|José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero|
|Assumed office |
17 April 2004
|Monarch||Juan Carlos I|
|Vice President||María Teresa Fernández de la Vega (First)|
Pedro Solbes (Second)
|Preceded by||José María Aznar|
01 July 2000 – 17 April 2004
|President||José María Aznar López|
|Preceded by||Joaquín Almunia|
|Succeeded by||Mariano Rajoy|
|Born||4 August 1960 |
Valladolid, Valladolid, Castile and León, Spain
[xo'se lu'is ro'ðɾigeθ θapa'teɾo]) (born August 4, 1960), better known by his maternal surname Zapatero (literally "shoemaker," in Spanish), is the Prime Minister of Spain. The Prime Minister of Spain, (officially the President of the Government, Spanish: Presidente del Gobierno) is the Spanish Head of government Events 69 - After the First Battle of Bedriacum, Vitellius becomes Roman Emperor. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " Early life Juan Carlos was born in Rome, where his grandfather Alfonso XIII of Spain lived in exile after the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic María Teresa Fernández de la Vega Sanz, Doctor of Law (born June 15, 1949) is a Spanish Socialist Workers' Party politician Pedro Solbes Mira (b August 31, 1942 in Pinoso) is a Spanish economist (born 25 February 1953 served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004 Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a designated government particularly in a Westminster -based Parliamentary system The Spanish Congress of Deputies (Spanish Congreso de los Diputados) is the lower house of the Cortes Generales, Spain 's Legislative branch. "July 1st" redirects here For the Ayumi Hamasaki song see H (song. 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. Events 69 - After the First Battle of Bedriacum, Vitellius becomes Roman Emperor. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " (born 25 February 1953 served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004 Joaquín Almunia Amann (born 17 June 1948) is a Spanish politician and member of the European Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Mariano Rajoy Brey (maˈɾjano raˈxoj (born March 27 1955) is a Spanish Politician. Events 70 - The Destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans. Year 1960 ( MCMLX) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. ||-||} is an industrial city and it is a Municipality in north-central Spain, upon the Pisuerga River and within the Ribera del Duero wine-making region Valladolid is a province of central/northwest Spain, in the central part of the autonomous community of Castile and León. Castile and León (Castilla y León known formally as the Community of Castile and León is one of the seventeen autonomous communities of Spain. Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, commonly abbreviated by its Spanish initials PSOE ( P artido S ocialista O brero E spañol is Sonsoles Espinosa Díaz ( Ávila, November 8, 1961) is a classical singer and music teacher Events 70 - The Destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans. Year 1960 ( MCMLX) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. In most Spanish -speaking countries people have two surnames. The Prime Minister of Spain, (officially the President of the Government, Spanish: Presidente del Gobierno) is the Spanish Head of government The party he leads, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), won one general election on March 14, 2004 and another on March 9, 2008. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, commonly abbreviated by its Spanish initials PSOE ( P artido S ocialista O brero E spañol is Legislative elections were held in Spain on March 14, 2004. At stake were all 350 seats in the lower house of the Cortes Generales, the Events 1489 - The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " Legislative elections for the Spanish Cortes Generales were held on March 9, 2008. Events 590 - Bahram Chobin is crowned as king Barham VI of Persia. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Actions of his first government have included withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq, a controversial negotiation with the armed separatist group ETA, the creation of Spanish Courts to deal with Violence against Women, legalizing same-sex marriages and a program of amnesty for illegal immigrants. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. eu '''Euskadi Ta Askatasuna''' or ETA ( Basque for "Basque Homeland and Freedom" ˈɛːta is an illegal armed Basque nationalist Separatist Same-sex marriage in Spain was legalized in 2005 In 2004 the nation's newly elected Socialist government led by President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero Amnesty (from the Greek amnestia, oblivion is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to Illegal immigration refers to Immigration across National Borders in a way that violates the Immigration laws of the destination Country(IPA:
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was born in Valladolid to Juan Rodríguez García-Lozano, a prominent lawyer, and Purificación Zapatero. ||-||} is an industrial city and it is a Municipality in north-central Spain, upon the Pisuerga River and within the Ribera del Duero wine-making region He grew up in León, where his family, affluent, with a long left-wing tradition, originated. History León was founded in the 1st century BC by the Roman legion Legio VI ''Victrix''. He has an older brother, Juan Rodríguez Zapatero. 
His paternal grandfather, Juan Rodríguez Lozano, was a freemason and a Republican captain executed by Franco's Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War, before Rodriguez Zapatero was born. The Second Spanish Republic was the system of government in Spain between April 14 1931, when King Alfonso XIII left the country The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict in Spain that started after an attempted Coup d'état committed by parts of the army against the government of 
His maternal grandfather, Faustino Zapatero, was a pediatrician and middle class liberal who died in 1978. Pediatrics (also spelled paediatrics) is the branch of Medicine that deals with the medical care of Infants Children and Adolescents The middle class, in colloquial usage consists of those who have some economic independence but not a great deal of social Influence or power. His maternal grandmother was a right-wing conservative. In Politics, right-wing, the political right, and the Right are positions that uphold traditional values and/or authorities Conservatism is a term used to describe political philosophies that favour Tradition, where tradition refers to various religious cultural or nationally defined  Zapatero was born in Valladolid not only because of his mother's attachment to her family, who lived there, but also because of the medical profession of her father. ||-||} is an industrial city and it is a Municipality in north-central Spain, upon the Pisuerga River and within the Ribera del Duero wine-making region
Zapatero has said that, as a youngster, "as I remember it, I used to participate in late night conversations with my father and brother about politics, law or literature".  He says that his family taught him to be "tolerant, thoughtful, prudent and austere". 
His grandfather's ideals had an especially important influence on his father, brother and himself and on his political beliefs.  For example, his father added Lozano to his second surname to honour his late father Juan Rodríguez Lozano.
The memory of Captain Lozano was also kept alive by his last will, handwritten 24 hours before facing the firing squad, which can be considered a final declaration of principles. In Common law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the Testator) regulates the rights of others over his or her Property The will was composed of six parts. The first three bestowed his possessions on his heirs. In the fourth, he asked for a civil burial and, in the fifth, he requested his family to forgive those who had executed him and proclaimed his belief in the Supreme Being. The term Supreme Being is often defined simply as " God " and it is used with this meaning by theologians of many religious faiths including but not limited to In the sixth, Zapatero's grandfather asked his family to clear his name in the future as his creed consisted only in his "love for peace, for good and for improving the living conditions of the lower classes". 
Zapatero started school at the religious primary school "Discípulas de Jesús" in September 1966. In September 1970, he entered the "Colegio Leonés", the only private lay school in León at the time. 
From childhood until his late twenties, Zapatero was known to his friends by the nickname "Papes", inspired by the name of a brand of shoes called Hush Puppies that used a puppy with swollen cheeks in its advertisements similar to those of Zapatero when he was a child. Hush Puppies is an international brand of contemporary casual Footwear for men women and children "the classic American brushed-suede shoes with the lightweight The pronunciation of Puppies is similar to that of Papes in Spanish. 
He studied Law at the University of León, where he graduated in 1982. His performance as a student was above average before his pre-University year. His grades later in the year and in the University were essentially mediocre. According to his brother Juan: "He didn't study much but it made no difference, he continued successfully". 
After graduating, Zapatero worked as a teaching assistant in constitutional law at the University of León until 1986 (he continued working some hours a week without pay until 1991). He has declared that the only activity that attracts him besides politics is teaching or, at most, academic research. 
Rodríguez Zapatero met his wife, Sonsoles Espinosa in León in 1981. Sonsoles Espinosa Díaz ( Ávila, November 8, 1961) is a classical singer and music teacher They married on January 27, 1990 and have two daughters named Laura (b. 1993) and Alba (b. 1995).
In October 1991, his contract was cancelled by the new rector of the University of León, Julio César Santoyo, after the legal counselors of the University considered Zapatero's posts as a teaching assistant and an MP were incompatible (he had been elected in 1986). The Spanish parliament's counselors, however, had considered the contract valid.
Zapatero has never served in the military, which was generally compulsory in Spain until recently: he received successive deferments because of his conditions as a university student, a teaching assistant. As an MP he was finally exempted. A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a Parliament. 
Zapatero attended his first political rally on August 15, 1976. Events 778 - The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, at which Roland is killed Year 1976 ( MCMLXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. It was a meeting organized by the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) in Gijón. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, commonly abbreviated by its Spanish initials PSOE ( P artido S ocialista O brero E spañol is Gijón ( Asturian: Xixón) is a coastal industrial city Political parties had been legal since July 21, 1976, but the Socialist Party was not legalized until February 1977. Events 356 BC - Herostratus sets fire to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World Year 1976 ( MCMLXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The speech of Felipe González, the PSOE leader and future Prime Minister of Spain, who took part in the rally, exerted an important influence on Zapatero. Felipe González Márquez (born 5 March 1942 is a Spanish socialist politician The Prime Minister of Spain, (officially the President of the Government, Spanish: Presidente del Gobierno) is the Spanish Head of government He said, among other things, that "the Socialists' goal was the seizure of power by the working class to transform the ownership of the means of production" and that "the PSOE was a revolutionary party but not revolutionarist or aventurist [. Working class is a term used in academic Sociology and in ordinary conversation to describe depending on context and speaker those employed in specific fields or types . . ], as it defended the use of elections to come to power". 
Zapatero and his family had been traditionally attracted by the Communist Party as it was the only party really organized before Francisco Franco's death in 1975. Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde (born December 4, 1892 in Ferrol, died November 20, 1975 in Madrid But, after the famous political rally in Gijón, they and, especially, Zapatero started to believe that the Socialist Party was the most probable future for the Spanish left.  At that time the Socialist Party was rebuilding its infrastructure in the province of León after being almost banished after the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict in Spain that started after an attempted Coup d'état committed by parts of the army against the government of 
In 1977, the year of the first democratic elections after Franco, Zapatero supported both the Communist and Socialist Parties. Communism is a Socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless Society based Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the Means of production and distribution He posted posters of both. 
