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Jordi Pujol

President of the Catalan government, 1980-2003

Born in Barcelona in 1930, Jordi Pujol graduated in Medicine from the University of Barcelona. In his time at university, he formed part of different nationalist and anti-Franco groups, such as the Grup Torras i Bages, Comissió Abat Oliva, Grup Pere Figuera or Confraria de la Mare de Déu de Montserrat de Virtèlia, and got to know figures such as Jaume Carner, Joan Raventós, Jaume Vicens Vives, Josep Benet, Joan Triadú or Raimon Galí, whom he would come to consider his mentors. The 1950s saw an important period where he self-taught himself in ideology. His fight for civil rights and liberties and the rebuilding of Catalonia led to his detention and imprisonment following the events at the Palau de la Música. From the 1960s onwards, he led a wide range of cultural, economic and social initiatives such as Banca Catalana, CIRP -the Centre for Information, Research and Promotions-, financing dictionaries in Catalan, offering support to publishing houses such as Lavínia, or record labels such as EDIGSA and a number of journals, as well as many campaigns in favour of the Catalan language.
During the 1970s, he began taking part actively in politics with the creation, in 1974, of Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (Democratic Convergence of Catalonia), the party which he presides to this day. In 1977, he was elected a deputy to the Congress in Madrid and re-elected in 1979. In 1980, he won the elections for the Catalan parliament and was named President of the Generalitat, the Catalan government, a position he held until 2003. His heartfelt European vocation led to his being made, in 1992, President of the Assembly of European Regions. As well as his political vocation and cultural, economic and social concerns, his intellectual endeavours have also led to his publishing a number of books that set out his ideas, focusing above all on the questions of Catalonia and Europe.
He is currently President of the Jordi Pujol Study Centre, whilst also giving courses at universities, taking part in international political round tables and forums, and he has been able to return to his passion for writing about politics, identity and values.

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