Sunday, October 21, 2007

A brave man

Pasqual Maragall is the man who made modern Barcelona.

As Mayor for 15 years from 1982 he brought the Olympic Games to the city and oversaw its transformation from a sleepy and crumbling port to the cool, modern and wonderful city it is today, one that has attracted thousands of people like me to come and live here.

He also spent three years as President of Catalonia, overseeing the region's new autonimy statute, before he retired last year.

Yesterday he got up and, with his wife by his side, announced that he had Alzheimers and would be spending much of his time now in the fight to bring attention to, and combat, this terrible disease.

It was an incredibly brave thing to do and the coverage in the papers this morning was both moving and extensive, with praise and sympathy showered on him by political allies and enemies.

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