Ignacio Gil Vázquez at PostGlobal

Ignacio Gil Vázquez

Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Gil Vázquez is the managing editor of Spain’s second largest circulation newspaper, El Mundo. He previously served as foreign correspondent in France and as Culture section editor. He has covered wide-ranging events throughout his career, including the Basque conflict, Catalan politics, Francois Mitterrand’s final years as president of France, his successor Jacques Chirac’s election, and the death of Princess Diana. Close.

Ignacio Gil Vázquez

Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Gil Vázquez is the managing editor of Spain’s second largest circulation newspaper, El Mundo. more »

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April 3, 2009 5:01 PM

Obama: Skip the Formalities

The Current Discussion: Rate Obama's first performance on the international stage on a scale of 1-10, and tell us why you think so.

OBAMA AT G 20: average, 7. Meeting was too formal for an informal guy like him. Better in bilateral encounters than in such a heterogeneous group.

PHOTO CALL: 8. He was next to Berlusconi, always a risk. He takes advantage of the Italian prime minister's old-comrade attitude, with a hand in his shoulder. Perfect smile.

SPEECH: 6 Mediocre. Too lyric. All European newspapers feature his photo in the front page. No mention of his words.

INFLUENCE: 6, which is low for the President of the United States. Brown looks like the master in command with the couple Sarkozy-Merkel playing tenor roles.

MICHELLE: 10. The real Queen of the London summit. Carla Bruni was absent but Michelle was there. She broke the protocol by touching Queen Elizabeth - the Summit's real historical moment




November 5, 2008 8:42 AM

Three 'First Things' Obama Must Do


The Current Discussion: What's the first thing you hope Barack Obama does as President-Elect?


Eight years lost. We are in a hurry. I hope you do three "first things first" -- as soon as possible.

Make the most of the Washington economic summit on November 15th. The world economy can't wait anymore. We hope you bring fresh ideas. Please, ask Mr. Bush to invite Mr. Zapatero, the prime minister of Spain. Both haven't talked to each other for these last eight years. The Spanish economy deserves to be represented.

Announce the immediate closing of Guantanamo prison. It's a shame and an enormous mistake. We, democracies, can't operate under such non-democratic ways.

Lift the Cuban embargo. It has consolidated/justified Castro and provoked suffering for Cuban citizens. How is it fair to trade with Communist China but unfair to do so with Communist Cuba?

Good luck, Mr. President.




September 11, 2008 8:59 AM

Who's Afraid of a Hockey Mom?

There are two American things that people living outside the U.S. love: the NBA and American elections. The basketball championship has become a true world league featuring the very best players all over the world. American elections are not yet such an international affair, but this season it is coming close thanks to a outstanding bunch of candidates.

Democratically speaking, the way the two main parties chose their candidates seems perfect. It's like a tennis tournament, with players eliminated after Super Tuesday. What passionate conversations we have had over dinner while debating Hillary vs. Obama! In the Republican camp, our hearts beat for Giuliani before the Vietnam vet trumped all the others.

Until last week, nobody cared about vice presidents. Apparently, they were sort of invisible men. Al Gore served eight years and went unnoticed! Before Cheney, nobody outside the U.S. - or should I write outside Washington?- cared about VP. So the way they are selected didn't concern us so much.

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May 29, 2008 10:23 AM

Three More Influential People

The Current Discussion: The American magazine Foreign Policy and British magazine Prospect have published a joint list of the world's Top 100 Public Intellectuals. The list includes several PostGlobal panelists. Who's missing from the list? Who would you take off?

I would like to add three names to the Foreign Policy/Prospect list: a French socialist, a Cuban dissident and an Egyptian novelist.

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February 26, 2008 10:51 AM

Europe Lacks Leadership On Kosovo

The Current Discussion: Are the U.S. and Europe right to recognize Kosovo and continue to poke Russia with a stick?

