In the quiet of a convent, young Alberto Núñez Viejo goes to find his way, having finished high school. The current Popular Party candidate for prime minister, 61, felt inclined to study history, but in those days of reflection, with a colleague, they wanted to decide on their university studies. And it was a religious one who directed them: Philosophy and history, he told them, were very good, but to get more employment it was better to study law.
Feijóo followed the advice and managed to thank the priest, who became rector of Santiago Cathedral. Perhaps now that the last phase of the campaign had adopted its harsher tone, a Benedictine withdrawal would do him good. But the leader of the People’s Party is working hard in the electoral battle. Let them tell Pedro Sanchez, who surprised him in his only debate. The president should not underestimate him. Feijóo ruled Galicia, his lands, and his fiefs for thirteen years, with four absolute majorities and without losing any elections.
He himself made it clear that he wanted to be a judge but his father was unemployed and he opted for a simpler opposition and took a position as a lawyer from Xunta. It was 1985. Spain was ruled by Felipe Gonzalez, for whom he had voted as a university student. “I would do it again, he was an excellent boss,” he says. Manuel Fraga seemed too right to him.
“Since I entered Xunta, my father has not stopped repeating to me that the more I climb, the worse the fall,”
Feijóo usually emphasizes his humble and rural origin. He was born in a village in Ourense, and until he was ten years old, when he went to Lyon to study at the Marist boarding school, he lived with his parents and his sister Micaela in the house of his maternal grandmother, along with other relatives. “I remember when running water was put into the house and you no longer had to go to the wells to look for it,” he told Bertin Osborne in an interview, “I remember the first washing machine, the television.” “We didn’t have a football field, we were playing on the road and if a car came, someone would warn us and we would stop.”
At the age of 29, he accepted his first political office in Xunta. In 1996, when José María Aznar arrived in Moncloa, he signed him to direct Insalud, the public organization with the largest budget at the time, and four years later, he acquired Post Office, another state giant.
At the age of 42 and with extensive experience as a manager, he returned to Galicia and his real political career began there. He was Manuel Fraga’s vice-president at Xunta and in 2009 he was already a candidate and had his first of four victories. Then his father put his feet on the ground: “The higher you go up, the more it hurts to fall,” he said to me, a very optimistic comment… As I got up, he repeated it to me.
In 2018, after Rajoy was ousted from office by a vote of no confidence, some in the People’s Party looked to the Galician baron to take charge of the party. He stayed at Xunta. But in 2022, he has already reached the end of the crisis that cost Pablo Casado his leadership. She moved to Madrid with her partner, Eva Cárdenas, whom she met as an Inditex CEO, and her 6-year-old son, Alberto.
He said that if he loses on Sunday he will not appear again. Polls are favorable to him, but he no longer trusts Pedro Sanchez who has been shown to have seven lives.