José María Aznar Profile Photo

José María Aznar

WSB Exclusive Speaker

Prime Minister of Spain (1996-2004)

José María Aznar returned Spain to the forefront of the world stage helps audiences understand the economic and debt crisis in Europe and how it can be contained, the international impact of the "Arab Spring," and the ever-present terrorist threat and the values of leadership.

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José María Aznar Profile Photo

Before José María Aznar took office as prime minister of Spain in 1996, his country was economically paralyzed by high unemployment, a deficit and little growth. Aznar instituted numerous economic reforms—including liberalizing the market and privatizing industry—in turn creating five million new jobs and a budget surplus. His changes increased Spain’s GNP by 68% and propelled Spain to the eighth largest economy in the world. Today, as his country is sinking under sovereign debt, Aznar explores Europe’s debt crisis and how it happened, the potential for lasting reforms and the future of the euro. Aznar has been a firm supporter of the international efforts against terrorism and shares with audiences his views on how it threatens world security—and what we must do about it. In the aftermath of the “Arab Spring,” he addresses the political, economic and social change in the region and why Western nations must formulate a common strategy for the future. Aznar also shares the values he believes are necessary for leadership: acting with conviction, having strength of character in the face of criticism and taking responsibility for your actions.

Featured Videos

José María Aznar Profile Photo
José María Aznar

Former Prime Minister of Spain Jose Maria Aznar on Afghanistan

José María Aznar Profile Photo
José María Aznar

Former President of Spain on his meeting with Iranian Supreme Leader

José María Aznar’s Speech Topics

  • The Economic Future of Europe

    Before José María Aznar took office as prime minister, his country was experiencing high unemployment and little growth. Aznar immediately instituted reforms—liberalizing the market and privatizing industry—bold moves that increased Spain’s GNP by 68% and propelled Spain to the eighth largest economy in the world. Now Aznar shares with audiences worldwide his strategies for reviving flagging economies and shows businesses how to profit in the new market-oriented Europe. Today, his country is now sinking under sovereign debt and facing severe austerity measures and a recession predicted to shrink its economy by 0.8% in 2012. Aznar explores the nature of the financial virus that afflicted Europe, the likelihood of global contagion and what can be done to prevent it.

  • Free Trade and Globalization

    In this illuminating presentation, José María Aznar, Spain’s prime minister from 1996 to 2004, explores how current international policy affects free trade in Europe, the U.S. and other countries around the world. Aznar shares with audiences the power and purpose of globalization and commercial relations, highlighting in particular the ramifications for underdeveloped countries. Aznar focuses on building stability and encouraging development in Latin America, where Spain has many links. He also details how globalization and commercial relations particularly favor those in underdeveloped countries, and stresses the importance of the “Atlantic link,” the interconnectivity of Europe and the U.S. as they strive to open up new markets around the world.

  • Leadership on the World Stage

    What are the qualities of a great leader? How does one lead people where they might not want to go? José María Aznar knows. The prime minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004, Aznar led his country out of years of decline by instituting reforms that, though initially resisted, led to an economic and cultural revival. In addition, he held firm in his resistance to terror and his support for the U.S., even when polls indicated he do otherwise. Now Aznar shares his ideas about leadership on the world stage about the responsibilities and attributes of leaders, and how they can change their people, organizations and countries for the better.

  • The Arab Awakening and How the West Should React

    From his unique perspective as Spain’s prime minister from 1996 to 2004, José María Aznar explores how, over the past year, the promise and great expectations of “the Arab Spring” have turned into a new and less optimistic reality—“the Arab Winter.” Aznar shares with his audiences his concerns for the future of the region and the interests of the West. He looks at the long neglect of pro-Western groups in North Africa and the Gulf as the West sought to avoid friction with existing rulers, creating contradictory political and military strategies among those nations. The formulation of “an approach that is not shortsighted or naïve” is, he believes, essential—that if the West applauds everything, it will fail to establish positive relations with emerging regimes.

What other organizations say about José María Aznar

 José Aznar was an outstanding speaker. He was relevant, engaging and focused, generating a great deal of discussion, All-in-all, a home run.

Financial Services

What other organizations say about José María Aznar

 José María Aznar speech was as we expected: it described the real situation but was not pessimistic. Our guests were delighted and for us it was a great success to count in his attendance. It has been my pleasure to work with you and we hope to do so again in the future.



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