Alberto Núñez Feijóo

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Alberto Núñez Feijóo
EPP Congress Rotterdam - Day 1 (52112671030) (cropped).jpg
Leader of the Opposition
Assumed office
2 April 2022
Prime MinisterPedro Sánchez
Preceded byPablo Casado
President of the People's Party
Assumed office
2 April 2022
Secretary-GeneralCuca Gamarra
Preceded byPablo Casado
President of the Regional Government of Galicia
In office
18 April 2009 – 13 May 2022
Vice PresidentAlfonso Rueda
Francisco Conde
Preceded byEmilio Pérez Touriño
Succeeded byAlfonso Rueda
Member of the Senate
Assumed office
25 May 2022
ConstituencyGalicia
First Vice President of the Regional Government of Galicia
In office
10 September 2004 – 2 August 2005
PresidentManuel Fraga
Preceded byJavier Suárez Vence
Succeeded byAnxo Quintana
Councillor of Territorial Policy, Public Works and Housing of Galicia
In office
18 January 2003 – 2 August 2005
PresidentManuel Fraga
Preceded byXosé Cuiña
Succeeded byMaría José Caride
President of the People's Party of Galicia
In office
15 January 2006 – 1 April 2022
Secretary-GeneralAlfonso Rueda
Miguel Tellado
Preceded byManuel Fraga
Succeeded byAlfonso Rueda
Member of the Parliament of Galicia
In office
18 July 2005 – 24 May 2022
ConstituencyPontevedra
Personal details
Born (1961-09-10) 10 September 1961 (age 61)
Os Peares (Ourense), Galicia, Spain
Political partyPeople's Party
Domestic partnerEva Cárdenas
Children1
Alma materUniversity of Santiago de Compostela
Signature

Alberto Núñez Feijóo (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈβeɾto ˈnuɲeθ fejˈxo]; Galician pronunciation: [aːlˈβeɾtʊ ˈnuɲeθ fejˈʃoʊ]; born 10 September 1961) is a Spanish People's Party politician. He currently serves as senator from Galicia and as president of the People's Party. He served as the president of the Regional Government of Galicia from 2009 to 2022. Feijóo is described by the media as a sober, centrist politician.[1]

Formerly a civil servant, Feijóo was secretary general of Galicia's ministries of agriculture and health before moving to the same role at the national Ministry of Health, and for three years he was President of the State Society of Mail and Telegraphs. Having officially joined the People's Party of Galicia (PPdeG), he entered the Parliament of Galicia in 2005 and succeeded Manuel Fraga as party president the following January.

In the 2009 Galician regional election, the PPdeG won a majority and Feijóo became regional president. He won further terms in 2012, 2016 and 2020. In 2022, he was confirmed as Pablo Casado's successor as the president of the PP. He resigned his posts in the regional parliament and presidency, and was elected to the Senate.

Early life and civil service[edit]

Feijóo was born at number 6 Avenida de Mesón in the village of Os Peares near A Peroxa in the Province of Ourense, on 10 September 1961. His father was Saturnino Núñez, a construction foreman, and his mother Sira Feijóo.[2] After graduating in law from the University of Santiago de Compostela in 1984, Núñez Feijóo wanted to become a judge, but his father's unemployment meant that he had to find a job in the civil service to support the family.[2]

In 1991, he was chosen to be secretary general of the regional Ministry of Agriculture under José Manuel Romay Beccaría. He followed him to the Ministry of Health, first in Galicia and later to the national ministry when Romay was appointed by prime minister José María Aznar.[2] From 2000 to 2003, Feijóo was President of the State Society of Mail and Telegraphs, before returning to regional government as the Minister of Territorial Policy, Public Works and Housing of Galicia.[3][4]

Political career[edit]

Galician politics[edit]

Having once voted for the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) under Felipe González, Feijóo did not join the People's Party until 2002. After his role in the national health service, the President of the Community of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, wanted him to lead the same ministry in her region.[2]

In 2005, Manuel Fraga of the People's Party of Galicia was removed from office after 15 years as President of the Regional Government of Galicia (PPdeG), when the Socialists' Party of Galicia (PSdeG) and the Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) formed a coalition to install Emilio Pérez Touriño in his place. At the congress to name Fraga's successor in January 2006, he prevented a divide by persuading leading candidates Feijóo and José Manuel Barreiro to run in tandem as candidates for the party's president and vice president respectively, thereby taking 96% of the vote.[5]

