Some journalists have complained that this morning's press conference by Catalan Interior minister, Joaquim Forn, Justice minister, Carles Mundó, and the head of the Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan police), Josep Lluís Trapero, was held in Catalan and have forced them to reply to questions in Spanish.
At the end of the minister's comments in Catalan, the start of the question period, a foreign journalist stood up to complain that they were called to a press conference and that it was carried out in Catalan. The reporter's complaint included a reminder that Spanish is an official language in the autonomous community, whilst someone next to them joked that from the day after the 1st October independence referendum, Catalan will be the official one. One of the journalists stood up and left.
Forn replied with a reminder that Catalan is an official language in Catalonia and that the procedure has always been the same for press conferences: First in Catalan and then in Spanish.
In any case, from then on, the questions were answered in the language they were asked in.
This attitude from some correspondents has annoyed some Catalan journalists who noted that a press conference was organised yesterday specifically for the foreign news media, in which local media couldn't participate and all the comments were in Spanish.
The director general of communication for the Catalan government sent a tweet restating what has been the standard procedure for their press conferences for decades.
Fa dècades que les rodes de premsa es fan primer en català i després es diu el mateix en castellà. Fàcil d'entendre, si es té bona voluntat.— Jaume Clotet (@jaumeclotet) 21 of August 2017
Translation: For decades, press conferences have been carried out first in Catalan and then repeated in Spanish. Easy to understand, if you have good faith.
The dean of the School of Journalists of Catalonia, Neus Bonet, also made a statement denouncing the situation.
Em fa molta vergonya professional q en una rp x informar de les investigacions dels atemptats el "problema" sigui la llengua del país— Neus Bonet (@nbonet_catradio) 21 of August 2017
It gives me much professional embarrassment that in a press conference to give information about the investigation into the attacks, the "problem" is the language of the country.
The incident, which could be followed via the live broadcast of the press conference, provoked much response on social media.
Mossos fan roda premsa on es pot preguntar en cat-cast, se'ls respon en funció de llengua triada i algun periodista esp. es rebota. #trist— Pere Mas (@PereMas) 21 of August 2017
Mossos give a press conference where you can ask questions in Catalan or Spanish, they reply according to the language chosen and some Spanish journalist gets pissed off. #sad
No puc comprendre com algun periodista talla al Major Trapero durant les seves explicacions per dir que parli en castellà.— Gerard Gómez d Morality (@gerardgomezf) 21 of August 2017
I can't understand that a journalist should cut off Major Trapero during his explanations to tell him to speak in Spanish. What an embarrassment.
El problema no és el rigor informatiu, no si s'atèn en tres o quatre idiomes. El problema és que parlin en català. I té un nom: supremacisme— Jordi Latorre (@jordi_latorre) 21 of August 2017
The problem isn't the informational rigour, not if they pay attention to three or four languages. The problem is that they speak in Catalan. And it has a name: supremacism
Quan es queixen en una roda de premsa que els @mossos contestin en català les preguntes en català ens estan independitzant. No hi cabem... — Empar Moliner (@emparmoliner) 21 of August 2017
When they complain in a press conferences that the Mossos reply in Catalan to questions in Catalan they're making us independent. We don't fit in there...