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Francisco Javier "Patxi" López Álvarez


Incumbent
Assumed office 
7 May 2009
Vice President Idoia Mendia
Preceded by Juan Jose Ibarretxe

Born October 4, 1959 (1959-10-04) (age 50)
Portugalete, Biscay, Basque Country, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Political party PSE-EE
Spouse(s) Begoña Gil

Francisco Javier "Patxi" López Álvarez (born 4 October 1959 in Portugalete, Biscay) is a Spanish socialist politician and the current lehendakari of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. He is the Secretary-General of the Socialist Party of Euskadi - Euskadiko Ezkerra (PSE-EE), which is the Basque Federation of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), the current ruling party in Spain.

López, born into a socialist family, was influenced early in life by the political stance of his father, Eduardo López Albizu, a prominent Spanish left-wing anti-Francoist activist. He joined the Young Basque Socialist movement in 1975, and was its Secretary-General from 1985 to 1988. He joined PSE in 1977, and was elected to the Spanish Congress of Deputies at the 1986 General Election representing Vizcaya Province. In the PSE he rose steadily to prominence before being elected Secretary-General in 1997, having become a Member of the Basque Parliament in 1991.

López is known for his opposition to Basque independence. In 2005, he was the PSE-EE's candidate for the presidency of the Basque Country, but lost out to Juan José Ibarretxe of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV).

In the 2009 election, the Nationalist Party was the party with the most votes with 30 seats, followed by the Socialist Party, with 25 seats. However, the socialists reached an agreement with the People's Party for López to be elected as Lehendakari (Basque president). He was elected to the position on May 5 2009 in the Basque Parliament, effectively ending thirty years of Basque nationalist rule in the Basque Country.[1]

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Preceded by
Juan José Ibarretxe
Lehendakari (Basque President)
2009-present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
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