He joined the PSOE on February 23, 1979. Events 1455 - Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western Book printed from Movable Year 1979 ( MCMLXXIX) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1979 Gregorian calendar) The impression Felipe González caused upon him in 1976 played a fundamental role in his decision to join the party. Felipe González Márquez (born 5 March 1942 is a Spanish socialist politician In 1979, the PSOE had not yet renounced Marxism as its ideological base (that happened later in 1979). Marxism is the political philosophy and practice derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. He said nothing at home, because he was afraid his parents would discourage him, considering him too young to join a political party.
In 1982, Zapatero became head of the socialist youth organization in the province of León. León is a province of northwestern Spain, in the northwestern part of the autonomous community of Castile and León. In July 1982, Zapatero met Felipe González at the summer school "Jaime Vera" and requested him to make a "left turn" in the Socialist political program for the general election of October 1982.  González answered advising him to abandon his conservative [leftist] viewpoint.
In 1986, he was elected to represent the province of León in the Cortes (Parliament), becoming its youngest Member after the election held on June 20. He was number two on the Socialist list for León. León is one of the 52 electoral districts (circunscripciones used for the Congress of Deputies, the lower chamber of the Spanish Parliament the Cortes  In the next elections (those held in 1989, 1993, 1996 and 2000) he was number one. In the elections of 2004 he ran for Madrid as number one. Madrid is one of the 52 electoral districts (circunscripciones used for the Spanish Congress of Deputies - the lower chamber of the Spanish Parliament the
In 1987, he instigated, as one of the main leaders within the Socialist Party of León, a pact to obtain the mayoralty of León after the elections held that year. History León was founded in the 1st century BC by the Roman legion Legio VI ''Victrix''. The previous mayor, Juan Morano, had occupied the post since the first local democratic elections in 1979 as his independent party had always been the most voted for, even in the 1987 elections, when it obtained 12 seats. The Socialist Party (nine seats) created a deal with Alianza Popular (predecessor of the current People's Party), which had four seats, and an extinct center party called Centro Democrático Social (2 seats). The Popular Alliance ( Alianza Popular --AP was a Right-wing party founded in 1976 by Manuel Fraga along with other former Francisco Franco The People's Party ( Spanish: Partido Popular, PP) is the main right Political party in Spain. The mayor eventually elected belonged to Alianza Popular. The Popular Alliance ( Alianza Popular --AP was a Right-wing party founded in 1976 by Manuel Fraga along with other former Francisco Franco Zapatero and his allies justified the civic pact, as it was called by its supporters (or the cynic or hatred pact, as it was called by its opponents) by stating that it was necessary to change the "negative dynamics" of the city, to "normalize" its democratic life, to end its "bad relations" with other institutions (like the Regional Government of Castilla y León), to lessen the social tensions "promoted" by the independents, to eliminate the supposed system of patronage, etc. Castile and León (Castilla y León known formally as the Community of Castile and León is one of the seventeen autonomous communities of Spain. Months later the pact was broken by pressures from the Regional Leadership of Alianza Popular and Juan Moran became mayor again. 
Zapatero defined himself as a "left-wing conservative" at the time. He explained that he meant that, for sentimental reasons linked to his family, he came from that Left that lost the Spanish Civil War and that what had happened between 1936-1939 (the time span of the war) and 1939-1975 (Franco's regime) had a very important significance for him. The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict in Spain that started after an attempted Coup d'état committed by parts of the army against the government of Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde (born December 4, 1892 in Ferrol, died November 20, 1975 in Madrid He further explained that the Spanish Left needed to modernize and that "we are finding it difficult to accept the need for the Socialist Party to change many of its ideological parameter and overcome our own conservatism". 
In 1988 he became Secretary General in León after a hard, complex internal fight for power that ended a long period of divisions and internal confrontation. In fact, before the provincial conference held that year, Ramón Rubial, then national president of the PSOE, asked the party in León to foster unity. Zapatero was elected as Secretary General at that conference, what meant a new time of stability. 
In the 80's and 90's, the Socialist Party consisted of two sectors: the guerristas (supporters of Alfonso Guerra, former vice-president with Felipe González) and the reformer (led by Felipe González). Alfonso Guerra González (born May 31, 1940 in Sevilla) is a Spanish politician The first group had a stronger left-wing ideology whereas the second was more pragmatic. The division became wider after the General Election of 1993, the last election won by the Socialist Party before José María Aznar's victory in 1996, when the bad results increased the internal enmities. (born 25 February 1953 served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004 Zapatero never formally joined either of the two groups.
In 1993, the Socialist Federation of León (its acronym is FSL after the Spanish Federación Socialista de León) suffered an important scandal. In some towns in a very short time, the number of members of the Socialist Party increased inexplicably from, sometimes, fewer than 10 to more than 100. When some of the supposed new members were interrogated by the press, they stated that they were unaware of their memberships and that they did not live in the places where they were being registered by the party. It seems that some opponents of Zapatero in León, perhaps with the support of powerful guerristas at the top of the Spanish Socialist Party wanted to increase their influence within it by increasing the number of members in the towns of León favorable to them. Their main aim would have been to take control of the Regional Socialist Section of Castilla y León in the conference to be held in 1994. Castile and León (Castilla y León known formally as the Community of Castile and León is one of the seventeen autonomous communities of Spain. Zapatero's support for the then Regional Secretary General, Jesús Quijano transformed him into the enemy of the guerristas in the region as the FSL is the most important Provincial Section. 
Zapatero was himself accused of irregularities. For example, his enemies, those who were falsifying new memberships, stated that he kept dead people as real members in the sections of the party supporting him. Not only that, in May 1994 a scandal started when two papers, El País and Diario de León, published several articles that suggested the existence of irregularities in his hiring as a professor by the University of León and in his keeping the job until 1991. El País ( Spanish for "The Country" is the most widely-circulated Daily newspaper in Spain. The suspicions of political favoritism were favored by his having been directly appointed without a previous selection process open to other candidates. On May 20, he held a press conference where he rejected every accusation. Zapatero attributed to "ignorance" or "bad faith" the content of the articles and linked them to the internal fight for the job of Secretary General of the Regional Chapter. 
In 1994, three regional conferences were going to be held: two to elect the representatives of the party in León for the Regional and National Conference to take place that year, and the 7th Provincial conference where the Secretary General was going to be elected.
Before they started, an agreement between the parties involved was drawn up. The new members who did not confirm they had joined the party voluntarily and who did not live in the areas where they were registered would be expelled from the party. Initially 775 and finally 577 new memberships were canceled out of 1160 suspicious memberships.
When the three conferences were held, the tension was very high and, sometimes, it was necessary to call the police.  All of them were finally won by Zapatero or his supporters.
The National Conference (held after most of the representatives elected in the first León Conference were Zapatero's supporters) was won by the reformers, at that time very opposed to the guerristas. That was positive for Zapatero as the list of false memberships was revised again. Their number grew from 577 to almost nine hundred. 
Zapatero was finally reelected secretary general with 68 percent of the ballots in the 7th Regional Conference held in July 1994, after the removal of the false memberships. 
In 1995, new regional and local elections were held. Their results were bad for the Socialist Party in León as they lost four seats in the mayoralty of León and two seats in the regional parliament of Catilla-León. The results were influenced by the bad economic situation and the cases of corruption assailing the party. Zapatero had personally directed the electoral campaign. 
In 1996, after the General Election, Zapatero kept his seat at the Congress of Deputies. The following year, Zapatero was elected again Secretary General of León and after the national conference held by the party that year he entered the National Executive (the party governing body). 
In 1998, the first and only primaries held within the PSOE took place. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, commonly abbreviated by its Spanish initials PSOE ( P artido S ocialista O brero E spañol is There were two candidates: Joaquín Almunia and José Borrell. Joaquín Almunia Amann (born 17 June 1948) is a Spanish politician and member of the European Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Josep Borrell Fontelles (born April 24, 1947) is a Spanish politician The Regional Chapter of León declared to be neutral. It seems that, unofficially, its leaders including Zapatero, worked harder in favor of Almunia, who was the representative of the reformers and, because of it, opposed the guerristas. Zapatero himself phoned personally (as other leaders did) as many party members as possible to request their votes for Almunia.
On April 24, 1998 Borrell won with 9. Events 1479 BC - Thutmose III ascends to the throne of Egypt, although power effectively shifts to Hatshepsut (according to Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) 6% more votes than Almunia in Spain and 4. 6% more in León. It seems that Borrell's image of reform played an important role in his victory. Borrell's attitude towards Zapatero seems to have been a little colder after Zapatero's support for his rival. 
The existence of two leaders Joaquín Almunia, Secretary General, and Josep Borrell, official candidate, caused problems within the Socialist party, used to being directed only by the Secretary General. Joaquín Almunia Amann (born 17 June 1948) is a Spanish politician and member of the European Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Josep Borrell Fontelles (born April 24, 1947) is a Spanish politician Finally, two former close associates of Borrell were accused of having been corrupt when they worked for him in the Spanish Government, and he resigned, alleging that he did not want to damage his party with the scandal. Almunia replaced him and ran for the Spanish premiership in the elections held in 2000.
The Association of Parliamentary Journalists awarded to Zapatero the "Diputado Revelación" prize (something like MP surprise of the year) in December 1999 for his activities as member of the Congress of Deputies. The Spanish Congress of Deputies (Spanish Congreso de los Diputados) is the lower house of the Cortes Generales, Spain 's Legislative branch. Since 1996 until 2000, his most conspicuous contributions as an MP were his vigorous opposition to the electrical protocol proposed by the government (initially negative for the important coal sector of León), his being the Socialist Spokesman in the Commission of Public Administration and probably his most important success as an MP: the passing of an amendment to the national budget of 2000 in November 1999 that increased the pensions of the non-professional soldiers who fought for the Republic during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939. A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a Parliament. The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict in Spain that started after an attempted Coup d'état committed by parts of the army against the government of They were made equal to the professional military's. The initiative was defended by him in the name of the Parliamentary Socialist Group, proponent of the amendment. 
