Pedro Sánchez

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Pedro Sánchez

The Most Excellent
Pedro Sánchez
 
Prime Minister of Spain
Incumbent
Assumed office
2 June 2018
Monarch Felipe VI
Preceded by Mariano Rajoy
Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
17 June 2017
President Cristina Narbona
Deputy Adriana Lastra
Preceded by Caretaker committee
In office
26 July 2014 – 1 October 2016
President Micaela Navarro
Preceded by Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba
Succeeded by Caretaker committee
Leader of the Opposition
In office
18 June 2017 – 2 June 2018
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
Preceded by Position vacant
Succeeded by Mariano Rajoy
In office
26 July 2014 – 1 October 2016
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
Preceded by Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba
Succeeded by Position vacant
Member of the Congress of Deputies
In office
10 January 2013 – 29 October 2016
Constituency Madrid
In office
15 September 2009 – 27 September 2011
Constituency Madrid
Member of the Madrid City Council
In office
18 May 2004 – 15 September 2009
 
Personal details
Born Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón
(1972-02-29) 29 February 1972 
Madrid, Spain
Political party Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party
Spouse(s) María Begoña Gómez Fernández (m. 2006)
Children 2
Residence Palace of Moncloa
Alma mater
  • Complutense University
  • University of Brussels
  • University of Navarra
  • Camilo José Cela University
Signature
 

Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón (Spanish: [ˈpeðɾo ˈsantʃeθ ˈpeɾeθ kasteˈxon]) is a Spanish economist and politician serving as Prime Minister of Spain since 2 June 2018. He is also Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), holding office for the second time after winning a leadership election June 2017. He is without a seat in the Congress of Deputies.

He served as town councillor in the City Council of Madrid from 2004 to 2009. In 2009, he was first elected Deputy in the Congress. In 2014, he became Secretary-General of the PSOE, and he was the party’s candidate for prime minister in the 2015 and 2016 general elections. During his first term as Secretary-General, he was heavily opposed to the re-election of Rajoy as Prime Minister. Rajoy needed the abstention of the PSOE in the Congress of Deputies in order to secure a parliamentary majority. Tensions grew within the party to allow Rajoy to form a government; due to its opposition by Sánchez, he stepped down as Secretary-General on 1 October 2016. He simultaneously resigned as Deputy, and a caretaker committee took over the PSOE leadership. He would eventually win the party primaries, defeating Susana Díaz and Patxi López, and was reinstated Secretary-General in June 2017. Under his tenure, the PSOE backed the Government of Spain in its handling of the Catalan independence referendum and the subsquent constitutional crisis.

On 31 May 2018 the PSOE filed a no-confidence motion, which passed with the support of the PSOE, Unidos Podemos, and Basque, Valencian and Catalan regionalist and nationalist parties. On 1 June 2018, a Royal Decree named Pedro Sánchez Prime Minister of Spain. On the following day, he was officially sworn into the office before King Felipe VI.

Early life

Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón was born in Madrid. His father is an economist and businessman and his mother is a lawyer and public servant in the Social Security.[4] He graduated from Instituto Ramiro de Maeztu, a public high school where he played as a basketball in the Estudiantes cantera, a professional team with links to the school, reaching the U-21 team.

In 1990, he went to the Complutense University to study economics and business sciences. In 1993, he joined the PSOE after the victory of Felipe González in elections that year. He graduated in 1995. He earned a degree in Politics and Economics in 1998 after graduating from the Free University of Brussels, and a degree of business leadership from IESE Business School in the University of Navarra.

He was awarded a Doctorate in Economics in 2012. Before entering a career in regional and national politics, Pedro Sánchez worked as a parliamentary assistant in the European Parliament, and as chief of staff to United Nations high representative in Bosnia during the Kosovo War; he was also a Professor of Economics, publishing a version of his doctoral thesis as “La nueva diplomacia económica europea”.

Political career

He served as a Deputy (Member of Parliament) in the congress for three terms (for Madrid), and also as Spain’s official leader of the opposition from 26 July 2014 to 2016. He was elected as the Secretary-General of the PSOE via a primary election process, and is the first Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party to have been elected directly by its members. After the 2015 elections, the King of Spain, having consulted the parliamentary groups, asked Sánchez to try to form a government on 2 February 2016 but he was unsuccessful and another election was called for June 2016.

As a consequence of the PSOE’s poor showings in the 2016 Basque and Galician elections, 17 members of the PSOE Executive resigned from their posts on 28 September 2016, resulting in the body’s dissolution as per party rules and theoretically prompting Sánchez’s resignation. Sánchez refused to acknowledge his ouster and remained in his position, with critics responding that Sánchez no longer had “any legitimacy” and urging him to “acknowledge party rules”.

On 1 October 2016, Pedro Sánchez resigned as PSOE leader after losing a key ballot to critics led by Susana Díaz in the party’s federal committee held that same day.[14] A few weeks later, on 29 October, he also resigned his seat in Congress after his party’s decision to abstain in Mariano Rajoy’s investiture and allow a PP minority government. After his resignation and the ensuing abstention of the party in the investiture of Mariano Rajoy, he ran again as a candidate in the primary election to select the Secretary-General in the 39th PSOE Federal Congress, being elected with 50.2 per cent of all votes cast on 21 May 2017.

