Señor Ruiz‐Morales emphasized at the outset the diversity of the economy of Spain. Not only was Spain cut off from the rest of the European continent by the Pyrenees, but land communications between one region of Spain and another were greatly handicapped by the mountainous nature of the country. The centres of both industrial and agricultural activity lay along the coastal belt, from Bilbao in the north to Barcelona in the south. In the centre was the meseta, the high plateau, dominated by Madrid. In the case of agriculture it was important to distinguish between the land distribution of the south (on the latifundia system) and the very small holdings (minifundia) of the north. Crop growing was concentrated in the valleys and the semi‐tropical climate of the south enabled Spain to export citrus fruits. Most of Spain's mines had been worked for a long time and were nearly exhausted. The country's deficiency was in two vital sources of power—coal and oil. Hydro‐power was, however, being utilized in the Pyrenees (for the Barcelona industrial region) and where the Douro and the Tagus dropped into Portugal. In the early ‘thirties Spain had a considerable gold reserve, but this had been lost to Russia, for the gold had been sent to that country at the time of the Spanish Civil War. Foreign aid was providing an important incentive to economic progress.
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