Politician and Spanish engineer, Secretary general of the PP (1989-1999), first Vice President of the Government (1996-2000) and Minister of public works in the second Cabinet of José María Aznar, born in Madrid on October 1, 1947.
He studied engineering of roads, canals and ports in the Superior technical school of Madrid. In 1976 he/she joined the Democratic Reform Party, founded by Manuel Fraga, who a few months later joined Popular Alliance.
Attended the general elections of March 1, 1979 with the number two on the list of democratic coalition (CD) to the Congress by Asturias, but it did not get the seat. Shortly after, on April 3 of that year, it was also presented in the local elections, and was elected Councillor of the municipality of Gijón. On behalf of this local Corporation was a member of the Provincial Council, where he/she chaired the Committee of tourism and sport until the expiry of this institution in 1982.
In addition, from the end of 1978, date in which the autonomic Regional Council headed by the Socialist Rafael Luis Fernández, was one year was responsible for the portfolio of trade, tourism, and fishing for the Regional Council, which promoted the creation of the promotion of tourism and the Regional Center for aquatic research (CRINAS).
In the general election of October 28, 1982 he/she was elected Senator for Asturias. A year later, in regional and local elections of May 8, 1983, he/she was elected Deputy and renewed its member from Gijón Municipal Council position, so worked in both assemblies as a spokesman for his group. In addition, he/she combined these political tasks with the Senate, where he/she was Secretary general Deputy of the parliamentary group and member of the committees on Budgets and industry and energy.
In terms of its political activity within Popular Alliance, in the 6th Congress of the party, held in Barcelona in January 1984, it came to form part of the National Executive Committee. He/She was re-elected in list open at the VII Congress, which took place in Madrid in February 1986. Head of list by AP to the Congress of Deputies for Asturias in the general election of June 1986, the Act, and in the lower house was spokesperson on the Committee on industry, public works and services; and vocal in the budgets and rules, as well as Secretary general of the Popular parliamentary group.
In the VIII extraordinary Congress of AP, held in February 1987, in which Antonio Hernández Mancha was made with the Presidency of the party, Álvarez helmets ranked first among the members chosen from list opened by the compromisarios. He/She continued in the post of general Secretary of his party in the Congress of Deputies.
Two years later, in January 1989, at the 9th National Congress of AP, which was re-founded as a Popular Party (PP), he/she was elected Secretary general of the new formation, chaired by Manuel Fraga. Again, the 29 October 1989 he/she was elected Deputy in the general elections after leading the candidacy of the PP by Asturias. In the Chamber of Deputies was member of the Standing Committee and spokesman of his group in the Committee on justice and Interior. It was re-elected as Secretary general of the party X Congress, held in March-April 1990, with what would become the "number two", after the President José María Aznar.
In the 11th Congress of the PP, held in Madrid between days 5 and 7 February 1993, was reelected member of the National Executive and general Secretary of the party. In the general election of that year he/she obtained new seat in the Congress of Deputies. He/She renewed his position as Secretary general of the PP in the 12th Party Congress, held in Madrid between 19 and 21 January 1996. In the general election of March 3, 1996, he/she again managed to seat as Deputy for Asturias. In these elections the party won victory by a simple majority. On May 5 following he/she was appointed Vice-President of the Government and Minister of the Presidency in the new Executive of the PP headed by José María Aznar first.
From his position as Vice-President of the Government, it was one of charged with maintaining contacts with the leaders of the parties which supported them in the formation of the Executive in the nation. Other missions he/she played was the to preside over the Council of Ministers in the absence of Aznar, as it did for the first time on June 21, 1996.
On 24 April of that year he/she defended in the Chamber of Deputies Bill's sports broadcasts, which was approved as law regulating emissions and retransmissions of sporting events by the Chamber on June 26, with the support of the Popular Party, United Left and Basque nationalist party. The Socialists appealed the law to the constitutional, in October 1997.
Also in the field of media, from January 1997 he/she promoted the creation of a single TV digital, but plural platform project, which ended with the adoption of a Royal Decree on 31 January and which was ratified by Congress on 31 May. This underwent modifications in September before the infringement procedure opened by the European Commission, as a result of the discrimination introduced by law towards one of the decoders and that had motivated the confrontation between media groups and political parties.
Rumors of his imminent departure from the General Secretary of the PP, end this own helmets acknowledged they arreciaron since August 1998. In the 13th Congress of the party, on 30 January 1999, the relay produced is, and went on to occupy his post Javier Arenas Bocanegra. He/She was elected member of the National Executive Committee. From January 1990 was responsible for coordinating aid to the victims of terrorism and contemplated compensation of 21 million by died (about 42 billion pesetas). It is responsible for the processing of a proposition of law that was agreed upon by all the parliamentary groups and which was adopted as the law of solidarity with the victims of terrorism, in October of that year.
Also since its formation, in February 1999, he/she chaired the Inter-Ministerial Committee to design and coordinate measures to reactivate the comarca of the Campo de Gibraltar. In addition, since November 1999 he/she presided over the transition Office to the Y2K effect. In December of that year participated in negotiations with convergence i Unio (CiU) for the incorporation of amendments in the Senate to the Aliens Act.
After the elections of March 12, 2000, in which the Popular Party reached for the first time the absolute majority, became the new Minister of development instead of Rafael Arias Salgado and Montalvo. Away from the dome of his party, before the end of the legislature announced its intention to leave active politics and not attend the general elections, scheduled for spring 2004.
He is the author of the books: testimonies of a crisis (1982), political speeches (1984), parliamentarians Asturias during the reign of Fernando VII (1985), features and risks of the astur disenchantment (1987) and Europe, unfinished; the latter was introduced in January 1989 and contains a collection of articles and reports on various aspects of Asturian and national policy, including those related to communications policy.
On January 19, 2004, he/she received the Medal of honour of the Royal Academy of fine arts of San Fernando.