Cable que describe a Zapatero y sus ministros al formarse el Gobierno de la segunda legislatura

"Solbes había pensado abandonar en el Gobierno al concluir la primera legislatura. Zapatero le convenció para quedarse, y su presencia se ha interpretado como un mensaje al sector empresarial, que le ve como un parapeto"

ID: 154524
Date: 2008-05-19 16:13:00
Origin: 08MADRID552
Source: Embassy Madrid
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Dunno: 08MADRID1991 08MADRID449
Destination: VZCZCXRO7829
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHMD #0552/01 1401613
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191613Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4785
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 3425

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 MADRID 000552

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/WE, ALSO FOR INR/B

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV, PINR, SP
SUBJECT: SPANISH CABINET MEMBER BIOGRAPHIES - ZAPATERO'S
NEW TEAM

REF: MADRID 449

MADRID 00000552 001.2 OF 011


1. (U) SUMMARY. President Zapatero's center-left Spanish
Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) was the victor in the March 9
general election. This cable gives brief biographies for the
cabinet members in Zapatero's second administration.
Overall, the cabinet reflects Zapatero's campaign promises to
focus on innovation, equality and the environment. This is
the first Spanish cabinet with more women than men. Several
key players from the first Zapatero administration will keep
their jobs, including Vice Presidents de la Vega and Solbes,
Foreign Minister Moratinos, and Interior Minister Rubalcaba.
An important change is the shift of Carme Chacon from
Minister of Housing to Minister of Defense. Two new
Ministries have been added: a Ministry of Equality and a
Ministry of Science and Innovation. Other Ministries were
restructured. For example, The Ministries of Environment and
Agriculture merged. The Ministry of Education, Social
Affairs and Sports restructured to include social affairs,
but gave up its science portfolio. The Labor Ministry
assumed responsibility for immigration affairs. Biographies
will be posted to the Embassy Madrid Intellipedia page for
future reference and periodic updates. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) Zapatero's new cabinet is:
First Vice President for the Presidency Maria Teresa
Fernandez de la Vega;
Second Vice President for Economy and Finance Pedro Solbes;
Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Angel Moratinos;
Minister of Justice Mariano Fernandez Bermejo;
Minister of Defense Carme Chacon;
Minister of Interior Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba;
Minster of Public Administration Elena Salgado;
Minister of Public Works (Fomento) Magdalena Alvarez;
Minister of Environment and Marine and Rural Environs
(Agriculture) Elena Espinosa;
Minister of Equality Bibiana Aido;
Minister of Education, Social Affairs and Sport Mercedes
Cabrera;
Minister of Labor and Immigration Celestino Corbacho;
Minister of Industry, Tourism and Commerce Miguel Sebastian;
Minister of Science and Innovation Cristina Garmendia;
Minister of Housing Beatriz Corredor; and
Minister of Health Bernat Soria;
Minister of Culture Cesar Antonio Molina.

--------------------------------------------- ----
Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega
First Vice President, Minister of the Presidency,
and Spokesperson of the Government
--------------------------------------------- -----

3. (U) Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega continues as First
Vice President for a second term. In 2004, she became the
first woman to occupy a Vice Presidency in Spain. As Vice
President and Minister of the Presidency, de la Vega
coordinates the "political" ministries with a primary focus
on Justice, Defense, Equality, Education and Foreign Affairs.

4. (U) During the 2000-2004 legislature, de la Vega served as
PSOE Secretary General in Congress and led the opposition
party's attacks against the PP's Aznar administration. In
this position, she also coordinated the PSOE members in
Congress to achieve a unified legislative program. She has
been elected as Congresswoman three times: in 1996 for Jaen,
in 2000 for Segovia, and in 2004 for Madrid.

5. (U) From 1994-96 de la Vega served as Secretary of State
for Justice with Justice Minister Alberto Belloch, a position
she held until 1996. During that time she managed the
reform of the Penal Code. De la Vega promoted the active
participation of State prosecutors in criminal investigation,
while maintaining the ultimate control of magistrates in the
judicial process.

6. (U) De la Vega began her political career with the Catalan
Socialist Party, but in 1979 moved her affiliation to a
political movement called "Justicia Democratica", a group of
judges, prosecutors, and lawyers that played an important
role in Spain's transition to democracy after Franco's
regime. When the Socialist Party (PSOE) won its first
national elections in 1982, de la Vega served as Chief of
Cabinet to Socialist Minister of Justice Fernando Ledesma.
In 1985 she was appointed Director General of Services in the
Justice Ministry and under her leadership the number of
judges doubled. From 1988 to 1990 she worked in the
Secretariat of Labor Magistrates and in 1990 she was
appointed spokesperson of the General Council of Judicial

MADRID 00000552 002.2 OF 011


Authority.

7. (U) She was born in Valencia in 1949. She studied Law and
received her PhD from the University of Barcelona. She
taught Labor Law at the University of Barcelona. She is a
specialist in Human Rights and International Juridical
Cooperation with additional training from the University of
Strasbourg.

