Home ECONOMY Pedro Solbes, former vice president of government with Zapatero, dies aged 80

Pedro Solbes, former vice president of government with Zapatero, dies aged 80

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Pedro Solbes (Pinoso, Alicante, 1942), former vice president of the government with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has died this Saturday at the age of 80, according to sources close to him.

Solbes began his career with the PSOE as Secretary General of Economy and Finance, with Miguel Boyer as head of the ministry, and was Secretary of State for the European Communities and Minister of Agriculture. Years later he directed the Ministry of Economy between 1993 and 1996 during Felipe González’s last term as President of the Government. He returned to office in 2004 with the return of the PSOE to power, when the Spanish economy was going through a good phase.

The accounts were folded in 2008 with the international financial crisis and the bursting of the housing bubble. She resigned in April 2009 and was succeeded by Elena Salgado, already in Zapatero’s second legislature. After more than 40 years dedicated to administration, he finally divested himself of public powers in September of the same year, when he resigned as deputy to Congress. Although he held various positions of responsibility in the socialist power stages, he never joined the PSOE.

Zapatero selected him to the post of Economic Vice-President several months before the end of his mandate as European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, when Romano Prodi took over the presidency of the European Commission. At the end of his first term as economy minister in 1996, the PP government neither disqualified his management nor objected to it with severe reprimands. Perhaps that is why the government of José María Aznar accepted the Socialist proposal to nominate him as European Commissioner three years later. He was one of the architects of the introduction of the euro in January 2001.

The head of the executive between 2004 and 2011 put forward Solbes’ experience to voices who speculated that the person chosen to lead the Ministry of Economy would be Miguel Sebastián, leader of the President’s economic team and who would eventually directed by the Ministry of Industry. Second Legislature.

In April 2011, Solbes became an independent member of the board of directors of Italian utility Enel, owner of Endesa. In the same year he signed him as a director and advisor to the British bank Barclays.

“I am sorry for the death of Pedro Solbes. I am very sorry personally and also for the loss of someone who had the best qualities that can be attributed to a public servant: seriousness, toughness, reliability and honesty. Let’s know how to remember him like this, let’s know how to honor his memory, ”said former President Zapatero in his statements to this newspaper. “The Federal Executive Commission and the Federal Committee of PSOEs regret the death of Pedro Solbes”, In a statement indicates the PSOE delivered this Saturday, which emphasizes “his exemplary career in the service of Spain and its institutions”; Thank you for contributing to bettering the lives of all of us”.

“I have responsibility that matches me”

The Great Depression was the biggest challenge of Solbes’ political career. “The crisis is very complex. It has been larva since the entry of the euro, with the measures of our earlier governments which lead to the expansion of credit and accommodation for the expansion of financing of companies in the international sector … and it is a fact that we inherited Have it all and we weren’t able to get it right enough. And the global crisis and the financial system in the United States also affected us. Therefore, I have the responsibility that corresponds to me. Without a doubt, ”he said in an interview in EL PAÍS in 2017. “The Zapatero government was the one that had to face the bull when it got angry, but the problem had been going on for a long time,” he said.

In the same conversation, Solbes acknowledged his differences with the president of the government at the time on how the challenge should have been met: “My biggest mistake was to stay in the Zapatero government in the second legislature. I guess my time was up. The perception that I had about the crisis was not the same as that of the President, when it was necessary to be in a unique position to act at the time. Yes, I am sorry about that.”

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