One of the great challenges facing the Spanish economic system in the 1980s was to adapt to the pressures and demands of integration. Accession to the European Union offered improved opportunities for expansion, profitability and greater investment possibilities. However, actually realising these opportunities would depend on making fundamental changes at several levels — the individual firm, the sectoral level and the policy level — in order not merely to survive the more intense competitive pressures within the enlarged market, but also to be in a position to exploit the potential offered by integration. It was clear that modernisation of the economic system was the first point of departure in adapting to the greater competition associated with membership of the European Community, and this required not only changes to the structure of industries and firms but a complete reorientation of attitudes and expectations among the economic actors and the government, both long accustomed to protectionism and interventionism.
KeywordsForeign Direct Investment Monetary Union Revealed Comparative Advantage Spanish Economy Merger Activity
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