--------------------------------------------- -----
Pedro Solbes
Second Vice President and Minister of Economy and Finance
--------------------------------------------- -----

8. (U) As Vice President for Economic Affairs, Solbes is
supposed to exercise control over all the economic decisions
of the GOS, except foreign and domestic trade, tourism, and
energy, which fall to the Ministry of Industry, Tourism, and
Commerce.

9. (SBU) Solbes had reportedly seriously considered leaving
the government at the end of Zapatero's previous term. He is
65, and his wife wanted him to retire. Zapatero convinced
him to stay, and his presence on the ticket was considered to
be an important appeal to the business community, some of
whose members have portrayed Solbes as the only bulwark
preventing Socialist ministers from overspending. Zapatero
is reported to have promised Solbes increased authority.

10. (SBU) In Zapatero's first term, Solbes often was at odds
with the economic office of the presidency, which tended to
favor more interventionist policies. Sebastian has now been
named Minister of Industry, Tourism, and Commerce, and
individuals linked to Sebastian have been named to other
ministries. After Sebastian's appointment was announced,
Solbes told the press, "I am the Economic Vice President. I
am the one who makes decisions on economic policy. I am the
one who signs the economic draft laws. This is a coalition
government between me and the rest." Solbes had clashed with
Sebastian in 2005-06 over the German company E.ON's bid to
acquire Spain's Endesa; Solbes had not objected to the bid,
while Sebastian influenced GOS attempts to block the bid and
later helped broker the eventually successful purchase by
Italy's Acciona and Spain's Acciona. After Zapatero was
re-elected, Solbes had reportedly asked Zapatero to give him
the energy portfolio as well, but the portfolio remained in
Sebastian's ministry.

11. (U) Solbes has traditionally emphasized the importance
of fiscal responsibility and maintaining Spain's budget
surplus. With the economy expected to grow much more slowly
in 2008, unemployment rising, and inflation relatively high,
he will face pressure to spend more, and he has emphasized
for months that the budget surpluses of Zapatero's first four
years have given the GOS more margin to maneuver in the
difficult times expected ahead. He already has announced 10
billion euros in tax cuts and spending increases for 2008,
with about 8 billion expected for 2009. He also will be
expected to address the housing slowdown, which has increased
unemployment and caused serious difficulties for construction
and real estate firms, along with their creditors.

12. (U) A civil servant since 1968, Solbes, in 1982 as
Technical Secretary General, was one of the seven people who
negotiated Spanish accession to the European Community. He
was Secretary General of Economy and Finance from 1982 to
1985 and Secretary of State for European Community Relations
starting in 1985. He was named Minister of Agriculture, Food
and Fisheries in 1991 and Minister of Economy and Finance in
1993. In September 1999, Solbes became the European
Commissioner responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs.
He earned praise for his sense of duty and his courage for
denouncing the institutional rupture that occurred when the
Council of Ministers refused to sanction France and Germany
for exceeding European Stability & Growth Pact budget deficit
limits.

13. (U) Pedro Solbes was born in Pinoso (Alicante province)
in 1942. He graduated in European economy from the
Universite Libre de Bruxelles and earned a degree in law and
a doctoral degree in Political Science from the Complutense
University of Madrid. He is married to Pilar Castro
Rodriguez and has three children (Teresa, Miguel and Lucia).
He speaks French and English.

---------------------------
Miguel Angel Moratinos
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

MADRID 00000552 003.2 OF 011


---------------------------

14. (U) Moratinos begins his second term in the Cabinet as
the Spanish democracy's second-longest serving Foreign
Minister. In the presidential investiture debate, Zapatero
said that one of his priorities will be the Sub-Saharan
Africa and in next few months, Moratinos is tasked with
arranging high-level summits with Morocco and Algeria.
Moratinos traveled to several Latin America countries in
April to forge ties in advance of the May EU-Latin America
Summit. Some of the pending issues Moratinos faces from the
last legislature are Spanish foreign service reform,
development assistance credits reform, and construction of a
new building to house his Ministry, which is currently in
leased spaces.

15. (SBU) Moratinos was one of the key players behind the
Madrid 1991 Peace Conference and considers himself an expert
in Middle East policy. From 1991 to 1993, he was Director
General of the Institute for Cooperation with the Arab World.
From 1993 to 1996 he was Director General of Foreign Policy
for North Africa and the Middle East. During the 1995
Spanish EU Presidency, Moratinos managed all Middle East
policy issues and was a frequent interlocutor with
Washington. In June 1996, he was appointed Ambassador to
Israel, a position he held for only six months. In December
1996, he was appointed Special Representative of the European
Union (EUSR) for the Middle East Peace Process. Moratinos
managed the EU's relationship with Israel and Palestine, as
well as other states in the region like Syria, Lebanon,
Jordan, and Egypt. However, he created a perception that he
maintained closer ties with Yassar Arafat than with Prime
Minister Sharon. While Moratinos participated in the MEPP
Quartet meetings, Israelis reportedly considered Moratinos
excessively favorable to the Palestinian cause. Moratinos
left the EUSR position in July 2003. His name was mentioned
as a possible candidate for the UN High Commission for Human
Rights following the death of Sergio Vieria de Mello.
However, in October 2003 Moratinos returned to the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs.

