José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (born 4 August, 1960) is the President of the Government (Prime Minister) of Spain. The party he leads, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), won the general election on March 14, 2004 and a subsequent victory in 2008.
As Opposition Leader
- "I'm going to give you a peaceful Basque Country"
- "The main priority of the Socialist Party is education".
- Note: January, 13th 2003
- "With a Socialist government, there will not be a national surplus whilst there continues to be inequality."
- Note: Oct. 2003, when Cristóbal Montoro, then Home Affairs Minister, announced that there was a surplus in the public purse.
- Source: El Mundo, Rodríguez Zapatero reprocha a Rajoy que no afronte el debate presupuestario como líder del PP (Spanish)
- "I don't want to be a great leader. I would rather be a good democrat."
- "Gender equality is more successful than armed force"
- Interview with "Time" Magazine, September 22th, 2004
- "If we live together, together we must decide."
- Note: Start of an speech in the Congress of Deputies against Ibarretxe's plan. February 1st, 2005
- "Castilian Spanish speaking Spain is big, but is bigger in addition with Catalonian speaking Spain, Galician speaking Spain and Basque speaking Spain. Democratic Spain, Constitutional Spain, can not be separated from diversity and the respect to the citizenship"
- Note: Speech in the French National Assembly. March, 2005
- "How can a governing party propose to its people a referendum that won't be binding? Is that a serious political programme? No it is not. It's the final option that will end up with upset, at a dead end, reflecting the last 4 years of the Ibarretxe Plan"
- "My grandfather asked in his will that whenever it became possible, his name should be cleared so that he would no longer be denounced as a 'traitor to patriotism'. My grandfather has had a great effect on me during my life."
- "The transition to democracy was based on a base of harmony and little remembrance." (It was good that the Transition) "[...] was like that, because at the time the wounds were still open. That problem affected an entire generation of Spaniards. However, the generation that I come from is drawn to politics in a context of democracy and liberty, and now it's only fair that the sacrifices that many people made are recognised and that people know exactly what happened to their relatives, because it's their right [...] this right doesn't involve looking back with a grudge, but completely the opposite: it means looking back with serenity, to find out the truth [...] it means building a stronger country, a country that can look at all of its citizens with absolute serenity, so that they feel recognised in our project of contemporary democracy".
- Interview in 2005 in the book "Zapatero and the Citizens' World" by Calamai and Garzia.
- "I am highly at ease and calm because we have a fairly republican king."
- "For me, a republican is someone who defends public institutions and democratic values, someone who is a defender of public life, someone who repsects the principles of liberty, so in that sense we are very calm and at ease."
- Note: 14th April 2005, during a commemoration to the Second Republic.
- "Less smoking and more reading."
- Note: 23rd April 2005.
- "Discouraging smoking and drinking is a left ideal."
- "In my opinion, patriotism is liberty."
- Note: 6th October 2005, during a discussion on Catalan and Spanish nationalism and the inclusion of the term nation-state in the Statute of Catalonia.
- Source: Libertad Digital: Zapatero, la patria-libertad, el españolismo y la "fórmula" para la nación catalana (Spanish)
- "Reachable goals are worth the struggle." (30th Nov., 2005)
- "The strength of a culture depends on its capacity to open itself up to other cultures, to integrate itself into them and to integrate them into it. It doesn't matter how many differences there may be, Habermas pointed out, everyone shares some principles. No culture tolerates the exploitation of human beings. No religion permits the murder of innocent people. No civilisation accepts violence or terror."
- "Peace is not a natural state of man, as the great pacifist Gandhi told us. But man can create it. If we have broken down walls that seemed unbreakable, we will not passively agree that more profound differences should their place."
- Note: 5th Dec. 2005
- Sources: Transcripción completa del discurso en la web de la ONU. Many extracts taken from the press, e.g. Cadena Ser.
- "We are the envy of Europe and in a few years time we are going to be one of the top countries in the world."
- Nota: 19th Dec. 2005
- "The Spain of today looks at the Second Republic with great appreciation and above all with satisfaction and pride for what we have been able to do in this constitutional age".
- Congress of Deputies, 1st May 2006
- "Peace needs and takes time, it needs and takes caution, it needs and takes patience after 30 years of terrorism and violence."
- "Today things are better than a year ago. But within a year things will be even better."
- "Given that a few days ago we had a terrible accident, a tragic terrorist attack in Barajas, in Madrid, I would like to propose to you that we show our complete condemnation, our most intense revulsion, and that we show profound solidarity with the victims."
- Note: In reference to the ETA bombing at Madrid airport, El Confidencial (Spanish). That same day, Zapatero said that calling the attack an 'accident' had been a slip of the tongue, but it was seized by the press and provoked anger, for example the slogan "Killing people is not an accident" used in the protests of March, 2007.
- "I would like to admit the clear error I made in front of all Spanish citizens".
- Note: January 2007, apologising for his announcement on 29th December 2006, "in a year things will be even better"/
- Source: El País: Minuto a minuto del debate sobre política antiterrorista en el Congreso (Spanish).
