Jaime Mayor Oreja

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File:Mayor Oreja.jpg
Jaime Mayor Oreja in an interview in 2009

Jaime Mayor Oreja, (born 12 July 1951 in San Sebastián) is a Spanish politician who served as Interior Minister in the People's Party government of José María Aznar before resigning in February 2001 to stand for Basque President on 13 May 2001, a post he failed to win. He is known for his strongly anti-ETA views. Grandson of Marcelino Oreja Elósegui, the ultraconservative Carlist politician.

He graduated in agronomic engineering. In 1977 he joined the Unión de Centro Democrático (UCD) and from 1979 to 1982 represented Guipúzcoa in the Spanish Parliament. On 9 March 1980 he was elected Member of the Basque Parliament. On 30 July 1982 he was appointed as the Government's Delegate in the Basque Country by the then President Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo. On 16 October a grenade was unsuccessfully thrown against his office window, and he was not hurt. On 29 December the new Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) government of Felipe González removed him from office. In February 1983 the UCD disbanded and he joined Óscar Alzaga's Democratic Popular Party. On 26 February 1984 he stood for the position of Basque President for the Democratic Coalition, but failed to win. The coalition collapsed after the general elections of June 1986. He then tried to create another party within the Basque Country but was unable to generate enough interest until in March 1987 he founded a new party, Union of the Basque People (UPV). In 1989 he joined the newly formed People's Party and was elected Deputy in the Congress of Deputies for Vizcaya, although he also represented Alava on separate occasions. At the tenth Party Congress on 31 March 1990 he was elected to the National Executive of the People's Party as the president of the Basque section. After the Peoples's party victory in the 1996 General Elections he was sworn in as Minister of the Interior on 6 May 1996 along with the other members of the new PP government, a post in which he remained until April 2001. In May 2001 he unsuccessfully ran for the Basque presidency again, coming second against incumbent Juan Jose Ibarretxe. Upon being defeated, he was briefly the People's Party parliamentary leader in the Basque Parliament. During his tenure in the Basque Parliament, he famously failed to be present in key debates such as the 2002 budget debate; without his vote, the opposition failed to secure enough votes to overturn the budget, which enabled Ibarretxe's minority government to successfully pass it by simple majority.[1] He resigned his seat in 2004 to lead the People's Party list for the 2004 European Parliament Election and was elected. During his tenure in the European Parliament, he kept a low profile, being one of the least active MEPs during the 2004-2014 decade.[2] He positioned himself as one of the visible leaders of the People's Party right wing faction, and one of the party's hard-liners against Basque terrorism.[3] In January 2014 he announced he would not be running again for the European Parliament due to public disagreements with prime minister Mariano Rajoy's government's policies towards ETA, the basque terrorist group.[4] Since then, he has joined FAES, the People's Party think-tank.[5]


  • Former President and spokesman of the Grupo Popular in the Basque Regional Parliament
  • Vice-Secretary-General of the PP (since 1996) and Honorary President of the PP in the Basque Country
  • 1980: Minister for Tourism in the Pre-autonomous Government of the Basque Country
  • Member for Guipúzcoa
  • 1982: Government Delegate in the Basque Country


  • 1984-1986: President and spokesman of the Coalición Popular in the Basque Regional Parliament
  • 1980: Elected autonomous Member of parliament within the UCD
  • 2001-2004: President of the Grupo Parlamentario Popular in the Basque Regional Parliament
  • 1989: Member of the Cortes for Vizcaya
  • national member of parliament for Álava from 1979-1982 for the UCD and from 1989 to 2004 for the PP
  • from 1996-2001: Minister of the Interior
  • Head of the Spanish Delegation to the EPP-ED Group
  • Said Tenemos que saber, situar a nuestro partido.

See also: European Parliament election, 2004 (Spain)

Preceded by
Juan Alberto Belloch
Interior Minister of Spain
1996 - 2001
Succeeded by
Mariano Rajoy Brey


External links