José María Aznar (Spain)

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Former Spanish Prime Minister

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Before Aznar took office, Spain had low growth and widescale unemployment. He liberalised the market, privatised industry, increased GDP by 68% and made it the world’s eighth largest economy. Now, as many European countries struggle with sovereign debt, he shares strategies for revival. Aznar considers options for Europe, consequences for business and potential ramifications in the developing world – especially in those countries trying to build stability.


Former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar led a programme of economic and social reform, and forged a close relationship with America. Thanks to his liberalisation and competition policies, almost 5 million new jobs were created - and Spain enjoyed its first reductions in income tax since the advent of democracy.

José María Aznar began his political career as member of Alianza Popular. He was elected Member of Parliament for Ávila, and later served as Head of the Regional Government of Castile and León.

Following the re-founding of the Partido Popular, Aznar stood as a candidate for President in 1989. The following year he was elected Party Chairman. Throughout four legislatures he served as an MP for Madrid.

Aznar is President of FAES (Foundation for Social Studies and Analysis). He is also a Distinguished Scholar at Georgetown University and has written several books, including the La España en que yo creo - The Spain I Believe In.

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