Solbes was Secretary of State for the European Communities at the time when Spain’s accession to the EU was negotiated (between 1985 and 1991) and, later, Minister of Agriculture (1991-1993) and Economy (1993-1996) in the governments of President Felipe González.
Later he was appointed European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs (1999-2003), from where he supervised the process that was to complete the introduction of the euro, adopted as the single currency by twelve countries on January 1, 2000, for which it came to be known in community circles as “Mister Euro”.
Later he repeated as Minister of Economy and Vice President of the Government with the socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (between 2004 and 2009).
Born in Pinoso (Alicante, east) in 1942, Solbes had a doctorate in Political Science and a Law degree, as well as a degree in European Economics from the Institute of European Studies of the Free University of Brussels.
State commercial technician since 1968, his career in the Administration was intense, much of it related to Europe. In 1973 he was appointed commercial adviser to the Spanish Mission to the European Communities in Brussels, a position he held until 1978, when he became Community Relations adviser (1978-1979) with the then Minister of Community Relations, Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo, who would later be president of the Executive.
Later he held the position of General Director of Trade Policy, until 1982, when he became Technical Secretary General of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, a position from which he was part of the negotiating team for the accession of Spain to the European Community, with the government socialisa of Felipe González, and from there he went to the Secretary of State for the European Communities.
These positions turned him into a deep connoisseur of the treaty incorporating Spain into the then European Community (EC), which came into force in 1986, as well as being a recognized expert on agricultural issues.
Source: Euronews Español