Felipe Gonzalez

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Felipe González Márquez ( Spanish pronunciation:  [feˈlipe ɣonˈθaleθ ˈmaɾkeθ] , born 5 March 1942) is a Spanish lawyer, professor, and politician, who was the Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) from 1974 to 1997, and the 3rd Prime Minister of Spain since the restoration of democracy , from 1982 to 1996. To date, he remains the longest-serving Prime Minister of Spain.

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His cabinets, on the other hand, paved the way to a long period of declining interest rates, low budget deficits and stronger economic growth than the European average . Spain was a founding member of the transition to the single currency (Euro) based on the measures of his last government. Other reforms had also a deep impact on the Spanish economy, such as the extension of a network of highways, airports and the creation of new infrastructures, including the high speed train. Gonzalez-led cabinets were the first to implement a national, comprehensive infrastructure program that included not only public works but theatres, museums, secondary schools. In addition, a comprehensive welfare state was established, while improvements were made to social programmes such as pensions and unemployment benefits. A 40-hour workweek was introduced, while entitlement to paid holidays was extended to up to 30 days per year. Pension funds were also established, together with provision for social tourism. In addition, the school-leaving age was raised from 14 to 16, while the number of educational grants was multiplied by eight.

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