Third Deputy Prime Minister of Spain

Third Deputy Prime Minister of Spain
Vicepresidencia Tercera del Gobierno de España
Incumbent
Teresa Ribera
since 12 July 2021
StyleExcelentísimo/a Señor/a
Member ofCabinet
ResidencePalacio de la Moncloa
SeatMadrid, Spain
NominatorPrime Minister
Appointer
Term lengthNo fixed term
No term limits
Constituting instrument
Formation3 January 1974
(49 years ago)
 (1974-01-03)
First holderLicinio de la Fuente y de la Fuente

The third deputy prime minister of Spain, officially the Third Vice President of the Government of Spain (Spanish: Vicepresidencia Tercera del Gobierno de España), is a senior member of the Government of Spain. The office is not a permanent position, existing only at the discretion of the prime minister (PM). It is a constitutional office because the Constitution provides for the possibility of more than one deputy PM.

It has rarely been utilized, being occupied three times in the last years of the Franco dictatorship and three times in the following democratic period (1977–1978; 2009–2011; and since 2020).

The office does not possess special constitutional powers beyond its responsibility as a member of the Council of Ministers. The position is regulated by the Government Act of 1997 and only specifies that the office's purpose is to replace the PM when that office is empty due to a vacancy, absence, or illness. The third deputy PM only assumes this responsibility if the first and second deputies cannot.

History

Like the position of second deputy PM, the office of third deputy PM was created in January 1974, although its legal framework dates back to the 1967 Organic Law of the State. The first person to hold this position was Licinio de la Fuente, who was also Minister of Labour. De la Fuente distanced himself greatly from PM Arias Navarro, strongly criticizing the position of third deputy PM as symbolic and without possession of any extra powers. This distancing increased when the prime minister refused to create a Government Delegated Committee to deal with social issues, a committee that De la Fuente wanted to chair. After many arguments with the government members and the PM, De la Fuente resigned on March 5, 1975.

De la Fuente was replaced by Fernando Suárez González as both Third Deputy and Labour Minister, and he managed to pass laws of De la Fuente's that were left pending. A few months later, Navarro appointed Juan-Miguel Villar Mir as Third Deputy, as well as Minister of Economy and Finance.

Adolfo Suárez did not use this position until his second term, in 1977, appointing Third Deputy PM Fernando Abril Martorell. The official title of Abril Martorell was Deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs, and he was mainly responsible for the relations between the Government and Parliament.

Afterwards, the position was not used for more than 30 years, until 2009 when PM Zapatero appointed Manuel Chaves as Third Deputy PM and Minister of Territorial Policy. Chaves left office in 2011 when he was promoted to Second Deputy.

The conservative PM Mariano Rajoy never used this position, and PM Pedro Sánchez did not use it in his first government, but did in his second one. Sánchez appointed Economic Affairs Minister Nadia Calviño as Third Deputy PM in 2020, and she served until 2021 when she was promoted to Second Deputy, with Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz replacing her as Third Deputy.

List of officeholders

Office name:

  • Third Vice Presidency of the Government (1974–1975; 1977–1978; 2009–2011; 2020–present)
  • Vice Presidency of the Government for Economic Affairs (1975–1976)
Portrait Name
(Lifespan)
Term of office Party Government Prime Minister
(Tenure)
Ref.
Took office Left office Duration
Licinio de la Fuente
(1923–2015)
4 January
1974
5 March
1975
1 year and 60 days National
Movement

(FET–JONS)
Arias Navarro I Carlos Arias Navarro

(1973–1976)
Fernando Suárez González
(born 1933)
5 March
1975
12 December
1975
282 days National
Movement

(Nonpartisan)
Juan Miguel Villar Mir
(born 1931)
12 December
1975
5 July
1976
206 days National
Movement

(Nonpartisan)
Arias Navarro II
Office disestablished during this interval
Fernando Abril Martorell
(1936–1998)
5 July
1977
25 February
1978
235 days Independent Suárez II Adolfo Suárez

(1976–1981)
Office disestablished during this interval
Manuel Chaves
(born 1945)
7 April
2009
12 July
2011
2 years and 96 days PSOE Zapatero II José Luis
Rodríguez Zapatero


(2004–2011)
Office disestablished during this interval
Nadia Calviño
(born 1968)
13 January
2020
31 March
2021
1 year and 77 days Independent Sánchez II Pedro Sánchez

(2018–present)
Yolanda Díaz
(born 1971)
31 March
2021
12 July
2021
103 days PCE
Teresa Ribera
(born 1969)
12 July
2021
Incumbent 2 years and 111 days PSOE

See also


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