Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Miguel Angel Asturias: 1899-1974: Writer to Don Berrysmith Biography - Grew up in the Pacific Northwest » Jose Maria Aznar: 1953—: Prime Minister of Spain Biography - Entered Conservative Politics, Assumed National Political Role, Steered Spain To Success, Tormented By Terrorism

Jose Maria Aznar: 1953—: Prime Minister of Spain - Entered Conservative Politics

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Aznar began his political career in the Alianza Popular (Popular Alliance), Spain's leading conservative political party. In 1979 he assumed the position of secretary general of the party's wing in the Logrono region of Spain. In 1982 he was elected Secretary General of the national party. He held this position for five years. Concurrently he served as an elected congressional representative for the region of Castile-Leon, a post he also held for five years. During this time, Aznar became a vocal proponent for a political shift towards the center for the party, which had been renamed Partido Popular (Popular Party). His goal was to distance the right wing party from the politics of Franco. He also pushed the party to appeal to more women and young voters.

The 1980s were a time of massive change culturally and socially for Spain. It was also a time of extreme financial instability. In addition to one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe, Spain also lagged under the remnants of the welfare state that had been institutionalized by Franco. Citizens expected to have their needs taken care of by the state despite a financial environment that made this impossible. Aznar promoted conservative fiscal and economic policies to combat these problems.

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