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Laura Borràs

Laura Borràs
Official portrait, 2021
16th President of the Parliament of Catalonia
In office
12 March 2021 – 1 June 2023
suspended since 28 July 2022
Vice PresidentAlba Vergés
Assumpta Escarp
Preceded byRoger Torrent
Succeeded byAnna Erra
Member of the Parliament of Catalonia
In office
12 March 2021 – 1 June 2023
ConstituencyBarcelona
In office
17 January 2018 – 20 May 2019
Succeeded byGlòria Freixa
Member of the Congress of Deputies
In office
17 May 2019 – 11 March 2021
Succeeded byPilar Calvo
ConstituencyBarcelona
Minister of Culture of Catalonia
In office
2 June 2018 – 25 March 2019
PresidentQuim Torra
Preceded byLluís Puig[a]
Succeeded byMariàngela Vilallonga
Personal details
Born
Laura Borràs i Castanyer

(1970-10-05) 5 October 1970 (age 53)
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
CitizenshipSpain
Political partyJunts (since 2020)
Other political
affiliations
Independent (until 2020)
SpouseXavier Botet
Children1
Alma materUniversity of Barcelona
OccupationPhilologist, academic
  1. ^ Direct rule from 27 October 2017 to 2 June 2018

Laura Borràs i Castanyer (born 5 October 1970) is a Spanish philologist, academic and politician from Catalonia who was the President of the Parliament of Catalonia until her suspension as member of the Parliament of Catalonia under allegations of corruption.[1]

Born in 1970 in Spain in the city of Barcelona, Borràs studied Catalan philology at the University of Barcelona (UB) before becoming an academic. She taught at UB and the Open University of Catalonia. Between 2013 and 2018 she was director of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes.

Borràs was a member of Parliament of Catalonia from January 2018 to May 2019 for the pro-independence Together for Catalonia electoral alliance. Between June 2018 and March 2019 she was the Minister of Culture of Catalonia. She was a member of the Congress of Deputies between May 2019 and March 2021.

Early life

Borràs was born on 5 October 1970 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.[2][3] She received a degree in Catalan philology (1993) and a doctorate in Romance philology (1997) from the University of Barcelona (UB).[4][5] She received a European doctorate in 1997 and a special Ph.D. in 1998.[4][5]

Career

Borràs joined UB in 1995 as an associate lecturer in the Department of Romance.[3][6] She was a lecturer in the university's Department of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature from 1998 to 2013.[7] She was the university's academic director of the master's degree in literature in the digital era.[7][8] Borràs was also professor of humanities and philology studies at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) from 1999 and 2007 and professor of languages and cultures from 2007 to 2009.[7] She was a visiting professor at Kingston University from 2010 to 2012.[8]

Borràs is a member of the Electronic Literature Organization's International Literary Advisory Board, a member and lecturer of the European Studies Doctorate Program in Literary Interzones, Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate (University of Bergamo) and the Erasmus Intensive Program (University of Paris 8).[9] She has been a jury member for the Sant Jordi Prize, the Ramon Llull Prize and the Catalan Letters Prize.[9]

Borràs was in charge of the 2012 centenary celebrations of Joan Sales i Vallès, Pere Calders and Avel·lí Artís-Gener (Tísner) organised by the Generalitat de Catalunya and City of Barcelona.[9][10][11] She helped design the website celebrating the 2013 centenary of Salvador Espriu.[9] She was also in charge of the celebration of Caterina Albert (Víctor Català) (2016) and Montserrat Abelló i Soler (2018).[8] Borràs was director of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes, an agency that promotes the work of Catalan authors, from January 2013 to January 2018.[12][13][14]

Borràs and other members of the Catalan government on 2 June 2018

Borràs contested the 2017 regional election as an independent c (JuntsxCat) electoral alliance candidate in the Province of Barcelona and was elected to the Parliament of Catalonia.[15][16] At the election Catalan secessionists retained a slim majority in the Catalan Parliament.[17][18] On 19 May 2018 newly elected President Quim Torra nominated a new government in which Lluís Puig, who was living in exile, was to be Minister of Culture.[19][20][21] However, the Spanish government condemned the inclusion of jailed/exiled politicians in the government as provocative and refused to approve Torra's appointments or to revoke direct rule.[22][23][24] Faced with this opposition Torra announced a new government on 29 May 2018 without the jailed/exiled politicians.[25][26] Borràs was to be Minister of Culture in the new government.[27][28][29] She was sworn in on 2 June 2018 at the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya.[30][31][32]

In March 2019 it was announced that Borràs would be stepping down as Minister of Culture in order to contest the general election.[33][34] She contested the 2019 general election as a JxCat candidate in the Province of Barcelona and was elected to the Congress of Deputies.[35][36] She is a member of the National Call for the Republic (Crida Nacional per la República)'s political council.[37]

In November 2020 she ran in the primaries of Junts per Catalunya to run for the Presidency of the Generalitat in the future elections to the Parliament of Catalonia on February 14, 2021, in which she was elected.[38] She was elected President of the Parliament of Catalonia on 12 March 2021.[39] After her indictment for corruption allegations, she was suspended from the Catalan Parliament in July, 2022.[1] The parliament bylaws mandate a suspension of all members under formal judicial investigation. As a result, Borràs stepped down as the president of the parliament on July 28. She was formally suspended on June 1, 2023.[40]

Corruption allegations

Borràs is accused of fraudulently selecting a supplier for services worth €330,442, as well as prevarication, administrative fraud and falsifying documents.

