It will take time to be born, if they are born (pardon the poet) two personalities as similar and extraordinary as Sampaio and Maragall. Jorge's memory is linked to Pasqual by ties beyond the visible and notorious, beyond the fraternal friendship that has united them all their lives and through so many paths. Both fought in their youth from the left against the respective dictatorships of their countries and later life took them to parallel political places, from very twin positions.
There is no doubt that in both cases the local government was the "big school" and made their leaders the mainstay of their political thinking. Sampaio and Maragall practiced and believed in things like proximity, diversity, honest public service, and shared a vision of the future and internationalism, the most ambitious, based on social justice. Their itineraries always bore that imprint.
"No small or large governments all have the same dignity," a motto repeated by both. They certainly had the same visions, including a singular one: Unifying international organizations of local governments. A rather surprising idea that Sampaio-Maragall developed, and together they led with unthinkable accessions that culminated in the first world organization of cities recognized by the UN. They dreamed from the beginning of the "United Cities together with the United Nations." It is not surprising that Sampaio's latest responsibilities have been within the UN with humanitarian work, faithful to his entire career.
Maragall also crowned his political life by creating Foundations of the Future. They both believed that success was uniting and building bridges of understanding between different people, always looking for the knot that made them equal ... Separating and dividing them saddened them.
Two people who have done politics in capital letters, people who have read, who thought and knew how to look with compassion, virtues that are unfortunately uncommon. They were both convinced, finally, that what mattered was humanity.
Anyone who has dealt with them can confirm that they have been two exemplars who ruled without ambition for personal power, power, for them, was a tool to improve people’s lives.
That is why they have made history and we will always see them as an example. I hope they do school! Inshallah!