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Joaquín Almunia Amann (born 17 June 1948) is a Spanishmarker politician and prominent member of the European Commissionmarker, currently responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs. The president of the Commission, Durao Barroso, announced on November 27 2009 that Almunia would be a Vice-President and the responsible for Competition in the second college of the Barroso Commission.

Born in Bilbaomarker, he is married and has two children. He graduated in Law and Economics at the University of Deusto, and completed follow-up studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Parismarker and the “Senior managers in Government” program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard Universitymarker. He was an associate lecturer on Employment and Social Security Law at the University of Alcalá de Henaresmarker.

Almunia was chief economist of the Unión General de Trabajadores, the Spanish trade union affiliated to the Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), from 1976 to 1979. He was economist at the Council Bureau of the Spanish Chambers of Commerce in Brusselsmarker from 1972 to 1975.

Almunia was a PSOE Member of the Cortes Generales from 1979 to 2004, representing Madrid. He was Minister of Employment and Social Security from 1982 to 1986 and Minister of Public Administration from 1986 to 1991, and was PSOE spokesperson from 1994 to 1997. Upon the resign of Felipe González, defeated in the 1996 elections, Almunia become the party leader from 1997 to 2000. In 2000, he was the PSOE candidate for Prime Minister, being defeated again by incumbent Prime Minister, José María Aznar. The PSOE got its worse result in a General Election since the Transition times and Almunia resigned as party leader.

Almunia was director of the research program on Equality and redistribution of income at the Fundación Argentaria from 1991 to 1994. In 2002, he founded and was director of the progressive think tank Laboratorio de Alternativas.

He first joined the Prodi Commission on 26 April 2004 as a successor to Pedro Solbes who resigned to join the new Zapatero Government and was re-appointed with Barroso back in November 2004.

References

  1. Barroso names new EU commission team. Euronews. Retrieved 27 November 2009.



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