On Tuesday evening, the President of the Catalan Government, Carles Puigdemont, presided over the Creu de Sant Jordi award ceremony during which he highlighted Catalonia’s role as “an active and dynamic nation that is sure of its future”. A “future”, the Catalan president assured, “for which Catalonia is prepared for because of its people”. The Creu de Sant Jordi was bestowed to 27 public figures and 13 organizations that have stood out in their contribution to the country in terms of Catalonia’s identity and, more generally, in the public and cultural spheres. According to the President, these awards are granted to individuals in recognition of their “dedication and commitment”, which are “the duties”, Puigdemont added, “of every country”. In this regard, “every country that loves what it is and what it wants to become, must acknowledge this in a celebratory and formal manner, just as is being done today”.
During his speech, Carles Puigdemont highlighted the “merits” of the distinguished figures and organisations and noted their contribution “to fighting the [economic] deadlock, especially in these difficult times”. “Your persistency, tenacity and your capacity to surmount failure help us to overcome incomprehension, obstacles and the lack of understanding, which could end up paralysing a country if no one should take action”, he stated.
The Creu de Sant Jordi
The Creu de Sant Jordi (Saint George’s Cross) is one of the highest distinctions an individual can receive from the Government of Catalonia. The distinction was created in 1981 with the aim of distinguishing individuals or companies that, through their own merits, have provided outstanding services to Catalonia. Any citizen, group of citizens or organization can request this award to be presented to any individual or entity.
Additionally, Tuesday’s ceremony began with a speech by the Minister of Culture, Santi Vila, who highlighted the professionalism of the recipients as well as their “civic and cultural” commitment to Catalonia. According to the Minster, “talent and personal success would be insignificant without the generosity and determination to use them for the benefit of the community and the common good”. Furthermore, Vila affirmed that “the best patriotism is the one encouraging us to make best use of our talent so it can be made available to everyone”.