Daniel Gascón, 15 September 202
Students from a school in Badalona./. MARCEL. LÍ SAENZ
The defenders of the exclusion of Spanish, and those who prefer to look the other way, will discover that this stubborn policy and systematic disregard for the rights of citizens did not even serve to help Catalan
If no one fixes it, in no school in Catalonia paid for with public funds, 25% of classes will be taught in Spanish this year. This is what the Minister of Education of the Generalitat has promised. The families that asked that their children receive a few hours of classes a week in the official language of the entire State and the mother tongue of the majority of Catalans won in court. But, as Rafael Arenas and Joaquim Coll have explained, the nationalists managed to make it impossible to apply the sentence with a new law that rejected the use of percentages in the distribution of languages (although the Generalitat wants 80% of the subjects in the University to be given in Catalan). In Coll’s words, the danger is “that there is a substantial setback in relation to a lawsuit in which fundamental rights are at stake.” The inaction of the Ministry of Education and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the support of the PSC and En Comú Podem for nationalist language policies, the surrender of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia and the Government’s inhibition have all contributed. Escuela de Todos has convened this Sunday in Barcelona a demonstration to protest against the exclusion of Castilian. The situation is paradoxical. As Alberto Penadés has written, an independent Catalonia could not maintain current language policies unless it chose to follow the Visegrad model or something similar. It can only carry them out thanks to the inhibition of the central government: that is, to the helplessness of the citizens. Families and organizations such as the Assembly for a Bilingual School resort to the courts: anyone would say that in order to be recognized as an interlocutor, it is more effective to break the law than to demand compliance. It doesn’t help that it is a problem for the poor: many nationalists take their children to multilingual private schools and many Spanish-speakers who can afford it choose private education.
This year Spain is the guest country at the Frankfurt Book Fair. 25% of the authors that Spain presents write in co-official languages. A few years ago the guest was Catalonia and only authors who wrote in Catalan traveled. In a site the percentages are worth; in others not. In one place, we claim diversity; in another, it bothers us. It is a mistake, and it will become more and more evident: the defenders of the exclusion of Spanish, and those who prefer to look the other way, will discover that this stubborn policy and systematic disregard for the rights of citizens did not even serve to help Catalan .