16. (U) Moratinos began his diplomatic career as Spain's
Chief Director for the Eastern European Coordination Desk in
1974-1979. He was First Secretary at the Spanish Embassy in
Yugoslavia, where he later served as Charge d'Affaires from
1980-1984. He was Political Advisor in Rabat (1984-1987) and
Deputy Director General of North African Affairs in the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1987-1991).

17. (U) Moratinos joined the Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
in 2000 and in 2004 and 2008 won election as a Congressional
delegate representing his hometown of Cordoba.

18. (U) Miguel Angel Moratinos was born in 1951. Moratinos
holds a degree in law and political science and a diploma in
international studies from the Spanish Diplomatic School. He
is fluent in English and French. He understands Russian and
Serbo-Croatian.

--------------------------
Mariano Fernandez Bermejo
Minister of Justice
--------------------------

19. (U) Mariano Fernandez Bermejo was appointed Minister of
Justice in February 9, 2007, and is retained as a member of
the new cabinet. The strong recommendation of Vice
President Fernandez de la Vega ensured Fernandez Bermejo's
appointment and he is expected to strengthen rapport and
cooperation between the Ministry, the Prosecutor's Office and
the Interior Ministry. He is reported to have a good working
relationship with Interior Minister Rubalcaba and Secretary
of State for Security Antonio Camacho.

20. (SBU) As a founding member of the Progressive Union of
Public Prosecutors, Fernandez Bermejo is considered to be the
guardian of the PSOE's judicial policy. Fernandez Bermejo
will manage and attempt to inject change into a judicial
system in which some "conservative" judges have not been
supportive of GOS-sponsored initiatives, including homosexual
marriage and autonomous community statutes.

21. (U) First-ranked in his professional certification exams,
he began his career as a prosecutor in 1974 in Santa Cruz de
Tenerife, then worked in territorial courts in Caceres and
Segovia. From 1986 to 1989 he was Advisor to Minister of
Justice Fernando Ledesma. In 1989, he was appointed
Prosecutor of the Supreme Court. From 1992-2003, Fernandez

MADRID 00000552 004.2 OF 011


Bermejo served as Chief Prosecutor of the Madrid High Court
of Justice. In 2004, he became Prosecutor of the Supreme
Court.

22. (SBU) Fernandez Bermejo is known for taking tough stands
and speaking out on issues. He is the only prosecutor who
has taken a Minister to Court. In another example, when he
led opposition to the Rapid Justice Law, the PP-led
government retaliated by passing a law limiting prosecutors
to five-year terms instead of lifetime appointments
(effectively moving Fernandez Bermejo along in the system).
Expressing his unhappiness with the PP maneuver at the time,
Fernandez Bermejo said, referring to the Spanish Civil War
and Franco's regime, "we fought against the parents, and now
we have to fight against their children."

23. (SBU) He is considered to be a strong personality, not
given to conciliation, and with a tendency to harsh
assessments. "I am a leftist, and I behave like one," he
admits. Perhaps due to these traits, Fernandez Bermejo has
not received the support of the Concejo Fiscal, the advisory
body that reviews judicial appointments, in either of his
positions at the High Court or Supreme Court. According to
the media, many Ministry of Justice civil servants, the
judicial secretaries, and the judges believe that Fernandez
Bermejo, while focused on policy matters, has not fulfilled
his promises on wages or work conditions.

24. (U) Born in 1948 in Avila, Fernandez Bermejo received a
Doctorate in Law from the Complutense University in 1969,
followed by an advanced degree in Community Law in 1998. A
Public Prosecutor since 1974, he is an expert on Penal Law.
Fernandez Bermejo does not speak English.

----------------------------------
Carme Chacon (new in this Ministry)
Minister of Defense
----------------------------------

25. (U) Carme Chacon is the first woman Minister of Defense
in Spanish history. She served as Housing Minister from 2007
to 2008 and also was First Vice President of Congress from
2004-2007. Her cabinet appointment was the surprise in
Zapatero's second administration amidst widely varying
speculation regarding who might be awarded the plum job.
Zapatero made it clear he intended to put in place a broadly
representative cabinet and Chacon brings ties to the Catalan
constituency as well her deep-rooted PSOE political
credentials. Jose Montilla, Secretary General of the Catalan
Socialist Party (PSC) has been one of Chacon's strongest
supporters. Chacon was one of the PSC members of Zapatero's
"new team" after he won the PSOE party congress in 2000.