In the 2009 Galician regional election, the PPdeG's share of seats rose from 37 to 38, thereby giving them an absolute majority of one.[6] In April, he was invested as president by the 8th legislature.[7] He won a second term in the 2012 Galician regional election, which he had called early. Despite receiving over 100,000 votes fewer than in 2009, his party gained three seats due to reduced turnout.[8] In March 2013, members of the opposition called for his resignation after photographs from the mid-1990s were published of him with Marcial Dorado, who was later convicted as a drug dealer. Feijóo said that at the time, he had no knowledge of Dorado's criminal lifestyle.[9]

Feijóo retained his majority in 2016 and 2020, the latter time increasing to 42 seats.[10] He was tipped to run to succeed Mariano Rajoy as national PP leader in 2018 but turned it down, crying while declaring that being President of Galicia was his highest ambition.[11] He resigned as president of the PPdeG effective from 1 April 2022 to take over the post in the national party.[12]

President of the People's Party[edit]

In March 2022, the 20th National Congress of the People's Party was called to elect a new national party leader after the forced ousting of incumbent Pablo Casado, who had been losing support following a dispute with the President of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso. Feijóo put himself forward as a candidate, and was endorsed by regional PP leaders such as Ayuso, Jorge Azcón (Aragon), Alfonso Fernández Mañueco (Castile and León) and Juan Manuel Moreno (Andalusia).[13][14] He ran unopposed as the only other prospective candidate, a 28-year-old local activist from Valencia, did not have enough verified signatures.[15] He named the party's spokesperson in the Congress of Deputies, Cuca Gamarra, as the party's new Secretary General.[16]

During Feijóo's candidacy, the PP formed a government with Vox in the Cortes of Castile and León. He endorsed the coalition, but said that he would not repeat it on the national level: "sometimes it's better to lose government than win it through populism".[17][18] As party president, Feijóo halted his predecessor's plans to sell the party headquarters on Calle de Génova.[19]

On 24 May 2022, Feijóo was elected by the Parliament of Galicia as senator for the region, for which he resigned his seat in the parliament.[20]

Political positions[edit]

Feijóo (left) meeting the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, in 2019

Feijóo has defined himself as a reformist of the centre-right and as a liberal.[21] While his allies have praised him for moderation,[22] opposing parties disputed these labels due to his endorsement of the PP/Vox pact in Castile and León.[23]

Under Feijóo in 2009, the PPdeG dropped its support for the Galician language, which had been supported by his predecessor and founder of the PP, Manuel Fraga.[2] In 2019, it was reported that Galician was now mandatory for all teacher candidates in the region, though Feijóo had personally said that knowledge of it would be desired but not mandatory. This policy put him against a proposal by national PP leader Pablo Casado, in which no public job would require knowledge of a regional language.[24] During the congress in which he was confirmed as PP president, he declared their language policy to be one of "cordial bilingualism".[25]

In 2011, Feijóo suggested that hospital patients should pay for non-medical service such as food and showers during their stay, and the following year he suggested privatising all that is not at the "core" of healthcare.[26] In 2013, he said that healthcare would not be privatised under his government.[27]

Feijóo is a close friend and ally of Iñigo Urkullu, the President of the Basque Country from the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV). The pair first found common ground in 2013 when they defended their shipyards before the European Union. While Pablo Casado opposed further devolution to the Basque Country, Feijóo has been more sympathetic.[28][29][30]

Personal life[edit]

A 2009 profile of Feijóo by El País noted that his personal life and spending habits were more austere than those of the previous regional president, Touriño.[2] Feijóo was in a relationship with the journalist Carmen Gámir from 2000 to 2012.[31] Since 2013 he has been in a relationship with Zara Home director Eva Cárdenas, who gave birth to his only child, also named Alberto, in February 2017.[32] Feijóo is known as an admirer of Galician cuisine and a supporter of the football club Deportivo de La Coruña.[33]

