The Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED) presents the 9th installment of the series dedicated to the most notable academicians of its centennial history, this time to another of his illustrious characters: the renowned economist and lawyer and remembered professor of the University of Barcelona Magín Pont Mestres (1927-2008). Another of the great figures of science and thought that have been part of the RAED and that the current Government Board wants to thank, acknowledge and claim, in the conviction that those who have no memory, have no future. The selection of these selected academicians, from all fields of knowledge, is the result of research carried out for the publication of the “Book of the Centenary” of the Royal Academy, published three years ago. Personalities that transcend their historical context to appear today as referents of knowledge.
Born in Ametlla de Segarra, in the Lleida municipality of Montoliu de Cervera, he soon showed his concerns and ease for studies and after a stage in Tarrega he moved to Barcelona. He studied Mercantile Expertise at the Pious Schools of Sarria and Mercantile Teaching at the then School of High Mercantile Studies of Barcelona, later integrated in the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences of the University of Barcelona. And after a brief work experience in the municipality of Baeza obtained the degree of Commercial Intendant as well as the degree in Law and in Economic Sciences. From there he began what would be his long career as a teacher and earned a doctorate at the University of Oviedo with the thesis “El problema de la resistencia fiscal” (The problem of fiscal resistance), entering a field of study that he would never leave.
In 1967 he won by opposition the Chair of Public Finance and Accounting and Tax Legislation of the Pamplona School of Commerce to move, on an interim basis, to the Sabadell School. After a successful first period as a teacher, in December 1973 he was elected director of the University School of Business Studies at the University of Barcelona. As an auditor, in 1968 he was appointed president of the delegation in Catalonia of the Institute of Account Censors of Spain, an agency that he would preside in 1972. He was re-elected up to three more times to hold the position for 17 years.
In 1986 he began a political incursion and was elected deputy for the demarcation of Barcelona and appointed president of the Committee on Budgets of the Spanish Congress (1986-1989). He frequently intervened in the plenary sessions of Congress and asked more than two hundred written questions to the Government, most of them on the tax issues he knew so thoroughly. In fact, in his extensive work he emphasizes the conception of the good taxpayer as the citizen who aspires to be an integral part of the polis with full awareness that the claim or the exercise of his rights requires the strict fulfillment of his duties.
Pont Mestres entered as honorary academician of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 with the speech “El grave problema del desbordamiento del gasto público” (The serious problem of the overflow of public spending), a reference work that the institution treasures with zeal. He was also chosen as academician of the Royal Academy of Economic and Financial Sciences. In 2004, before his presence, Alfredo Rocafort, current president of the Government Board of the RAED, dedicated him a heartfelt Laudatio on the occasion of the publication, in the collection ‘Homenajes’ (Tributes), of the University of Barcelona, of a book dedicated to he who incorporated articles made by his disciples.