26. (SBU) Chacon lacks experience in military affairs (the
same could be said of most of her predecessors), but she is
reportedly viewed by Zapatero as a strong manager. Chacon
was quick to visit Spanish troops deployed in Afghanistan and
Lebanon and she is expected to visit Kosovo in the near
future. Chacon served as an OSCE international observer in
Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1996 and Albania in 1997. Her other
credentials include representing the Socialist delegation in
Spain's bipartisan Anti-terrorism Pact. She reportedly has a
strong rapport with Interior Minister Rubalcaba.

27. (SBU) There was some buzz in conservative circles about
Zapatero choosing a MOD who was a "pacifist." Asked about
the label in a recent newspaper interview, Chacon said, in
essence, that if being a pacifist meant valuing peace, then
she was a pacifist. She went on to express her admiration
for the Spanish troops she had just visited in Afghanistan.

28. (SBU) Chacon's priorities will reportedly be the
Spanish military missions abroad, modernization, and
personnel restructuring. The personnel restructuring will be
a particular challenge as some senior officials disagree with
plans to reduce the number of generals and there is
controversy over proposals to adjust Spanish troop levels in
Ceuta and Melilla.

29. (U) Carme Chacon was born in Espulgues de Llobregat,
Barcelona, in 1971. She has a Law Degree from the University
of Barcelona (1994) and a PhD Cum Laude for a thesis on
federalism and human rights. Her post-graduate studies
include: Victoria Manchester University (UK), Instituto de
Federalismo de Friburgo (Switzerland), Osgoode Hall Law
School of Toronto, University of Kingston, and the Universite
Laval of Montreal (Canada). She has been professor of
Constitutional Law at the University of Girona, Spain. She is

MADRID 00000552 005.2 OF 011


an expert in federalism and Quebec's status within Canada.
She is married to Miguel Barroso, the Director of Casa
America and himself a Zapatero insider. They are expecting
their first child in June. Chacon speaks English.

-----------------------
Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba
Minister of Interior
-----------------------

30. (SBU) Interior Minister since 2006, Alfredo Perez
Rubalcaba is Zapatero's main advisor on terrorism issues. He
is also one of the six members of Zapatero's core team (the
others are de la Vega, Solbes, Deputy Chief of Cabinet
Jose-Enrique Serrano, Cabinet Aide Vidal Zapatero (a cousin),
and PSOE campaign manager, Jose "Pepe" Blanco) that meets
once a week to formulate policy. Rubalcaba is regarded as a
skilled negotiator and parliamentarian. Beside the fight
against ETA and Islamic terrorism, his other challenges will
include perceptions that common crime is on the rise,
continuing efforts to reduce traffic deaths and long-standing
wage and work status disputes in the police forces.

31. (SBU) One of Rubalcaba's toughest jobs will continue to
be overcoming the historic rivalry between Spain's principal
police forces, the Civil Guard and National Police, both of
which fall under his direction. Rubalcaba reportedly tried
but failed to bring the Spanish intelligence service DNI
under his control (it is currently in the MOD).

32. (SBU) Rubalcaba has played influential roles in PSOE
internal operations and he directed electoral strategy for
the PSOE's 2004 campaign. After the March 2004 elections,
Rubalcaba was appointed PSOE's overall spokesman in Congress
and maintained good personal rapport with his PP-counterpart
Eduardo Zaplana despite many harsh political confrontations,
a testament to his equanimity. Within the PSOE party
structure, Rubalcaba is not close to Zapatero insider Pepe
Blanco, and their relations can be tense. Some say Rubalcaba
is the "Lord of the Government," and Blanco is the "Lord of
the Party."

33. (SBU) During the Aznar administration, Rubalcaba
served as PSOE's Media Relations Secretary and was lead
negotiator on the bipartisan anti-terrorist pact and the
political parties law. He served as Education Minister from
1992 to 1993 after several years in key advisory roles. In
1993 he was promoted to Minister of the Presidency and of
Relations with the Parliament, in addition to being
Government Spokesman (a period he describes as "the three
worst years of my life."

34. (U) A member of Congress since 1993, Rubalcaba is
reputed to have a good sense of humor. The media also notes
Rubalcaba's strong work ethic, willingness to undertake
additional assignments, and negotiation skills. According to
the press, his friends praise his ability to resolve
contentious issues and calm excited colleagues. His enemies
describe Rubalcaba as manipulative and quick to exploit the
weaknesses of others.

35. (U) Rubalcaba was born in Solares (Santander) in 1951.
He joined the Madrid Socialist Federation in 1974 and became
interested in politics near the end of the Franco regime.
With his Doctorate in Chemistry from the Complutense
University of Madrid, he taught Organic Chemistry there, as
well as at the University of Contanza (Germany), and the
University of Montpellier (France).

--------------------------------
Elena Salgado
Ministry of Public Administration
--------------------------------

36. (U) Appointed Minister of Public Administration on July
6, 2007, Elena Salgado brings breadth and depth of experience
to her portfolio. Enjoying a reputation for sound fiscal
management, in this legislature she will have to deal with
the extremely complicated local corporation funding law,
facilitating an accord between the PSOE-led government and
the PP-led opposition, and then negotiating its
implementation between the national government, the
autonomous communities, and the local governments. Salgado
will also be charged with implementing Zapatero's announced
reform of State Administration.

