Ex-Endesa chief makes party political debut
Manuel Pizarro to run for Congress alongside opposition leader.
18 January 2008
MADRID – The former president of the energy company Endesa, Manuel Pizarro, was introduced by Popular Party (PP) leader Mariano Rajoy yesterday as a candidate for Congress.
"My shirt is going to get sweaty like anyone else's," said the businessman-turned-politician, who must resign his current seats on the boards of the Madrid Stock Exchange, Telefónica and Ordesa National Park in order to run as number two on the PP's Madrid list.
"Pizarro is trading his private life for a public one," said Rajoy, the PP hopeful to become prime minister in the 9 March general elections.
"I am behind [Rajoy] and with him to lead a project for Spanish society at a very special moment," said Pizarro, who became an official cardholding PP member yesterday.
Pizarro's presence will make it even harder than usual for the PP to win votes in Catalonia, since the former Endesa chief publicly opposed the takeover bid on his company by the Catalan Gas Natural, favoring instead a rival bid by the German E.ON.
The high-profile presentation comes on the heels of a crisis between Rajoy and Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, a long-standing PP leader who had hopes of running for Congress himself after serving 12 years as either mayor of Madrid or regional premier. At a meeting this week, Gallardón was informed by Rajoy that he will not be included in party lists. The news came as a shock for Gallardón, who announced that he will resign from politics after the elections. "I have done what is best for the PP and for myself. I want to be prime minister," explained Rajoy.
[Copyright EL PAÍS / SUSANA URRA 2008]
Subject: Spanish news