Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain (since Jun 2, 2018)
Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón (born 29 February 1972) is a Spanish economist and politician serving as Prime Minister of Spain since 2 June 2018. He is also Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), holding office for the second time after winning a leadership election in June 2017.
He served as town councillor in the City Council of Madrid from 2004 to 2009. In 2009, he was first elected Deputy in the Congress. In 2014, he became Secretary-General of the PSOE, and he was the party’s candidate for prime minister in the 2015 and 2016 general elections. During his first term as Secretary-General, he was heavily opposed to the re-election of Rajoy as Prime Minister. Rajoy needed the abstention of the PSOE in the Congress of Deputies in order to secure a parliamentary majority. Tensions grew within the party that allowed Rajoy to form a government; due to its opposition by Sánchez, he stepped down as Secretary-General on 1 October 2016. He simultaneously resigned as Deputy, and a caretaker committee took over the PSOE leadership. He would eventually win the party primaries, defeating Susana Díaz and Patxi López, and was reinstated Secretary-General in June 2017. Under his tenure, the party backed the Government of Spain in its handling of the Catalan independence referendum and the subsequent constitutional crisis.
On 31 May 2018 the PSOE filed a no-confidence motion, which passed with the support of the PSOE, Unidos Podemos, and Basque, Valencian and Catalan regionalist and nationalist parties. On 1 June 2018, a Royal Decree named Pedro Sánchez Prime Minister of Spain and he was officially sworn into the office before King Felipe VI the day after.
Sánchez married María Begoña Gómez Fernández in 2006 and they have two daughters, Ainhoa and Carlota. The civil wedding was officiated by Trinidad Jiménez. Aside from Spanish, Sánchez speaks fluent English and French. He is an atheist.
Mariano Rajoy, Former Prime Minister of Spain
Mariano Rajoy Brey (born 27 March 1955) is a Spanish politician who served as Prime Minister of Spain from 2011 to 2018, when a vote of no confidence ousted his government. On 5 June 2018, he announced his resignation as People’s Party leader.
He became Leader of the People’s Party in 2004 and Prime Minister in 2011 following the People’s Party landslide victory in that year’s general election becoming the sixth President of the Spanish Government. The party lost its majority in the 2015 general election, but after that election ended in deadlock, a second election in 2016 enabled Rajoy to be reelected Prime Minister as head of a minority government. Rajoy was a Minister under the José María Aznar administration, occupying different leading roles in different Ministries between 1996 and 2003, and he also was the Deputy Prime Minister between 2000 and 2003. He was the Leader of the Opposition between 2004 and 2011 under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s government.
Rajoy’s first term was heavily marked by the Spanish financial crisis and oversaw a major restructuring of the Spanish financial system as well as a major labour reform. The financial crisis peaked with a bailout of the Spanish banking system in June 2012. Unemployment in Spain peaked at 27% in 2012, which led to an initial drop of the People’s Party in the polls, which was aggravated by the revelations of a series of corruption cases that seriously damaged the party’s reputation. This, among other factors, led to a profound shift in the Spanish party system, with the rise of new political parties from the left and the right: Podemos and Citizens.
The 2015 general election led to a parliamentary configuration that made the formation of a government very difficult; as a result, Spain was without a government for over six months and new elections were held in June 2016. Rajoy was finally appointed Prime Minister with the votes of Citizens and the abstention of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party. Rajoy’s second term has been marked by economic recovery and a drop in unemployment, but with growing issues of precariety and the challenge of stagnating salaries. Rajoy also oversaw the 2017–18 Spanish constitutional crisis marked by the Catalan independence referendum of 2017 and the Catalan unilateral declaration of independence on 27 October 2017 that has led to the imposition of direct rule in Catalonia.
At 14 years and 146 days, Rajoy is the longest-serving Spanish politician in the Government of Spain since the Spanish transition to democracy, having held ministerial offices continuously from 1996 to 2004 and from 2011 to 2018.
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Former Prime Minister of Spain
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero gained the general elections March 14th, 2004, after a campaign which was marked by the Islamic attacks on the 11th in which a hundred ninety people died. It is on account of this event that some voices raises themselves against them arguing that they did not gain the elections by their own media, but by the bad management of the government of Aznar during the crisis. Nevertheless since the Spanish Socialist Party, (progressive party) that he presides, is affirmed that the victory was obtained for own media. In the time that he has being at front of the government, one of his most important actions has been the retreat of the Spanish troops in Iraq and the approach to the positions of France and Germany.
Besides he is prompting certain changes of progressive color in laws that affect the education, the divorce or the marriage among homosexuals. Also his government is promising a law against the abuses on women and the reduction on contaminant gases to be able to reach the objectives of the convention of Kyoto. Nevertheless, the socialists maintain nearby positions to the previous conservative government in themes such as the economy. Zapatero was elected as secretary general of the PSOE at the party’s 35th convention in July, 2000. His appointment was seen to symbolize the “Generation Next” of the historical Spanish socialist party, which following charismatic former premier Felipe Gonzбlez’s resignation as party boss in 1997 was suffering an accute image and leadership problem. Born in the city of Valladolid on August 4, 1960, Rodriguez Zapatero studied Law, but – aside from a stint as a law teacher – has devoted his entire life to politics, within the Spanish socialist party. From a family with left-wing ideas (his grandfather was a Republican captain who was executed by the Nationalists at the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936), he first became fascinated with politics when he attended his first political rally in Gijуn (Asturias) in 1977, when Spain was about to hold its first democratic elections following the death of dictator Franco. The speaker was a young Felipe Gonzбlez, and Rodriguez Zapatero was mesmerized. The following year, he joined the socialist party.
In 1982, he headed the socialist youth organization in his home province of Leуn (north-western Spain). In 1986, he became the youngest member of parliament in Spain when he won a seat representing the province. In 1988 he was elected to head the regional chapter of the socialist party in Leуn, and in 1997 he was appointed to the Federal Executive Committee, the party’s governing body.
Ideologically, Rodrнguez Zapatero is a moderate, closer to social democracy than socialism.
Rodriguez Zapatero married in 1990, and has two daughters. His hobbies are jogging and trout fishing.