37. (U) Salgado served as Health Minister of Health from
2004 to 2007, tasked with managing federal health and

MADRID 00000552 006.2 OF 011


pharmaceutical spending and expanding public health services.
Salgado's efforts were deemed responsible for the unanimous
passage of the smoking ban in workplaces and public spaces in
2005. During her stint at the Health Ministry, the press
termed Salgado, "Minister Anti", referring to her positions
against alcohol, smoking, and obesity. The Spanish
Government presented Salgado as a candidate for the World
Health Organization Presidency in September 2006, but she was
not elected.

38. (U) Elena Salgado served as Secretary General for
Communications in the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and
Environment with Minister Jose Borrell in President Felipe
Gonzalez's administration. She helped transform the National
Postal Office and participated in the telecommunications
liberalization process. She served as a member of the Board
of Telefonica Hispasat, Retevision and Correos. She also
approved the Sogecable (Prisa) and Telefonica merger to
create Cablevision, although the proposal was rejected by the
European Commission, leading to Cablevision's eventual
dissolution.

39. (U) Her other public service credentials include
Director General for Personnel Costs and Public Pensions in
the Economy Ministry and Finance and Director of Studies in
the Small and Medium Business Institute in the Industry
Ministry. In 1996 she was President of the Lyric Theatre
Foundation that manages the Royal Opera House. While she is
not a PSOE member, Salgado does have close ties with party
loyalists including Interior Minister Rubalcaba and her
former boss Jose Borrell.

40. (U) In the private sector, Salgado served in advisory
capacities with Arthur Andersen (1999-2000), Lenci Consulting
SL (1997-2000), and the Social Council of the Universidad
Politecnica (1999-2002). In 2002, Salgado was appointed CEO
of Vallehermoso Telecom, but the press reported she was let
go because she was too intransigent. In September 2003,
Salgado was named President of 11811 Nueva Informacion
Telefonica, the Spanish branch of the German multinational
Telegate AG.

41. (U) Elena Salgado was born in Orense in 1949. She has
a degree in industrial engineering with a specialization in
Energy from the Universidad Politecnica, and another in
economics from the Complutense University. Most of her
professional life has been in the telecommunications world.
She speaks English and French.

-------------------------------------
Magdalena Alvarez Arza
Minister of Public Works (Fomento - also translated as
Development)
--------------------------------------

42. (SBU) Returning for her second cabinet term, Minister
Alvarez is responsible for the government's 15-year,
250-billion euro plan to expand the high-speed rail (AVE) and
road networks, which the GOS says will give Spain more
kilometers of high speed rail lines than any other country.
She was widely criticized in 2007 after prolonged delays in
the construction of the AVE line between Madrid and
Barcelona, with the deaths of construction workers and
construction accidents that interrupted service on several of
Barcelona's commuter lines for six weeks. In November 2007,
the Catalan legislature approved a motion calling for her
resignation, and the national Senate approved such a motion
in December. A similar motion in the national Congress (the
more influential lower house) failed by only three votes in
November. In addition to difficult relations with Catalonia,
she also has had a tense relationship with Madrid Autonomous
Community President Esperanza Aguirre. Many observers had
thought it likely that Zapatero would replace Alvarez after
the election. While she is known for her loyalty to
Zapatero, some local press posit that the powerful President
of Andalucia, Manuel Chaves, played a role in maintaining
Alvarez's cabinet position. Wags claim Chaves recommended
her to Zapatero years ago to get her out of Andalucia and he
insisted Zapatero keep her in the cabinet (and in Madrid) in
his second term. The eventual opening of the
Madrid-Barcelona line just before the election, along with
the opening in late 2007 of AVE lines to Malaga and
Valladolid may have reduced the pressure on Alvarez.

43. (SBU) Alvarez, who joined the PSOE in 1997, served as a
key advisor as Zapatero prepared his 2004 election bid. She
has worked as a university economics lecturer and at
positions in the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the

MADRID 00000552 007.2 OF 011


state agency of tax administration. She was councilor for
economy and finance in the Andalucia Autonomous Community
government from 1994 to 2004, developing a reputation for
expertise on regional finance issues. According to the
press, her husband, Juan Manuel Gonzalez-Aurioles, is
director general of Emgrisa, a business related to the
uranium enrichment and nuclear energy sector. Alvarez was
born in San Fernando, Cadiz in 1952. She has an
undergraduate degree and a PhD. in economic and business
sciences, the former from the Complutense University of
Madrid and the latter from the University of Malaga. She
understands and speaks some English but prefers not to use it
in meetings.