On March 12, 2000, the PSOE had lost its second successive election to José María Aznar's People's Party. Events 538 - Witiges, king of the Ostrogoths ends his siege of Rome and retreats to Ravenna, leaving 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. (born 25 February 1953 served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004 The People's Party ( Spanish: Partido Popular, PP) is the main right Political party in Spain. Zapatero held his seat, but the Socialist Party obtained only 125 seats, 16 fewer than in 1996. The defeat was especially bitter as the People's Party unexpectedly obtained an absolute majority for the first time and the socialist result was worse than in the previous election. Almunia announced his resignation on the very day the General Election took place.
Zapatero decided to run for the leadership of the Socialist Party in its 35th Conference to be held in June that year. Together with other socialist members, he founded a new faction within the party called Nueva Vía (New Way) in April 2000, to serve him as a platform to become Secretary General. The name of Nueva Vía is a mix of Tony Blair's Third Way (tercera vía in Spanish) and Gerhard Schröder's Neue Mitte (new center or nuevo centro in Spanish). Anthony Charles Lynton "Tony" Blair (born 6 May 1953 is a British Politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to The Third Way is a term that has been used to describe a variety of political philosophies of governance that embracing a mix of market and interventionist philosophies ˌɡeɐ̯haɐ̯t fʁɪʦ kʊɐ̯t ˈʃʁøːdɐ (born 7 April 1944 German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005 
A document of New Way proclaimed the group's objectives: "New Way' wants to generate a project of political and social change for and from democratic socialism, a Socialist project to allow the PSOE to recover its credibility and the citizens' trust. Democratic socialism is a description used by various socialist movements tendencies and organizations to emphasize the democratic character of their political orientation "
The members of Nueva Vía were, on average, 40 years old. Among the most prominent of them were Zapatero, Trinidad Jiménez, Jesús Caldera, Jordi Sevilla, José Blanco, Antonio Cuevas, Enrique Martínez,etc. Jiménez (b 1962) is a Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE politician and is currently Spain's Secretary of State for Ibero-America. 
Enrique Martínez played an important role in the promotion of Zapatero. Enrique Martínez ( Córdoba, July 25 1887 – Buenos Aires, December 2 1950 was an Argentine lawyer and politician governor of Córdoba Province He was the director of the "Escuela Jaime Vera" a school belonging to the party that trains Socialist Leaders. His network of contacts became essential. 
He and Jesús Caldera knew José Luis Balbás, a prominent member of the Socialist Federation of Madrid (FSM). He had belonged to the Unión de Centro Democrático, the center party that won the first two democratic elections and joined the PSOE in 1981. The Union of the Democratic Centre (Unión de Centro Democrático UCD was a Coalition, and later Political party, in Spain, existing from 1977 He is an entrepreneur, an auditor and a consultant. He belonged to a sector within the FSM called "Renovadores de la Base", that amounted to a third of the FSM. (There were other two sections: the so-called leguinistas - followers of a former president of the regional government of Madrid called Joaquín Leguina and the guerristas. )
In April 2000, Zapatero, Caldera and José Blanco had lunch with Eduardo Tamayo, a friend of José Luis Balbás in the party, in a restaurant in Madrid. (Tamayo would become later a representative of Zapatero in the 35th party national conference and a major character in the so-called crisis of the Assembly of Madrid, described later). At the end of the month the "Renovadores de la Base" decided to support Zapatero. Balbás agreed to be part of the team of New Way after being invited by José Blanco and Enrique Martínez.  He played an important role during the campaign and the 35th conference. For example, Balbás together with Blanco controlled the list of delegates with all the data about them. It was a fundamental job, as the different tasks of promotion needed that list, at least, to contact the delegates for the conference.
On June 25, 2000 Zapatero officially announced his intention to run for the federal Secretaryship General in an Extraordinary Conference of the Socialist Party of León. Events 524 - Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeat the Burgundians 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar.  In his speech, he stated what can be considered his declaration of principles:
Pasqual Maragall was the only regional leader of the Socialist Party who officially supported him before the Conference was celebrated. Pasqual Maragall i Mira (born January 13, 1941 in Barcelona) was the 127th President of Generalitat de Catalunya (the government of José Borrell also decided to support him. Josep Borrell Fontelles (born April 24, 1947) is a Spanish politician 
Zapatero ran against three other opponents (José Bono, Rosa Díez and Matilde Fernández). José Bono Martínez ( December 14, 1950) is a Spanish politician born in Salobre, Albacete. Rosa Díez González (born May 27, 1952 in Güeñes, Biscay, Spain) Matilde Fernández was the candidate of the guerristas while José Bono was the candidate of the reformers. Rosa Díez is a Basque politician who was a kind of intermediate option.
Zapatero was a dark horse who had against him his inexperience and in favour his image of reform and being the only MP among the candidates. A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a Parliament. (All the Spanish opposition leaders had been MPs before winning the elections. A very important factor in Spanish politics where electoral campaigns last for only 15 days and to be widely known long before they begin is essential. ) Bono was deeply disliked by the guerristas, which also favoured Zapatero.
Zapatero finally won by a relatively small margin (he obtained 414 votes out of 995 and José Bono obtained 405) on July 22, 2000. Events 1099 - First Crusade: Godfrey of Bouillon is elected the first Defender of the Holy Sepulchre of The Kingdom of 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar.  The margin was relatively small because Bono had no likelihood of winning since the supporters of the other two candidates preferred Zapatero as their second choice. Zapatero accepted the cancellation of a run-off between himself and Bono because he was sure of his victory after only one ballot and he apparently did not want to humiliate his adversary.
After being elected secretary general, he was congratulated by Lionel Jospin (then the Prime Minister of France), Gerhard Schröder (Chancellor of Germany) and José María Aznar. Lionel Jospin (born 12 July 1937 is a French politician who served as Prime Minister of France, during the third " cohabitation " The Prime Minister of France ( Premier ministre français) in Fifth Republic is the functional Head of the government and Council of Ministers ˌɡeɐ̯haɐ̯t fʁɪʦ kʊɐ̯t ˈʃʁøːdɐ (born 7 April 1944 German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005 The Head of government of Germany is called Chancellor (Kanzler (born 25 February 1953 served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004 
He moved to Madrid with his family that year. Madrid (pronounced in English in Spanish and colloquially in Spain) is the Capital and largest city of Spain. As a congressman he had lived from Monday to Thursday in Madrid and the rest of the time in León. 
This was the period when Zapatero was appointed as Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) in 2000 until he became Prime Minister of Spain on March 14, 2004. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, commonly abbreviated by its Spanish initials PSOE ( P artido S ocialista O brero E spañol is The Prime Minister of Spain, (officially the President of the Government, Spanish: Presidente del Gobierno) is the Spanish Head of government Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Events 1489 - The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again "
Zapatero has always claimed to base his political activity on his love of dialogue. When he was an opposition leader, he liked to compare his behavior with the "arrogant", "authoritarian" approach of the People's Party and, especially, that of its leader José María Aznar. Authoritarianism describes a Form of government characterized by an emphasis on the Authority of the State in a republic or union (born 25 February 1953 served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004
As a result, after being appointed Secretary General, he coined the term Calm Opposition (Oposición Tranquila) to refer to his opposition strategy. The Calm Opposition was supposedly based on an "open to dialogue", "soft", "constructive" attitude (talante) aimed not at damaging the government but at achieving the "best" for the people. (Zapatero has insisted on this point so many times that the term talante has become very popular in Spain. ) Because of this supposed tactic, Zapatero received nicknames like "[Bambi]" or "Sosoman" (where "Soso" -- meaning dull, insipid, bore -- replaces "Super" in "Superman"), especially in the first months after being appointed General Secretary. Superman is a fictional Comic book Superhero widely considered to be one of the most recognized of such characters and an American Cultural icon
During Zapatero's years as an opposition leader (and later as Prime Minister), the tension between left-wing and right-wing supporters increased and, according to some opinions, a real radicalization of the society took (and is taking) place. Zapatero's supporters blame his opponents for that and the People's Party blames him stating facts such as the increase in the acts of violence committed against them, especially in the months before and during the war in Iraq. The Iraq War, also known as the Second Gulf War, the Occupation of Iraq, or the War in Iraq, is an ongoing Military campaign  As a result, a new term has become popular: guerracivilismo (made up of a combination of the Spanish for Civil War and the -ismo suffix, equivalent to the English -ism), which would refer to the growing enmity of right and left-wing factions. In Grammar, a suffix (also postfix, ending) is an Affix which is placed at the end of a word English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States
Zapatero's criticisms of the government were very active from the beginning. His first attack against the government was based on its inability to control the rise in the price of fossil fuel. Fossil fuels or mineral fuels are fossil source Fuels that is Hydrocarbons found within the top layer of the Earth’s crust. He asked for a reduction in the taxes affecting it.
In 2000, the British nuclear submarine HMS Tireless arrived at the Gibraltar harbor to have its nuclear reactor repaired. See also Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain (Breatainn Mhòr Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Graet Breetain is the larger of the two main islands A nuclear submarine is a Submarine powered by Atomic energy. Previously conventional submarines used diesel engines that required air for moving on the See HMS Tireless for other ships of the same name March 2007 explosion On 21 March 2007 two Tireless crew members Leading Operator Gibraltar (dʒɨˈbrɒltər is a British overseas territory located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar This article is a subarticle of Nuclear power. A nuclear reactor is a device in which Nuclear chain reactions are initiated controlled Aznar's affirmed that there was no risk for the population but Zapatero criticized him for his inability to force the British government to take the submarine to another harbour. After almost one year, the Tireless was repaired and left Gibraltar without having caused any known problems. 
