The former Vice President of the Government with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Pedro Solbes, has died this Saturday at the age of 80, according to sources from the Socialist Party.
Solbes was Secretary of State for the European Union at the time of Spain's accession to the EU and, later, Minister of Agriculture and the Economy in the governments of Felipe González.
He repeated as Minister of Economy and Vice President of the Government with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and was previously European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs.
The news of the death was known during the celebration of the Federal Committee of the PSOE this Saturday at the party headquarters, in Madrid's Calle de Ferraz. One of the first to mourn the death was the president of Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara, who in a Twitter message defined the former vice president as "a comrade, a socialist, a good person."
In the PSOE they highlight his "exemplary career at the service of Spain and the institutions". "Thank you for your work, your commitment and your dedication to public service to Spain and Europe. Thank you for having contributed to improving everyone's lives," the party said in a statement.
"Thank you, comrade Pedro. For your work, for your commitment and your vocation of public service to Spain and Europe. Thank you for having contributed to improving the lives of everyone. Goodbye, Pedro, and thank you," the statement concluded. .
Upon leaving the Federal Committee, the Third Vice President and Minister of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, has defined Solbes as "an enormously committed, honest and inclusive politician" who "has always sought the best for the Spanish people". "He represents something of the best that this country and that this party has been able to give to Spanish and European society," she underlined, visibly moved, since in addition to having worked with him they were neighbors and friends.
The first secretary of the PSC, Salvador Illa, has lamented the death of Solbes, "a great comrade and politician, a calm and exceptional person." Illa has also said that his death is a "sad day for the socialists".
Born in Pinoso (Alicante) in 1942, married with three children, Solbes had a doctorate in Political Science and a Law degree, as well as a degree in European Economics from the Institute of European Studies of the Free University of Brussels.
Solbes began his political career as Secretary General of the Economy and Finance. Between 1985 and 1991 he was Secretary of State for Relations with the EC.
In 1991 he was appointed Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and between 1993 and 1996 he held the position of Minister of Economy and Finance with the Government of Felipe González. Between 1999 and 2004 he was European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs. In 1996 he was elected deputy for the Alicante socialist list, where he was number one, and was later appointed president of the Mixed Congress-Senate Commission for the EU.
In 2004, with the arrival of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to power, he was appointed second vice president of the Government and Minister of Economy and Finance. In April 2009, he was replaced in both positions by Elena Salgado.
In February 2008, Pedro Solbes and Manuel Pizarro, PSOE and PP candidates for the Ministry of Economy and Finance, had an unprecedented face-to-face on television to discuss their proposals.
In early April 2011, Pedro Solbes was appointed to the board of directors of the Italian utility Enel, owner of Endesa, a position he held until 2014.
The former second vice-president of the Government and Minister of Economy also joined Barclays in 2011 as an adviser to the group in Europe and as a member of the board of directors in Spain.
In 2013 he published his memoirs entitled 'Recuerdos. 40 years of public service'.
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