Alberto Núñez Feijóo

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Alberto Núñez Feijóo
Feijóo in 2023
Leader of the Opposition of Spain
Assumed office
2 April 2022
Prime MinisterPedro Sánchez
Preceded byPablo Casado
President of the People's Party
Assumed office
2 April 2022
Secretary-GeneralCuca Gamarra
Preceded byPablo Casado
President of the Regional Government of Galicia
In office
18 April 2009 – 14 May 2022
Vice PresidentAlfonso Rueda
Francisco Conde
Preceded byEmilio Pérez Touriño
Succeeded byAlfonso Rueda
Member of the Congress of Deputies
Assumed office
17 August 2023
ConstituencyMadrid
Additional positions
Member of the Senate
In office
25 May 2022 – 17 August 2023
Appointed byParliament of Galicia
First Vice President of the Regional Government of Galicia
In office
10 September 2004 – 2 August 2005
PresidentManuel Fraga
Preceded byJavier Suárez Vence
Succeeded byAnxo Quintana
Councillor of Territorial Policy, Public Works and Housing of Galicia
In office
18 January 2003 – 2 August 2005
PresidentManuel Fraga
Preceded byXosé Cuiña
Succeeded byMaría José Caride
President of the People's Party of Galicia
In office
15 January 2006 – 1 April 2022
Secretary-GeneralAlfonso Rueda
Miguel Tellado
Preceded byManuel Fraga
Succeeded byAlfonso Rueda
Member of the Parliament of Galicia
In office
18 July 2005 – 24 May 2022
ConstituencyPontevedra
Personal details
Born (1961-09-10) 10 September 1961 (age 62)
A Peroxa, Galicia, Spain
Political partyPeople's Party
Domestic partnerEva Cárdenas (2013–present)
Children1
Alma materUniversity of Santiago de Compostela
Signature

Alberto Núñez Feijóo (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈβeɾto ˈnuɲeθ fejˈxo]; Galician pronunciation: [aːlˈβeɾtʊ ˈnuɲeθ fejˈʃɔ]; born 10 September 1961) is a Spanish People's Party politician who serves as Member of the Congress of Deputies and as president of the People's Party. He served as the President of the Autonomous Government of Galicia from 2009 to 2022. Feijóo was appointed government formateur following the 2023 election, however his investiture ultimately failed.

Formerly a civil servant, Feijóo was secretary general of Galicia's ministries of agriculture and health before moving to the same role at the national Ministry of Health, and for three years he was President of the State Society of Mail and Telegraphs. Having officially joined the People's Party of Galicia (PPdeG), he entered the Parliament of Galicia in 2005 and succeeded Manuel Fraga as party president the following January. In the 2009 Galician regional election, the PPdeG won a majority and Feijóo became regional president.

He won further terms in 2012, 2016 and 2020. In 2022, he was confirmed as Pablo Casado's successor as the president of the PP. He resigned his posts in the regional parliament and presidency, and was appointed to the Senate as one of the senators designated by the Galician parliament.[1] He was described by the media as a moderate until his appointment as national party leader.[2][3]

Early life and civil service[edit]

Feijóo was born at number 6 Avenida de Mesón in the village of Os Peares near A Peroxa in the Province of Ourense, on 10 September 1961. His father was Saturnino Núñez, a construction foreman, and his mother Sira Feijóo.[4] After graduating in law from the University of Santiago de Compostela in 1984, Núñez Feijóo wanted to become a judge, but his father's unemployment meant that he had to find a job in the civil service to support the family.[4]

In 1991, he was chosen to be secretary general of the regional Ministry of Agriculture under José Manuel Romay Beccaría. He followed him to the Ministry of Health, first in Galicia and later to the national ministry when Romay was appointed by prime minister José María Aznar.[4] From 2000 to 2003, Feijóo was President of the State Society of Mail and Telegraphs, before returning to regional government as the Minister of Territorial Policy, Public Works and Housing of Galicia.[5][6]

Political career[edit]

Galician politics[edit]

Having once voted for the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) under Felipe González, Feijóo did not join the People's Party until 2002. After his role in the national health service, the President of the Community of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, wanted him to lead the same ministry in her region.[4]

