The radical Catalan Republican Left (ERC) may have sustained a crushing defeat in the March 9th general election but two episodes last week showed that nationalist sentiment in the region is still alive and kicking. Marta Ferrusola, the wife of the former regional president Jordi Pujol, said during an interview that it “bothered her a lot” that the current Catalan president, José Montilla, is “an Andalucian with a Spanish name” who doesn’t speak Catalan fluently. A source inside Sr Pujol’s moderately nationalist Convergencia y Union (CiU) said it was Sra Ferrusola’s personal opinion and not the party’s, while the lady’s husband leapt to Sr Montilla’s defence, saying that despite having been born in Iznajar, Cordoba province, he had always “done his best for Catalonia”. Sr Montilla’s family moved to Barcelona when he was 15. Meanwhile, some nationalists object to the nomination of Espanyol footballer Raul Tamudo for the title of Catalan of the Year. Tamudo’s parents left Extremadura for Barcelona before he was born and he speaks Catalan fluently. However, he usually speaks Spanish to the media, which upsets the more hard-line nationalists.
CATALAN NATIONALISM STILL STRONG