Juan José Ibarretxe

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Juan Jose Ibarretxe
Lehendakari of the Basque Country
In office
2 January 1999 – 7 May 2009
Vice PresidentIdoia Zenerrutzabeitia Beldarrain
Preceded byJosé Antonio Ardanza
Succeeded byPatxi López
Deputy Lehendakari of the Basque Country
In office
4 January 1995 – 2 January 1999
PresidentJosé Antonio Ardanza
Preceded byJon Imanol Azúa
Succeeded byIdoia Zenerrutzabeitia Beldarrain
Personal details
Juan José Ibarretxe Markuartu

(1957-05-15) 15 May 1957 (age 67)
Llodio, Álava, Spain
Political partyPNV
SpouseBegoña Arregui

Juan José Ibarretxe Markuartu (born 15 March 1957)[1] is a former president of the Basque Autonomous Community in Spain.[2] Also a leading member of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) during the period, he held office from 2 January 1999 to 7 May 2009. Ibarretxe is an advocate of Basque independence by peaceful means.[2]

Origins and early political career[edit]

Ibarretxe (middle) at an event in San Sebastián

He was born in Llodio in the province of Álava, and holds a degree in Economics from the University of the Basque Country. In 1983 he was elected a member of the Basque Parliament for Álava, representing the PNV, and from then on rose steadily to prominence. From 1986-1990 and 1991-1994 he was the President of the PNV Economic and Budgetary Commission. On 4 January 1995, then Basque President José Antonio Ardanza appointed him Vice President.


On 28 March 1998, he was nominated PNV presidential candidate to compete in the October 25 Basque election, and became lehendakari (president) on 2 January 1999. In October 2003 he released the highly controversial Ibarretxe Plan (Plan Ibarretxe), which foresaw a future Basque country freely associated with Spain, with its own separate legal system and European Union (EU) representation.[citation needed] In October 2007 while in office he was prosecuted for holding talks with other political agents in search for a compromise leading to peace, considered illegal by the judge for the participation of former members of Batasuna.[3]

Private life and hobbies[edit]

Ibarretxe grew up speaking only Spanish, but now speaks Basque acceptably and English. He is an avid cycling fan and has presided over a cycling club in Llodio. He is married and has two children. He is a non-practising Roman Catholic.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ IBARRETXE MARKUARTU Juan José International Who's Who. accessed 1 September 2006.
  2. ^ a b Wilkinson, Tracy (23 March 2006). "Basque Separatist Group Ends Four-Decade War With Spain". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 May 2018.[dead link]
  3. ^ Bidaurrazaga, Aitor Guenaga (2007-10-30). "Ibarretxe, López y Otegi, al banquillo". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2022-04-23.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Lehendakari (Basque President)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Lehendakari (Deputy Basque President)
Succeeded by