The charges, which Borràs has denied, date back to the period between 2013 and 2018 when she was at the head of the Institute of Catalan Letters, a public body in charge of promoting Catalan literature. According to investigators, there are signs that Borràs could have fraudulently allocated public contracts to a friend and avoided a public tender by splitting the service into various ones that did not surpass the minimum threshold over which tenders are obligatory.[41][42][43]

As mandated by the bylaws of the Parliament of Catalonia, Borràs was suspended as a member and also as its president, on 28 July 2022. All major parties except for Together for Catalonia voted for her suspension.[1]

On 30 March 2023, the Catalan High Court sentenced Laura Borràs to four and a half years in prison for corruption during her time as the head of the Catalan Institute of Letters (ILC). The Court also disqualifies her from holding public office for 13 years and hands down a €36,000 fine. In any case, the sentence is expected to be appealed before the Supreme Court of Spain.

Personal life

Borràs is married to Xavier Botet and has a daughter, Marta.[14][44]

Published works

Borràs is an electronic literature scholar, who served on the Electronic Literature Organization's editorial collective for the Electronic Literature Collection Volume 2.[45]

She has written several books and articles on contemporary literature, theatre, cinema and literature, including:[8]

  • Per què Llegir els Clàssics Avui, (2011, Ara Llibres; ISBN 9788492907977)
  • Dos Amants com Nosaltres (2012, Ara Llibres; ISBN 9788415224495)
  • Under Construction: Literatures Digitals i Aproximacions Teòriques (2012, Edicions UIB; ISBN 9788483842430) (ed.)
  • Clàssics Moderns (2013, Ara Llibres; ISBN 9788415224228)
  • La Literatura en un Tuit (2017, Símbol Editors)

Electoral history

Electoral history of Laura Borràs
Election Constituency Party Alliance No. Result
2017 regional[15] Province of Barcelona Independent Together for Catalonia 5 Elected
2019 general[35][36] Province of Barcelona National Call for the Republic Together for Catalonia 2 Elected
2021 regional[15] Province of Barcelona Together for Catalonia Together for Catalonia 2 Elected