------------------------------------
Elena Espinosa
Minister of Environment, Rural, and Maritime Issues (merger
of Environment and Agriculture)
-------------------------------------

44. (SBU) Elena Espinosa was named Minister of Agriculture,
Fisheries and Food when Zapatero took office in 2004. Most
recently, she was voted a deputy in the National Congress in
the 2008 election.
At the start of Zapatero's second administration, Espinosa's
ministry absorbs the functions of the former Environment
ministry. The Agriculture Ministry, under her leadership,
had been generally supportive of agricultural biotechnology,
while the former Environment Ministry had generally opposed
it. Espinosa takes on responsibility for Spain's drought and
related water issues. She also gains responsibility for
climate change, which has been elevated to having a separate
secretary of state (deputy minister). She may have a role in
deciding next steps as Spain's nuclear power plants approach
the end of their scheduled operation; Zapatero has said that
Spain will close the plants, but in recent weeks he has
appeared to leave the door open for reconsideration.
Espinosa has not taken anti-nuclear positions.

45. (U) Espinosa's public service began in 1985 in Vigo,
Galicia under Felipe Gonzalez's PSOE-led government. From
1988 through 1996, Espinosa was president of the Port
Authority of Vigo, an active port that is the home to Spain's
largest fishing fleet. Espinosa introduced port reforms
that set her against the local PSOE party leadership. In
1996, Espinosa served as labor advisor at the Galician
Institute of Technical Medicine. She returned to the private
sector and was the number two at the Rodman shipbuilding
group from 1998 to 2004.

45. (U) Born in March 1960 in Galicia, Espinosa holds a
degree in business and economics from the University of
Santiago de Compostela. She is married. She does not speak
English.

---------------------------------
Bibiana Aido (new)
Minister of Equality (new Ministry)
---------------------------------

47. (U) A new face in the Spanish cabinet, as head of a
newly created Ministry, Bibiana Aido's challenges include
establishing the new equality law, developing the dependent's
law, and expanding social coverage for legal immigrants. The
new ministry will incorporate the government's Youth
Institute and the Women's Institute along with existing
programs geared at ending violence, increasing the presence
of women in the public life and the private sector workplace.

48. (U) Bibiana Aido will resign from the Andalucian
Parliament seat she won in the March 2008 elections. A PSOE
card holder since 1995, she is Secretary of Equality of the
PSOE's Executive Commission of Cadiz. From February 2003 to
July 2006 Aido served in the Andalucian regional Ministry of
Culture and from July 2006 to March 2008 she directed the
Andalucian Agency for the Development of Flamenco. According
to the media, Andalucian President Manuel Chaves considers
Aido as one of his potential successors. For that reason,
Chaves supported her candidacy for a national-level political
position that would bring her additional public recognition.
Interior Minister Rubalcaba is also one of her mentors.

49. (U) Born in Cadiz in 1977 to a politically active
family, she has degrees in Business Administration from the
University of Cadiz and in International Business
Administration from the University of Northumbria in
Newcastle (UK). Aido speaks English.


MADRID 00000552 008.2 OF 011


---------------------------
Mercedes Cabrera Calvo-Sotelo
Minister of Education, Social Policy, and Sports (Ministry
reorganized)
----------------------------

Mercedes Cabrera was appointed Minister of Science and
Education in 2006 and will continue her work in the
re-organized Ministry during Zapatero's second term. This
Ministry now manages social policy that was previously
directed in the former Labor Ministry (now Labor and
Immigration Ministry). Cabrera will have to implement the
Law of Dependence and Law against Gender Violence passed
during the last legislature in coordination with her
colleague, Equality Minister Aido. The Ministry lost its
control over Spanish universities, which are now transferred
to the newly created Ministry of Science and Innovation.

In addition to her work reorganizing the Ministry's scope of
work, Cabrera faces many of the same challenges including
implementing the controversial "Citizens Education
Curriculum," that is viewed by the opposition party as an
"indoctrination" program and that has been contested in
Courts by parents and parent associations. Cabrera will
also manage efforts to minimize the Catholic Church's
unhappiness for taking "catholic religion" out of the
national curriculum.

A long-time Zapatero confident, Cabrera helped write the PSOE
2000 electoral program. She attended Colegio Estudio of
Madrid. She received a doctorate in 1977. She became a
university professor in 1996 and currently teaches at the
University of Complutense. She has written a number of
articles on business, politics, and economics, and has
participated in an important number of conferences about
history and economic in Spanish and foreign universities.
Mercedes Cabrera Calvo-Sotelo was born in Madrid in 1951.
She is married to Carlos Arenillas. She was the niece of
Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo, the recently deceased former President
of Spain.