Madrid City Councillor career

In 2003, he stood in the Madrid City Council election on the PSOE list headed by Trinidad Jiménez. He was 23rd on the proportional representation list and the PSOE only won 21 seats, Sánchez did not become a city councillor until a year later when two socialist councillors resigned. He quickly became one of the fundamental components of the leader of opposition Trinidad Jiménez’s team. Between 18 May 2004 – 15 September 2009, he was one of the 320 members of the City Council of Madrid, representing PSOE in the city of Madrid. At the same time, he went to help the PSdG (PSOE’s affiliated party in Galicia) to contest the 2005 Galician regional election, in which PSdG won eight seats, allowing Emilio Pérez Touriño to become the president of Galicia. In 2007, he was part of the Miguel Sebastián campaign for Madrid’s premiership.

Parliamentary career

First term (2009–2011)

He was elected to the Congress of Deputies for Madrid, replacing Pedro Solbes, Minister of Economy and Finance in the José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero cabinet, after Solbes retired from politics in 2009.

Short defeat (2011–2013)

In the general election of 2011, which saw a heavy defeat for the Socialists, PSOE placed Sánchez 11th on the Proportional Representation list, while only electing 10 deputies. Having thus failed to win a seat, he returned to the Camilo José Cela University to finish his Doctorate in Economics. He served as a consultant to a European consortium and as a university professor. He earned a PhD in Economics and Business from the Camilo José Cela University.

Second term until leadership election (2013–2014)

In January 2013, Sánchez returned to Congress, replacing Cristina Narbona, who left her seat to enter the Council of Nuclear Safety. In December 2013, after numerous Socialist leaders such as Elena Valenciano, Trinidad Jiménez, Miguel Sebastián and José Blanco López attended his new book release, his name began to sound like a prospective candidate for the party leadership. Sánchez officially launched his candidacy on 12 June 2014. He was elected as the Secretary-General on 13 July, after winning 49% of votes against his opponents Eduardo Madina and José Antonio Pérez-Tapias (member of the Socialist Left platform).[5][18] He was confirmed as Secretary-General after an Extraordinary Congress of the PSOE was held on 26–27 July that ratified the electoral result.

Secretary-General (2014–16; 2017–present)

Representing a platform based on political regeneration, he demands a constitutional reform establishing federalism as the form of administrative organization of Spain in order to ensure that Catalonia would remain inside the country; a new, progressive, fiscal policy; extending the welfare state to all citizens; joining labour unions again to strengthen economic recovery; and regaining the confidence of former Socialist voters disenchanted by the measures taken by Zapatero during his late term as Prime Minister amid an economic crisis. He also opposes the grand coalition model supported by the former Socialist Prime Minister Felipe González, who championed the German system in case of political instability. Sánchez asked his European party caucus not to vote for the consensual candidate Jean-Claude Juncker of the European People’s Party.

Pedro Sánchez, after winning the primary election for Secretary-General, singing The Internationale.
Pedro Sánchez, after winning the primary election for Secretary-General, singing The Internationale.

Upon taking office as PSOE’s Secretary-General, Sánchez faced a political crisis after the formation of a new party, Podemos. Approximately 25% of all PSOE supporters flew to Podemos. Sánchez’s political agenda includes reforming the constitution, establishing a federal model in Spain to replace the current devolution model and to further secularize Spain’s education system, including the removal of religion-affiliated public and private schools. He named César Luena as his second-in-command. On 21 June 2015, Sánchez was officially announced as the PSOE premiership candidate for the December 2015 general election. His party earned 90 seats, being second to rivals of Partido Popular (PP), who won the election with 123 representatives out of a parliament formed by 350. Since PP’s leader didn’t stand officially for the premiership, following this Sánchez was requested by the King to form a coalition, but he was unable to obtain the support of a majority of representatives. This led to a further general election in June 2016, where he stood again as PSOE’s candidate. Winning 85 seats, which made the floor of his party in a general election, he resigned in October 2016.

On 21 May 2017, Sánchez was re-elected Secretary-General for the second time with 50.2% of the votes, over his competitors Susana Díaz (39.94%) and Patxi López (9.85%).

Prime Minister (2018–present)

Rajoy congratulates Sánchez on his successful no-confidence motion.
Rajoy congratulates Sánchez on his successful no-confidence motion.

In May 2018, after verdicts were announced in the Gürtel trial, PSOE filed a successful no-confidence motion against Mariano Rajoy. Consequently, Sánchez assumed office as Spain’s Prime Minister on 1 June 2018 and was sworn in by King Felipe VI on 2 June. Sánchez said he planned to form a government that would eventually dissolve the Cortes Generales and call for a general election, but he did not specify when he would do it, while also saying that, before calling for an election, he intended take a series of measures like increasing unemployment benefits and propose a law of equal pay between the sexes. However, he also said he would uphold the 2018 budget approved by the Rajoy government, a condition the Basque Nationalist Party imposed to vote for the motion of no-confidence. He also said he would “reinstate dialogue” with the Catalan independence movement.

Inauguration

Sánchez took office on 2 June 2018 in the presence of former Prime Minister Rajoy, President of the Congress Ana Pastor, as well as King Felipe VI. Spanish media noted that Sánchez swore office on the Spanish Constitution instead of swearing on a Bible, and that no crucifix was on display, for the first time in modern Spanish history. After being sworn in, Sánchez announced that he would only propose measures that had considerable parliamentary support, and reaffirmed the government’s compliance with the EU deficit requirements.

Personal life

He married María Begoña Gómez Fernández in 2006 and they have two daughters. The wedding was officiated by Trinidad Jiménez. Sánchez successfully defended his seat again in the municipal elections in 2007. He held the position of opposition spokesman on economy, housing and planning. Aside from Spanish, Sánchez speaks fluent English and French. He is an atheist.

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