References

  1. ^ a b c Baquero, Marc Rovira, Camilo S. (28 July 2022). "Laura Borràs, suspendida como diputada y presidenta del Parlament: "Me han sentenciado cinco diputados vestidos de jueces"". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 August 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Índex d'Autors: Borràs Castanyer, Laura" (in Catalan). Barcelona, Spain: Institució de les Lletres Catalanes. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Members: XIII Legislatura ( 2019-Actualidad) - Borràs Castanyer, Laura" (in Spanish). Madrid, Spain: Congress of Deputies. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Laura Borràs Castanyer". Barcelona, Spain: Open University of Catalonia. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Laura Borràs, nova directora de la Institució de les Lletres Catalanes". El Punt (in Catalan). Girona, Spain. Catalan News Agency. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  6. ^ "La professora de la UB Laura Borràs és nomenada consellera de Cultura" (in Catalan). Barcelona, Spain: University of Barcelona. 30 May 2018. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Perfil.- Laura Borràs, de professora de literatura a consellera de Cultura". Diari de Girona (in Catalan). Girona, Spain. Europa Press. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d "PERFIL: Laura Borràs, de la Institució de les Lletres Catalanes al capdavant de la conselleria de Cultura". La Vanguardia (in Catalan). Barcelona, Spain. Catalan News Agency. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d "Cultura reforça la Institució de les Lletres Catalanes per impulsar la projecció dels escriptors contemporanis i del patrimoni literari" (in Catalan). Barcelona, Spain: Generalitat de Catalunya. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  10. ^ "2012, Any Sales Calders Tísner". Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals (in Catalan). Barcelona, Spain. Catalan News Agency. 2 June 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  11. ^ "L'Any Sales, Calders i Tísner, un centenari amb canemàs virtual". VilaWeb (in Catalan). 2 June 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Laura Borràs serà la nova directora de la Institució de les Lletres Catalanes". Ara (in Catalan). Barcelona, Spain. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  13. ^ Ríos, Pere (30 May 2018). "Laura Borràs, una consellera contra el bilingüisme". El País (in Catalan). Madrid, Spain. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Laura Borràs, una teórica de la literatura que se compromete a "servir al país y a la cultura"". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Barcelona, Spain. EFE. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  15. ^ a b c "Eleccions al Parlament de Catalunya 2017: Composició del Parlament" (in Catalan). Generalitat de Catalunya. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Los 135 diputados del Parlament de Catalunya tras el 21-D". La Vanguardia (in Catalan). Barcelona, Spain. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  17. ^ Jackson, Russell (22 December 2017). "Catalan independence supporters win majority in election". The Scotsman. Edinburgh, U.K. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  18. ^ Parra, Aritz; Giles, Ciaran (21 December 2017). "Catalan secessionist parties win slim majority in regional parliament". Toronto Star. Toronto, Canada. Associated Press. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Torra nominates new government including jailed and exiled officials". Catalan News Agency. Barcelona, Spain. 19 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Torra nombra en su Govern a Aragonès, Artadi, Turull, Rull, Comín, Puig y Maragall". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Barcelona, Spain. 19 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  21. ^ Puente, Arturo (19 May 2018). "Torra nombra a los encarcelados Turull y Rull consellers de su nuevo Govern". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Madrid, Spain. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  22. ^ Stothard, Michael (20 May 2018). "Rajoy wins opposition support to keep direct rule over Catalonia". Financial Times. London, U.K. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy urges Catalonia to form 'viable' government". The New Indian Express. Chennai, India. Press Trust of India. 21 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  24. ^ Day, Paul (20 May 2018). "Spain to maintain control of Catalonia - El Pais". Reuters. London, U.K. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  25. ^ "Torra proposes new nominations to overcome Spain's block on forming government". Catalan News Agency. Barcelona, Spain. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  26. ^ "Torra unblocks new Catalan government, replacing ministers in exile and prison with new names". El Nacional. Barcelona, Spain. EFE. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  27. ^ "El nou executiu tindrà 13 departaments" (in Catalan). Barcelona, Spain: Generalitat de Catalunya. 29 May 2018. Archived from the original on 30 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Torra sustituye a los cuatro consellers vetados para desbloquear el Govern". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Barcelona, Spain. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  29. ^ "Torra nomena nou govern per superar el bloqueig". El Punt (in Catalan). Girona, Spain. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  30. ^ "Catalan government takes office in emotional event, lifting direct rule". Catalan News Agency. Barcelona, Spain. 2 June 2018. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  31. ^ Villalonga, Carles (2 June 2018). "El nuevo Govern de Torra toma posesión en un acto reivindicativo y escenifica el fin del 155". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Barcelona, Spain. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  32. ^ "Los consellers toman posesión y prometen "lealtad" a Quim Torra". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Europa Press. 2 June 2018. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  33. ^ Piñol, Àngels (11 March 2019). "Laura Borràs dimitirá por ley como consejera de Cultura antes del día 24". El País (in Spanish). Madrid, Spain. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  34. ^ "Mariàngela Vilallonga to replace Laura Borràs as minister for culture". Catalan News Agency. Barcelona, Spain. 22 March 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  35. ^ a b "Otras Disposiciones: Junta Electoral Central - Elecciones generales. Proclamación de candidaturas" (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado (in Spanish). No. 79. Madrid, Spain: Government of Spain. 2 April 2019. p. 34233. ISSN 0212-033X. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  36. ^ a b "Otras Disposiciones: Junta Electoral Central - Elecciones generales. Resultados" (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado (in Spanish). No. 129. Madrid, Spain: Government of Spain. 30 May 2019. p. 57375. ISSN 0212-033X. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  37. ^ "Qui forma la Crida?". 25 August 2019 (in Catalan). Barcelona, Spain: National Call for the Republic. Archived from the original on 23 April 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  38. ^ "Els afiliats de JxCat fan Borràs presidenciable per àmplia majoria". Ara.cat (in Catalan). 29 November 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  39. ^ "Laura Borràs elected as new speaker of the Catalan Parliament". VilaWeb. Barcelona, Spain. 12 March 2021. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  40. ^ "El parlament retira definitivament l'escó de Laura Borràs i la setmana vinent votarà el nou president". VilaWeb (in Catalan). Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  41. ^ "Laura Borràs summoned to testify in irregular contracts investigation on July 22". catalannews.com. 22 July 2020. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  42. ^ "reportssearcher/download/NR_2020_02_en.pdf?reportId=11902" (PDF). www.sindicatura.org. 6 May 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  43. ^ "Borràs, a un paso de juicio por contratación irregular cuando dirigía la Institució de les Lletres Catalanes". 20minutos.es (in Spanish). 14 March 2022. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  44. ^ Ros, Cristina (20 July 2016). "Laura Borràs, directora de la ILC". Ara (in Catalan). Barcelona, Spain. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  45. ^ "Electronic Literature Collection Volume Two". collection.eliterature.org. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
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Laura Borràs
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