Another point of friction came from the scheme to transfer water from the River Ebro to other areas especially the irrigated areas in the South East of Spain, one of the richest agricultural regions in the world. That scheme received support from, among others, 80% of the affected farmers and the Socialist regional governments of regions such as Extremadura, Andalusia or Castilla-La Mancha, which were, among others, the target of the scheme. Extremadura is an autonomous community of western Spain whose capital city is Mérida. Andalusia (Andalucía is an autonomous community of Spain. It is the most populous and the second largest in terms of land area Castile-La Mancha ( Spanish "Castilla-La Mancha" is an autonomous community of Spain. Some Socialist politicians also supported it when they were members of the former Socialist government back in the 90s (e. g. José Borrell, the current leader of the European Spanish Socialist Group and former president of the European Parliament. Josep Borrell Fontelles (born April 24, 1947) is a Spanish politician  The scheme was mainly opposed by Zapatero, environmentalist groups, the Socialist regional government of Aragon and some of the citizens of the areas from which water was to be transferred. Environmentalism is a broad philosophy and Social movement centered on a concern for the conservation and improvement of the environment. Aragon ( Spanish: "Aragón") is an autonomous community of Spain. The main criticisms of the scheme were the supposed damage to the environment and an argued real lack of sufficient water for all of the affected parties (the proponents of the scheme answered back that there was no risk of a serious environmental damage and that in 2003, 14 times more water reached the sea than what was needed annually). (The scheme, finally approved by the Government, was canceled by Zapatero soon after becoming Prime Minister. )
Zapatero was the main proponent of the "Pacto de las Libertades contra el Terrorismo" ("Pact of the liberties against terrorism"), which was signed on December 8, 2000. Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion Events 1609 - Biblioteca Ambrosiana opens its reading room the second public library of Europe. 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. In the first moment this pact was disliked and rejected but later was considered a corner stone of the strategy against Basque terrorism in Spain not only by the Socialist Party but by the People's Party (currently, it is considered broken by the People's Party). Zapatero's harsher critics have argued that the Pact was originated by the wish of the People's Party and the Socialist Party in order to bury the Socialist ambiguity towards Nationalist Parties caused by the Socialist Party's reliance on their votes.
At the end of the year, the Mad Cow disease came back into the spotlight after its outbreak in 1996. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy ( BSE) commonly known as Mad-Cow Disease ( MCD) is a fatal Neurodegenerative disease in Cattle Zapatero repeatedly criticized the Government's management of the crisis arguing that it was out of control.  As of March 2005, that disease has caused dozens of deaths all over Europe, though none in Spain.
In 2001 one of the biggest points of friction between the government and the opposition were the proposed reforms affecting the education system. The People's Party introduced the so-called LOU first, a law to change the University System, and later the LOCE (Organic Act for Education Quality), which affected Secondary Education. Zapatero strongly opposed both. The People's Party used its absolute majority in the Cortes to pass its reforms but after it had taken place an important number of protests by Student's Unions took place, which were featured prominently in the public media although their protests had usually passed unnoticed until Zapatero's arrival.
A regional election was held in the Basque Country on May 13, 2001. The Basque Country ( Basque Euskadi, Spanish País Vasco) is an autonomous community in northern Spain. Events 1497 - Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola. Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar. The socialists received 17. 8 percent of the vote (against 17. 6 percent in the previous 1998 elections) but lost one seat. Both, the Socialist Party and the People's Party had formed an alliance against the then ruling nationalist Basque political movements but the latter won again. The results were considered a failure. [OCAM p. 319] Nicolás Redondo Terreros, the Basque Socialist leader during the election who was strongly opposed to Basque nationalism and to ETA, resigned after some internal clashes, resigning his seat in the Basque parliament and in the Federal Executive. eu '''Euskadi Ta Askatasuna''' or ETA ( Basque for "Basque Homeland and Freedom" ˈɛːta is an illegal armed Basque nationalist Separatist He was replaced by Patxi López, elected on March 24, 2002. Francisco Javier "Patxi" López Álvarez (born October 4, 1959 in Portugalete, Biscay) is a Basque Socialist Events 1401 - Mongol emperor Timur sacks Damascus. 1603 - James VI of Scotland See also 2002 (disambiguation Year 2002 ( MMII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. [OCAM p. 320] Patxi López had actively supported Zapatero during his campaign to become Secretary General. Francisco Javier "Patxi" López Álvarez (born October 4, 1959 in Portugalete, Biscay) is a Basque Socialist [OCAM p. 257]
On October 21, 2001 a new regional election took place, this time in Galicia. Events 1512 - Martin Luther joins the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg. Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar. Galicia (occasionally Galiza) is an autonomous community in northwest Spain. The People's Party (led by Manuel Fraga Iribarne) obtained a new absolute majority. Manuel Fraga e Iribarne (born November 23, 1922) is a Spanish Politician from the northwest region of Galicia. The Socialist party increased its number of seats from 15 to 17, but, after several years of opposition the results were also considered bad. [OCAM p. 321] These two negative results seemed to confirm that Zapatero's approach was not working.
On December 19, 2001 Zapatero travelled to Morocco, after the Moroccan government expelled the Spanish ambassador sine die. Events 324 - Licinius abdicates his position as Roman Emperor. Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar. Morocco (المغرب "al-Maghrib" officially the Kingdom of Morocco (المملكة المغربية is a country located in North Africa Adjournment sine die (from the Latin, " without day " occurs when an organized body's existence terminates Javier Arenas, a prominent member of the People's Party, accusing him of not being loyal to Spanish interests. Javier Arenas Bocanegra (born in Seville, Spain on 28th December 1957 is a Spanish politician Zapatero denied it and claimed that one of his purposes was to help solve the crisis. [OCAM p. 327]
In 2002, Zapatero was chosen as the Socialist candidate for the next General Election. He was appointed directly, without a previous primary election.
In 2002, the People's Party Government decided to reform the system of unemployment benefits, as it thought that there were too many workers who being able to find a job preferred to continue receiving public money. Unemployment benefits are payments made by Governments to unemployed people This led to a redefinition of those who were eligible for unemployment benefits. Left-wing parties and trade unions considered that redefinition an unacceptable reduction of rights. A trade union or labour union is an organization of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals in key areas such as wages hours and working conditions forming Zapatero became the political leader of the opposition against the reform (dubbed the Decretazo, because it was passed using a decree-law), which served him as his first important clash with Aznar's government.
A General Strike was announced for June 20, 2002 (the first since Aznar won the election in 1996). Events 451 - Battle of Chalons: Flavius Aetius ' defeats Attila the Hun. See also 2002 (disambiguation Year 2002 ( MMII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. According to official data (including the electrical power consumption and the number of worked man-days calculated by the Social Security) the turnout was lower than 15 percent, the lowest since the restoration of democracy (there were four General Strikes during Felipe González premiership). Felipe González Márquez (born 5 March 1942 is a Spanish socialist politician The unions and Zapatero disbelieved the data and considered the strike a resounding success, with more than "10 million" workers. Whatever the result, both the People's Party government and the trade unions signed an agreement that satisfied both parties in November.
Felipe González declared in May 2002 in reference to the change in the Socialist Party that "My state of mind tells me that a change has taken place, that perhaps a second Suresnes has happened, but it has yet to be proved that a new project with content and ideas really exists", thus doubting Zapatero's leadership. Felipe González Márquez (born 5 March 1942 is a Spanish socialist politician That declaration was expressed in a public event also attended by Zapatero, who calmly expressed his disagreement. González ended his intervention by remembering that his candidate for Secretary General was José Bono, not Zapatero. José Bono Martínez ( December 14, 1950) is a Spanish politician born in Salobre, Albacete. González backtracked the next day, declaring that either his words had been incorrectly construed or he had expressed his ideas erroneously. José Bono himself confirmed his total support for Zapatero. José Bono Martínez ( December 14, 1950) is a Spanish politician born in Salobre, Albacete. [OCAM pp. 310-311] The incident seemed to confirm that Zapatero's strategy was not working.
On October 22, 2002 Zapatero spoke in the name of the Socialist Party during the debate about the National Budget. Events 202 BC - Hannibal Barca, leader of the Carthaginians, is defeated by the Roman legions under Scipio Africanus See also 2002 (disambiguation Year 2002 ( MMII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. Initially, Jordi Sevilla was to have been the Socialist spokesman but, at the last moment, he was replaced in a surprise move. When Jordi Sevilla, after being called by the speaker, had already descended to the floor of the Congress of Deputies, Zapatero said to him "let me do it" and climbed to the orator platform. Aznar and other members of the People's Party had previously criticized him for not representing his party in the debate, suggesting a lack of the necessary political skills. (born 25 February 1953 served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004 Zapatero tried to prove it was false, and it seems that his action had quite a positive effect on his supporters; although the People's Party considered his action too theatrical. [OCAM p. 316]
In November 2002, the oil tanker Prestige suffered an accident in international waters near Galicia (a region in the Northwestern tip of Spain) that caused a grave oil slick which mainly affected Galicia, but also, to a lesser degree all the northern coast of Spain, and even the coast of France. The Prestige was an Oil tanker whose sinking in 2002 off the Galician coast caused a large Oil spill. Galicia (occasionally Galiza) is an autonomous community in northwest Spain. The tanker was ordered by the governmental authorities to be moved away from the coast because it seems that the oil is easier to recover from the water than from the sand - for example, special ships already prepared for that exist - and increasing the distance increases the affected area but decreases the number of irremediably affected places. The Prestige finally split and sank.
Zapatero blamed the PP Government management during and after the accident for the accident. The decision to take the tanker away was especially criticized as Zapatero expressed it to be unnecessary. Although the Prestige was very old and in a very bad state, Zapatero thought that it should have be allowed to enter a harbour. The Prestige was an Oil tanker whose sinking in 2002 off the Galician coast caused a large Oil spill.
