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The PP and Vox have signed a government agreement in the Spanish autonomous community of Aragón that will involve "revising the text" of the law on the use, protection and promotion of "own languages and linguistic modalities" in Aragón and once and for all eradicating Catalan from its territory. The linguistic objective is "to prevent self-interested interpretations that pervert the spirit of respect for the freedom of the [language] speakers", states the government agreement between the right-wing People's Party and far-right Vox. It is one of the points that appears in the section on "promoting the wealth and diversity of our territory, defending our historical and cultural heritage", but the reference to the "freedom" of language speakers implies a disinterest in protective measures which ensure minority language rights, a serious concern in a territory incorporating a considerable area - the so-called Franja or "strip" - where Catalan is spoken as a native language.

In this same section of the government deal, the two parties also flaunt their anti-Catalanism in another point. They promise to "watch over Aragonese history and culture, indissoluble parts of Spanish history and culture, in the face of the lies and self-interested manipulations of exclusionary and expansionist Catalan nationalism". "We will always work from the defence of the unity of Spain, equality between Spaniards, and cultural wealth and diversity", states the document, in a line which is similar to past Aragonese policies that have sought to erase the Catalan legacy from the Crown of Aragón, the historical conglomerate power of north-eastern Iberia.

The document also makes rules for what happens in school classrooms; this time, though, the persecution is not being directed at the Catalan language, but rather, it targets the rights of LGBTI people. "We will strengthen educational inspection to preserve the quality of education, removing ideology from classrooms and allowing parents to choose their children's education," says the text. It should be remembered that Vox has always considered it a moral attack for schools to talk openly about sexuality to students.

As PP and Vox reached a definitive agreement this Thursday for the government of the territory which is Catalonia's neighbour in the west, they put an end to the eight-year reign as head of Aragón's government of Socialist politician Javier Lambán, also well-known for his anti-Catalan rhetoric. The PP won 28 seats in the 28th May autonomous elections, while Vox won 7 deputies. It was agreed on June 23rd that the outspoken denialist Marta Fernández, of Vox, will be speaker of Aragón's Cortes. With this Thursday's agreement, People's Party leader Jorge Azcón will become the new president of the autonomous community, and his government will include two Vox ministers. At the beginning, however, the PP sought to govern alone, considering that Vox's result had not been good enough to demand entry into the executive.

There have been several aspects that have made the PP give in to allowing the extremists into the cabinet. The representatives of Santiago Abascal's far-right party did not simply submit to the larger party, but rather, raised the spectre of a possible repeat election in Aragón, which, after the progressive bloc won in Aragón in the July 23rd general election, might reverse the majorities that the right achieved in May. In fact, this same scenario also applies at present in the autonomous community of Murcia, where a PP-Vox coalition has the numbers to govern. But there the PP is not giving in for the moment. The conservatives in this Mediterranean territory are more convinced that they have more capacity than Vox does to apply pressure.


Below, the PP-Vox governance agreement for Aragón (in Spanish).