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Juan Jose Ibarretxe

In office
January 2, 1999 – May 7, 2009
Vice President Idoia Zenerrutzabeitia Beldarrain
Preceded by José Antonio Ardanza
Succeeded by Patxi López

In office
January 4, 1995 – January 2, 1999
President José Antonio Ardanza
Preceded by Jon Imanol Azúa
Succeeded by Idoia Zenerrutzabeitia Beldarrain

Born May 15, 1957 (1957-05-15) (age 52)
Llodio, Álava, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Political party PNV
Spouse(s) Begoña Arregui

Juan José Ibarretxe Markuartu (born May 15, 1957)[1] is a Spanish politician. A leading member of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), he has been President (lehendakari) of Spain's Basque Country autonomous community from January 2, 1999 to May 7, 2009.

Ibarretxe (middle) at an event in San Sebastián

He was born in Llodio in the province of Álava, and holds a degree in Economics from the University of the Basque Country. In 1983 he was elected a member of the Basque Parliament for Álava, representing the PNV, and from then on rose steadily to prominence. From 1986-1990 and 1991-1994 he was the President of the PNV Economic and Budgetary Commission. On January 4, 1995 then Basque President José Antonio Ardanza appointed him Vice President. He was nominated PNV presidential candidate on March 28, 1998 to compete in the October 25 Basque election and became President on January 2, 1999. In October 2003 he released the highly controversial Ibarretxe Plan (Plan Ibarretxe), which foresees a future Basque country 'freely associated' with Spain, with its own separate legal system and European Union (EU) representation. Javier Solana, the Spanish EU foreign policy chief said in February 2005 that the plan had no place within the proposed EU constitution.

Ibarretxe grew up speaking only Spanish, but now speaks fluent Basque and English. He is an avid cycling fan and has presided over a cycling club in Llodio. He is married to Begoña Arregui, with whom he has two children.

See also


  1. ^ IBARRETXE MARKUARTU Juan José International Who's Who. accessed September 1, 2006.

External links

Preceded by
José Antonio Ardanza
Lehendakari (Basque President)
Succeeded by
Patxi López
Preceded by
Jon Imanol Azúa
Deputy Lehendakari (Deputy Basque President)
Succeeded by
Idoia Zenerrutzabeitia Beldarrain


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