The accident and its consequences became the main source of Socialist criticisms and the biggest point of friction, together with Iraq, until the election of 2004. A Socialist MP in the Regional Assembly of Madrid, Antonio Carmona, declared soon after the catastrophe: "We have more than enough votes, if not, we will sink another boat".  He resigned because of this statement. Jesús Caldera, who became a minister after the victory in 2004, was heavily criticized by the People's Party for using a manipulated document relative to the route of the Prestige in a parliamentary debate about the catastrophe. [OCAM p. 340] These events were used by the People Party's "to demonstrate" the "demagogical strategy" of the Socialist Party.
Probably, the main point of friction between Aznar and Zapatero was the war on Iraq. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. Opinion polls showed that a clear majority of Spanish voters were against the U. S. -led attack against Saddam Hussein's regime (near or surpassing 90 percent). Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti ( Arabic: ar صدام حسين عبد المجيد التكريتي --> April 28 1937 &ndash December 30 Among them, Zapatero who considered any action against Saddam's regime to be illegal and who was opposed to the very concept of preemptive war. Preemptive war (or a preemptive strike) is waged in an attempt to repel or defeat a perceived inevitable offensive or Invasion, or to gain a strategic advantage in
On May 26, 2003 a Yakovlev Yak-42 plane carrying Spanish soldiers coming home from Afghanistan crashed in Turkey. Events 451 - The Battle of Avarayr between Armenian rebels and the Sassanid Empire takes place Year 2003 ( MMIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, Turkey (Türkiye known officially as the Republic of Turkey ( is a Eurasian Country that stretches The plane had been hired by an agency of NATO and any other country could have used it. The North Atlantic Treaty In Zapatero's view it presented clear dangers and he blamed Aznar and his government for neglecting aspects like the plane insurance or safety. After the 2004 March elections it was proven that there had been serious irregularities when recognizing the bodies with an important number of mistakes in the identifications. 
Concerning the European Constitution, Zapatero criticized the People's Party Government for fighting to preserve the distribution of power agreed by the Nice treaty (December 2000) in the new European Constitution. The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (TCE commonly referred to as the European Constitution, was an unimplemented international Treaty intended Nice (nis Niçard Occitan: Niça norm or Nissa, Italian: Nizza or Nizza Marittima, Greek Zapatero thought that Spain should accept a lesser share of power.
On May 25, 2003, the first local and regional elections since Zapatero's appointment as leader of the Socialist party took place. Events 1085 - Alfonso VI of Castile takes Toledo Spain back from the Moors. Year 2003 ( MMIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. The Socialist Party received a larger popular vote (which prompted Zapatero to claim his party had been the winner) but the People's Party obtained more government posts in councils and regional governments. In general, there were not too many changes in the results compared to those of the previous Elections held in 1999. The Socialists lost The Balearic Islands but got enough votes in Madrid to govern through a coalition with the communists of United Left. The Balearic Islands ( Catalan and official Illes Balears; Spanish: Islas Baleares) are an Archipelago in the western Mediterranean Madrid (pronounced in English in Spanish and colloquially in Spain) is the Capital and largest city of Spain. United Left ( Izquierda Unida) is a political coalition that was organized in 1986 during the mobilizations in Spain against NATO. The last victory was welcomed by Zapatero as the winner in Madrid had always won the next general election. However, an unexpected scandal, the so-called Madrid Assembly Scandal, negatively affected the socialist expectations of a victory in 2004.
After the Madrid election, the People's Party had lacked two seats to obtain an absolute majority. This seemed to allow an alliance of Socialists and United left to seize power. United Left ( Izquierda Unida) is a political coalition that was organized in 1986 during the mobilizations in Spain against NATO. But an unexpected event happened. Eduardo Tamayo and María Teresa Sáez, two socialists MPs angry at the distribution of power in the future regional government between United Left and the Socialist Party started a crisis that led to the repetition of the Election in Madrid in October 2003 with the subsequent victory of the People's Party.
Zapatero did not accept the version of the socialist MPs and tried to explain it through a conspiratorial plot caused by speculative interests of the house building industry that would have bribed the MPs to prevent a left-wing government. The People's Party, on the other hand, defended the theory that the anger of the two Socialist MPs was caused by a failed Zapatero's promise about the referred distribution of power within the Madrid section of the Socialist Party. That promise would have been made some months before the crisis in exchange of support for one of his more immediate collaborators (Trinidad Jiménez), who wanted to become the Socialist candidate to mayor of Madrid (the Spanish capital). Jiménez (b 1962) is a Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE politician and is currently Spain's Secretary of State for Ibero-America.
It was known that Eduardo Tamayo had played an active role in Zapatero's appointment as Secretary General of the party (See Zapatero's years as an opposition leader#Appointment as Secretary General), together with José Luis Balbás, the leader of the internal faction to which Eduardo Tamayo belonged, who was also expelled from the party because of the scandal. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (born 4 August 1960 better known by his maternal surname Zapatero (literally "shoemaker" in Spanish is the current
Zapatero's team had entered into contact with José Luis Balbás through Enrique Martínez and Jesús Caldera (current Minister of Labor), who already knew him. [OCAM p. 237] In April 2000, Zapatero, Caldera and José Blanco had had lunch with Eduardo Tamayo in a restaurant in Madrid. Tamayo would become later a representative of Zapatero in the 35th party national conference. At the end of the month "Renovadores de la Base" (the faction of Tamayo and Balbás) decided to support Zapatero and the later agreed to be part of Zapatero's team. [OCAM pp. 238-239] He played an important role during Zapatero's promotion. For example, Balbás together with José Blanco controlled the list of delegates. It was a fundamental job, as the different tasks of promotion needed that list, at least, to contact the delegates for the conference.
This was used by Zapatero's rivals to introduce doubts over Zapatero's leadership of the Socialist Party and over his honesty.
During the Debate over the State of the Nation, an annual debate that takes place every year on the Spanish Congress of Deputies, Zapatero was attacked harshly by José María Aznar on account of the scandal. The Spanish Congress of Deputies (Spanish Congreso de los Diputados) is the lower house of the Cortes Generales, Spain 's Legislative branch. (born 25 February 1953 served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004 For the first time, the opinion polls showed that most Spaniards believed that the then Spanish Prime Minister had been the winner (Zapatero had always been considered the winner since his first debate in 2001).
The scandal was especially damaging for the socialists because they had to overcome their reputation of being a corrupt party to again become the government of Spain. The two MP's rebellion seemed to prove they were unable to solve their old problems.
Later, in October, a regional election took place in Catalonia, whose results were worse than expected for the Socialist Party. All the Autonomous communities of Spain hold the elections to their assemblies the same day, with the exception of Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Country. An autonomous community is a first-level political division of the Kingdom of Spain, established in accordance with the Spanish Constitution. Catalonia (Cataluña Catalunya Aranese: Catalonha) is an Autonomous Community in the northeast part of Spain. Galicia (occasionally Galiza) is an autonomous community in northwest Spain. The Basque Country ( Basque Euskadi, Spanish País Vasco) is an autonomous community in northern Spain. That day coincides with the municipal elections all over Spain. Therefore, the results are hugely significant.
On November 16, 2003, the regional election for the Assembly of Catalonia was held. Events 534 - A second and final revision of the Codex Justinianus is published Year 2003 ( MMIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. Two days before, Zapatero had predicted a historical victory for the Catalan Socialist Party and the beginning of the People's Party defeat. The final results were 46 seats for CiU (ten fewer than in 1999, the year of the previous election), 42 for the Socialist Party (ten fewer), 15 for the People's Party (three more), 9 for Iniciativa per Catalunya-Verds and 23 (nine more) for the Republican Left of Catalonia. Convergence and Union (Convergència i Unió CiU) is a Political party in Catalonia, Spain. Zapatero attributed the bad results to the consequences of the crisis of Madrid. However, Maragall became the President of the Regional Government after a Pact with Republican Left of Catalonia and Iniciativa per Catalunya-Verds. [OCAM p. 342]
That alliance supposed other setback for the Socialist Party when the Spanish newspaper ABC published that Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira, leader of Republican Left of Catalonia, had met some ETA terrorists secretly in January 2004. ABC is a Spanish national Daily newspaper founded in Madrid on January 1, 1903, by Torcuato Luca de Tena y Alvarez-Ossorio eu '''Euskadi Ta Askatasuna''' or ETA ( Basque for "Basque Homeland and Freedom" ˈɛːta is an illegal armed Basque nationalist Separatist According to ABC, Carod-Rovira would have promised to provide ETA with political support if the terrorist group did not act in Catalonia, what seemed to have been confirmed by the ETA announcement of a truce affecting only that region some months later, before the general election of 2004. Carod-Rovira resigned as vice president of the Catalan government, but continued being the leader of his party. The scandal damaged Zapatero's image, as terrorism is an important problem in Spain and Carod-Rovira's party was seen as a possible ally if Zapatero won the election.
At end of 2003 and the beginning of 2004 the Spanish political parties started to prepare themselves for the general election of 2004. Legislative elections were held in Spain on March 14, 2004. At stake were all 350 seats in the lower house of the Cortes Generales, the All of the opinion polls elaborated at the time foreseen a defeat for Zapatero, as they always predicted a new victory for the People's Party. (See Zapatero and the 2004 General Election)
This section is concerned with the election victory of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in March 2004. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (born 4 August 1960 better known by his maternal surname Zapatero (literally "shoemaker" in Spanish is the current Zapatero became Prime Minister of Spain after winning his first General Election in March 14, 2004. The Prime Minister of Spain, (officially the President of the Government, Spanish: Presidente del Gobierno) is the Spanish Head of government Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Events 1489 - The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again "
The campaign for the General Election started a fortnight before March 14, 2004. Events 1489 - The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " Polls favoured the People's Party, with some polls predicting a possible repeat of their absolute majority. The People's Party ( Spanish: Partido Popular, PP) is the main right Political party in Spain.
