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Spain is a country in southwest Europe, just to the south of France and occupying most of the Iberian Peninsula. The country was under the dictatorial rule of General Franco for 36 years until 1975, after which it became a democratic state with King Juan Carlos as head. 
A 1992 Philip Morris (PM) document created by PM's public relations company Burson Marsteller, shows that PM used the same tactics in Spain as they did in the USA to try and reverse the declining social acceptability of smoking. Similarities include the creation of a smoker-front group to engage in activities like distributing printed brochures and participating in TV news events, that would give the appearance of pro-smoking public sentiment. The group was to be subsidized by Philip Morris and based on a similar PM-created American fake grassroots organization, the National Smokers Alliance, which PM used to create the appearance of widespread pro-smoking public sentiment in the U.S. in the early 1990s. The document also reflects PM's strategy to paint public health advocates as irrational, out of control, and possessing of a certain type of bizarre and formulaic personality. A PM poll (the one quoted in this document is from 1989) says that 73% of Spanish citizens said they would prefer that government regulate where smoking can and cannot occur. There is also a statement that communications about the fake grass-roots smoker group not take place under the PM name.
B-M's objectives for pro-tobacco industry PR work in Spain include crafting pro-smoking messages that resonate particularly well with Spaniards. The document also states,
- Create a body of opinion which makes government authorities very wary of smoking restrictions (short term -- 2 yrs)
- Create a social climate where smoking is securely anchored within society despite the health concerns. (long term --5 yrs)
Same sex marriage in Spain
On June 30th, 2005, Spain passed a law that legalized same sex marriages in its country; the third nation in the European Union to allow same sex marriages (first was the Netherlands, then Belgium). The vote within the Congress of Deputies won with 187 votes to 147 votes, with 4 members not voting. This law is also giving couples the right to adopt children, but only Spanish children, so as to avoid legal problems with other nations. The Zapatero stated "We are expanding the opportunities for happiness of our neighbors, our colleagues, our friends and our relatives". The Catholic Church, which has been losing power since Franco died in 1975, opposed the law saying that the Spanish government is going against not only the church, but also against the ideas of matrimony. The church also says that raising a child in a same-sex household will effect the growth of the child. However, spokeswoman for Christian Association of Gays and Lesbians said "thousands of children live with homosexual parents and numerous studies had shows that they were no different to children brought up in heterosexual homes". The church is encouraging people of the faith to go against the law and not officiate these marriages. On July 11th, 2005, the Spanish government officiated the first same sex marriage in its nation.
- Broadcasting in Spain has witnessed a spectacular expansion in recent years with the emergence of new commercial operators and the launch of digital services. Home-produced dramas, "reality" shows and long-running "telenovelas" are staple fare on primetime TV.
- In spite of the proliferation of print and broadcast media, and their diverse political stances, concerns have been raised about political influence in the media, and particularly in public broadcasting.
- Spain, National Geographic, accessed January 2008.
- Country profile: Spain, BBC, accessed January 2008.
- Burson-Marsteller Social Accpetability Program Recommendations for Spain Report. 17 pp. January, 1992. Bates No. 2500120653/0669
- Jennifer Green, Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com, July 1, 2005.
- BBC news, http://news.bbc.co.uk, June 30, 2005.
See also for more information about EU same sex unions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_the_Netherlands
- Timeline: Spain BBC, accessed January 2008.