The Institute of Economy and Peace revealed that Spain has fallen ten places, to number 30 out of 163 countries, because of its internal tensions, including Catalonian crisis.
This comes as the Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, has said he will stand down as head of the conservative Popular Party after he was ousted as prime minister last week.
Mr Rajoy was voted out in a no-confidence motion in parliament filed by the Socialists – this happened in the wake of a corruption scandal.
The president of the institute, the Australian businessman and philanthropist Steve Killelea, said that “it is the first time in the history of the index that a western country experiences one of the five greatest deteriorations of peace”.
The index has revealed Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world and Syria has the highest level of conflict.
After Iceland, which has ranked first since 2008, the most peaceful countries are New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark, and the least peaceful, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia, and finally, Syria.
The country which has made the most incredible improvements in its level of peace is Gambia, in sub-Saharan Africa, which climbs 35 positions, to number 76.
According to the index, 61 per cent of European countries have suffered a decrease in their level of peace due to “greater political instability, an increase in the impact of terrorism and an increase in the perception of crime”.
The Middle East and North Africa continue to be the most unstable regions in the world.
In the report, the Australian institute indicates that the economic impact of violence was $14.7billion in 2017, more than in the previous year and equivalent to 12.4 percent of the world gross product, or $1,998 per person.
According to Killelea, the fact violence increases globally despite the fact that it has a high economic cost is due to the fact that “many politicians ignore what conditions create peace, many of which also generate economic growth”.
GPI analysis comprises 99.7 percent of the world population, uses 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators and measures the level of peace based on three categories: the level of security in society, the extent of national and international conflicts and the degree of militarisation.
The index has revealed a world in which tensions, conflicts and crisis that have emerged remain unresolved, which have resulted in a fall of peacefulness.
— With assistance by Laura Mowat