Honours[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alberto Núñez Feijóo fue elegido nuevo presidente del Partido Popular de España". Infobae (in Spanish). 2 April 2022. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Pontevedra, Silvia R. (7 March 2009). "El hijo del Saturnino y la Sira". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Correos es «la primera empresa de Ourense», según Alberto Núñez Feijoo". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 19 November 2000. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  4. ^ "Víctor Calvo-Sotelo sustituirá a Núñez Feijoo en Correos y Telégrafos". El País (in Spanish). 22 January 2003. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  5. ^ Sampedro, Domingos (15 January 2016). "El día en que Fraga entregó el relevo". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  6. ^ Huete, Cristina (9 March 2009). "El voto de los emigrantes rebaja a 38 diputados la mayoría absoluta del PP". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  7. ^ "Feijóo es investido presidente de la Xunta con los 38 votos de los 'populares'". Ultima Hora (in Spanish). Europa Press. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  8. ^ Hermida, Xosé (23 October 2012). "Feijóo pierde 100.000 votos pero avanza favorecido por la abstención". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  9. ^ Hermida, Xosé; Lois, Elisa (31 March 2013). "Galician Popular Party leader under fire for drug trafficker link". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  10. ^ "El voto emigrante le da al PP de Feijóo 42 escaños, un récord solo alcanzado por Fraga". El Confidencial (in Spanish). Europa Press. 20 July 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  11. ^ Puga, Natalia; Hernández, Marisol (18 June 2018). "Feijóo no optará a presidir el PP: "No puedo fallar a los gallegos porque sería fallarme a mí mismo"". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  12. ^ Gago, Xosé (30 March 2022). "Feijoo renuncia a la presidencia del PPdeG". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  13. ^ "En directo: Alberto Núñez Feijoo anuncia su candidatura para presidir el PP". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 2 March 2022. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  14. ^ Muñoz González, Sergio (3 March 2022). "Casado, Ayuso y Feijóo: los protagonistas de la crisis en el PP eligen COPE" (in Spanish). Cadena COPE. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  15. ^ "Alberto Núñez Feijóo se convierte en candidato único para presidir el PP". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 10 March 2022. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  16. ^ "Cuca Gamarra, nueva secretaria general del PP de Feijóo" (in Spanish). Cadena COPE. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  17. ^ Vizoso, Sonia (10 March 2022). "Feijóo bendice el pacto del PP con Vox para gobernar Castilla y León: "Mañueco evita un adelanto electoral"". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  18. ^ Sanjuán, Hèctor (11 March 2022). "Feijóo se desvincula de Vox: "Es mejor perder el Gobierno que ganarlo desde el populismo"". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  19. ^ "Feijóo paraliza la venta de la sede del PP en la calle Génova de Madrid" (in Spanish). Telemadrid. 18 March 2022. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  20. ^ "Feijóo, elegido senador por Galicia con solo los votos de su partido" [Feijóo, elected senator for Galicia with only the votes from his party]. El Mundo (in Spanish). EFE. 24 May 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  21. ^ Capeáns, Juan (2 March 2022). "¿Cuál es realmente el perfil ideológico de Feijoo?". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  22. ^ "Azcón dice que Feijóo es "tremendamente generoso en un momento político de extraordinaria complicación"" (in Spanish). Europa Press. 15 March 2022. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  23. ^ Fernández, A.; Carretero, I. (23 February 2022). "PSOE y Unidas Podemos rechazan el perfil centrado de Feijóo y creen que su prueba de fuego será Vox" (in Spanish). Cadena SER. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  24. ^ Lamet, Juanma (14 March 2019). "Feijóo exige el gallego como requisito obligatorio para ser profesor". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  25. ^ Dombey, Daniel (2 April 2022). "Spain's People's party backs Feijóo to restore its fortunes". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  26. ^ "Feijóo defiende privatizar todo lo que no sea el núcleo duro de la sanidad". El Correo Gallego (in Spanish). 21 May 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  27. ^ "Feijóo niega privatizaciones y afirma: "La sanidad pública está blindada mientras yo sea presidente"". 20 minutos (in Spanish). 12 December 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  28. ^ Barriuso, Olatz (25 February 2022). "Urkullu-Feijóo, la conexión que ayuda al deshielo entre PNV y PP". El Correo (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  29. ^ Labarta, Uxio. "Feijoo, Urkullu y la gran coalición". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  30. ^ Vázquez, Miriám (2 March 2022). "La relación de Urkullu con Feijóo alimenta su afán de que respete a Euskadi" (in Spanish). Deia. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  31. ^ Vidal, Daniel (7 December 2012). "'Chinny' ya no besa a Feijóo". Hoy (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  32. ^ "Alberto Núñez Feijóo y Eva Cárdenas, padres de un niño llamado Alberto". El Mundo (in Spanish). 15 February 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  33. ^ "Feijoo: steady hand on the tiller for Spain opposition". France 24. Agence France-Presse. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  34. ^ "Real Decreto 1104/2002, de 28 de octubre, por el que se concede la Gran Cruz de la Orden de Isabel la Católica a don Alberto Núñez Feijoo". Spanish Official Journal. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  35. ^ "Entidades estrangeiras agraciadas com ordens portuguesas". Portuguese Presidency. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  36. ^ "令和3年秋の外国人叙勲 受章者名簿" (PDF). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
Political offices
Preceded by
Javier Suárez Vence
First Vice President of Galicia
2004–2005
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Galicia
2009–2022
Succeeded by
Preceded by Leader of the Opposition
2022–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by President of the People's Party of Galicia
2006–2022
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the People's Party
2022–present
Incumbent