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Felipe González Márquez

Spanish politician (Seville, 1942). A graduate in law, in 1962 he joined the Young Socialists. He worked as a labour lawyer and became a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Spanish acronym: PSOE) in 1964. In 1970, he became a member of its Executive Committee on behalf of the national Socialist militants. Opposed to the overseas Socialist leadership, headed up by R. Llopis, he was elected as General Secretary of the PSOE at the 1974 party congress held in Suresnes (France). His break-up with R. Llopis and the historic leadership of the party consolidated the process of the party renewal at a time when the opposition to Franco was regrouping. Following the death of Franco, he led the breakaway from Marxism and adopted a more social democratic position.

As Parliamentary Spokesperson for the Socialists in the Lower House of Parliament, he signed the Moncloa Pacts in 1977. In 1978, he was elected Vice-President of Socialist International. Following the controversial 28th national congress, he was ratified as the General Secretary in September 1979, and drove through the definitive renewal of his party that converted it into the alternative to power.

In 1982, the PSOE won the general elections with an absolute majority and Felipe González became President of the Government. The PSOE won the general elections again in 1986 and 1989, on both occasions with an absolute majority, and again in 1993, albeit without an absolute majority. In 1989, Spain assumed the Rotating Presidency of the European Union for the first time, and again in 1995.

Following the elections held in March 1996, Felipe González became the President of the Socialist Group in the Lower House of Parliament and main opposition leader, as leader of the second most-voted party. In 1997, at the 34th National Congress of the PSOE, he renounced his post as General Secretary, although he remained an MP until the 2004 elections, in which he did not stand as a candidate. He is the author of the works entitled 'El futuro no es lo que era: una conversación' (2001), in collaboration with J. L. Cebrián, and 'Memorias del futuro' (2003).