Biography Josep Tarradellas i Joan

Biography Josep Tarradellas i Joan

Josep Tarradellas was a Spanish politician in Catalonia region of Spain. He was president of Catalonia from 1954 to 1980. 

Josep Tarradellas i Joan (1899-1988) was a prominent Catalan politician and statesman. Born on February 19, 1899, in Cervelló, Catalonia, Spain, he played a crucial role in the political landscape during a tumultuous period in Spanish history. Tarradellas' political career was deeply tied to Catalonia's struggle for autonomy and recognition of its cultural and linguistic identity.

He joined the Republican Left of Catalonia (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, ERC) in the early 1930s and became actively involved in promoting Catalan interests. However, his political aspirations faced significant challenges during the Spanish civil war (1936-1939) and the subsequent Francoist regime.

With the victory of Francisco Franco's forces, Catalonia lost its autonomy, and the Catalan language and culture were severely repressed.

In 1954, Tarradellas went into exile in France to avoid persecution by the Francoist government. During his exile, he continued to advocate for Catalan rights and represented the Catalan government-in-exile. He was a resilient and unwavering advocate for the region's autonomy and worked tirelessly to maintain and strengthen Catalan identity.

After General Franco's death in 1975 and the transition to democracy in Spain, Tarradellas' political fortunes changed dramatically.

On July 23, 1977, Tarradellas returned to Barcelona after 38 years of exile, and on the same day on the balcony of the government building on Plaça de Sant Jaume, he famously declared, "Ciutadans de Catalunya, ja sóc aquí!" which translates from Catalan language as "Citizens of Catalonia, I am back!"

Tarradellas played a crucial role during Spain's transition to democracy and the reestablishment of Catalonia's autonomy. He was elected as the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, the highest political authority in the region, and served from 1977 to 1980. His leadership and diplomatic skills were essential in negotiating and securing the restoration of Catalonia's self-government.

Throughout his presidency, Tarradellas worked to consolidate democracy in Catalonia and fostered a spirit of reconciliation and unity. He remains a revered figure in Catalonia's modern history, representing resilience, determination, and the unwavering commitment to the region's identity and autonomy.

Josep Tarradellas passed away on June 10, 1988, but his legacy as a symbol of Catalan identity and democracy endures. His contributions to the recognition and protection of Catalonia's culture and autonomy have left a lasting impact on the region's political landscape and identity.

In 2018 the Spanish government renamed Barcelona international aiport to Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat airport. 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 August 2023 14:16