Mariano Rajoy

Mariano Rajoy
Mariano Rajoy
Prime Minister of Spain
Taking office
20 December 2011
Monarch Juan Carlos I
Succeeding José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
Leader of the Opposition
Assumed office
17 April 2004
Preceded by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
Succeeded by Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba (Designate)
Minister of the Presidency
In office
9 July 2002 – 3 September 2003
Prime Minister José María Aznar
Preceded by Juan José Lucas
Succeeded by Javier Arenas
In office
27 April 2000 – 27 February 2001
Prime Minister José María Aznar
Preceded by Francisco Álvarez Cascos
Succeeded by Juan José Lucas
Minister of the Interior
In office
27 February 2001 – 9 July 2002
Prime Minister José María Aznar
Preceded by Jaime Mayor Oreja
Succeeded by Ángel Acebes
First Deputy Prime Minister of Spain
In office
27 April 2000 – 3 September 2003
Prime Minister José María Aznar
Preceded by Francisco Álvarez Cascos
Succeeded by Rodrigo Rato
Minister of Education and Culture
In office
20 January 1999 – 27 April 2000
Prime Minister José María Aznar
Preceded by Esperanza Aguirre
Succeeded by Pilar del Castillo (Education, Culture and Sport)
Minister of Public Administration
In office
4 May 1996 – 20 January 1999
Prime Minister José María Aznar
Preceded by Joan Lerma
Succeeded by Ángel Acebes
Member of the Congress of Deputies
Assumed office
14 March 2004
Constituency Madrid
In office
22 June 1986 – 14 March 2004
Constituency Pontevedra
Personal details
Born Mariano Rajoy Brey
27 March 1955 (1955-03-27) (age 56)
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Political party People's Party (1989–present)
Other political
People's Alliance (Before 1989)
Spouse(s) Elvira Fernández Balboa (1996–present)
Children Mariano
Alma mater University of Santiago de Compostela
Website PP website

Mariano Rajoy Brey (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈɾjano raˈxoi]; born 27 March 1955) is a Spanish People's Party politician and is the Prime Minister-elect since 20 November 2011. He will be sworn in about a month's time.[1] Born in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Rajoy graduated from the University of Santiago de Compostela. Aged 24 he passed the competitive examination required in Spain to enter into the civil service becoming the youngest ever property registrar.

Having served in various ministerial roles in the Aznar administration, Rajoy was appointed as the party candidate for Prime Minister in the Spanish general election on 14 March 2004. That election was won by the then opposition Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) in the aftermath of the 2004 Madrid train bombings.


Legislative career

Early political career

Rajoy started his political career in 1981, as a member of the right-wing party People's Alliance (AP), becoming a deputy in the inaugural legislature of the Galician Parliament. In 1982, he was appointed by Galician regional President, Antonio Rosón Pérez, as Minister of Institutional Relations of the Xunta de Galicia. On June 11, 1986, Rajoy was elected President of the Provincial Council of Pontevedra, a position he held until July 1991.

In the General Elections of 22 June 1986, he obtained a seat in the Congress of Deputies as the head of the AP's list for Pontevedra, although he resigned in November to take up the post of vice-president of the Xunta of Galicia following the resignation of Xosé Luis Barreiro and the rest of the ministers. He occupied this latter position until the end of September 1987.

When in 1989 the AP merged with other parties to form the People's Party (PP), with Manuel Fraga as its president, Rajoy was named a member of its National Executive Committee and delegate for Pontevedra. He was reelected to parliament in 1993. Before the PP's triumph in the 1996 elections, he was a PP-designated member of the "Commission of Parliamentary Control of the RTVE".

Minister of the Interior: 1996-2004

A long-time associate of José María Aznar, Rajoy made the move into national politics when Aznar became Prime Minister in 1996 with the support of Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), Convergence and Union (CiU) and the Canarian Coalition, serving as Minister of Public administration and Minister of Education and Culture in the first Aznar administration.