The independence of Kosovo, quickly recognized by the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and France, is worse than a crime. It is a political mistake. Here are five reasons why:

First, it alienates Serbia, already in a fragile balance between the hopes of becoming a European Union member and the bloody dreams of a Greater Serbia. Did you see the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade burning? A new pro-western government has withdrawn its ambassadors from the most important European capitals just days after winning the elections with a pro-European approach. Serbs can picture themselves knocking on Brussels’ gates but getting their doors slammed into their faces.

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January 31, 2008 2:47 PM

Experience Not Welcome

The Current Discussion: With the U.S. presidential primary season in full swing, there's a lot of talk here about "change" vs. "competence" in leadership. Which does your country have more of? Is that a good thing?

Back in 1982, Felipe González obtained a landslide victory using the key word "Cambio" (change). He was the first socialist elected in Spain since the Popular Front in 1936. Obviously, he and his party didn't have any government experience at all, apart from some leftist mayors elected just one year before. Indeed, he had listened to what most of the Spaniard citizens wanted and built a programme based on change.

González stayed in power until 1996. The new conservative leader, José María Aznar raised the flag of "democratic regeneration". With his new breath of fresh air he confronted a socialist record of many achievements, several forgotten promises and some severe corruption cases.

Blair was the New Labour after the Thatcher years. Her liberal reforms injected competence into the British economy but the working class was fed up and need a social change.

Sarkozy proclaimed J' ai changé (I' ve changed) in a fundamental speech launching his campaign in January 2007. He set aside his years in various gaullist cabinets even if he was considered a very competent Home Office minister. Instead, he introduces himself as the man needed to change France after years of frozen ideas. He suceded.

From my distant point of view, Obama’s “change” is the correct answer to eight years of Bushism and the economic turmoil ahead. Hillary’s “experience” is not welcome, at least in the primary season. She has made a mistake in timing. In 2008, competence may be a Republican word.




January 4, 2008 10:03 AM

Dear Candidates: You're Our Leader, Too

As America's new president, you must consider yourself a leader not just of the U.S. but also of the rest of the world.

So, first, try to understand the rest of the world. Don't be afraid to travel, to listen and to discuss with others before taking any decision that affects us. No more Iraqs, please.

We citizens of rest of the world do appreciate American leaders with personal ideas. But we fear those who are held hostage by frozen ideology.




December 6, 2007 11:06 AM

Chavez Is No Leftist

Who ever said that Hugo Chávez was a leftist? He is a mix of Fidel Castro and Perón: not a true revolutionary, but the promoter of a nanny-state paid for by the petro-dollar. A military man who organized a failed coup and, once in power, formed civil militias. A vain caudillo immersed in anti-American rhetoric.

Left-wing leaders like Lula da Silva in Brazil and Michele Bachelet in Chile are trying to transform their countries. They are true reformers who are bringing real alternatives to the liberal approach, some successful, others not. Their citizens are called to vote, choose and sanction the running of the country in free elections held under the careful watch of a free press.

Chavez came to power after decades of social democratic and demi-Christian governments that had taken turns, not in ruling Venezuela but in sacking public funds. Chavez initially found a positive response, especially among the poor, by presenting himself as the alternative to the old caste. Until last Sunday's referendum, there was no authentic opposition to him. Survivors of the old system were unable to regain popularity.

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September 24, 2007 12:39 PM

A Bad Idea, but Better than None

Seen from the lens of 2007, the partition of British India seems like a big mistake. Back in 1947, it forced a two-way migration of 10 million people, while half a million more died as victims of racial and religious hatred. Since then, Pakistan and India have fought several wars and their rivalry has escalated to the brink of nuclear attack. Both countries are now living a cold war based on atomic deterrence.

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July 25, 2007 8:10 AM

Relive Past Glory, Escape Present Mediocrity

Summer is the perfect season to read "In Europe," an original, fresh and first hand documented essay of recent European history. It's an ideal reading for anyone doing "le grand tour" across the Old Continent. Euro-skeptics should read it as well to confirm that European unification is one of the few ideas in our recent history not made of blood, shame or tears.

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.