European Interest

Josep Borrell, Spain’s new FM

Flickr/European Parliament/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Josep Borrell was president of the European parliament between 2004 and 2007.

Meet the first confirmed member of Spain’s new government, which is currently being formed by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez‘s Socialist government. Josep Borrell, a former European Parliament president, will serve as Spain’s foreign minister, a Socialist party source told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Borrell, a 71-year-old former leader of Spain’s Socialists, has accepted Sanchez’s invitation. He will replace Alfonso Dastis, a career diplomat, who occupied the post under ousted conservative premier Mariano Rajoy.

Sanchez, a 46-year-old economist with no government experience, was sworn in on June 2, a day after defeating Rajoy’s minority conservative government in a no-confidence vote in parliament sparked by fury over a corruption scandal.

As reported by the AFP, Borrell is from Catalonia and has been vocal in his opposition to the wealthy northeastern region’s separatist drive. He served as deputy finance minister, and then public works minister, under former Socialist prime minister Felipe Gonzalez, who was in power between 1982 and 1996.

Borrell was elected leader of the Socialists in 1998 but was forced to resign the following year before a 2000 general election over a financial scandal involving two of his former co-workers when he as deputy finance minister.

He was president of the European parliament between 2004 and 2007.

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