Biography of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (1960-VVVV)

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero

Spanish politician born on August 4, 1960 in Valladolid. He/She was elected Secretary general of the PSOE in the 35th Federal Congress, held in July 2000, and four years later, attended as a candidate for the Presidency of the Government in legislative elections. He/She managed the victory and on April 15, 2004 was awarded head of the Spanish Executive with the support of the Socialist members.

Law degree in 1982, just finishing his studies began teaching constitutional law at the Faculty of law of the University of León.

Member of the PSOE since 1978, belongs to a family of left-wing closely suffered the consequences of the Civil War. He/She is the grandson of a character that is still remembered in León, Juan Rodríguez Lozano, "Captain Lozano", a member of the Republican Army who was executed in 1936 by Francoist troops.

That time is your first memory of "political activism", a rally that came when he/she was 16 years, months after the death of general Franco, and whose head of cartel was Felipe González, a benchmark that has marked his career since then and who proclaims his admiration and respect.

He was first elected Deputy for León in the general election of June 22, 1986. In the III legislature, where he/she was the youngest Deputy, he/she participated as a member of the Constitutional Commission and of the defender of the people. Two years later, on September 19, 1988, he/she was elected Secretary general of the PSOE in León during the 5th Congress. Three years later was re-elected in office with the support of 98% of the delegates.

Head of the Socialist list by Leon in the general election of October 1989, was re-elected Deputy, and in the lower House joined the Constitutional Committee, the Ombudsman and justice and Home Affairs. A year later, in November 1990, it became a part of the Socialist Federal Committee during the thirty-second Congress. On April 12, 1993, months before the end of the legislature (1989-1993), appointed him his parliamentary group to integrate the permanent deputation to replace Carlos Navarro and Guillermo Galeote, both involved in the "Filesa case".

Re-elected Deputy for León was in elections in 1993. In this parliamentary term he/she was affiliated in the Commission of Justice and Interior. He/She was also re-elected in March 1994 Member of the Federal Committee of the PSOE in the thirty-third Congress. And a little later, in the month of July, was re-elected provincial Secretary of Leon Socialists at a Congress which was marked by the confrontation between "official" and "guerristas".

Again he/she headed the Socialist candidacy of Leon at the general elections of March 1996 and renewed seat. In May of that same year he/she was elected Socialist spokesman on the Committee on public administration. His parliamentary work was highlighted by the journalists who cover the Chamber and was appointed as one of the most active group.

In the 34th Congress of the PSOE, in June 1997, was the only ciency elected member of the Executive. In November it revalidated its status as Secretary of Leon Socialists in the 8th Regional Congress. He/She was again elected Deputy by Leon in the general elections of March 2000, in which the PSOE suffered a strong defeat and candidate Joaquín Almunia presented the resignation.

Before the crisis of leadership between the Socialists, June 25 it officially announced his candidacy to the General Secretariat before 35th Federal Congress, which would be held in the month of July. Rodríguez Zapatero, who came as new Via reforming current leader, defended the modernisation and innovation in the PSOE, without renouncing the inheritance of the past. On 22 July he/she was elected general Secretary of the party by 414 votes, representing the 41,69% of the votes cast (993 delegates). Meanwhile, his main opponent, the President of the community of Castilla - La Mancha, José Bono, obtained 405 (40,79%), whereas Matilde Fernández won 109 (10.98%) and Rosa Díez, 65 votes (6.55%).

October 27, 2002, the eve of the 20th anniversary of the first Socialist triumph, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was proclaimed presidential candidate for elections in 2004, in a rally that gathered 25,000 activists and supporters in Madrid's plaza de Vistalegre. During the two years that acted as leader of the opposition, he/she championed a posture of quiet opposition, while the political situation in Spain reached a high degree of tension. Finally, the elections were called for March 14, 2004. Throughout the campaign, the PSOE was gaining ground on the PP in the polls of voting intention.

With almost 11 million votes, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero starred in the big surprise of an election day marked by the tragic terrorist attacks in Madrid three days earlier, and obtained one sufficient majority to form a Government. In this way, the Socialist leader became the most voted candidate to the Presidency of the Government of the Spanish democracy and the first that was able to win a general election the first time arising. On April 16, 2004 he/she was elected President in the courts, with the only vote against the PP.

The celebration of the twenty-fifth Congress Federal of the PSOE the first weekend of July 2004 confirmed the undisputed leadership of Zapatero in the bosom of the party. He/She managed an unprecedented support in the recent history of Spanish socialism: more than 95% of the delegates voted for his re-election as general Secretary of the formation.

In this first term foreign policy focused on enhancing our active presence in Europe and Latin America, not to mention relations with emerging powers and the areas historically linked to our country. Also in this first mandate, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero proposed the international initiative of the Alliance of civilizations, which was adopted as the official programme by the United Nations in April 2007.

On March 9, 2008 the PSOE, led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, came back to win the general election, getting 169 seats, 5 more than in the previous elections. Thus starting the second term. The axes of the policy of the Government in this term are budgetary austerity, an ambitious agenda of reforms and the maintenance of cohesion, betting on a strong social policy. The achievements of this second mandate include the historic agreement for regional funding, approved by the Council of financial and Fiscal policy in which all the autonomous communities, and the Elimination of advertising of RTVE are represented. In the year 2011 launched the new anti-smoking law, an agreement between Government, unions and employers upon the public pension system.

On 2 April 2011, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced it would not pursue re-election in the 2012 election. The new candidate of the Socialist Party in the face of these elections will be Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba.