Pedro Sánchez (politician)
|Prime Minister of Spain|
|Assumed office |
2 June 2018
|Preceded by||Mariano Rajoy|
|Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party|
|Assumed office |
17 June 2017
|Preceded by||Caretaker committee|
26 July 2014 – 1 October 2016
|Preceded by||Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba|
|Succeeded by||Caretaker committee|
|Leader of the Opposition|
18 June 2017 – 2 June 2018
|Prime Minister||Mariano Rajoy|
|Preceded by||Position vacant|
|Succeeded by||Pablo Casado|
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|
10 January 2013 – 29 October 2016
15 September 2009 – 27 September 2011
|Member of the Madrid City Council|
18 May 2004 – 15 September 2009
Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón
29 February 1972
|Political party||Spanish Socialist Workers' Party|
María Begoña Gómez Fernández (m. 2006)
|Residence||Palace of Moncloa|
Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón (Spanish: [ˈpeðɾo ˈsantʃeθ ˈpeɾeθ kasteˈxon], born 29 February 1972) 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 in June 2017.
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 that allowed 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 party backed the Government of Spain in its handling of the Catalan independence referendum and the subsequent 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 and he was officially sworn into the office before King Felipe VI the day after.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Political career
- 3 Madrid City Councillor career
- 4 Parliamentary career
- 5 Secretary-General (2014–16; 2017–present)
- 6 Prime Minister (2018–present)
- 7 Personal life
- 8 Electoral history
- 9 Distinctions
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
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 department. He graduated from Instituto Ramiro de Maeztu, a public high school where he played basketball in the Estudiantes cantera, a professional club with links to the school, reaching the U-21 team.
In 1990, Sánchez went to the Complutense University to study economics and business sciences. In 1993, he joined the PSOE after the victory of Felipe González in the elections that year. Sánchez 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, a private university and apostolate of the Opus Dei. Sánchez received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Business and Economics in 2012.
Before entering a career in regional and national politics, Sánchez worked as a parliamentary assistant in the European Parliament, and as chief of staff to the United Nations high representative in Bosnia during the Kosovo War; he was also a Professor of Economics, publishing a version of his doctoral thesis “La nueva diplomacia económica europea”.
Sánchez served as a Deputy (Member of Parliament) in the congress for three terms representing 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, 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. 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, Sánchez stood in the Madrid City Council election on the PSOE list headed by Trinidad Jiménez. He was 23rd on the proportional representation list, but 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 opposition leader 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) contest the 2005 Galician regional election, in which PSdG won eight seats, allowing Emilio Pérez Touriño to become president of Galicia. In 2007, he was part of the Miguel Sebastián campaign for Madrid’s premiership.
First term (2009–2011)
Sánchez 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 Nuclear Safety Council. 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 be discussed as 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). 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, Sánchez demanded constitutional reforms establishing federalism as the form of administrative organization of Spain to ensure that Catalonia would remain within 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 opposed 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 consensus candidate Jean-Claude Juncker of the European People's Party.
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 switched their loyalties to Podemos. Sánchez's political agenda included reforming the constitution, establishing a federal model in Spain to replace the current devolution model, and further secularization of 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 only 85 seats in a general election, he resigned in October 2016.
Prime Minister (2018–present)
In May 2018, after verdicts were announced in the Gürtel trial, PSOE filed a successful no-confidence motion against Mariano Rajoy. Per the Constitution, the no-confidence motion proposed Sánchez as replacement Prime Minister. With the passage of the no-confidence motion, Sánchez was automatically deemed to have the confidence of the Congress of Deputies, and thus ascended as Prime Minister on 1 June 2018. He 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 proposing 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.
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 while Sánchez was swearing his oath of office on the Spanish Constitution, no Bible nor crucifix were on display, for the first time in modern Spanish history due to Sanchez's atheism. 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.
The 17 ministers of his new cabinet took office on 7 June 2018.
In June 2018 the ship Aquarius carrying 629 migrants that were rescued near Libya was denied entry to the Sicilian port by Italy's new Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and Malta. The Spanish government offered the Aquarius the chance to dock in the secure port of Valencia, Spain and the Italian navy offered full assistance and a marine escort for the trip. In July 4, 2018, the Spanish Government accepted another NGO vessel, in this case a Spanish NGO called Open Arms carrying 60 migrants after Italy and Malta rejected again open a port for the ship. The same happened two weeks later.
