Artur Mas i Gavarró was 129th President of the Generalitat of Catalonia from 2010 to 2015 and is still a public face of the Catalan independence process.
This is the index page for biographical information, speeches and interviews, and articles and opinion about President Mas, who I believe has already written himself an important page in Catalan history, whether the Catalan Independence Process is successful or not.
Artur Mas is an extremely controversial figure, who while attracting almost devotional loyalty from his supporters and members of his party, is also one of the most vilified figures in politics today.
Given the perception in Spain that he is the man behind Catalonia's independence movement, it is not surprising how much he is disliked by the right-wing press and Partido Popular politicians in Madrid.
He is also the target for attacks from the Spanish left, and when he uses the term 'casta', Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias, likens Mas and his party Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC) to the right-wing oligarchy in the rest of Spain.
In Catalonia, Artur Mas not only arouses dislike from unionists on both the left and right but also from many left-wing supporters of independence, who resent the fact that the Catalan independence movement is seen as something of a one-man show despite the fact that it is obviously led by grassroots organisations, such as ANC and Òmnium, that bring 1.5 million people out onto the streets every year.
This appeared to be the case of Esquerra Republicana (ERC) during the last legislature, before they joined the Junts pel Sí pro-independence coalition, but for the far left CUP (Candidatura d'Unitat Popular), it combines with a more deep-rooted mistrust of right-wing politicians and suspicion that the president has been involved in some of the corruption cases that have affected his party.
Speaking personally, I am a great admirer of President Mas and am convinced that he is honest and sincere about his Catalanism. I also think that for the benefit of the process, it is important to separate his contribution to Catalan politics from his general political views.
For this reason, he has my full support as nominal leader of the independence process because I believe he has the strength of character and downright stubborness required to deal with Spanish and foreign leaders.
However, I am also pleased that he has promised to step down as president once independence is declared because the new Republic of Catalonia will benefit from more progressive social and economic policies particularly throughout the early stages of its existence.
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