Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mariano Rajoy

Mariano Rajoy Brey (born 27 March 1955) is a Spanish People's Party politician and is the Prime Minister of Spain as of 21 December 2011.

Under Prime Minister José María Aznar, Rajoy was Minister of Public Administration from 1996 to 1999 and Minister of Education from 1999 to 2000; he then served as Deputy Prime Minister from 2000 to 2003. Rajoy led the People's Party into the March 2004 general election, but that election was won by the opposition Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) in the aftermath of the 2004 Madrid train bombings. Subsequently Rajoy was Leader of the Opposition from 2004 to 2011.

Early Life and Education
Born in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Rajoy graduated from the University of Santiago de Compostela. At the age of 24, he passed the competitive examination required in Spain to enter into the civil service, becoming the youngest ever property registrar.

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".

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