April 24, 2024

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Home » Content » “Fighting Spain is suicide, Tarradellas told me”
Josep Maria Bricall Masip (Barcelona, Spain, December 3, 1936) is a Spanish economist, professor and politician. He has been Minister of the Interior of the Government of Catalonia (1979-1980) and Chancellor of Barcelona University (1986-1994).

Josep Maria Bricall, economist

“Soulagé” (Relieved) I visit Josep Maria Bricall at his home on the occasion of his appointment as doctor honoris causa by the Ramon Llull University, at the proposal of ESADE, yesterday. He has sharpened the scalpel of his knowledge and applies it to the moment of Catalonia. He confesses to me feeling “soulagé” (relieved) by the results of the general elections, because he feared greater presence of the ultramontane right and the ultramontane independence movement, “in this order”. He congratulates himself: “People are moderating.” I ask him if I should flagellate myself for feeling autonomist since 1978, and he leaves me “soulagé” (relieved): “You must feel proud! We made the transition well, and that path is the one that is convenient for us to keep walking.

I’m 82 years old. I am from Barcelona. I’m a doctor of Law, Doctor of Economics and Professor Emeritus of Political Economy. I’m married to Maria 49 years ago, without children. Ideology? Liberal in the sociopolitical and democratic socialist in the economic. Beliefs? I am catholic

“Fighting Spain is suicide, Tarradellas told me”

In his exile in France?

Yes, in Saint-Martin-le-Beau: it was 1965 and I traveled by train to Paris, and from there to his home. France is radial and effective!: they take public services very seriously since 1789!

How were you doing with Tarradellas?

At first he irritated me: his ideas differed from mine. But I listened to him and … that was a politician, not what I knew here!

Who are you referring to?

Jordi Pujol, Joan Reventós …

How was Tarradellas?

Stately, with natural authority, moral integrity, elegance, presence, educated … And president in exile He took office in 1954, and the French Foreign Minister asked him:

“What do you plan to do from here?”

His answer is famous …

Which one?

“I’ll do everything … except ridiculous!”

And in October of 1977 … “Ja soc aquí!”. (“I’am here”)

He brought back “the Generalitat. I was General Secretary of Presidency and Minister of Interior: the 1979 “Estatut” was approved and we organized the first autonomic elections in 1980.

Did you understand each other?

I do not obey well, as a young man I did not have a father: I wanted to resign, but his subtlety was making me return!

Subtle … and also scathing, they say.

Before the autonomic elections, he said: “There are two men who do not sleep in Catalonia: one, for fear of being president; another, for fear of not being one. ” They were Reventós and Pujol.

And then Tarradellas stepped away.

Yes, and I remember a dinner in which his friend Josep Pla who, worried, repeated: “And what will we do now, without this gentleman?”

And what have we done, without that Sir?

It seems that we have insisted on wasting his many efforts in favor of the prosperity of the citizens of Catalonia.

What was the obsession of Tarradellas?

That the citizens of Catalonia remain united.

What did Tarradellas mean by “citizen of Catalonia”?

Everyone who works in Catalonia and supports the public services of Catalonia with their taxes and votes in Catalonia.

The fact is that we Catalans live pretty well … despite political upheavals.

Thanks to the success of Barcelona! Pasqual Maragall said: “Without Barcelona, Catalonia would be the South Tyrol.” Landscapes and some cows …

Has the process damaged the economy?

Heavy companies have taken their headquarters out from Catalonia: it is very serious for Catalan society, that weakens us!

Some say that there is not so much

…Already said by the same ones that stated Europe would support the “procés: Such unforgettable idiots!

What would Tarradellas say today if he saw Puigdemont in Waterloo?

He would be very embarrassed about Catalan politicians searching for such a mess with such frivolity. “Never enter a fight you can lose!” He repeated to me …

He was there on October 6 1934

…He considered it a serious mistake. That he later carried with dignity, and learned about: “If we enter into a fight with the Castilians,” he said, “we will end badly!” He insisted on not having a fight with Spain, it was suicide!

Not because of a sense of dignity?

Prioritizing your daydreams over the reality can be a harmful obsession. Pujol always spoke of “to do country” .., and Tarradellas told me: “But, the country is already done!”. And he added: “We just have to govern it.”

And what would you say to the leaders of Spain?

That Catalunya is their eternal problem and should attend to it, not like Rajoy! Neither Catalunya can end Spain, nor vice versa.

Was Tarradellas nationalist?

He was a Catalanist, a nationalist … and a realist! Not like these nationalist politicians of today, so wise they think they are!

Have they learned anything, the politicians?

I see that now the voter is buying moderation. Here and there. And this has relieved me … We’ve been through a lot already!


September 1979. It is one of seventeen such statutes granted, in various forms and capabilities, to the different autonomous communities of Spain since the Spanish transition to democracy of the 1970s.

“Procés. The sovereignty process of Catalonia 2012-2019, colloquially known as the “procés”, is a set of events that have been developed since 2012 in the autonomous community of Catalonia with the aim of achieving self-determination and independence of Catalonia Spain.

After the death of Francesc Macià in December 1933, at that time presiding over the Generalitat of Catalonia, Companys was elected the successor President of the Generalitat by the Catalan Parliament. In October 6, 1934, Companys led a Catalan Nationalist uprising not supported by the centre and conservative Catalan representatives, against the centre and right-wing republican government, and proclaimed the Catalan State


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