The Prime Minister considered the immigration matter as a European matter and showed its solidarity with the German Government by accepting an agreement between Germany, Greece and Spain so this last two agreed to take care of part of the immigrants that live in Germany. He said in an interview that "Unilateralism not the answer to migrant crisis", in a clear reference to the initiative of the Italian Government to close the ports, and continued saying that "As effective as the inflammatory rhetoric from some Italian leaders may be in electoral terms, from the point of view of responding effectively to a humanitarian crisis like the one we’re seeing in the Mediterranean and on the Italian coast, it’s not the answer."
Exhumation of Franco
On 18 June 2018, Sánchez' government announced its intention to remove the remains of former dictator Francisco Franco from the Valle de los Caídos. On 29 June 2018, the Archdiocese of Madrid warned the Spanish government against any plans to exhume the remains of Franco without first obtaining agreement from interested parties and formally stated it is against any move of Franco's remains without the consent of his family and before consultation with the Catholic Church. In addition, in its statement, the Archdiocese of Madrid re-affirmed its position that, although the Valle de los Caídos is officially a national monument, the Catholic Church must be consulted on burial-related matters under agreements between the Spanish state and the Vatican. The announcement of the Archdiocese of Madrid was made after Pedro Sánchez confirmed that it was his intention to remove the remains of Franco from the Valle de los Caídos by the end of July.
On 24 August 2018, Sánchez's cabinet approved a decree that modifies two aspects of the 2007 Historical Memory Law to allow the exhumation of Franco's remains from the Valle de los Caídos. The decree, to become law, must be passed by a vote of the Congress of Deputies. The conservative People's Party (PP) and the center-right party Ciudadanos (Cs) have announced they will not support the decree. The PP further stated it will appeal the measure to the Constitutional Court arguing that using a decree to change the Historical Memory Law is not valid because the proposed modifications to the Historical Memory Law do not respond to a situation of urgent need. Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo stated the decree law requires the exhumation of the remains of Franco to take place between 30 days and 12 months of passage by the Congress of Deputies. The Congress of Deputies voted in favor of the exhumation on 13 September 2018.
In November 2018 the Mossos d'Esquadra reported the arrest of a Terrassa resident, who, angry with the plans to exhume Franco and having an arsenal of 16 weapons back home,[n. 1] allegedly planned to kill Sánchez, in order to finish, in his own words, with that "shitty red".
In September 2018, Defense Minister Margarita Robles cancelled sales of laser-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia because of concerns over the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, but Sanchez ordered the sale to proceed, as he guaranteed Andalusian president Susana Díaz help to protect the jobs in the shipyards of the Bay of Cádiz, highly dependent on the €1.813 billion contract with Saudi Arabia to deliver a batch of 5 corvettes. In October 2018, in response to the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Sanchez defended the decision to continue arms sales to Saudi Arabia and insisted on his government's "responsibility" to protect jobs in the arms industry.
Sánchez married María Begoña Gómez Fernández in 2006 and they have two daughters, Ainhoa and Carlota. The civil wedding was officiated by Trinidad Jiménez. Aside from Spanish, Sánchez speaks fluent English and French. He is an atheist.
|Madrid local election, 2003||PSOE||-||24th (out of 55)||Not elected[a]|
|Madrid local election, 2007||PSOE||-||15th (out of 57)||Elected|
|Spanish general election, 2008||PSOE||Madrid||21st (out of 35)||Not elected[b]|
|Spanish general election, 2011||PSOE||Madrid||11th (out of 36)||Not elected[c]|
|Spanish general election, 2015||PSOE||Madrid||1st (out of 36)||Elected|
|Spanish general election, 2016||PSOE||Madrid||1st (out of 36)||Elected|
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|Party political offices|
Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba
| Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
|Caretaker committee|| Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba
| Leader of the Opposition
Title next held byHimself
Title last held byHimself
| Leader of the Opposition
Title next held byPablo Casado
| Prime Minister of Spain