- The US doesn't understand South America."
- "The longer they put off admitting defeat and crticising themselves, the longer it will take for them to earn the confidence of their citizens."
- "If there is corruption, it's because the political parties are weak."
- "Every time a teacher leaves her classroom in Paris to put up osters of Ségolène France is illuminated."
- "Ségolène represents personal energy, good spirits and optimism, the determination to preside, the vocation to get things done instead of talking about it; as we have done in Spain."
- "Today, the grandeur of a country is measured by the extent to which it defends and extends its citizens' rights through its impulse towards total equality, by its capacity to create energy that contributes towards cultural, social and economic growth. That is how a country becomes strong, by making its citizens more powerful."
- Note: In a meeting of the French Socialist Party in Toulouse at the end of the electoral campaign for the first round of presidential voting, to help Ségolène Royal, 19th April 2007.
- Source: La Rioja (Spanish).
- "To every insult we receive we will offer a proposal, to every defamatory remark, an idea, and to every exaggeration, a smile."
- Note: Meeting in the Vistalegre Palace, Madrid, 23rd April 2007.
- Source: Nota de prensa Zapatero: "Responderemos a cada insulto con una propuesta, a cada descalificación con una idea" en la web oficial del PSOE, Ya: Zapatero al PSOE: "A cada insulto, una propuesta, a cada descalificación, una idea y a cada exageración una sonrisa"
- "During the next legislature, we will aim for full employment in Spain."
- Debate on the State of the Nation, 3rd July 2007
- Source: 
- "There isn't any wall, however high, however wide or however big, whatever it is made from, that can bar you from achieving a better life. There isn't any wall or pit that is in front of you to stop you from achieving a future of wellbeing."
- Note: Dinner speech at which Zapatero was the guest of honour, hosted by Felipe Calderón in the National Palace, Mexico City.
- Source: Transcripción oficial en la web de la Presidencia de México
- "The PP has spent 3 years thinking about the election (in 2008), but I think that one has to give them some advice: to prepare themselves to carry on thinking, but about the election in 2012."
- Meeting on the 14th August 2007 in Jerez, predicting another PSOE victory in the 2008 elections.
- Drawing a comparison to football, it could be said that the Spanish economy has, during this legislature, into the Champions League of the world economy, however bad that may seem to some."
- 11th Sept. 2007, during a speech by the PSOE in the Congress of Deputies.
- Source: Zapatero: "El Gobierno ha situado a España en la Champions League de las economías del mundo" Cadena SER.
- "You can be completely opposed to an ideological position, and I'm certainly not close to Aznar's ideas, however he was elected by the Spanish people and I demand that respect."
- To Hugo Chavez, who had accused Aznar of being a racist and a fascist in the 17th Iberoamerican Summit.
- Source: El Mundo: El Rey se enfrenta a gritos con Chávez en defensa de Aznar: ¿Por qué no te callas? (Spanish)
- "In democracy, nobody is above anybody else apart from he who is elected by the people."
- 24th Feb. 2008
- "Goodnight, and good luck."
- Closing remark to the Presidential debate with Mariano Rajoy in the 2008 election campaign.
- "I think that it would do us good to have some tension [...]. From this weekend, I'm going to start to overdramatise things a little."
- Said to the presenter of 'Cuatro', Iñaki Gabilondo, at the end of an interview, and referring to the 2008 general election. His words were captured by microphones when Zapatero presumed that he was no longer on air.
- Source: "A partir de este fin de semana, voy a dramatizar un poco"
- "As such, we have signed an agreement to stimulate, to favour, to fuck...to help this type of tourism."
- A slip of the tongue for Zapatero at a joint press conference with Dmitri Medvedev, saying 'follar', to fuck, instead of 'apoyar', to help.
- Source: 20 Minutos: El lapsus de Zapatero: "Un acuerdo para estimular, para favorecer, 'para follar'..."
- "Although the recession is strong and although hard times await us in the next 2 or 3 months, Spain will continue to grow in the second quarter of 2009."
- Source: Diciembre 2008. Prensa
- "I'm not the right person to talk about this. It doesn't seem right to me (the price paid by Real Madrid for footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, but I understand the social significance of football."
- "It's likely that the worst of the economic crisis is behind us."
- 29th April 2009
- "The Spanish economy is not going to return to growth immediately."
- "The earth belongs to nobody except the wind."
- At the 15th Climate Change Summit, Copenhagen, 17th December 2009.
- "We are lucky that a crisis of this magnitude only comes around once every 80 years."
- In an interview with Spanish national television.
- Source: Zapatero evita respaldar a De la Vega y asume que habrá crisis de Gobierno
- "We must have a distinct vision of what employment and unemployment are. A person who is training or educating themselves is working for their country. That is what we have discovered in this recession, that training, education and innovation are fundamental.", Oslo Forum, September 2010.
- "The photo is the most important thing."