Artur Mas i Gavarró

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Artur Mas
PresidentMas.jpg
129th President of the Generalitat de Catalunya
Incumbent
Assumed office
December 27, 2010
Vice President Joana Ortega i Alemany
Preceded by José Montilla i Aguilera
1st Prime Minister of the Generalitat de Catalunya
In office
January 19, 2001 – December 20, 2003
President Jordi Pujol i Soley
Preceded by none
Succeeded by Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira
Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Catalonia
In office
May 27, 2004 – December 23, 2010
Preceded by Pasqual Maragall i Mira
(Office suspended between December 17, 2003 and May 27, 2004)
Succeeded by Joaquim Nadal i Farreras
Minister of Economy and Finance of the Generalitat de Catalunya
In office
July 30, 1997 – January 17, 2001
President Jordi Pujol i Soley
Preceded by Macià Alavedra i Moner
Succeeded by Francesc Homs i Ferret
Minister of Town and Country Town and Public Works of the Generalitat de Catalunya
In office
June 15, 1995 – July 30, 1997
President Jordi Pujol i Soley
Preceded by Jaume Roma i Rodríguez
Succeeded by Pere Macias
Personal details
Born Artur Mas i Gavarró
(1956-01-31) January 31, 1956 (age 58)
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Political party Convergència i Unió (CDC)
Spouse(s) Helena Rakosnik
Children 3 (Patricia, Albert and Artur)
Alma mater University of Barcelona
Occupation Politician and economist
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature

Artur Mas i Gavarró (Catalan pronunciation: [ərˈtur ˈmas]; born January 31, 1956) in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain is a Spanish politician. He is the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, having assumed office on December 27, 2010[1] after winning the November 2010 election. He is also the leader of the Catalan liberal nationalist party Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) and chairman of the Convergència i Unió (CIU) coalition.[2]

Mas is an economist who obtained his degree from the University of Barcelona, and is fluent in English and French, in addition to Catalan and Spanish. His ideology tends to be considered liberal from the economic point of view, strongly pro-European, and always supporting Catalan independence. From the social point of view, he has mostly supported a moderate agenda in numerous issues, such as gay rights, but not same-sex marriage[3] and free debate on his party concerning abortion.[4]

In year 2010 Mas emphasized that full independence from Spain was part of his political agenda,[5] but more recently he has voiced support for Catalan independence.[6][7]

Biography[edit]

Artur Mas was born in Barcelona as one of the four children of a wealthy industrialist family.[8] His mother was originally from Sabadell and his father from Poblenou. He studied at the Lycée Français de Barcelone (French language high school in Barcelona), and thanks to it is fluent in French, English, Catalan and Spanish. Later he graduated in Economics from the University of Barcelona and married Helena Rakòsnik.[9]

Before acquiring political responsibilities in Catalonia, he held different posts in both the private and public sectors, especially relating to the internationalization of Catalan enterprises.

Artur Mas was member of the Barcelona City Council from 1987 to 1995, representing the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia.[10] His first high responsibilities in the Catalan government came during the presidency of Jordi Pujol, President of the Generalitat de Catalunya from 1980 to 2003. Artur Mas served as Catalan Minister of Public Works from 1995 to 1997, as Minister of Economy and Finance from 1997 to 2001, and Deputy Prime Minister (conseller en cap) from 2001 to 2003, as well as being the government's official spokesman from 2000 to 2003 .[citation needed]

Artur Mas ran for the 2003 elections to the Catalan government and won a plurality of seats in the parliament, with four more than PSC.[11] However, the latter obtained a slightly larger number of votes (this discrepancy between votes and seats obtained is explained by the electoral law and the way seats are assigned). Finally Pasqual Maragall i Mira was elected President, having forged a coalition with two other left-wing parties, the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and Initiative for Catalonia – Greens (ICV).

Mas ran again for president in the 2006 elections. Though his party CiU won these both in number of votes and seats[12]—unlike in the previous elections, it did not reach the absolute majority of seats in the parliament, allowing PSC's new candidate, José Montilla, to reach an absolute majority by repeating the coalition government with the same left-wing partners (ERC and ICV).

Mas talking to Oriol Pujol at Parliament in 2009
Mas in 2010

Since 2007, he has put special emphasis on initiating a process, known as the Refoundation of Catalanism (in Catalan, Refundació del catalanisme), to build upon the principles and values of the Catalanist movement, in order to enlarge the majority of society in Catalonia that expresses a nationalist feeling, and not merely inside his own party, CDC. The 'Refoundation of Catalanism' that Mas is actively leading calls for Catalonia to obtain the so-called 'Right to decide' on matters that affect it. This implicitly includes the possibility of putting independence from Spain to a hypothetical referendum. This point is significantly closer to the traditionally more separatist positions of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and has gained momentum since the issue of the verdict on the Catalan Statute—the Estatut—in July 2010 by the Spanish Constitutional Court, which invalidates certain parts of this law although they were backed by a large majority of Catalan voters by referendum back in 2006 .[citation needed]

The Catalan elections that took place on November 28, 2010 were to finally determine the political future of Mas, who was for the third time the Convergència i Unió candidate to the presidency of the country. Surveys had indicated that this time his party would obtain enough seats to govern without being heavily dependent on third parties and with no risk of a repetition of left-wing coalitions like those of 2003 and 2006. His party finally won 62 of the 135 seats in the Catalan Parliament, thus ensuring that Mas will head the next regional government as president of the Generalitat of Catalonia .[citation needed]

During the campaign Mas had promised to put into place the government of 'the best' people, including the possibility of appointing ministers ('Consellers') from outside his political coalition, Convergència i Unió, if their talent justifies doing so.[13] Moreover, he also engaged in a process culminating in full powers over taxation for Catalonia—significantly reducing the so-called 'fiscal deficit' between Catalonia and Spain—by putting this issue to referendum to the Catalans and as a condition for giving any support to Spanish governments in Madrid after the Spanish elections scheduled for 2012.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
José Montilla i Aguilera
President of the Generalitat de Catalunya
2010 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
New title
First Minister of Catalonia
2001–2003
Succeeded by
Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira
Preceded by
Jaume Roma i Rodríguez
Minister of Town and Country Town and Public Works of the Generalitat de Catalunya
1995–1997
Succeeded by
Pere Macias
Preceded by
Macià Alavedra i Moner
Minister of Economy and Finance of the Generalitat de Catalunya
1997–2001
Succeeded by
Francesc Homs i Ferret
Preceded by
New title
Government Spokesperson of the Generalitat de Catalunya
1999–2003
Succeeded by
Joaquim Nadal i Farreras
Assembly seats
Preceded by
Pasqual Maragall i Mira
Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Catalonia
2004–2010
Succeeded by
Joaquim Nadal i Farreras
Party political offices
Preceded by
New title
President of CiU
2001 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Pere Esteve i Abad
General Secretary of CDC
2000 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent