Today, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, maintained that Catalonia and Europe, along with the values of liberty and justice have been intertwined throughout history and that they will continue to be so in the future.
President Mas expressed this view during an event commemorating the memory of the politician Ramon Trias Fargas, founder of the liberal Esquerra Democràtic de Catalunya party and who was considered by Adolfo Suárez as an “essential component in all stages of Spain’s transition to democracy”. This year, the Ramon Trias Fargas Memorial prize, which is awarded by the Liberty and Democracy Foundation (Fundació Llibertat i Democràcia) was presented to the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Anne Brasseur.
The Ramon Trias Fargas Memorial prize is awarded annually to individuals who stand out in political, intellectual or educational matters and who defend and support liberal and democratic values, human rights and the principle of tolerance. Norms which Trias Fargas lived by and considered essential in all aspects of life.
Artur Mas, who presided the event and awarded Anne Brasseur with the Memorial prize, highlighted the distinguished career of the president of the Parliamentary Assembly in “defending liberalism, democracy, the rule of law, human rights, Europeanism and the high democratic standards of the Council of Europe”. The prize is also in recognition of her dedication in Luxembourg as parliamentarian, minister of Education and Sport (1999-2004) and, as of this January, president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the second female president in the history of the institution.
During his speech, President Mas, made reference to the events that took place on November 9th and asserted that the image that Catalonia gave was one of “a society which, despite the many adversities it has faced throughout history, demonstrated a mature, responsible and peaceful society which longs for freedom”, a “freedom”, Mas added, “which should always be at the service of a fairer country”. “We want a better country, a freer one, but a country which is also fairer” concluded the President.
Prior to Artur Mas’ intervention, the president of the Liberty and Democrcacy Foundation, Jordi Xuclà expressed a similar message, asking for equality and liberty to go hand in hand, and reminded those attending the event that Trias Fargas stood out from the rest, not only for his role in the consolidation of the Spain’s democracy, but also because he managed to position Catalanism at an international level in a very difficult period.