Jordi Pujol i Soley

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This is a Catalan name. The first family name is Pujol and the second is Soley.
Jordi Pujol
Jordi Pujol.JPG
Pujol in October 2008
President of the Generalitat de Catalunya
In office
24 April 1980 – 17 December 2003
Preceded by Josep Tarradellas
Succeeded by Pasqual Maragall
Minister without Portfolio
In office
5 December 1977 – 24 April 1980
Serving with Antoni Gutiérrez Díaz, Joan Reventós, Carles Sentís and Josep Mª Triginer
President Josep Tarradellas
Preceded by New title
Succeeded by Post abolished
Personal details
Born (1930-06-09) 9 June 1930 (age 84)
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Political party CiU (CDC)
Spouse(s) Marta Ferrusola
Children Seven children
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature

Jordi Pujol i Soley (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈʒɔrði puˈʒɔɫ i suˈɫɛj], born 9 June 1930) is a Spanish politician who was the leader of the party Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC) from 1974 to 2003, and President of the Generalitat de Catalunya from 1980 to 2003.

Early life[edit]

Pujol was born in Barcelona, studied at the German School of Barcelona and received a medical degree from the University of Barcelona. During his college years, he joined different activist groups that were seeking to rebuild the ideal Catalonia that the Spanish Civil War and Franco's dictatorship had undermined. Among these organizations were Grup Torras i Bages (where he met other activists such as Jaume Carner or Joan Reventós), Comissió Abat Oliva, Grup Pere Figuera or Cofradia de la Mare de Déu de Montserrat de Virtèlia.[1]

In 1960, in the course of an homage to Catalan poetist Joan Maragall, held in Palau de la Música Catalana, part of the audience sang the Cant de la Senyera (The Song of the Flag in English) despite being previously prohibited by the Spanish authorities. Jordi Pujol was among those who organized this protest, and he was captured and detained for his protests against the regime of Francisco Franco.[2] He was sentenced to seven years in prison, accused of organizing the opposition campaign. However, he got out after spending only two and a half years in jail, and immediately started a new line of political activity with the slogan "building the country". This aimed to raise Catalans' national awareness and create the necessary cultural and financial institutions for the development of Catalonia.

Political Career and President of Catalonia[edit]

In 1974, he passed definitively to the political sphere on founding the political party called Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC) (Democratic Convergence of Catalonia in English), of which he was the first Secretary. The political party was not legalized until 1977, during the Spanish transition to democracy after Franco's death in November 1975.

From 1977 to 1980, Pujol was Minister without portfolio in the Provisional government of Catalonia, presided by Josep Tarradellas. In 1977 he led Pacte Democràtic per Catalunya, a coalition of Catalan parties that were trying to approve the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia. In the Spanish general election of 1977 he was elected to the Spanish Congress of Deputies, representing Barcelona. Pujol was re-elected at the 1979 General Election but resigned from the parliament in 1980.

On 20 March 1980, the first Parliament of Catalonia elections after Franco's regime were celebrated. The Catalan nationalist party Convergència i Unió (coalition of CDC and Democratic Union of Catalonia) won the elections and Jordi Pujol was elected President of the Generalitat de Catalunya on 24 April 1980. He was reelected again in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1995 and 1999.

Pujol is an avid supporter of European integration. In 1985, he started a collaboration with Edgar Faure in the Council of the Regions of Europe (CRE), which would later become the Assembly of European Regions (AER). Pujol was the President of the Assembly of European Regions from 1992 to 1996.[3]

Pujol retired in 2003, ending 23 years of service as the President of Catalonia. He left the head of the party (CDC) to Artur Mas.

In 2003 he gave to Biblioteca de Catalunya the bibliographic collection assembled during his presidency of Catalonia, with more than 16,000 documents.

Pujol and Catalan Nationalism[edit]

During the last decades of the Franco regime and his 23 years as President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Jordi Pujol pertained to the majority establishment in Catalan nationalism, which, instead of seeking a fully independent republic, intended to work towards a federalized Spain that would, according to Pujol, recognize Catalonia "as a country, as a collective with its own personality and differences," and a "guarantee that her own identity be respected".[4]

However, with the conservative People's Party waging a political war against the Catalan Statute of Autonomy and opposing recognition for the language in the east of Aragon, Pujol has stated that, at least since before the Spanish transition to democracy, "there is more aggression towards Catalonia than ever", and that Catalans can "no longer hope for anything from the Spanish state".[4]

A lifelong federalist, Pujol has recently become very disenfranchised by the Spanish political arena. He also has recently stated that the recent surge of outright Catalan separatism is "all in the right".[5]

Personal life[edit]

He married Marta Ferrusola in Santa Maria de Montserrat in 1956 and the couple have seven children.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A biography of Jordi Pujol - Activist". www.jordipujol.cat. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Pujol rememora los 'Fets del Palau', la "primera victoria radical" del catalanismo en 1960". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). May 19, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Jordi Pujol habla en el Auditorio CAM de Alicante sobre el eje Mediterráneo y su fuerte convicción europeista" (in Spanish). www.cam.es. January 18, 2010. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Ja no podem esperar res de l’Estat espanyol". Avui (in Catalan). May 16, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Jordi Pujol: "Estem exclosos del projecte global espanyol"". Avui (in Catalan). April 24, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ Martínez, Félix; Oliveres, Jordi. Jordi Pujol: en nombre de Cataluña [Jordi Pujol: in the name of Catalonia] (in Spanish). Editorial Debate. p. 432. ISBN 84-8306-599-1. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Josep Tarradellas
In exile from 1954 to 1977
President of the Generalitat de Catalunya
1980 – 2003
Succeeded by
Pasqual Maragall
Preceded by
New title
Minister Without Portfolio
With Antoni Guitérrez Diaz, Joan Reventós,

Carles Sentís and Josep Mª Traginer
1977–1980

Succeeded by
Post Abolished
Party political offices
Preceded by
New title
General Secretary of CDC
1974 – 1989
Succeeded by
Miquel Roca i Junyent
Preceded by
Ramon Trias Fargas
President of CDC
1989 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent