Transition to Democracy
When Franco died, in 1975, democracy was restored, under the symbolic monarchy of King Juan Carlos II. Spanish government was decentralised and Andalucia became an Autonomous Region in 1982, with its own regional administration, the Junta de Andalucia (Assembly of Andalucia).
After Franco's death, Spain, as an active member of the European Union, experienced a dramatic improvement in the standard of living. The poverty of the Andalucian countryside was largely eliminated and its people regained their pride in local culture, which flourishes alongside the benefits of improved roads, modern healthcare and high-tech infrastructures. Of course, the romantic image of Andalucia - fairytale palaces, flamenco-singing gypsies, brave bullfighters, shady tree-lined squares and flower-filled balconies - is still very much part of the region's timeless appeal.
The Expo 92 in Seville marked a turning point in Andalucia's fortunes, with the region finally being brought up-to-date, and communications with the rest of Spain dramatically improved. Transport links within Andalucia became immeasurably better thanks to the first motorways, as well as a new modern airport and train station in the city, and the high-speed AVE train linking the south (Seville and Cordoba initially, later Malaga) with Madrid.