Yesterday, Catalan President Quim Torra presented the Creu de Sant Jordi, one of the highest civil distinctions awarded in Catalonia, to 29 individuals and 15 entities that he described as “wise and passionate” in their respective fields and disciplines. The president said the award recipients were a “clear example of humanism”, and that as “generators of talent, culture and freedom” they had contributed to “raising Catalonia’s profile the world”. He added: “Without freedom there is no culture, no talent; and without culture, there is no freedom”.
The head of government said the winners were “an example and a reflection of what Catalonia is – of the spirit of hard work and the conduct, solidarity and commitment that characterises Catalan society and shows that we’re a forward-looking people with our own character”.
Torra noted that since 2018 the award ceremony has been held in exceptional circumstances, “Not all of us were able to attend the ceremony in 2018 and 2019,” he said, “and this year we’re also facing the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences”.
In addition to the president, the Catalan Minister of Culture, Àngels Ponsa, also spoke at the event: “Today is a day to recognise and showcase the achievements of all of the winners of the Creu de Sant Jordi, which was created in 1981 with the restoration of the Government of Catalonia, when we regained some of our freedoms, which are all too often taken from us and that we continue to fight for every day.” Addressing the award winners, she said: “We want to live in freedom, in all areas. We want personal freedom, freedom of thought and expression, and collective freedom as a nation. We want to be sovereign, just as you act in a sovereign manner and represent an intellectual, creative, democratic and free society.”
Actress and stage director Imma Colomer and chef Joan Roca expressed their gratitude on behalf of all the winners. Colomer stressed: “We want a bright future for Catalonia and will continue working to attain it – for ourselves and for future generations. We have the right, the ability, the enthusiasm and the imagination to achieve it.” Joan Roca said: “All the winners feel united by a sense of shared effort and dedication to the others – by our dedication to the common good.”
The award ceremony was also attended by the Vice-President and Minister of Economy and Finance, Pere Aragonès; the Minister of the Presidency and government spokesperson, Meritxell Budó; and the Secretary of the Government, Víctor Cullell.
The Creu de Sant Jordi, created in 1981, is one of the highest distinctions awarded by the Government of Catalonia. It is given to individuals and organisations that have provided outstanding services in Catalonia. Any citizen, group of citizens or entity may nominate an individual or organisation.