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José María Aznar

José María Aznar López (born in Madrid, Spain on February 25, 1953) has been the Prime Minister of Spain (officially, "president of the Spanish government") since 1996.

As a teenager, he was a Falangist[?]. He studied Law, and then became an inspector for the Spanish Tax Agency. He entered Conservative party Alianza Popular[?] ("People Alliance"). He was elected to the presidency of Autonomous Community of Castile-Leon. His success earned him the trust of old leader Manuel Fraga Iribarne[?], who appointed him as his heir. Aznar conducted the refoundation of AP as Partido Popular[?] ("People Party"), aiming to the political center.

He was derided as a man without charisma, and his moustache was used by critics to liken him to Francisco Franco, Adolf Hitler or Charlie Chaplin.

Aznar survived an assassination attempt by ETA because his car was armored. A passing-by woman died, though.

After a bitter campaign against the corruption scandals of Felipe González[?]'s PSOE[?], ruling since 1982, Aznar's PP achieved a plurality, becoming the ruling party with the votes of nationalist parties CiU[?], PNV[?] and Coalición Canaria[?].

He moved the PP from the Conservative group in the European Parliament to the Demochristian[?] European Popular Party[?]. His protegé Alejandro Agag[?] succeeded changing the Demochristian International[?] into the Center Democrat International[?].

Aznar was re-elected with a majority in 2000 and has declared he will not opt for a third mandate, so opening the question of his succession in PP.

He has actively encouraged and supported G.W. Bush international policy and the US attack on Iraq in 2003, even though more than 91% of the Spanish population was against the war (including some PP members). As a consequence of this and other political issues (such as the Prestige oil disaster), he lost a little support from the people who elected him in 2000.

He is friend of Italian Silvio Berlusconi and Britain's Tony Blair. He is married to Ana Botella[?] with two sons and a daughter, Ana Aznar Botella[?], married to Alejandro Agag in 2002 in a ceremony resembling the wedding of a head of state rather than a prime minister.

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