Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and the forward of the Spanish women's soccer team Jennifer Hermoso appear on the list of the twenty-eight most influential people in Europe in 2024, prepared by the media Politico. Puigdemont appears second in the "disruptors" section, while Hermoso is ninth in the "dreamers" section.
The list, headed by "the most powerful person on the continent", who will be unveiled at an event tonight in Brussels, is divided into three categories - doers, disruptors and dreamers - each representing a different type of influence. "In a nod to today's polarizing times, the list includes not one, but two secessionists," Politico explains.
Thus, he explains, there is the "revolutionary" Carles Puigdemont, "the Catalan who managed to secure an amnesty for an illegal independence vote in 2017 - and perhaps even another opportunity for secession - in exchange for propping up the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez." , and the Belgian Tom Van Grieken, "who wants to turn Flanders into a separatist state" and who appears sixth on the list of disruptors in Europe.
Regarding Puigdemont, the media highlights that six years after holding an illegal secession referendum, the former Catalan president, "who has spent the last few years living in exile" in Waterloo, has established himself as "a kingmaker and a transcendental actor of the Spanish politics". He also refers to him as "a man on the run", whom Spanish prosecutors have tried to arrest since the failed referendum attempt.
"It is not surprising that Puigdemont conditioned his support for Sánchez on a general amnesty for him and all others prosecuted for their participation in the Catalan separatist movement during the last decade," notes Politico, recalling that this was not the first time that he has played the role of "kingmaker" in Spain and alludes to the motion of censure with which Sánchez arrived at Moncloa with the votes of the then PDECat.
The mdio insists that Puigdemont will continue to be "crucial" in the future, because without the support of the seven Junts deputies, Sánchez will have difficulties approving any bill in the "hyperfractured" Congress. "It remains to be seen whether he will be able to use that power to push for a new self-determination referendum for Catalonia, this time with the approval of Madrid," Politico states.
Behind Puigdemont, at number three on the list of disruptors is the Hungarian Prime Minister, Víktor Orbán; followed by the German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock; and the president of the European Popular Group in the European Parliament, the also German Manfred Weber, who is nicknamed "The murderer of the Green Pact", in reference to the campaign he launched against the law of nature.
Among the top nine “dreamers” that Politico selects for 2024 is forward Jenni Hermoso, who “set the moment in motion
Also on the list of "dreamers" are, among others, the Russian opponent Alexei Navalny, nicknamed "the Mandela of Russia"; the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, for all the difficulties she has faced since taking office and those that will come her way in 2024 due to the "heaps of mud" that Eurosceptics will throw against the European Union due to the upcoming European elections in June.
This edition of the ranking of the 28 people with the most capacity to drive debate and direct decisions in Europe, according to Politico, has revolved around a central issue: Will moderate forces in Europe manage to push back those who find themselves in the margins and that threaten their control of power? Last year it was the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, the most powerful elected personality in Europe.
And this year, although she does not top the list or any of the three categories, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, returns as the second most influential of those selected as "doers", along with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and the French far-right Marine Le Pen; the president of the European Central Bank, Cristine Lagarde; or the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, among others.