements for Spain, travelers may contact the Embassy of Spain at 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20037 tel.: (202) 728-2330, or the nearest Spanish consulate in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, or San Juan.

Medical Facilities: Good medical care is available. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Travelers have found that supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage has proven to be useful. Further information on health matters can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline on (404) 332-4559 or visit the CDC home page on the Internet at

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Spain has a very low, but rising, rate of violent crime. Nevertheless, minor crimes such as pickpocketing, robbery, and theft from cars are frequent, and are often directed against unwary tourists. Thieves often attempt to distract their victims by squirting mustard on their clothing, asking for directions on the street, or otherwise diverting attention from an accomplice. Thefts of small items like radios, luggage, cameras, briefcases, and even cigarettes from parked cars are a common problem. The American Embassy in Madrid has issued a notice to U.S. citizens stating that it frequently receives reports of roadside thieves posing as "good Samaritans" to persons experiencing car and tire problems. The thieves typically attempt to divert the driver's attention by pointing out a mechanical problem and then steal items from the vehicle while the driver is looking elsewhere. The problem is particularly acute with vehicles rented at Madrid's Barajas airport. The Embassy notice advises drivers to be extremely cautious about accepting help from anyone other than a uniformed Spanish police officer or Civil Guard. Travelers who accept unofficial assistance are advised to protect their valuables by keeping them in sight or locking them in the vehicle. Bags or other articles left unattended in Spain are likely to disappear.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad" for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. It is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. In Spain, penalties for possession, use, or dealing in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Terrorist Activities: The ETA Basque terrorist organization remains active in Spain. A smaller Marxist group, Grapo, has been inactive recently. ETA efforts have historically been directed against police, military, and other Spanish government targets. Americans have not specifically been targets of these attacks. In summer 1996, several small, homemade bombs exploded in areas frequented by tourists, including a bus station, regional airport, water amusement park and tourist hotels. In most cases, the size and location of the bombs indicate that they were not meant to cause serious injury, but rather to frighten the throngs of summer tourists visiting Spanish monuments and resorts. However, in one incident, several tourists were injured. These anti-tourist attacks have occurred every summer for the past several years.

Registration and Embassy Location: The U.S. Embassy in Madrid is located at Serrano 75; telephone (34) (1) 577-4000. U.S. citizens who register in the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate listed below may obtain updated information on travel and security within Spain. There is a U.S. Consulate in Barcelona, at Paseo Reina Elisenda 23-25, telephone (34) (3) 280-2227. The Consulate in Bilbao closed in early 1996.

There are also Consular Agencies in these locations:

Malaga, at Centro Comercial "Las Rampas", Fase 2, Planta 1, Locales 12-G-7 and 12-G-8, Fuengirola, telephone (34) (952) 474-891, hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.;

La Coruna, at Canton Grande 16-17, telephone (34) (981) 213-233, hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.;

Las Palmas, at Edificio Arca, Calle Los Martinez de Escobar 3, Oficina 7, telephone (34) (928) 222-552, hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.;

Palma de Mallorca, Ave. Jaime III, 26 Entresuelo, 2-H-1 (97), telephone (34) (971) 725-051, hours 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.;

Seville, at Paseo de Las Delicias 7, telephone (34) (954) 231-885, hours 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m.;

Valencia, at Cl. de La Paz 6-5, Local 5, telephone (34) (96)-351-6973, hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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