A graduate in Law at the Complutense University of Madrid and Ph.D in Politics Sciences at the same university, he carried out advanced studies in European economy at the l'Université Libre de Bruxelles. He began his political career in 1968 as officer at the Ministry of Economics of Spain, holding prestigious offices at Spanish and European institutions. In particular, he held the office of Deputy Minister of International Affairs in Spain from 1986 until 1991 as responsible for the relations with the European Community, from 1991 until 1993 ha was Minister of Agriculture, Nutrition and Fishing, while from 1993 until 1996 and from 2004 until 2009 he was Minister of Economic and Financial Affairs. Within the European area he was Officer of Business and Monetary Affairs from 1999 until 2004. He was member of the Spanish Parliament in 1996 and 2007, and left the parliamentary office in 2009. Until November 2012 he was Head of the Supervisory Board of EFRAG (European Financial Reporting Advisory Group), and currently is member of the Conseil de Garants di Notre Europe Foundation, Head of the executive committee of FRIDE (Spanish private foundation for international relations and foreign communication) and Head of the Spanish section of the Hispanic-Chinese Forum. Before holding ministerial offices, he was member of the Board of Directors of a number of Spanish companies as representative of the public shareholder. Currently, he is director of Barclays Bank Espana. He holds the office of Enel's Director since May 2011.