Cablegate: Spain: Biodata On Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero,
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MADRID 000892
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV SP PSOE
SUBJECT: SPAIN: BIODATA ON JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO,
REF: MADRID 880
1. (SBU) On March 14, the Spanish Workers Socialist Party
(PSOE) led by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero defeated the
incumbent Popular Party (PP), in Spain's general elections
(see reftel for discussion of election results). Zapatero
should be in place as President of the government by late
2. (SBU) Zapatero was born on August 6, 1960 in Valladolid
(the capital of the Autonomous Community of Castilla-Leon)
and comes from a left-leaning background. He is the grandson
of a republican captain who as executed by Nationalists at
the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Zapatero was
granted military deferments due to his law studies and has
not served in the military. He has devoted almost his entire
adult life to politics. Today, Zapatero is considered a
center-left, social democrat.
3. (SBU) Zapatero joined PSOE in the city of Leon in 1979
and became the leader of its youth wing in 1982. By 1986, he
held the number-two position in PSOE-Leon and was the
youngest representative elected to Congress. Between 1989
and 1993, Zapatero served as PSOE-Leon,s Regional Secretary.
He was appointed to its Federal Executive Committee in 1994.
In 1997, after President Felipe Gonzales resigned as PSOE
party leader, Zapatero was seen as the "next generation" of
the Spanish Socialist Party. After the Socialists were
defeated in Spain's 2000 general elections, Zapatero
presented himself as candidate for PSOE Secretary General.
In 2000, he defeated Socialist Party "baron" Jose Bono and
two other candidates to become PSOE Secretary General and
leader of opposition in Congress.
4. (SBU) Zapatero holds a law degree and was Professor of
Constitutional Law at the University of Leon. He married
Sonsoles Espinosa in 1988 and has two daughters.
5. (SBU) Zapatero speaks rudimentary English. He neither
smokes nor drinks. He enjoys jogging, fishing, soccer and