Wednesday, October 20

Jordi Puigneró, a politician in the stars | Catalonia

Jordi Puigneró during the launch of the nanosatellite 'Enxaneta'.
Jordi Puigneró during the launch of the nanosatellite ‘Enxaneta’.GENERALITY

Jordi Puigneró (Sant Cugat del Vallès, 47 years old) is the triumph of the most eccentric nationalism in Catalonia. As Minister of Digital Policies, he has coined concepts such as “the digital republic” or “the Catalan NASA”, a broad brush reference to the Generalitat’s nanosatellites program that experts in the field have lamented as ridiculous. Puigneró is a compulsive tweeter who in 2012, the year of the London Olympics, was lavish in messages like this: “Do you know the difference between a Spaniard and a Mongol? A medal”. Who wrote this is the new vice president of the Generalitat.

In addition to being vice president, Puigneró will be the head of the Digital Policies, Infrastructure and Urban Agenda portfolio. Before being a director, he was secretary of Telecommunications in the Generalitat of former president Carles Puigdemont. He was investigated in 2018 for his participation in the organization of the illegal independence referendum of 2017, although the investigating judge did not finally include him in the case.

Puigneró is part of a populist nationalism that has reached high levels of power through Junts per Catalunya. Member of the Praetorian Guard of Puigdemont, the new strong man of Junts in the Catalan Government shares identity affinities with another reference in this sector, the former president of the Chamber of Commerce Joan Canadell. Puigneró’s ideology is the puigdemontismo. “The puigdemontismo is not giving up. Because only with love there will not be enough, “wrote the new vice president last year.

Puigneró, like Canadell, has defended conspiracy theories that ensure that the government’s secret services are behind the jihadist attacks of August 2017 in Catalonia. Puigneró is also convinced that Spain has hidden for centuries the true Catalan origins of most of its most distinguished characters. As he wrote in a 1999 study, Juan Sebastián Elcano was indeed the Catalan Joan Cacirea del Canós; Bartolomé de las Casas, a Catalan friar named Bartomeu Casaus; and the Pinzones brothers, the Catalans Pinçó. Christopher Columbus, according to Puigneró, was not only Catalan, but he sailed to America from the port of Pals, on the Costa Brava, and not from Palos de la Frontera: “We Catalans discovered America. The rest has been a great lie in the service of Spain ”.

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The main axes of Puigneró’s action in the previous Government were what he called “the digital republic”, a project that sought to turn Catalonia into a sort of independent state on the Internet, and a program to promote the aerospace industry in Catalonia through the launch of nanosatellites. This project has been widely criticized by the opposition, although praised by the sector. However, the propaganda use that Puigneró made of the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia did not sit well, baptizing it as “the Catalan NASA”, as several scientists pointed out last March to EL PAÍS: “Many nonsense has been heard, people it has a wrong image of space, “said astrophysicist Jordi Isern.

Puigneró, the new most relevant voice of Junts in the Executive, has above all been meant for being an activist of a primary anti-Spanishism: he supported the recent European super league project of Real Madrid and Barça because it meant “leaving the mental framework of the league Spanish”; on social networks he has disparagingly referred to Spain as “Ejpañistán” and in 2012 he wrote, coinciding with the beginning of the independence process, that “a Spanish intellectual talking about federalism is like an alcoholic and abusive husband shouting ‘I will change’ the day he the woman is packing her bags ”.

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