Previously, on January 8, 2004, Zapatero had created a Committee of Notables composed of 10 highly qualified experts with considerable political weight. Events 871 - Battle of Ashdown - Ethelred of Wessex defeats a Danish invasion army "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " Its mission was to help him to become prime minister. Among its members: José Bono (his ex-rival for the Secretaryship of the party and former Minister of Defence), Juan Carlos Rodríguez Ibarra (president of the regional government of Extremadura and one of the most important socialist leaders), Miguel Ángel Moratinos (his current minister of Foreign affairs [April 2005]), Gregorio Peces-Barba (later appointed by him High Commissioner for the Victims of Terrorism, although he has already made public his resignation), Carmen Calvo (later appointed Minister of Culture), etc. José Bono Martínez ( December 14, 1950) is a Spanish politician born in Salobre, Albacete. Juan Carlos Rodríguez Ibarra ( Merida, January 19, 1948) is a Spanish politician of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party. Extremadura is an autonomous community of western Spain whose capital city is Mérida. Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé (b June 8, 1951 in Madrid) is a Spanish diplomat and politician a member of the Socialist Workers' Carmen Calvo Poyato (born June 9 1957 in Cabra, Córdoba) is a politician of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party who served between [OCAM p. 313]
Ten days later, on January 18, 2004, Zapatero announced that he would only become prime minister if the Spanish Socialist Workers Party received plurality, renouncing possible parliamentary alliances in advance if that situation did not happen after the election. Events 350 - Generallus Magnentius deposes Roman Emperor Constans and proclaims himself Emperor "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, commonly abbreviated by its Spanish initials PSOE ( P artido S ocialista O brero E spañol is Minority parties (especially United Left, a communist party) criticized the decision, for they considered it an attempt to attract their own voters, who would rather ensure a defeat of the People's Party even at the expense of voting for an unfavorable party. [OCAM p. 317]
Zapatero's slogan became "we deserve a better Spain", which was coupled with "Zapatero Presidente", or "(ZP)", which itself has become a popular nickname of the current Spanish Prime Minister.
During the campaign, Zapatero harshly criticized the People's Party for its management of the Prestige crisis, its attitude towards the invasion of Iraq and the high cost of housing. The Prestige was an Oil tanker whose sinking in 2002 off the Galician coast caused a large Oil spill. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. Mariano Rajoy, the new leader of the People's Party after Aznar's voluntary retirement, on his part, attacked Zapatero's foreseeable future alliances with parties like United Left or Republican Left of Catalonia (a pro-Independence Catalan party). Mariano Rajoy Brey (maˈɾjano raˈxoj (born March 27 1955) is a Spanish Politician. (born 25 February 1953 served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004
One of the most important points of friction was the absence of televised debates between the candidates. Zapatero was the first to propose a debate to Mariano Rajoy, the new leader of the People's Party after Aznar's voluntary retirement. Mariano Rajoy Brey (maˈɾjano raˈxoj (born March 27 1955) is a Spanish Politician. Rajoy accepted on the condition that Zapatero could not be alone but accompanied at least by two of his potential allies after the election: Gaspar Llamazares (the leader of United Left) and Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira (leader of Republican Left of Catalonia). Gaspar Llamazares Trigo MD (born November 28, 1957 in Logroño, La Rioja, Spain) is a Spanish politician Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira (ʒuˈzεb ʎuˈis kəˈɾɔt ruˈβirə in Catalan, born May 17, 1952 in Cambrils, Tarragona) is a The Republican Left of Catalonia (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya ERC) is a left-wing Catalan independentist political party in Spain campaigning for Rajoy justified his decision on the grounds that, in his opinion, he was not running against the Socialist Party but against a "coalition" of forces opposed to the People's Party's policies. Zapatero never formally responded to this proposal and throughout the campaign he continued criticizing what he always defined as Rajoy's reluctance to defend his political program face-to-face. (Zapatero has promised to change electoral law to make televised debates compulsory. )
On March 11, 2004 the largest peacetime attacks in Spanish history took place. Events 1425 BC - Thutmose III, Pharaoh of Egypt, dies (according to the Low Chronology of the 18th Dynasty "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " Several commuter trains were bombed, causing 191 deaths and outrage all over Spain. The attacks took place three days before the General Election and all electoral activities were suspended. The common sorrow, instead of promoting unity among Spaniards, increased the already bitter tone of the campaign. 
The People's Party government and Zapatero (who accused ETA in a radio statement broadcast at 8:50 a. m. ), initially claimed the attacks to be the work of ETA, a Basque nationalist organization. eu '''Euskadi Ta Askatasuna''' or ETA ( Basque for "Basque Homeland and Freedom" ˈɛːta is an illegal armed Basque nationalist Separatist Basque nationalism is a movement with roots in the Carlism and the loss by the laws of 1839 and 1876 of the Ancien Régime relationship between the Basque provinces Later, after an audiotape in Arabic was found in a van near a railway station where the terrorists boarded one of the trains, Aznar declared that all of the possibilities were being investigated. Arabic (ar الْعَرَبيّة (informally ar عَرَبيْ) in terms of the number of speakers is the largest living member of the Semitic language  The government was accused of manipulating information about the real authorship of the attacks to avoid the consequences of public anger at a bombing motivated by its foreign policy.
Zapatero himself has repeatedly accused the Popular Party of lying about those who were responsible for the attacks. On the other hand, in the book "11-M. La venganza" by Casimiro Abadillo, a prominent Spanish journalist who works for the newspaper El Mundo, it is reported that, before the General Election, Zapatero told the director of that newspaper, Pedro J. El Mundo ( Spanish for "The World" full name El Mundo del Siglo Veintiuno, "The World of the 21st century" is the second largest Ramirez, that two suicide bombers had been found among the victims (although all the specialists that examined the bodies said they found no evidence pointing to that). This article is about suicide attacks for political and/or military reasons  When he was asked in December 2004 about the issue by the Parliamentary Investigative Committee created to find the truth about the attacks, he declared that he did not remember what he had said.
The campaign had ended abruptly two days before it was expected to convene as a result of the bombings. Events 1489 - The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " The day before the elections — in this case March 13, 2004 — is considered to be a "Day of Reflection" under Spanish electoral law , with candidates and their parties legally barred from political campaigning. Events 1138 - Cardinal Gregorio Conti is elected Antipope as Victor IV, succeeding Anacletus II. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " Despite this prohibition, numerous demonstrations took place against the government of José María Aznar in front of the premises of the People's Party all over Spain. There were some claims that most of these demonstrations were instigated or orchestrated by the Socialist Party, through the use of SMS text messaging from mobile phones belonging to the Socialist Party. The Socialist Party publicly denied these accusations, though several mobile phones used to relay the messages apparently belonged to socialist politicians.
As the demonstrations escalated, Mariano Rajoy himself (candidate for the Popular Party) appeared on national TV to denounce the illegal demonstrations. In reply, both José Blanco and Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba broke the silence from the Socialist Party's side, in separate appearances. In the end both sides accused each other of breaking the electoral law on reflection day.
In this climate of social unrest and post-attack shock, the elections were held on March 14, 2004. Legislative elections were held in Spain on March 14, 2004. At stake were all 350 seats in the lower house of the Cortes Generales, the Events 1489 - The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " Zapatero's Socialist Party won the elections, with 164 seats in the Cortes, while the People's Party obtained 148. It seems likely that the election result was influenced to a greater or lesser extent by the Spanish public's response to the attacks and the informative coverage by the different media and political parties.
An important point of controversy is if the purpose of the Madrid attacks were to force a Socialist victory; at issue as well was that, if that was the case, whether they succeeded in altering the final result. This has been called the "March 4 theory" (that is, if the election had been scheduled for March 7, the attacks would have taken place on March 4) by Aznar, among others. No definitive data exists in favour of that possibility but some facts have been used to support it. Thus, the first question Jamal Zougam (one of the first arrested suspects) made when he arrived at the Courthouse on March 15, 2004 was: 'Who won the election?'. Events 44 BC - Julius Caesar, Dictator of the Roman Republic, is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " 
Today it is widely accepted that the attacks had an impact on the election. How it influenced the results is widely debated. The three schools of thought are:
All of these controversies put a blemish on Zapatero's victory, as the shadow of what had happened the three previous days did not allow the Socialist Party to fully enjoy its triumph. The electoral result was considered by some foreign media, especially in the US, an example of weakness that would encourage further terrorist attacks, as Zapatero had opposed George W. Bush's policy in the Middle East and had promised to withdraw the Spanish troops from Iraq. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. The theory that the bombing affected the result is a Counterfactual that cannot be verified. As elections in European states hinge on social and economic policies mainly, it is equally possible the Terrorist events had no effect.
On June 13, 2004 (three months after the General Election) the Election for the European Parliament took place. Events 1525 - Martin Luther marries Katharina von Bora, against the Celibacy rule decreed by the Roman Catholic Church for "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " The European Parliament ( Europarl or EP) is the only directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union (EU The Socialist Party won again with 25 seats against 25 for the People's Party (out of 54). Although José Borrell was the official candidate, Zapatero played an important role in that campaign (as is usual in Spain). Josep Borrell Fontelles (born April 24, 1947) is a Spanish politician
Much of Zapatero's work has been on social issues, including gender-motivated violence and discrimination, divorce. Gender comprises a range of differences between men and women extending from the biological to the social Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the termination of a Marriage.  and same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage (also referred to as gay marriage) is a term for a legally or Socially recognized Marriage between two people of the same  The most recent social issue tackled has been the Dependency Law, a plan to regulate help and resources for people in dire need of them, and who cannot provide for themselves and must rely on others on a daily basis. Zapatero has also made it clear that he values funding of research and development and higher education and believes them to be essential for Spain's economic competitiveness. At the same time, he has increased the minimum wage and pursued other classically socialist policies. A minimum wage is the lowest hourly daily or monthly Wage that employers may legally pay to employees or workers He has also announced his intention to undertake limited reforms to the Spanish Constitution, though no specifics have been made available. The Constitution of Spain is regarded as the culmination of the Spanish transition to democracy.
