SPAIN'S economic miracle could reach its summit this year as the once poor man of Europe bids to join the G8, the world's elite club of wealthy nations. Spain could oust Canada from the group and rightly claim its position as one of the leading nations of the world. It's a fantastic achievement in such a short space of time for Spain, which was isolated internationally for so long during the Franco regime which ended just 30 years ago. But Spain's new found wealth will come at a cost. The amount of European Union money it receives will fall dramatically over the next five years and Prime Minister Zapatero will be under greater pressure to spend Spain's new found wealth on countries in Eastern Europe. Spain is an economic miracle and it is proof that the European Union can work. This year could be a crunch time for Spain as it takes up its new powerhouse position. Prime Minister Zapatero has already been widely criticised in the Spanish media for giving away too much of the country's European Union aid. Also, tourism is still one of its key sources of revenue and as a result of its new position costs have risen substantially and it is now almost on a par with Northern Europe. While the European miracle will bring great prosperity there are a series of landmines which Spain must avoid if it is to continue with its fantastic growth rate.
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