In 1996 he married a fellow Galician, Elvira Fernandez Balboa.

He managed the successful People's Party campaign in the 2000 elections. A grateful Aznar appointed him Deputy Prime Minister of the Spanish Government. In February 2001 he was named Minister of the Interior, after Jaime Mayor Oreja decided to run as head of the People's Party list in the 2001 Basque Elections.

On 30 August 2003 Aznar announced that he would retire from politics in the 2004 elections and proposed Rajoy as his successor. After the 14th Congress of the People's Party in October 2004 he became the new Chairman of the party, by then in the opposition, having lost the elections to the PSOE.

Leader of the Opposition: 2004-2011

Three days before the 2004 general elections terrorist attacks occurred in Madrid on 11 March, which were initially blamed on ETA and later on Al-Qaeda. Aznar's government and Party leaders insisted on accusing the armed Basque separatist organisation ETA of the attacks, and on 13 March, Rajoy claimed to believe this because he was convinced of their will and capability for committing such crimes,.[2] The government were accused of attempting to blame ETA for the attacks in order to stay on track to win the elections (as they were heavily favored to), but then news broke that it was Al-Qaida, rather than ETA. The trial for the bombings began on 15 February 2007.

On 14 March 2004 the PSOE, under the leadership of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, won the elections with a majority of 1,300,000 votes over the PP, and obtained 164 deputies, while the PP obtained 9,763,144 votes but 148 deputies, 35 less than they obtained in 2000.[3] Rajoy was elected for the province of Madrid.

On 1 December 2005 he survived a helicopter accident, along with Madrid Regional Government President Esperanza Aguirre, and in which he broke a finger.[4]

Rajoy faced a serious situation within his party after receiving public pressure from the electorally successful Alberto Ruiz Gallardón (Madrid's Mayor) to be included in the PP lists for the general election in March 2008. Gallardón represents a more centrist sector within the party, whereas Rajoy, Angel Acebes and Eduardo Zaplana are widely accepted[vague] as representing a more conservative wing of the party, closer to Aznar[citation needed]. Rajoy's final decision was to leave Gallardón out of the list for those elections, an action which provoked concern about the alienation of potential PP voters. Some experts and newspapers even argued that it could cost Rajoy the elections[citation needed]. In any case, the power struggle for succession created a tense situation for him and for the party.[5]

On 30 January 2008, Rajoy received the support of Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Nicolas Sarkozy for the March 2008 Spanish general election.[6][7] The PP was defeated in the general election in March 2008 and Rajoy continues to be president of the main opposition party.

His criticisms of the Zapatero administration have been focused on what he perceives as:

  • The derogation of ambitious plans of the previous executive
    • The Plan Hidrológico Nacional National Hydrological Plan
    • The LOCE Organic Law on the Quality of Education
  • The alleged "unnecessary" statutory reforms, such as submitted in the Catalan, and Andalusian referendums with very high levels of abstention. According to Rajoy, some of those reforms constitute concealed changes of the autonomous communities towards a confederation, endangering the integrity of the State. He has said that if Zapatero wants to apply his view of Spain, it would be better if he proposed a reform of the Spanish Constitution, a reform that would need approval in a national referendum.
  • The alleged weakness facing the peace process opened as a result of the permanent ceasefire declared by the organisation ETA in 2006, broken by the Barajas bombing and the arms robbery.[specify]
  • The introduction of a citizenship subject in the last years of secondary education (Educación para la Ciudadanía) of polemic content (whose opponents, mainly the Catholic Church, and affiliated organisations, say is non-neutral and gives some left-wing political indoctrination). Rajoy has announced its cancellation if he wins the next elections.
  • The legalization of abortion until 14 weeks of pregnancy, a law that Mariano Rajoy sees as "criminal" and against the will of large sectors of the Spanish society.
  • In Foreign policy



External links

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