Jordi Juan, 24 March 2020
La Vanguardia Director
The education spokespersons of the four parties that appeared yesterday the legal reform Quique García / EFE
The defense of Catalan cannot remain solely in the hands of the independentists. The great merit of the agreement reached yesterday by the four main Catalan formations (PSC, Esquerra, Junts and En Comú Podem) is to preserve consensus on a matter as sensitive as language so as not to further divide the country. The ruling that requires compliance with 25% of Spanish in the classroom must be applied without affecting the linguistic immersion system that has allowed Catalonia not to separate its children by language, as is the case in the Basque Country. Finding a solution has not been easy at all, but in the end logic has prevailed and, preserving that Catalan continues to be the vehicular language, the objective of the model is for students to master Spanish and Catalan when they finish secondary school. It is not an act of volunteerism. The agreement reached yesterday signs that if they fail one of the two language subjects, Catalan or Spanish, they will not be able to obtain the ESO degree.
We must congratulate the parties that have supported the measure and have risen to the occasion. On many occasions, it is time to criticize the tacticism that they show off, but on this occasion they have recovered the spirit of pact that has always permeated all actions in relation to the use of the language. We must especially congratulate the former regional Minister of Education Irene Rigau, who has played a key role in this negotiation by attracting to the agreement a PSC that began the legislature marking distances with the Government, and also overcoming the traditional friction between ERC and Junts.
The basis of the Catalan coexistence model was based on the law of April 1983 on Linguistic Normalization, which was approved without any votes against by the Parliament. Today that consensus is unthinkable because formations such as the PP, Ciudadanos, Vox or the CUP defend more extreme positions from their respective trenches. And it’s still a shame.
But the majority agreement guarantees, at the same time, maintaining the Catalan immersion system and complying with the judicial mandate so that the learning of Spanish is recognized. Ultimately, it is about saving the use of the two official languages of the country.