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Catalonia's culture minister, Mariàngela Vilallonga, has been harshly criticized from both sides of the frontier after choosing to deliver a speech entirely in French at an event on Thursday night promoting Catalan culture in Perpinyà. "Think about this," was the reflection from journalist Júlia Taurinyà, reporting Vilallonga's discourse at the closure of the Northern Catalonia city's year as capital of the sardana.

"What a slave mentality!" said another Twitter user.

"Speaking French in the Catalan-speaking county of Rosselló", said another social media user, shows an "intellectual indigence" that makes her unsuitable for the post of Catalan culture minister. 

After the controversy that was unleashed, the minister posted a tweet stating her regret that her speech had been interpreted as a threat to the defence of the language.

"I regret that my discourse yesterday, at the Teatre de l’Arxipèlag in Perpinyà, in the French language, has been interpreted as disdain for the defence of our language."— MariàngelaVilallonga, Catalan culture minister

The Catalan culture ministry's Twitter account avoided posting the minister's French-language speech, limiting itself to reproducing her words with a video of the dancer Cesc Gelabert, who accompanied the sardanas played by the Cobla Sant Jordi. The ministry also noted that the next capital of the traditional Catalan dance will be the town Sant Feliu de Guíxols, on the Costa Brava.

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