----------------------------------
Celestino Corbacho Chaves (new)
Minister of Labor and Immigration (Ministry reorganized)
----------------------------------

A new member of Zapatero's cabinet, Celestino Chaves adds
value with his close ties to the Catalan Autonomous
Community. Active in national PSOE political structures
since 2000, from 2004 to 2008, he headed the Barcelona
provincial government. Celestino Corbacho is the longtime
mayor of the municipality of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, a
Barcelona suburb that has one of the highest concentrations
of immigrants in Spain, with a reported 22.7 percent in 2006.
He has been a member of the Socialist Party of Catalonia
(PSC) since 1976 and has held several leadership positions in
the PSC. He was elected a L'Hospitalet city councilor in
1983 and was mayor from 1994 until 2008, being re-elected
most recently in 2007. He served in the Catalan autonomous
community legislature from 1992 to 1999 and was a member of
the board of directors of the Federation of Municipalities of
Catalonia from 1995 to 2004. Between 1999 and 2003 he was
the President of the Metropolitan (Barcelona) Transportation
Entity. Corbacho was born in Valverde de Leganes, Badajoz,
on November 14, 1949. He is married with no children.

------------------------------------------
Miguel Sebastian Gascon
Minister of Industry, Tourism, and Commerce
------------------------------------------

Miguel Sebastian is a Zapatero loyalist who was Director of
the Economic Office of the President, with rank of Secretary
of State (vice-minister), from 2004 until late 2006. He left
that position when he accepted Zapatero's request to be the
PSOE's candidate for mayor of Madrid in the 2007 election.
He was not expected to defeat the popular PP incumbent
Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, and his clear defeat does not seem to
have damaged his influence over policy within the PSOE. In
his Presidency position, Sebastian clashed with Second Vice
President and Finance and Economy Minister Pedro Solbes,
generally taking more interventionist positions than Solbes.
Sebastian was closely involved in the GOS' efforts to prevent
the German electric utility E.ON from purchasing Spanish
utility Endesa, and he was reported to have helped broker the
eventually successful bid by the Italian company Enel and
Spain's Acciona to acquire Endesa. In the weeks after the
March 9 election, he has been reported to be encouraging

MADRID 00000552 009.2 OF 011


deals among Spain's energy companies that would prevent
France's EDF from taking over Spain's Iberdrola. As Minister
of Industry, Tourism, and Commerce, he has formal
responsibility for energy regulation, and he has named a
former subordinate at the Economic Office of the President,
Pedro Marin, to be Secretary General of Energy. (Solbes had
reportedly sought to gain responsibility for energy in this
government.) Two of the new ministers, Science and
Innovation Minister Cristina Garmendia and Housing Minister
Beatriz Corredor, are said to be Sebastian allies.

Sebastian was born on May 13, 1957. He has a degree in
Economic and Business Sciences from Madrid's Complutense
University and a PhD. in economics from the University of
Minnesota. His doctoral studies were partially financed by a
Fulbright Scholarship. He has worked in the planning office
of the Economy and Finance Ministry and the Central Bank's
economic studies office. In the private sector, he was
Director of Studies (chief economist) for Banco Bilbao
Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) and its predecessor. He is viewed
as a competent and pragmatic economist who is also a PSOE
partisan and is likely to take political considerations into
account in setting policy. He speaks English and has
emphasized the importance of encouraging Spaniards to learn
English.

-----------------------------------------
Cristina Garmendia Mendizabal (new)
Minister of Science and Innovation (new Ministry)
-----------------------------------------

Cristina Garmendia is a biotechnology business executive who
is connected to new Minister of Industry, Tourism, and
Commerce Miguel Sebastian. From 2005 through 2008 she was in
the science and technology office within the Office for
Economic Affairs of the President that was headed by
Sebastian from 2005 through 2007. Sebastian is reported to
have recommended her selection to President Zapatero. Some
political analysts have speculated that her selection is also
a reward for the excellent results the PSOE obtained in the
Basque Country in the 2008 elections; Zapatero's previous
Cabinet did not include any Basque ministers. According to
press reports, she is not a member of the PSOE. Garmendia's
ministry is a new one that has taken portfolios from several
other ministries, including the Ministries of Health and
Education. Press reports have described its creation as a
sign of Zapatero's emphasis on encouraging research and
development in order to boost Spain's productivity over the
long term and contribute to economic growth. After being
named Minister, Garmendia told a reporter that her ministry
would work with the business sector, universities, and the
public sector to take full advantage of scientific knowledge.


Garmendia is from San Sebastian in the Basque Country. In
1985 she received an undergraduate degree in biology with a
specialization in genetics from the University of Seville.
She obtained a PhD. in molecular biology from the Autonomous
University of Madrid. In 1992 she received an Executive MBA
from the University of Navarre's Institute for Higher
Business Studies (IESE). From 1992 to 2001, she worked in
the business development area of the Group Amasua, a fishing
industry group, leaving as executive vice president and
financial director. In 2000 she was a co-founder of the
medical biotechnology company Genetrix, the first company
hat emerged from research work conducted by Spain's National
Center for Biotechnology. She was president and CEO of
Genetrix from 2000 to 2008. She has been president of
several other biotechnology companies and is president of the
board of the Inbiomed Foundation, which has the first bank of
adult stem cells in Spain. From 2005 to 2008, she was
president of the Association of Biotechnological Enterprises
(ASEBIO). Since 2006, she has been a member of the board of
directors of the Confederation of Business Organizations
(CEOE) umbrella business chamber. She has served on several
academic, hospital, and foundation boards, professional
bodies, and prize juries. She serves on the board of the
foundation of the Botin banking family, members of which
control San Sebastian-based Banco Santander and Madrid-based
Bankinter. In January 2008, she was awarded the "Golden
Drum," San Sebastian's highest honor, for the positive
contribution she has made to the image of the city.
Garmendia was born February 21, 1962. She is married with
four children. She has traveled to the U.S. on business
frequently and speaks English.