The legalization of same-sex marriage in Spain on July 1, 2005 includes adoption rights as well as other rights that were available only to heterosexual couples. Same-sex marriage in Spain was legalized in 2005 In 2004 the nation's newly elected Socialist government led by President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero "July 1st" redirects here For the Ayumi Hamasaki song see H (song. Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. LGBT adoption refers to the Adoption of children by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgendered people Heterosexuality refers to sexual behavior with or attraction to people of the opposite sex or to a heterosexual orientation This caused a stir within the Catholic Church, which opposed the measures. 
Zapatero has often declared that his government will not be "soft on terrorism" and will not allow regional nationalists to endanger Spanish unity. Some say that this comment was probably made for his party alliances with parties like Republican Left of Catalonia. The Republican Left of Catalonia (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya ERC) is a left-wing Catalan independentist political party in Spain campaigning for
On November 13, 2003 in a rally in Barcelona during the election campaign that took Pasqual Maragall to power in the Generalitat, Rodríguez Zapatero gave a famous promise to approve the Statute of Catalonia:
In October 2005, a controversial proposal to reform the Catalan statute arrived at the Spanish parliament after being passed in Catalonia. Zapatero, who had often expressed his support for a change of the statute (although he did not entirely support the draft passed by the Catalan Parliament), became on October 12, 2005 (Spain's national holiday), the first prime minister ever to be booed during the traditional military parade in Madrid, probably due to the large popular opposition to the new statute outside of Catalonia. Events 539 BC - The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia takes Babylon. Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
In October 2004 Zapatero's government undertook the task of morally and legally rehabilitating those who were suppressed during and after the Spanish Civil War, by instituting a Memorial Commission chaired by Vice-Prime Minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega. The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict in Spain that started after an attempted Coup d'état committed by parts of the army against the government of María Teresa Fernández de la Vega Sanz, Doctor of Law (born June 15, 1949) is a Spanish Socialist Workers' Party politician
On March 17, 2005, Zapatero's government ordered the removal of the last remaining statue of former dictator Francisco Franco that remained in Madrid. Events 45 BC - In his last victory Julius Caesar defeats the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. A dictator is an Authoritarian ruler (eg Absolutist or autocratic) who assumes sole and absolute power without hereditary ascension such as an Absolute Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde (born December 4, 1892 in Ferrol, died November 20, 1975 in Madrid 
Just after he took office, Zapatero repealed the law reforming the Education System passed by the previous government and, in November 2005, introduced his own reform project. The project was opposed by the People's Party, the Catholic Church, the Muslim community, The Catholic Confederation of Parents' Associations and an important part of the educational community, often for disparate reasons. A Muslim (مسلم pronounced Muslim, not Muzlim) is an adherent of the Religion Complaints against the reform include the limits it imposes upon the parent's freedom to choose a school, the decrease in academic status of voluntary religious education, the introduction of a compulsory course ("Education for Citizenship") and a perceived ineffectiveness of the reform in terms of combating poor educational results. The last complaint would be reinforced by the opinion that Spain has ranked poorly amongst the developed countries in the quality and results of its education.
After a major demonstration took place against this education reform, the government held a series of meetings with many of the organizations that opposed the reform, reaching agreements with some of them (especially parents' associations and teachers' unions). Some others, most prominently the People's Party and the Catholic Church remain staunchly opposed to it.
ETA declared what it described at the time as a "permanent ceasefire" that began on midnight March 23, 2006. eu '''Euskadi Ta Askatasuna''' or ETA ( Basque for "Basque Homeland and Freedom" ˈɛːta is an illegal armed Basque nationalist Separatist A ceasefire (or truce) is a temporary stoppage of a War or any Armed conflict, where each side of the conflict agrees Events 1174 - Jocelin, Abbot of Melrose, is elected Bishop of Glasgow. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar.  On June 5, 2007 ETA declared this cease-fire over. Events 70 - Titus and his Roman Legions breach the middle wall of Jerusalem in the Siege of Jerusalem Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.  After the initial ceasefire declaration Zapatero informed the Congress that steps would be taken to negotiate with ETA in order to end its terrorist campaign while denying that there would be any political price paid to put an end to ETA.  The PP grew concerned about the possibility of political concessions being made to the group to stop their ways, and actively opposed anything other than the possibility of an organized surrender and dismantling of ETA, refusing to support any kind of negotiation.  On December 30, 2006 the ceasefire was broken when a car bomb exploded in Madrid's International Airport, Barajas and ETA claimed authorship. Events 1460 - Wars of the Roses: Battle of Wakefield. 1816 - The Treaty of St Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. On the morning of December 30, 2006, an explosion took place in the carpark building attached to Terminal 4 of Madrid Barajas International Airport in Spain Following this, Zapatero gave orders to halt initiatives leading to negotiations with ETA.  Demonstrations across Spain followed the next day, most condemning the attack, others condemning the Government's policies and a minority even questioning the authorship of the Madrid bombings. 
A massive rally in Madrid followed on February 25, 2007 promoted by the Victims of Terrorism Association (AVT in Spanish acronym), rejecting what are perceived to be concessions from the government to the separatists. Events 138 - The Emperor Hadrian adopts Antoninus Pius, effectively making him his successor Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. 
On March 10, 2007 a new massive rally was held in Madrid gathering -depending on the source's relationships to the government- between 342,000 and over two million people. Events 241 BC - First Punic War: Battle of the Aegates Islands - The Romans sink the Carthaginian fleet bringing Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.  This demonstration was organized by the opposition party PP and backed by the AVT and several other associations of victims, to not allow Iñaki de Juana Chaos out of prison and accusing Zapatero's government of surrendering to terrorism. José Ignacio de Juana Chaos, better known as Iñaki de Juana Chaos (born 1955 in Legazpia, Guipuzcoa is a member of the Basque Paramilitary 
During the meeting of the European Union Justice and Home Affairs Ministers held in Tampere on September 22, 2006, some of the European ministers reprimanded the Spanish authorities for the aforementioned massive regularization of undocumented immigrants which was regarded as too loose and opposed to the policies of other State members (on September 2 and 3 alone, during the height of the last illegal immigration wave, 2,283 people arrived illegally in the Canary Islands having shipped from Senegal aboard 27 traditional Senegalese boats. Tampere ( ˈtɑmpɛrɛ Swedish: Tammerfors or) is a city in southern Finland located between two lakes Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi Events 66 - Emperor Nero creates the Legion I Italica. 1236 - The Lithuanians Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. The Canary Islands ( English pronunciation kəˈnæriː ˈaɪləndz Spanish: Islas Canarias, ˈizlas kaˈnarjas are a Spanish Senegal (le Sénégal officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country south of the Sénégal River in western Africa. 
Once they reach Spanish territory, the undocumented immigrants can travel freely -for the internal frontiers are basically open within the European Union; thus, it is not unknown for some of them have other European countries as their final destinations. The European Union ( EU) is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in This started a short lived polemic between France's Nicolas Sarkozy and the Spanish premier Rodríguez Zapatero. Nicolas Sarkozy (pronounced, 
Before being elected, Zapatero opposed the American policy in regard to Iraq pursued by former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. During the electoral campaign Zapatero had promised to withdraw the troops if control in Iraq was not passed to the United Nations after June 30 (the ending date of the initial Spanish military agreement with the multinational coalition that had overthrown Saddam Hussein). The United Nations ( UN) is an International organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in International law, International security Zapatero declared that he did not intend to withdraw the Spanish troops before that date after being questioned about the issue by the People's Party's leader Mariano Rajoy in his inauguration parliamentary debate as Prime Minister. The People's Party ( Spanish: Partido Popular, PP) is the main right Political party in Spain. Mariano Rajoy Brey (maˈɾjano raˈxoj (born March 27 1955) is a Spanish Politician.
On April 19, 2004 Zapatero announced the withdrawal of the 1,300 Spanish troops in Iraq. Events 1012 - Martyrdom of Alphege in Greenwich London. 1529 - At the Second Diet of Speyer "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. 
The decision aroused international support worldwide, though the Bush administration claimed that terrorists could perceive it as "a victory obtained due to the 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings". John Kerry, then Democratic party candidate for the U. } John Forbes Kerry (born December 11 1943 is an American Politician who is currently serving his fourth term as the junior United States Senator The Democratic Party is one of two major Political parties in the United States, the other being the Republican Party. S. Presidency, asked Zapatero not to withdraw the Spanish soldiers. Some months after withdrawing the troops, the Zapatero government agreed to increase the number of Spanish soldiers in Afghanistan and to send troops to Haiti to show the Spanish Government's willingness to spend resources on international missions approved by the United Nations. Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, Haiti ( English: ˈheɪ·tiː or haɪ·ˈjiː·tiː French Haïti a·i·ti Haitian Creole: The United Nations ( UN) is an International organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in International law, International security
An important change in Spanish foreign policy was Zapatero's decision to approach left-wing leaders such as Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chávez. ¿Por qué no te callas? (English "Why don't you shut up?" is a phrase that was uttered by King Juan Carlos I of Spain to Hugo Chávez The Republic of Cuba (ˈkjuːbə or) consists of the island of Cuba (the largest and second-most populous island of the Greater Antilles) Isla de la Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (born August 13 1926 is a Cuban revolutionary leader who was prime minister of Cuba from December 1959 to December 1976 and then president until Venezuela (ˌvɛnəˈzweɪlə) officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Spanish República Bolivariana de Venezuela) is a country on the Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (ˈuɰo rafaˈel ˈtʃaβ̞es ˈfɾias (born July 28 1954 is the current President of Venezuela. Zapatero has played an important role in the improvement of the relationship between the Cuban government and the European Union. The European Union ( EU) is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in
At the end of March 2005, Zapatero traveled to Venezuela to sign a deal to sell military ships and aircraft to Venezuela worth around US$1 billion. The United States dollar ( sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of Currency of the United States; it has also been The US government attempted to intervene but failed, accusing Venezuela of being a "dangerous country. "
After the election of Evo Morales in Bolivia, Spain was one of the countries the new president visited during his first international tour. Juan Evo Morales Ayma (born October 26 1959 in Orinoca, Oruro) popularly known as Evo (ˈeβo is the President of Bolivia since The Republic of Bolivia (República de Bolivia) named after Simón Bolívar, is a Landlocked country in central South America.
