Spain is mourning the death of one of its top politicians. Loyola de Palacio has died at the age of 56 from cancer. She was a member of the European Commission from 1999 until 2004, serving under the team led by Romano Prodi. She was a Vice-President in charge of relations with the European Parliament, as well as a commissioner of transport and energy. In her home country, Palacio was a former minister of agriculture, fisheries and food. She was a senior member of the opposition Popular Party.