Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero

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Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain's Socialist Party candidate in the March 14, 2004, Spanish election, won "unexpectedly." [1]

Zapatero Quotes

  • "The war in Iraq was a disaster, the occupation of Iraq is a disaster," he told Spain's Cadena Ser radio station, March 15, 2004. [2]
  • "Bush and Blair 'will have to work on reflection and self-criticism to ensure that things like this never happen again ... You can't start on a war on the basis of lies," he told the station. [3]

Bloomberg provides some background on Zapatero:

  • "Zapatero is younger than the leaders of Europe's largest countries. Chirac is 73, Berlusconi 67, Schroeder 59 and Blair 50.
  • "He decided to enter politics after attending a speech by Felipe Gonzalez, later prime minister, when he was 18, according to a biography of Zapatero published by the CIDOB Foundation.
  • "He became the youngest member of Spain's Congress in 1986 and became leader of the Socialist Party in April 2000 despite being virtually unknown to the public. That was after the Popular Party, led by Aznar, defeated the socialists in the general elections that year.
  • "Zapatero adopted the slogan the New Way to gain leadership of the party, seeking to draw younger people and promote centrist policies.
  • "The son of a lawyer, Zapatero also studied law at the University of Leon. He has a history of opposition to military conflict. He avoided military service during his youth by requesting delays for studying. His grandfather was killed by Franco's supporters in 1936 when the Civil War began.
  • "Zapatero is married to Sonsoles Espinosa, a music teacher and singer, and has two daughters."