Muriel Casals, one of the most representative figures of Catalonia’s pro-independence movement, dies at 70

Article by Catalan News Agency. 

Barcelona (CNA).- Muriel Casals, one of the most central figures of the pro-independence movement in Catalonia, died this Sunday in Barcelona. Born in Avignon in 1945, she was a Catalan economist and politician and headed the civil society association Òmnium Cultural between 2010 and 2015. In 2015, she joined pro-independence cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and ran for the 27-S Catalan Elections. Recently, she was named president of the Study Committee for the Constitutive Process, responsible for setting the basis for Catalonia’s roadmap towards independence. Together with Carme Forcadell, Parliament’s President and former president of pro-independence grassroots organisation Catalan National Assembly, Muriel was responsible for the massive pro-independence rallies which have taken to the streets of Barcelona for the past six years. Casals had been in hospital since the 30th of January, after being hit by a bicycle in Barcelona. She failed to recover from a traumatic brain injury.

Casals was professor emeritus at the Department of Economics and Economic History  of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), where she was also vice dean of International Relations and Cooperation between 2002 and 2005. Casals specialised in industrial reconversions, the history of economic thought and European economics.

Casals was also the representative of the UAB between 2002 and 2009 and a visiting professor at the University of Edinburgh, the London School of Economics and the University of Wales at Bangor.

Puigdemont: “Muriel Casals is an ethic example”

“We wouldn’t be here without the effort, sometimes discrete, of many people; Muriel was one of them and we all knew it, despite her discretion and tenderness” stated Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, who described Casals as “an authentic ethic example” which “ennobled the country”. “We will able to contemplate and complete the dream which so many people, such as Muriel, contributed to make luminous and possible.”

Forcadell: “Thanks for being the smile of this revolution”

Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, also wanted to dedicate some words to her “beloved friend and partner” with whom she shared “important and moving moments”. Forcadell is the former president of pro-independence association Catalan National Assembly and thus one of the main people responsible for the pro-independence massive rallies which have taken place in Barcelona for the past six years, together with Muriel Casals. “Thank you for all you have given us, for being the smile of this revolution” stated Forcadell, who emphasised Casals’ “sense, serenity, peace and conviction”. “Muriel’s death is a great loss for this country” she stated.

Cuixart: “We’ll really go for it, Muriel, but we will miss you so much”

Òmnium Cultural’s President, Jordi Cuixart, published an article this Sunday to remember his predecessor. Under the title “Beloved Muriel”, Cuixart emphasised Casals’ “courage, intelligence and sense of humour”. “She always told us to love each other and to listen to each other” he emphasised “she has always been a brave woman, free thinking and forceful”. “We’ll really go for it, Muriel, and we will give everything for it” wrote Cuixart, in reference to Catalonia’s push for independence “but you know we will miss you so much”, he added.

Mas: “She was the best of us”

In an interview with Catalunya Ràdio, former Catalan President Artur Mas also remembered Casals. “She was the best of us” he stated. “She was very intelligent and always tried to find solutions. You couldn’t attribute to her any of the politics or institutions’ imperfections”. “The best tribute we could pay to her is to follow the direction she pointed to” he assured “in many moments of disorientation, she played a key role in finding our way”.

 

 

Catalan News Agency, February 16th, 2016. Muriel Casals will be posthumously awarded the Gold Medal of the Government of Catalonia

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