Read in Catalan

The compulsive obsession of the Spanish right with the Catalan language has no end. The last episode stems from a Catalan government campaign in favour of the Catalan school model, an advertisement in the written press in which the government assures it will elaborate a "new normative framework" to reform the Catalan school model with "political, social and pedagogical consensus". Well, the orange group (Ciutadans) did not like this publicity and has decided to take it to the Court of Accounts.

"The Catalan Government is once again using the Catalan’s people money for a propaganda campaign pushing for the disobedience of the courts. While some look the other way, Ciutadanss will denounce it to the Court of Accounts. If they want campaigns, let them pay for them out of their own pockets," wrote the leader of Ciutadans (Cs), Carlos Carrizosa, on his Twitter profile.

Carrizosa tuit

This is weeks after the Spanish Supreme Court imposed 25% of classes to be taught in Spanish in Catalonia, a controversial decision that has marked the last period of 2021. While platforms, entities, civil societies, pro-independence parties and the education sector have mobilized to defend linguistic immersion and classes in Catalan, the Spanish right has launched a campaign against linguistic immersion on all fronts.

Vox, as well as Ciudadanos and the PP have presented multiple motions and questions to pressure the Catalan Government and denounce an alleged persecution of Spanish speakers in Catalonia. This political debate has produced absolutely disproportionate statements, such as the hatred of the PP leader, Pablo Casado, who said that children were not allowed to go to the toilet if they speak Spanish, or the unfortunate comparisons of Carrizosa.

In the last control session of the year, the Ciudadanos leader compared the case of the Canet de Mar school —in which a family demanded that in the child's class Spanish should be used 25% of the time— with the municipality of Ermua, where Miguel Ángel Blanco was murdered by ETA: "Canet is like Ermua, save the distance", said Carrizosa after insisting that the child in Canet de mar was being harassed.

Catalan, in critical condition

This offensive of the Spanish right (and the judiciary) comes at a time of strong vulnerability for the Catalan language. The alarms went off as a result of the report that the Catalan ministries of Education and Culture presented a month ago, on the real application of linguistic immersion. The text concluded that in 4th year of secondary school only 46% of the teachers address the students in Catalan. Other frightening examples are that only 39.4% of students use Catalan in the classroom and if the activities are in groups, the percentage drops to 28.4%.

But that is not all. Outside the classroom, we see that Catalan is also in clear decline. According to a report presented by Plataforma per la Llengua at the end of October, 8 out of 10 Catalan speakers change language when someone speaks to them in Spanish. It must be noted Catalan speakers only represent 32.4% of the population of the Països Catalans and Andorra, according to data from the January 1st 2020. That means, therefore, less than a third.