-----------------------------
Beatriz Corredor (new)

MADRID 00000552 010.2 OF 011


Minister of Housing
-----------------------------

Beatriz Corredor replaces now-Defense Minister Carme Chacon
as Housing Minister. Corredor is reported to be a political
ally of new Minister of Industry, Tourism, and Commerce
Miguel Sebastian. She obtained a law degree from the
Autonomous University of Madrid in 1991 and passed the
examinations to become a member of the Body of Registrars at
a relatively young age in 1993. She has held office at land
registries in Valencia de Alcantara, Caceres; Campillos,
Malaga; and Lillo, Toledo. She has lectured on law at the
Universities of Castile-La Mancha and Ciudad Real and has
spoken at seminars on issues such as mortgage clauses and
secondary mortgage markets. She was the first woman board
member for the examination to become a Registrar. She joined
the PSOE in 2003 and became the Madrid City Councilor for
Housing in September 2007.

As Housing Minister, Corredor will have to address the
aftereffects of Spain's multi-year housing boom and its
sudden end in 2007; both the high prices that have made
housing expensive for many Spaniards and the rapid decline in
housing construction. She will seek to implement efforts
begun by Chacon -- who was only Minister for nine months --
to make housing more affordable by providing income-tested
subsidies to young renters by making it easier for property
owners to evict tenants for nonpayment of rent. Corredor
also will seek to increase the amount of housing built with
public subsidies, which may be a way to help the many real
estate and construction companies that are in financial
difficulties.

Corredor was born in Madrid in July 1968. She is married and
has three daughters. She speaks and understands basic
English but needs an interpreter for nearly all purposes.

------------------------
Bernat Soria Escoms
Minister of Health and Consumption
--------------------------

Minister of Health since July 2007, Soria emphasized the
importance of increasing Spanish research and development in
his first term. Press reports indicate that in Zapatero's
second administration, this aspect of his ministry's
portfolio has been shifted to the new Ministry of Innovation
and Technology.

Soria is a medical doctor (University of Valencia) and a
leading expert on stem cells. He has worked extensively in
the U.S. and has a very positive image of the U.S. He
coordinated the European Embryonic Stem Cell Network, taught
physiology at Pablo de Olvide University in Alicante, and
directed the Andalucian Center of Molecular Biology and
Regenerative Medicine in Seville. From 2001-05, he conducted
research in Singapore after the Health Ministry (during the
Aznar government) opened a case against him for conducting
research on stem cells acquired in the U.S. in apparent
violation of Spanish law. He also has worked in laboratories
in the UK, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland, as well as the
U.S. He has received many professional awards and presided
over several professional societies. Born in Carlet,
Valencia in 1951, he is married with two children. He speaks
English.

----------------------------
Cesar Antonio Molina
Minister of Culture
----------------------------

Minister of Culture since July 6, 2007, Cesar Antonio Molina
will continue his work on the Digital Canon, a Spanish tax
levied on electronic devices, including blank DVDs,
computers, IPODS, etc., that are capable of reproducing
digital material. The tax revenues fund the powerful
Spanish Authors Association and the law's application and
funding distribution remain a controversial topic. Molina
will also focus on grants for the Spanish film industry and
expanding Spanish language internet usage.

Previously, Molina directed the Cervantes Institute from
2004-2007. From 1996 to 2004 he directed the Circulo de
Bellas Artes. From 1985 to 1996 he worked for "Cambio 16"
magazine and for "Diario 16" newspaper, and he has written
for the newspapers El Pais, La Vanguardia, and La Voz de
Galicia. In 2005, the French Government named him "Gentleman
of Arts and Letters". Molina has published about thirty

MADRID 00000552 011.2 OF 011


books, mostly essays, prose, and poetry. According to the
media, Molina is well educated, diplomatic, and considered a
facilitator. He does not have a PSOE membership card, but
his family has a long association with socialist political
groups.

Cesar Antonio Molina was born in A Coruna in 1952. He has a
degree in Law from the University of Santiago, and a PhD "Cum
Laude" in Journalism from the Complutense University. He has
a degree in Italian Language and Literature from the
University of Perugia, and belongs to the French and Spanish
International Associations of Literary Criticism. Molina has
been Professor of Literary Theory and Critic in the
Complutense University, and of Humanities and Journalism at
the Carlos III University in Madrid.
Llorens

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