MADRID

Spanish politician Manuel Marin, a long-time member of the European Commission seen as the 'father' of the EU's popular Erasmus student exchange scheme, has died at the age of 68.

Marin, who since 2008 was the chairman of Fundacion Iberdrola Spain, the charitable arm of the country's largest power company, passed away in Madrid after "after a long illness", Iberdrola said in a statement. Spanish media said he had cancer.

CAREER

As Spain's secretary of state for relations with European communities in the 1980s, he led successful negotiations to enter the European Community (EC), the precursor to the European Union.

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