Former European Parliament president appointed foreign minister of Spain

Former European parliament president (2004-2007) Josep Borrell Fontelles has been nominated as Spain’s foreign minister in new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist government.

Borrell, a 71-year-old former leader of Spain’s Socialists, has accepted Sanchez’s invitation to join the team, making him the first confirmed member of his cabinet, according to Spanish media reports.

Borrell will replace Alfonso Dastis, a career diplomat, who occupied the post under ousted conservative premier Mariano Rajoy.

Newly appointed ministers curriculum reached its low, when he was accused of conflict of interests and forced to resign as president of the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence facing allegations of a conflict of interest.

“Borrell is being paid €300,000 a year as a board member of the Spanish sustainable-energy company Abengoa, a post he has held since July 2009, when he left the European Parliament. The EUI apparently only became aware of this in recent weeks, after comments in the Spanish press” POLITICO newspaper wrote back in 2012.

In spite of the fact Borrell’s reputation is far from being flawless,  Sanchez, a 46-year-old economist with no government experience, is obviously interested in cooperation with such an political heavyweight as Borrell, who has functioned in top positions in Spanish and international politics.

Sanchez was sworn in on Saturday, a day after defeating Rajoy’s minority conservative government in a no-confidence vote in parliament sparked by fury over a corruption scandal.

Although from Catalan origin, Borrell and has been vocal critic of the Catalan independence, he served as deputy finance minister, and then public works minister, under former Socialist prime minister Felipe Gonzalez, who was in power between 1982 and 1996.

 

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