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María Teresa Fernández de la Vega


Incumbent
Assumed office 
18 April 2004
President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
Preceded by Rodrigo Rato

Born 15 June 1949 (1949-06-15) (age 60)
Valencia, Valencia, Valencian Community, Spain
Nationality Spain
Political party PSOE

María Teresa Fernández de la Vega Sanz, LLD (born 15 June 1949, Valencia) is a Spanish Socialist Workers' Party politician, since 18 April 2004 the First Vice President, Minister of Presidency and Minister-Spokerperson of the Cabinet in the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.[1] She is the first female First Vice President.

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Biography

María Teresa Fernández de la Vega Sanz is the daughter of a high-ranking Francoist public servant, Wenceslao Fernández de la Vega Lombán, delegate of the Ministry of Employment headed at that time by Fermín Sanz Orrio (1957 - 1962). She earned a degree in Law in the Complutense University of Madrid in the early 1970s. She subsequently moved to Barcelona, where she became a Doctor of Law. In 1974 she entered Spain's Cuerpo de Secretarios Jurídicos Laborales, a specialised body of the civil service.

She started her political career in the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia, remaining a member of it until 1979. From 1982 until 1985, she was the Director of the Advisory Cabinet of the Minister of the Justice, and in 1985 she was appointed General Director of Services at the Ministry of Justice. In 1986 she became a member of the Legal Cooperation Committee of the Council of Europe. In 1990, she was chosen as a spokesperson of the General Council of the Judicial Power of Spain by decision of the Senate (1994-1996). On May 13, 1994, the then Minister Juan Alberto Belloch appointed her Secretary of State of Justice.

She was elected a Member of the Spanish Congress for Jaén in the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party candidacy for the 1996-2000 term, being re-elected in the elections of 2000 for Segovia. During this term she became General Secretary of the Socialist Parliamentary Group. In the Spanish general election of 2004 she became a Member of Parliament for Madrid, and on 18 April of that year she was appointed First Vice President of the Government and Minister of Presidency, remaining the incumbent of each. For the 2008 election she headed the list for the PSOE in Valencia.

María Teresa Fernández de la Vega was the first woman to take on the functions of the President of government in the history of Spanish democracy, when, on April 24, 2004, during the first official visit abroad of Spain's prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, she presided over the Council of Ministers.

In March 2006 the First Vice President went on an African tour with the State Secretary for Cooperation, Leire Pajín, visiting Kenya and Mozambique, in whose capital, Maputo, they celebrated International Women's Day and closed the forum "Spain-Africa: Women for a better world".

In 7 October 2006 she received the Tomás y Valiente Award in Fuenlabrada, Madrid.

Fernández de la Vega has a degree in Communitarian Law from the University of Strasbourg and is a member of Justices for democracy (Jueces para la Democracia). She has written many papers, including La reforma de la jurisdicción laboral and Derechos humanos y Consejo de Europa.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Rodrigo Rato
First Vice President of Spain
2004–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Javier Arenas
Minister of the Presidency
2004–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Eduardo Zaplana
Spokesperson of the Government of Spain
2004–present
Incumbent
Spanish Congress of Deputies
Preceded by
Title jointly held
Deputy for Jaén province
1996 – 2000
Succeeded by
Title jointly held
Preceded by
Title jointly held
Deputy for Madrid province
2000 – 2008
Succeeded by
Title jointly held
Preceded by
Title jointly held
Deputy for Valencia province
2008 – Present
Succeeded by
Title jointly held
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