Online Original: Javier Solana/Spain: Europe's First Foreign Minister?William Echikson
For Javier Solana, the big shakeup came a decade before the fall of the Berlin Wall. "Personally, the return of democracy in Spain was much more important in changing my ideas," says the 57-year old Solana. Growing up in Madrid, he joined the clandestine Socialist Party and hated the U.S. and NATO for supporting dictator Francisco Franco. But after Franco died in 1975, Solana realized that joining the Atlantic Alliance could help integrate Spain into the family of Western democracies. As Spain's Minister of Culture, he lobbied for entry -- and ended up as NATO's Secretary General in 1995.
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