Zapatero’s economic advisor dead at 59

David Taguas moved from government to a construction sector lobby during the Socialist administration

David Taguas, pictured in 2009.
David Taguas, pictured in 2009.Bernardo Pérez

David Taguas, the man who headed the Economic Office under the Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (2004-2011), died suddenly of a heart attack on Wednesday night. He was 59.

After being top advisor to the prime minister between 2006 and 2008, this economist became the head of Seopan, an association of large construction companies — a government-to-lobby move that earned him criticism from the opposition at the time. He stepped down from the in 2012, shortly after the Popular Party (PP) reached power, and had since then been directing the Macroeconomics and Finance Institute at Madrid's Camilo José Cela private university.

Taguas's widow, María Jesús, has confirmed that her husband had a massive heart attack on Wednesday night and died despite medics' attempts at resuscitation lasting over 45 minutes.

Taguas was a contributor to EL PAÍS who had just released a book analyzing the debt crisis, Cuatro bodas y un funeral (Four weddings and a funeral). As part of his educational work, he had published a story in this newspaper a few days ago under the headline Deuda pública y solvencia bancaria (Public debt and bank solvency). On the same day of his death he had been interviewed by Ser radio station.

María Jesús Taguas told Antena 3 on Thursday that a "patriot" is gone, "one of the best economists in the country" who only cared about "the future of this country."