Posted: Saturday November 21, 2020 3:20 PM
Ernest Lluch was a life of commitment to freedom. Already at the Faculty of Economics in Barcelona, he led the student opposition to the Franco regime. He has been detained several times. “It was then that he started to get into politics little by little,” said his daughter Eulàlia. Lluch deeply marked the first years of democracy.
He was a socialist deputy for Girona and Barcelona, parliamentary spokesperson for the CPS and, in 1982, Minister of Health in the first government of Felipe González. He made dialogue his flag. “We will have to reach enough agreements. The fewer the injured, the better,” he said a few decades ago. At the end of the 1980s, he left his post, but not his political engagement.
As a Catalan intellectual, he fell in love with the Basque Country. “He saw that this company was broken because it had a serious problem, which was ETA”, explains Eulàlia Lluch spent time in San Sebastián and focused her efforts on finding a solution of dialogue in violence in Euskadi. “Ernest Lluch is synonymous with dialogue to reorient the situation”, proclaims his daughter. These were the years of ETA’s first unlimited ceasefire, announced in 1998.
“Those who were screaming now were killing! Shout, because as long as you scream, you won’t kill!” Lluch declared in San Sebastian in 1999. The truce lasted a little over a year. The terrorist gang resumed attacks and on 21 November 2000 ETA shot him dead at his home with two bullets to the head. “They murdered him because with dialogue, with arguments and his reasoning, he overturned ETA’s arguments,” says Eulàlia.
His murder shocked a whole country. His daughters and journalist Gemma Nierga condensed all his thoughts into one word: “Ernest, even with the person who killed him, would have tried to dialogue. You, who can, please dialogue.” In front, a crowd led by the President of the Government José María Aznar. Dialogue and police front which, more than a decade later, ended with more than half a century of ETA violence and a trail of 829 deaths.