He was born in Vilalba on November, 23rd 1922. He was the President of Galician government from 1990 until 2005. He studied Law at the University of Santiago de Compostela and at the Complutense, Madrid, getting graduated in 1944.
He started his political career during the Francoist dictatorship. In 1945 he joined the corps of Lawyers of Spanish Court, after passing a competitive exam with the best mark that year. In 1947 he entered the Diplomatic Academy, obtaining again the best mark of the year. Being 25 years-old, he got married to Carmen Estévez Eguiagaray, obtaining that same year the chair of Political Law in the University of Valencia.
In 1853 he was a professor of State Theory and Constitutional Law in the Department of Political and Economic Sciences of the University of Madrid. In 1957 he was appointed Courts Attorney, National Councillor, member of the Advisory Council, and National Associations' Representative. In July 1962 he was appointed Minister for Information and Tourism, relaunching tourism with the slogan "Spain is different!" and working hard to strengthen the net of National Paradors (state-run hotels established in monumental buildings).
In 1966 he presented a media law, known as Fraga's law, which tried to eliminate the censorship of the Francoist Regime. Actually, this law didn't change much, because Government reserved the right to confiscate publications and to punish their producers. In this same year, in order to dispel any fear about a nuclear disaster, he took a bath on a beach where an American aircraft had dropped two nuclear bombs, being this event well-known as the Palomares Bath.
From 1973 until 1975, he was Spanish Ambassador in London. In December 1975, after Franco's death, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Government in the first constitutional monarchy. In this period, his intervention during the incidents of Montejurra (1976) was roughly questioned by the democratic political forces.
In 1977, he founded the political party AP (the Spanish abbreviation for People's Alliance), which is the germ of the present PP (People's Party). In 1978, the Spanish Constitution was approved and, although Manuel Fraga had taken part in its drafting, he rejected some essential parts of the text, such as the recognition of the autonomous regions.
In the first democratic elections, he didn't achieve great success, but after the elections of 1982 his party became the second political force in Spain, and Manuel Fraga achieved de post of opposition leader. In 1987 he abdicated the presidency of his party in favour of José María Aznar, being himself appointed Member of the European Parliament, a post he didn't leave until 1989.
In 1989 he was elected President of Xunta de Galicia (Galician Autonomous Government) by a majority. In 1993 he gained again the regional elections, this time with a wider majority for his party. In 1997 he achieved his third absolute majority for other four years of Galician Government presidency. During this period, the improvement of Galicia in all indicators was widely recognised.
After the Galician Parliament elections held on June, 19th 2005, Manuel Fraga lost the presidency of Galician Government in favour of PSdeG (Galician Socialist Party) and BNG (Galician Nationalist Party) for the small difference of one seat. On February, 7th 2006, the Galician Parliament elected him Senator.
Manuel Fraga has written 87 books in Spanish and other two books in Galician.
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