A former vice president of the European Commission and former agriculture minister of Spain, Loyola de Palacio, has died in Madrid. She was 56-years-old.
The former European Union official died Wednesday following months of treatment for cancer.
De Palacio was minister for agriculture between 1996 and 1999 in the conservative government of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. She then became vice president of the European Commission for transportation and energy. She held that post until 2004.
She was the sister of former Spanish Foreign Minister Ana de Palacio.
Colleagues in Spain, the European Parliament and the European Commission praised de Palacio's tenacity and deep moral convictions.
The European Parliament held a minute of silence in de Palacio's memory upon hearing the news of her death.Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.