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Reforming the Constitution implies a subsequent reform of the Statutes to adapt them to the new law of laws. Therefore, it is important to reach great consensus to solve the current crisis of coexistence and foresee future ones.

Vicente Serrano

by Crónica Pupular • September 8, 2019

It seems that Vox has managed to get approved by the Junta de Andalucía an amount of 100,000 euros in grants to Andalusian communities “in areas with language immersion problems”.

In this Spain of identities nothing appears like the interested difference, and it is not because you want to kill flies with cannon shots, no. It is rather throwing fireworks over a very dry forest. Autonomies in Spain seem more concerned with creating differentiating identities than in promoting citizenship. Terrible!

Those who suffer linguistic immersion in Catalonia are not only Catalan people coming from Andalusia, no; they are all the Catalans, that is to say Spaniards living in Catalonia, plus all foreign immigrants, who reside here – born here, there or everywhere, no matter – that is, citizens.

The incidence of these subsidies is zero, nought, and they only serve to feed identity disputes and make win votes by the Vox on duty, call them Vox, or PDCat, or ERC.

The Second Spanish Republic did not want to define Spain as a federal state because of the disasters of the First one – in which the federal was understood as confederal and ended with the cantonalism disaster – it was defined as an integral state and set criteria for the creation of autonomies, of which our current autonomous system is heir… a little more lax, yes.

The competences of Culture and Education are devolved to the Autonomous Communities and the state-level ministries have been emptied of mechanisms of control and management; the inhibition of the High State Inspection – in the flagrant cases of indoctrination or cultural assimilationism, recently denounced with reason on occasion of the independence process in Catalonia, which hides the so-called linguistic immersion – demonstrates, on the one hand, a design error in the 1978 Constitution, and, on the other, a lack of project for Spain among the big national (state) political parties.

So the problem is not just the language.

It is good that a language law is passed for all of Spain. I do not intend in this article to enter into the controversy over the proposal of the Law of languages of Mercè  Vilarrubias, which in my view, and without wanting to add fuel to the fire, suffers from being ‘goodist’. In any case we will have to talk about the master lines of that law. In the Constitution they are all defined in its article 3; it can only be developed.

In case someone does not remember:

Article 3

1. Castilian is the official Spanish language of the State. All Spaniards have a duty to know it and the right to use it.

2. The other Spanish languages ​​will also be official in the respective Autonomous Communities in accordance with their Statutes.

3. The richness of the different linguistic modalities of Spain is a cultural heritage that will be subject to special respect and protection.

If the problem is more complex than the language issue, this implies that it is necessary to rethink the reform of the Constitution – I am not talking about art. 3 –, not to please nationalisms (peripheral or central), but to better organize the country territorially by clearly defining the competences of autonomies and eliminating any type of shielding. And that is something that can mean the return back of competences, now in the hands of the autonomous communities, to the central administration. I am speaking of Education and Culture.

There can be no shielded competences. There is the possibility of hierarchical co-management through a basic law guaranteeing that education and culture are not at the service of national constructions or segregationist processes.

Given the experience of the last 40 years and that the laws (Constitution and Statutes) have given wings to a whole group of unsupportive and selfish cohorts – to define nationalism smoothly – it is time to propose the necessary reforms that guarantee the equality of all citizens (Spanish or not), live where they live, in Spain. Constitutional fidelity cannot depend on the will of politicians in power, independent of the administration in which they act; they must have very well-defined regulations of what is legal and what is not, what they are responsible, or not, for.

If the government or the parliament of an autonomous community do not have the competence to call independent referendums or to elaborate laws contrary to its statute or to the Constitution, those crimes and their penalties must be defined more clearly, as well as the mechanisms to politically regulate the situation. If an organic law had been developed to regulate the application of Article 155 of the Constitution, according to each situation, perhaps we would have saved ourselves from more than one disgust.

Reforming the Constitution implies a subsequent reform of the Statutes to adapt them to the new law of laws. Therefore, it is important to reach great consensus to solve the current crisis of coexistence and foresee future ones.

Just ending up. Law of tongues, yes. But accompanied by:

• Disappearance of the so-called linguistic immersion.

• Return back of competences, total or partial, of Education and Culture to the central administration.

• Law of bases on education to, in any case, guarantee bilingualism in teaching in bilingual communities.

• The State must guarantee the complete content of article 3 of the Constitution.

We should rethink the erroneous phrase “think globally and act locally” that has fueled a segmented and nationalizing view of the world, as if small were more fair, when it tends to be more unsupportive and unfair… the reality is that lately it ends up “thinking locally and acting globally”. The ‘procés’ is the most paradigmatic case.

It is time to think globally and act globally. Spain as a political nation is a global entity, but without stop thinking that the global is even wider…

Nou Barris, Barcelona. Saturday, September 7, 2019

Echar gasolina al fuego nacionalista.

Vicente Serrano

Member of the Governing Board of the association Alternativa Ciudadana Progresista.

Author of the essay EL VALOR REAL DEL VOTO. Editorial El Viejo Topo. 2016


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