Rubalcaba was minister for education and science under Prime Minister Felipe González in the early 1990s. After José Rodríguez Zapatero became head of government, Rubalcaba was responsible for state security as Spain’s interior minister during 2006-2011.
He guided efforts to stop attacks by ETA, the Spanish acronym for Basque Homeland and Freedom. Some ETA leaders were captured. The group’s last killing was in 2010.