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.
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).
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.