At the 2007 Ibero-American Summit, Chávez called Zapatero's precedecessor José María Aznar a fascist for allegedly supporting the 2002 coup attempt. (born 25 February 1953 served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004 Fascism is a totalitarian nationalist and corporatist ideology Zapatero used his speaking time to defend Aznar, noting that he was "democratically elected by the Spanish people. " Chávez kept trying to interrupt Zapatero, even as summit organizers turned off his microphone. King Juan Carlos, who was seated beside Zapatero, attempted for a first time to rebuke Chávez; however, he was stopped by Zapatero, who, displaying significant patience, told him to wait a moment. Early life Juan Carlos was born in Rome, where his grandfather Alfonso XIII of Spain lived in exile after the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic When Chávez continued to interrupt Zapatero, Juan Carlos finally asked Chávez "¿Por qué no te callas?" (Why don't you shut up?) in a rare outburst of anger. ¿Por qué no te callas? (English "Why don't you shut up?" is a phrase that was uttered by King Juan Carlos I of Spain to Hugo Chávez The king left the hall shortly afterwards when the Nicaraguan President began to criticize the Spanish government as well, while Zapatero went on with the negotiations and gave a speech demanding respect for the leaders of other countries. Nicaragua (ˌnɪkəˈrɑgwə officially the Republic of Nicaragua () is a representative democratic republic and the largest nation in Central America He received a loud applause.
The relations between José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and George W. Bush have been difficult, mostly as a result of Zapatero's opposition to the war in Iraq. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States.
On October 12, 2003, during the Hispanic Day military parade held in Madrid, Zapatero remained seated when a U.S. Marine Corps honour guard carrying the American flag walked past Zapatero and other VIPs. Events 539 BC - The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia takes Babylon. Year 2003 ( MMIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. The National Holiday of Spain or Hispanic Day ( Fiesta Nacional de España or Día de la Hispanidad, in Spanish; Festa Nacional d'Espanya Flags of the United States The Flag of the United States of America consists of 13 equal horizontal stripes of Red (top and bottom alternating Everybody else stood as with the rest of the foreign guest armies representations.  He declared afterwards that his action was a protest against the war and certainly not intended as an insult to the American people.
As a result of this, after Zapatero was elected, American troops were instructed by their government not take part during the traditional military parade on the Spanish national holiday in 2004 and in 2005, something which they used to, as both the Spanish and American armies are part of joint humanitarian missions in places like Afghanistan and elsewhere; American troops returned to the military parade in 2006; this time Zapatero, being the Spanish premier, stood. 
Zapatero publicly stated his support for John Kerry as a candidate running in the U.S. Presidential election in 2004. } John Forbes Kerry (born December 11 1943 is an American Politician who is currently serving his fourth term as the junior United States Senator The United States presidential election of 2004 was held on Tuesday November 2, 2004, to elect the President of the United States.  After the election took place, winner George W. Bush did not return Zapatero's congratulation phone call, though the White House firmly denied that Bush's intention was to snub the Spanish prime minister. See also Executive Office of the President of the United States The White House, formerly known as the Executive Mansion, is the Official residence  Meanwhile Zapatero has repeatedly insisted that Spain's relations with the United States are good.
Later on, during an official visit to Tunisia shortly after Zapatero was elected, he asked all of the countries with troops in Iraq to withdraw their soldiers. This declaration moved Bush to send a letter expressing discontent to the Spanish premier.
In May 2007, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice officially visited Spain and held talks with Zapatero. The United States Secretary of State (commonly abbreviated as SecState) is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with Foreign affairs Condoleezza Rice (born November 14 1954 is the 66th United States
Zapatero's predecessor, José María Aznar, defended a strong Atlanticist policy. (born 25 February 1953 served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004 For the belief in the legendary island civilization see Atlantis. Zapatero has reversed that policy in favour of a pan-European one. It has also sponsored the idea of an Alliance of Civilizations which is co-sponsored by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Alliance of Civilizations is an initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General which seeks to galvanize international action against Extremism through the This is a chronological list of Prime Ministers of Turkey, since the establishment of that position in 1920, during the Turkish War of Independence. "Erdoğan" redirects here For the Turkish Helicopter Erdoğan see Kamov Ka-50.
In the writing of what was to be the European Constitution Zapatero accepted the distribution of power proposed by countries such as Germany and France. ˌɡeɐ̯haɐ̯t fʁɪʦ kʊɐ̯t ˈʃʁøːdɐ (born 7 April 1944 German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005 The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (TCE commonly referred to as the European Constitution, was an unimplemented international Treaty intended Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. After signing the treaty in Rome together with other leaders, he decided to call for a referendum, which was held on February 20, 2005. Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 A referendum (plural referendums or referenda) ballot question, or plebiscite (from Latin plebiscita Events 1472 - Orkney and Shetland are left by Norway to Scotland, due to a Dowry payment Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. It was the first referendum on the EU treaty, a fact highly publicized by Zapatero's government. A 'Yes' vote was supported by the Socialist Party and the People's Party and as a result almost 77 percent voted in favour of the European Constitution, but turnout was around 43 percent. However, this result came to nothing when a referendum in France voted to reject the European Constitution which meant that the EU could not ratify the treaty because support was not unanimous.
On March 1, 2005, Zapatero became the first Spanish prime minister to speak to the French National Assembly. Events 86 BC - Lucius Cornelius Sulla, at the head of a Roman Republic army enters in Athens, removing the Tyrant Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. He supported the PS candidate Ségolène Royal during her campaign for the 2007 French presidential election. Marie-Ségolène Royal (born 22 September 1953 in Dakar, Senegal, then a French colony known as, (seɡɔlɛn ʁwajal is a The 2007 French presidential election, the ninth of the Fifth French Republic was held to elect the successor to Jacques Chirac as president of France 
Zapatero directly supported the SPD candidate, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, before the German election of 18 September 2005. ˌɡeɐ̯haɐ̯t fʁɪʦ kʊɐ̯t ˈʃʁøːdɐ (born 7 April 1944 German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005 German federal elections took place on September 18, 2005 to elect the members of the 16th German Bundestag, the federal parliament of Germany He also declared that Angela Merkel, the Christian Democrat candidate, would never become the Chancellor of Germany, which she actually did. (ˈaŋɡela doʁoˈteːa ˈmɛɐ̯kəl (born Angela Dorothea Kasner, 17 July 1954 in Hamburg, West Germany) is the Chancellor of Germany. Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian (and often specifically Catholic) principles to public policy
While Zapatero complained about Gibraltar's celebrations for the tercentenary of its occupation by United Kingdom and rejected the Gibraltarians' requests for Spain to recognize its right to self-determination, at the end of 2004 his policy changed and he became the first Spanish president to accept the participation of Gibraltar as a partner on the same level as Spain and the United Kingdom in discussions both countries hold regularly concerning the colony. Gibraltar (dʒɨˈbrɒltər is a British overseas territory located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Gibraltar (dʒɨˈbrɒltər is a British overseas territory located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located The decision was criticized by many in Spain as a surrender of their right to sovereignty over Gibraltar as well as a disruption of the Treaty of Utrecht. The Treaty of Utrecht that established the Peace of Utrecht, rather than a single document comprised a series of individual peace treaties signed in the Dutch Zapatero said it was a new way to solve a 300-year-old issue.
On March 9, 2008, Zapatero won the general elections. Legislative elections for the Spanish Cortes Generales were held on March 9, 2008. Events 590 - Bahram Chobin is crowned as king Barham VI of Persia. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common The Socialist Party won with 43. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, commonly abbreviated by its Spanish initials PSOE ( P artido S ocialista O brero E spañol is 8 percent of the votes with 93 percent of the votes counted.  Two days earlier, on March 7, Isaías Carrasco, a PSOE Basque politician was shot dead in what is believed to be an attack by ETA, and which resulted in the agreed canceling of the final days of the campaign. Events 161 - Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius dies and is succeeded by co-Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus Isaías Carrasco (1964 - March 7 2008 was a Basque politician affiliated with the PSE. The Basque Country ( Basque Euskadi, Spanish País Vasco) is an autonomous community in northern Spain. eu '''Euskadi Ta Askatasuna''' or ETA ( Basque for "Basque Homeland and Freedom" ˈɛːta is an illegal armed Basque nationalist Separatist 
|President of the Government|
|First Vice President of the Spanish Government|
|Second Vice President of the Spanish Government|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation|
|Minister of Justice|
|Minister of Defence|
|Minister of Economy and Finance|
|Minister of Interior|
|Minister of Fomento|
|Minister of Education and Science (2008 - : Minister of Education, Social Politics and Sport)|
|Minister of Work and Socials Affairs (2008 - : Minister of Work and Immigration)|
|Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism|
|Minister of Agriculture, Fishing and Nourishment (2008 - : Minister of Environment, rural and marine)|
|Minister of Presidency|
|Minister of the Public Administrations|
|Minister of Culture|
|Minister of Health and Consumption|
|Minister of Environment|
|Minister of Housing|
|Minister of Innovation and Technology|
|Minister of Equality|
|Spokeswoman of Government|
|President of Congress of Deputies|
|President of Senate|
José María Aznar
|Prime Minister of Spain|
2004 – present
|Party political offices|
Interim Political Committee
|Secretary General Spanish Socialist Workers Party|
2000 – present