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Jordi Pujol
Jordi Pujol - Fotografia oficial.jpg
Pujol during his presidency
126th President of the Government of Catalonia
In office
8 May 1980 – 20 December 2003
First Counselor Artur Mas
Preceded by Josep Tarradellas
Succeeded by Pasqual Maragall
Counselor 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
Member of the Parliament of Catalonia
for the Province of Barcelona
In office
10 April 1980 – 23 September 2003
Member of the Congress of Deputies
In office
1 July 1977 – 12 March 1980
Constituency Barcelona
Personal details
Born (1930-06-09) 9 June 1930 (age 92)
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Political party CiU (CDC)
Spouse(s) Marta Ferrusola
Children 7 children

Jordi Pujol Soley (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈʒɔɾði puˈʒɔl i suˈlɛj], born 9 June 1930) is a Spanish politician from Catalonia 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

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.

In 1960, in the course of an homage to Catalan poet 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. Pujol was among those who organized this protest, and he was captured and detained for his protests against the regime of Francisco Franco.

Invention of Neobacitrin ointment

As a physician, Pujol was inventor of the antibiotic ointment Neobacitrin while working in the family-run laboratory Fides Cuatrecasas. The ointment went on to achieve great success and is still used today.

Pujol and Catalan nationalism

During the last decades of the Franco regime and his 23 years as President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Pujol leant towards the majority tendency 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". With the conservative People's Party opposing the Catalan Statute of Autonomy, however, as well as the recognition for the language in the east of Aragon, Pujol has stated that, at least shortly 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".

A lifelong federalist, Pujol has recently become very disenfranchised by the Spanish political arena. He also has recently stated, regarding the recent surge of Catalan separatism that more people than ever want independence, "and they have the right to want it."

Personal life

He married Marta Ferrusola in Santa Maria de Montserrat in 1956 and the couple have seven children. During COVID-19 pandemic in Spain, on 15 January 2021 Pujol and his wife Marta tested positive for COVID-19 and, without serious symptoms, they were confined to their home in Barcelona.

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