In 2005, Manuel Fraga of the People's Party of Galicia was removed from office after 15 years as President of the Regional Government of Galicia (PPdeG), when the Socialists' Party of Galicia (PSdeG) and the Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) formed a coalition to install Emilio Pérez Touriño in his place. At the congress to name Fraga's successor in January 2006, he prevented a divide by persuading leading candidates Feijóo and José Manuel Barreiro to run in tandem as candidates for the party's president and vice president respectively, thereby taking 96% of the vote.[7]

In the 2009 Galician regional election, the PPdeG's share of seats rose from 37 to 38, thereby giving them an absolute majority of one.[8] In April, he was invested as president by the 8th legislature.[9] He won a second term in the 2012 Galician regional election, which he had called early. Despite receiving over 100,000 votes fewer than in 2009, his party gained three seats due to reduced turnout.[10] In March 2013, members of the opposition called for his resignation after photographs from the mid-1990s were published of him with Marcial Dorado, who was later convicted as a drug dealer. Feijóo said that at the time, he had no knowledge of Dorado's criminal lifestyle.[11]

Feijóo retained his majority in 2016 and 2020, the latter time increasing to 42 seats.[12] He was tipped to run to succeed Mariano Rajoy as national PP leader in 2018 but turned it down, crying while declaring that being President of Galicia was his highest ambition.[13] He resigned as president of the PPdeG effective from 1 April 2022 to take over the post in the national party.[14]

President of the People's Party[edit]

Feijóo (right) and Pedro Sánchez in April 2022

In March 2022, the 20th National Congress of the People's Party was called to elect a new national party leader after the forced ousting of incumbent Pablo Casado, who had been losing support following a dispute with the President of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso. Feijóo put himself forward as a candidate, and was endorsed by regional PP leaders such as Ayuso, Jorge Azcón (Aragon), Alfonso Fernández Mañueco (Castile and León) and Juan Manuel Moreno (Andalusia).[15][16] He ran unopposed as the only other prospective candidate, a 28-year-old local activist from Valencia, did not have enough verified signatures.[17] He named the party's spokesperson in the Congress of Deputies, Cuca Gamarra, as the party's new Secretary General.[18]

During Feijóo's candidacy, the PP formed a government with Vox in the Cortes of Castile and León. He endorsed the coalition, but said that he would not repeat it on the national level: "sometimes it's better to lose government than win it through populism".[19][20] As party president, Feijóo halted his predecessor's plans to sell the party headquarters on Calle de Génova.[21]

On 24 May 2022, Feijóo was elected by the Parliament of Galicia as senator for the region, for which he resigned his seat in the Parliament of Galicia.[22] A year later, he led his party in regional and local elections. He attacked prime minister Pedro Sánchez of the PSOE for relying on parliamentary support from EH Bildu, a Basque nationalist party fielding 44 convicted ETA members as candidates, as well as for his government passing legislation on sexual consent that led to offenders having their sentences lowered or quashed.[23]

The PP achieved absolute majorities in the city and Community of Madrid, and took regions including Aragon, the Valencian Community and the Balearic Islands from the PSOE, leading Sánchez to call an early national election.[24] The conservative party secured 137 seats,[25] winning the elections but failing to achieve a parliamentary majority of 176 seats;[26] however, King of Spain Felipe VI asked Feijóo to try to form government.[27] On 23 August [28] Congress of Deputies' socialist speaker, Francina Armengol,[29] announced that Feijóo's investiture debate would take place on 27 and 29 September .[28] The debate's first vote failed, with 172 MPs voting in favor and 178 against; the second vote took place on 29 September,[30] and it confirmed Feijóo's failure to become prime minister.[31]

Political positions[edit]

Feijóo (left) meeting the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, in 2019

Feijóo has defined himself as a reformist of the centre-right and as a liberal.[32] He is described by the media as a moderate.[2][3] His allies have praised him for his stances,[33] while opposing parties disputed these labels due to his approval of a PP-led government with Vox in Castile and León.[34]

Under Feijóo in 2009, the PPdeG dropped its support for the Galician language, which had been supported by his predecessor and founder of the PP, Manuel Fraga.[4] In 2019, it was reported that Galician was now mandatory for all teacher candidates in the region, though Feijóo had personally said that knowledge of it would be desired but not mandatory. This policy put him against a proposal by national PP leader Pablo Casado, in which no public job would require knowledge of a regional language.[35] During the congress in which he was confirmed as PP president, he declared their language policy to be one of "cordial bilingualism".[36]

