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José Antonio Alonso, Interior MInister

José Antonio Alonso

Spanish Minister of Defence

 

The Spanish Interior Minister, José Antonio Alonso, was born in Leon in 1960. He studied Law at the University of León and in 1985 when he was just 25 years old he managed to pass the state judicial exams to become a judge.

In 1989 Alonso was appointed Penal Judge in Madrid, and the following year was appointed Magistrate of the National Audience (the equivalent of the Old Bailey in London).

Between 1994 and 1998 he was spokesman of the association Judges for Democracy and he has a reputation for being one of the most progressive figures amongst the top judges in Spain (traditionally quite a conservative group of professionals) although he is known to be a professional capable of putting ideologies aside when it comes to making professional decisions.

Last Christmas (2003) his old friend and leader of the PSOE party José Luis Zapatero, asked Alonso to stand for parliament for the Socialist Party. Although he did finally stand and won his seat in the March elections, Alonso's decision to do so was not automatic. His first post in the Socialist Government was Interior Minister. He was appointed Minister of Defence in April 2006, following the resignation of José Bono, former Defence Minister, for "personal reasons".

Alonso has participated in numerous university courses and conferences related to Spanish language, economy, law and history. He has published various scientific papers.

José Antonio Alonso is a childhood friend of Zapatero - they went to highschool and university together.

He is married and has one son. He enjoys reading philosophy and has written a number of political essays.

In a recent interview in El Mundo, Alonso said his decision to become a Judge was accompanied by "romantic ideas". "When I finished my Law degree I was sure that this country was going to change a gread deal and that, because of the new Spanish Constitution, an area of public service needed go through a process of modernisation. I wanted to contribute to this process"

 

 
 
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Spanish Government, José Antonio Alonso, Spanish DefencaMinister.
 
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