Jordi Pujol i Soley

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This is a Catalan name. The first family name is Pujol and the second is i 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 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.

Invention of the Neobacitrin ointment[edit]

As a physician, Pujol was inventor of the antibiotic ointment Neobacitrin while working in the familiar laboratory Fides Cuatrecasas.[3][4][5] Later this ointment achieved great success and is still used today.

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.[6]

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".[7]

However, with the conservative People's Party opposing the Catalan Statute of Autonomy, as well as the 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".[7]

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".[8]

Personal life[edit]

He married Marta Ferrusola in Santa Maria de Montserrat in 1956 and the couple have seven children.[9]

Corruption scandals[edit]

In July 2014, Jordi Pujol released a note explaining that for 34 years, including 23 as the President of Catalonia, he had maintained secret foreign bank accounts inherited from his father. The note apologized for his actions and explained that the millions had been declared and taxes paid. The scandal erupted in the Spanish media as it involves allegations against many family members, including trafficking of influence, bribery, money laundering and public corruption. At this time, his sons Jordi and Oleguer Pujol Ferrusola are being investigated by tax authorities. Another son Oriol Pujol resigned from his leadership position in CiU earlier in the month to face charges of public corruption as well. As a direct result of Pujol's admission on July 29 Spanish Judge Ruz issued an indictment against Jordi Pujol Ferrusola and his wife for money laundering and tax evasion. [10] [11] [12][13][14]

On July 29, Catalan president Mas, after a meeting with Pujol i Soley, announced that Pujol renounced both his salary and the office that he had been assigned as ex-president, as well as the honorary title of founding chairman of CDC and CiU.[15] The opposition parties from both left and right, nationalist and non-nationalist, have demanded he testify before the parliament. The main government allies in the Catalan parliament, Esquerra Republicana, have declared that they support stripping Pujol of all his honors. [16] The Catalan government has declared this a "private matter" that will have no impact on the movement for Catalan independence and the referendum scheduled for November 11, 2014.[17] In announcing his resignation from all party offices, President Mas initially stated that Pujol would keep the right to be called "The Right Honorable" as a former president of Catalonia.[18] Hours later the party spokesperson Francesc Homs stated that Pujol must "forfeit everything," including the Medalla de Oro of Catalunya and all honorifics previously awarded to him.[19] Indicative of the conflicted reaction of many Catalan nationalists, his personal friend Xavier Trias, the Mayor of Barcelona, lamented on Catalonia Radio "He must disappear...He failed us. It is a disaster that has taken place and the shadowy times of Pujol are finished while a new era begins."[20] Perhaps no one is more deeply conflicted than current President Mas who has acknowledged that Pujol is his "political father" and has stated that "he does not know the details and he is not interested in them either." [21] The impact of the Pujol family scandals on the Catalan independence movement, the CIU party and Mas' political future remain to be seen. [22]

Pujol and his family have been suspected for many years of cashing in on the political power he amassed as a 23 year president of Catalonia. In 1984 his family's bank went bankrupt and was taken over by the Spanish government. His children have amassed a fortune in private businesses that frequently did business and received contracts from the Catalan government. Pujol's wife and children have investments in the tens of millions of dollars in Mexico, Panama and Argentina. Financial records show the movement of money between foreign banks in Andorra, Switzerland, Jersey, Cayman Islands and other tax havens in excess of one hundred million euros. Critics, including Jordi Pujol Ferrusola's former girlfriend, charge that this family wealth could not be accumulated from a family inheritance or successful business practices.[23][24] Ever since the 1984 bankruptcy of Banc de Catalunya, as well as in subsequent years, whenever corruption allegations were made against Pujol, his supporters claimed that the charges were politically motivated against Catalonia.[25][26]

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. ^ Memòries del doctor Biodramina, página 213
  4. ^ Jordi Pujol: en nombre de Cataluña, página 135
  5. ^ Entrevista a Jordi Pujol i Soley (minuto 10:40) en el programa Els Matins de TV3, dedicado a "Les memòries del doctor Biodramina, un repàs a la medicina d'abans"
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ a b "Ja no podem esperar res de l’Estat espanyol". Avui (in Catalan). May 16, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Jordi Pujol: "Estem exclosos del projecte global espanyol"". Avui (in Catalan). April 24, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20140728/54413288493/montoro-atribuye-anuncio-pujol-actuaciones-iniciadas-hacienda.html
  11. ^ http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2014/07/26/catalunya/1406401640_957894.html?rel=rosEP
  12. ^ http://www.elmundo.es/espana/2014/07/28/53d6b7d0e2704e9f158b4593.html
  13. ^ http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/politica/anticorrupcion-amplia-caso-pujol-abre-diligencias-otro-hijo-3415369
  14. ^ http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/politica/juez-ruz-imputa-jordi-pujol-ferrusola-blanqueo-delito-hacienda-publica-3416187
  15. ^ "http://www.europapress.es/nacional/noticia-mas-anuncia-pujol-renuncia-sueldo-oficina-expresidente-generalitat-20140729112408.html" (in Spanish). Europa Press. 29 July 2014. 
  16. ^ http://www.lavanguardia.com/local/barcelona/20140729/54412588993/jordi-pujol-debera-comparecer-en-el-parlament-a-peticion-de-toda-la-oposicion.html
  17. ^ http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2014/07/28/catalunya/1406545489_189957.html
  18. ^ http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20140729/54412579937/mas-desvincula-el-caso-de-jordi-pujol-de-la-consulta-aqui-no-se-para-nada.html
  19. ^ http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/politica/homs-confirma-pujol-dejara-ser-molt-honorable-3416453
  20. ^ http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20140729/54412578813/trias-la-sombra-del-pujolismo-se-ha-acabado-y-se-abre-una-nueva-etapa.html
  21. ^ http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/politica/mas-renuncia-pujol-confesion-evasion-fiscal-3415911
  22. ^ http://elpais.com/elpais/2014/08/01/inenglish/1406893767_723731.html
  23. ^ http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2014/07/25/catalunya/1406323625_410862.html
  24. ^ http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2014/07/12/catalunya/1405195452_630700.html
  25. ^ http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2014/07/26/catalunya/1406401640_957894.html
  26. ^ http://www.elmundo.es/cataluna/2014/07/27/53d4c2ad268e3ed1068b456c.html

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