In 2011, Feijóo suggested that hospital patients should pay for non-medical service such as food and showers during their stay, and the following year he suggested privatising all that is not at the "core" of healthcare.[37] In 2013, he said that healthcare would not be privatised under his government.[38]

Feijóo is a close friend and ally of Iñigo Urkullu, the President of the Basque Country from the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV). The pair first found common ground in 2013 when they defended their shipyards before the European Union. While Casado opposed further devolution to the Basque Country, Feijóo has been more sympathetic.[39][40][41]

Personal life[edit]

A 2009 profile of Feijóo by El País noted that his personal life and spending habits were more austere than those of the previous regional president, Touriño.[4] Feijóo was in a relationship with the journalist Carmen Gámir from 2000 to 2012.[42] Since 2013 he has been in a relationship with Zara Home director Eva Cárdenas, who gave birth to his only child, also named Alberto, in February 2017.[43] Feijóo is known as an admirer of Galician cuisine and a supporter of the football club Deportivo de La Coruña.[44]

Feijóo speaks Spanish and Galician while his English is considered poor. He was attacked for this by PSOE, who argued that it is essential for a prime minister to speak fluent English. He replied that there are always translators at international summits.[45][46]

Feijóo is a Catholic.[47]

Honours[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Designados por Parlamentos Autonómicos - Senado de España". Senado de España (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 February 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Alberto Núñez Feijóo fue elegido nuevo presidente del Partido Popular de España". Infobae (in Spanish). 2 April 2022. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Spain's conservative People's party to 'reboot' with new leader | Spain | The Guardian". amp.theguardian.com. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Pontevedra, Silvia R. (7 March 2009). "El hijo del Saturnino y la Sira". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Correos es "la primera empresa de Ourense", según Alberto Núñez Feijoo". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 19 November 2000. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  6. ^ "Víctor Calvo-Sotelo sustituirá a Núñez Feijoo en Correos y Telégrafos". El País (in Spanish). 22 January 2003. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  7. ^ Sampedro, Domingos (15 January 2016). "El día en que Fraga entregó el relevo". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  8. ^ Huete, Cristina (9 March 2009). "El voto de los emigrantes rebaja a 38 diputados la mayoría absoluta del PP". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  9. ^ "Feijóo es investido presidente de la Xunta con los 38 votos de los 'populares'". Ultima Hora (in Spanish). Europa Press. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  10. ^ Hermida, Xosé (23 October 2012). "Feijóo pierde 100.000 votos pero avanza favorecido por la abstención". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  11. ^ Hermida, Xosé; Lois, Elisa (31 March 2013). "Galician Popular Party leader under fire for drug trafficker link". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  12. ^ "El voto emigrante le da al PP de Feijóo 42 escaños, un récord solo alcanzado por Fraga". El Confidencial (in Spanish). Europa Press. 20 July 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  13. ^ Puga, Natalia; Hernández, Marisol (18 June 2018). "Feijóo no optará a presidir el PP: "No puedo fallar a los gallegos porque sería fallarme a mí mismo"". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  14. ^ Gago, Xosé (30 March 2022). "Feijoo renuncia a la presidencia del PPdeG". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  15. ^ "En directo: Alberto Núñez Feijoo anuncia su candidatura para presidir el PP". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 2 March 2022. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  16. ^ Muñoz González, Sergio (3 March 2022). "Casado, Ayuso y Feijóo: los protagonistas de la crisis en el PP eligen COPE" (in Spanish). Cadena COPE. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  17. ^ "Alberto Núñez Feijóo se convierte en candidato único para presidir el PP". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 10 March 2022. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  18. ^ "Cuca Gamarra, nueva secretaria general del PP de Feijóo" (in Spanish). Cadena COPE. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  19. ^ Vizoso, Sonia (10 March 2022). "Feijóo bendice el pacto del PP con Vox para gobernar Castilla y León: "Mañueco evita un adelanto electoral"". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  20. ^ Sanjuán, Hèctor (11 March 2022). "Feijóo se desvincula de Vox: "Es mejor perder el Gobierno que ganarlo desde el populismo"". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  21. ^ "Feijóo paraliza la venta de la sede del PP en la calle Génova de Madrid" (in Spanish). Telemadrid. 18 March 2022. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  22. ^ "Feijóo, elegido senador por Galicia con solo los votos de su partido" [Feijóo, elected senator for Galicia with only the votes from his party]. El Mundo (in Spanish). EFE. 24 May 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  23. ^ Jones, Sam (27 May 2023). "Rows over Eta and racism loom large as Spain holds local elections". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  24. ^ Jones, Sam (29 May 2023). "Spain's PM calls snap election after opposition triumphs in local polls". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  25. ^ "Resultados provisionales Congreso. España". resultados.generales23j.es (in Spanish). Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved 24 July 2023.
  26. ^ "Spain election: Conservatives win but fall short of majority". Deutsche Welle. 23 July 2023. Retrieved 24 July 2023.
  27. ^ Piña, Raúl. "El Rey protege la normalidad institucional y propone a Feijóo como ganador de las elecciones". El Mundo. Retrieved 22 August 2023.
  28. ^ a b Marcos, José (23 August 2023). "Armengol fija el debate de investidura el 26 y 27 de septiembre para dar tiempo a Feijóo pese a la oposición inicial del PSOE". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  29. ^ "Spain Socialists win first parliamentary battle, securing speaker role". Al Jazeera. 17 August 2023. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  30. ^ "Spain's Feijóo loses first vote to become prime minister". Politico. 27 September 2023. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  31. ^ "Door opens for Sánchez as Spanish lawmakers reject Feijóo's PM bid again". Politico. 29 September 2023. Retrieved 29 September 2023.
  32. ^ Capeáns, Juan (2 March 2022). "¿Cuál es realmente el perfil ideológico de Feijoo?". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  33. ^ "Azcón dice que Feijóo es "tremendamente generoso en un momento político de extraordinaria complicación"" (in Spanish). Europa Press. 15 March 2022. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  34. ^ Fernández, A.; Carretero, I. (23 February 2022). "PSOE y Unidas Podemos rechazan el perfil centrado de Feijóo y creen que su prueba de fuego será Vox" (in Spanish). Cadena SER. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  35. ^ Lamet, Juanma (14 March 2019). "Feijóo exige el gallego como requisito obligatorio para ser profesor". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  36. ^ Dombey, Daniel (2 April 2022). "Spain's People's party backs Feijóo to restore its fortunes". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  37. ^ "Feijóo defiende privatizar todo lo que no sea el núcleo duro de la sanidad". El Correo Gallego (in Spanish). 21 May 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  38. ^ "Feijóo niega privatizaciones y afirma: "La sanidad pública está blindada mientras yo sea presidente"". 20 minutos (in Spanish). 12 December 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  39. ^ Barriuso, Olatz (25 February 2022). "Urkullu-Feijóo, la conexión que ayuda al deshielo entre PNV y PP". El Correo (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  40. ^ Labarta, Uxio. "Feijoo, Urkullu y la gran coalición". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  41. ^ Vázquez, Miriám (2 March 2022). "La relación de Urkullu con Feijóo alimenta su afán de que respete a Euskadi" (in Spanish). Deia. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  42. ^ Vidal, Daniel (7 December 2012). "'Chinny' ya no besa a Feijóo". Hoy (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  43. ^ "Alberto Núñez Feijóo y Eva Cárdenas, padres de un niño llamado Alberto". El Mundo (in Spanish). 15 February 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  44. ^ "Feijoo: steady hand on the tiller for Spain opposition". France 24. Agence France-Presse. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  45. ^ "El PSOE ataca a Feijóo por no hablar inglés, pues lo ve "imprescindible" para ser presidente". Europa Press. 1 June 2023. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  46. ^ Pérez, Juan (2 June 2023). "El PSOE carga contra el bajo nivel de inglés de Alberto Núñez Feijóo en otro vídeo de precampaña" (in Spanish). Antena 3. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  47. ^ Pontevedra, Silvia R. (7 March 2009). "El hijo del Saturnino y la Sira". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  48. ^ "Real Decreto 1104/2002, de 28 de octubre, por el que se concede la Gran Cruz de la Orden de Isabel la Católica a don Alberto Núñez Feijoo". Spanish Official Journal. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  49. ^ "Entidades estrangeiras agraciadas com ordens portuguesas". Portuguese Presidency. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  50. ^ "令和3年秋の外国人叙勲 受章者名簿" (PDF). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved 2 November 2021.

External links[edit]

Media related to Alberto Núñez Feijóo at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Javier Suárez Vence
First Vice President of Galicia
2004–2005
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Galicia
2009–2022
Succeeded by
Preceded by Leader of the Opposition
2022–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by President of the People's Party of Galicia
2006–2022
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the People's Party
2022–present
Incumbent