Bolea, the man who first raised the flag of Aragon

Bolea, the man who first raised the flag of Aragon

© Provided by EFE Agency

Zaragoza, Feb 27 (EFE) .- Juan Antonio Bolea Foradada, who raised the flag of the new Aragon for the first time, was the promoter, the soul and the “plumber” of Aragonese autonomy, the first president of its General Council and who He led the great autonomist demonstration that, on April 23, 1978, sowed in the newly created autonomous community the seed of a silent political reality throughout the dictatorship.

Bolea (Ayerbe, Huesca, March 30, 1930), a key man in the Transition and who led the start of self-government, died this Saturday.

Graduated in Law in 1952, he entered the judicial career in 1954 and after practicing as a prosecutor in Cádiz and Alicante, in 1962 he won the oppositions for contentious-administrative magistrate and was assigned to the Territorial Court of Zaragoza.

His entry into politics took place in 1977, when he headed the list for the UCD to the Congress for Zaragoza. He was elected deputy and participated in the commission in charge of the drafting of the Spanish Constitution.

Bolea was elected by the Assembly of Aragonese Parliamentarians, the first president of the General Council of Aragon, a position he held until May 1981. His main challenge was to initiate what did not exist, for the people to assume it and for the citizens to germinate the seed of autonomy, self-government and the pride of being Aragonese in the face of centrism.

That government, recalled in an interview with Efe in 2008, had no administration, no budget, or headquarters, but it had a great success: the pact. UCD had obtained a majority but Bolea promoted an agreement with the PSOE, not without “minor difficulties”, but based on cooperation.

The first president of Aragon saw it clear that in order to make that feeling grow, there were two fundamental things: a proper banner and declaring Aragon Day. And it was he who first raised the cuatribarrada in Zaragoza. He had already raised it from the balcony of the Calatayud City Council (Zaragoza) when he took office as president of Aragon. Raising that flag in the middle of an autonomist demonstration whose banner he held and which gathered more than 100,000 people was his best memory.

Pioneer, pactist, vindictive, Bolea led dozens of initiatives that had their reason for being in autonomy: he claimed the reopening of the Canfranc railway line, promoted the installation of General Motors in Figueruelas (Zaragoza), irrigation and incorporation into the Diocese of Barbastro of the parishes in the eastern part of Aragon and radically opposed any transfer of the Ebro.

Bolea had, however, a thorn: that Aragón had not been able to access the fast track of autonomy and had to comply with article 143 of the Constitution and not with 151, as the Basque Country, Galicia, Catalonia and Catalonia did. Andalusia, due to the autonomous pacts between the UCD and the PSOE.

As this totally contravened his political position, Bolea, loyal, had a tough and difficult confrontation within his party, the UCD, and in May 1981 he resigned. His personal orientation and his conscience could not accept the route of 143, but he always lived with immense pride, “the greatest that an Aragonese can feel”, being president of a community that until then did not exist and that was traveled from top to bottom.

And shortly after he joined the PAR, a formation of which he was a regional deputy until 1999.

In April 2018, a solemn act of homage to the first General Delegation of Aragon was organized in Zaragoza and on that occasion Bolea regretted that the Aragoneseism that he championed was “very blurred” and demanded “vindication” from citizens and rulers. He had always considered that centralism has been “disastrous” for Aragon, a territory that he thought would always be susceptible to growth.

In that act, one of the last in which he appeared publicly, Bolea pronounced what can be considered his political corollary: “recovering the personality of Aragon is a reason for us and our children to be happy” with this community that today is another thanks to the effort of people like Bolea.

Isabel Poncela

(c) EFE Agency


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