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Born in Erandio, Biscay, Rubial was a metal worker and joined the Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) in 1920 and the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) in 1922. In 1934 he was arrested and sentenced to prison due to revolutionary activities. He fought defending the Second Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War, being captured in 1937 and sentenced to thirty years in prison.
Rubial was released on 23 August 1956 and started to reorganize the PSOE and UGT in the Basque Country and in Spain working underground. President of the PSOE since 1976, he was elected senator for Biscay in the first democratic elections of 1977. He was the Second Vicepresident of the Spanish Senate.
On 7 February 1978 Rubial was elected President of the General Basque Council, which prepared the Basque Country for the return to autonomous government. He held this position until 1979, when Carlos Garaikoetxea was elected.
Rubial died in Bilbao in 1999 at the age of 92.
Creation of the body
| President of the Basque General Council
Carlos Garaikoetxea Urriza
| President of Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
Manuel Chaves González