Read in Catalan

The crusade against Catalan schools is gaining momentum. Spanish unionist groups have embarked on a a campaign entitled Escola de tots - "Everybody's school" - and have now mobilized 150 families to take part jointly in a legal suit to demand 25% of school classes be taught in Castilian (Spanish). This follows the success of three specific cases recently decided by the Catalan High Court (TSJC) and a ruling from the Spanish Supreme Court backing the 25% Spanish quota, threatening to throw Catalonia's 30-year-old language immersion system into disarray. Among the organizers of the campaign are entities with strong ties to the Ciudadanos (Cs) party, such as the group Impulso Ciudadano. In addition, it has the endorsement of other pressure groups such as Asamblea por una Escuela Bilingüe, S'ha Acabat! and Societat Civil Catalana.

Put an end to immersion

As Impulso Ciudadano explains on its website, the initiative aims to help families "request the execution by force of the ruling that ends the Catalan immersion model, if the government does not comply with the sentence that establishes this". To that end, Escola de tots is offering "legal advice" to families who want to take part. Impulso Ciudadano is chaired by former Cs MP José Domingo.

The group's manifesto attempts to compare the boy in the Hans Christian Andersen tale "The Emperor's New Clothes", who was "afraid of being criticized, excluded, tried and condemned to ostracism" for telling the truth, with the situation of children whose parents want 25% of classes in Castilian. Apart from that, there is also a link to a fundraiser for the campaign in which they celebrate that "now we have a clear and firm ruling that supports us" in court. They have already raised €10,085 in donations.

150 families

Regarding the growth in support for the campaign, the president of the  Asamblea por una Escuela Bilingüe, Ana Losada, told the Efe agency that it is "very good" and that it has even been welcomed among teachers, as "some of them are grateful for it," she said, adding that "until now they have felt alone in schools defending Castilian," Losada said.

The president noted that the deadline for the Catalan government to start applying the court ruling and teach 25% in Spanish in a generalized way arrives in mid-February, and that by then, she said, "we hope to have reached 1,000 families making complaints".

"Our intention is to file a significant number of complaints with the TSJC" to "show the real interest that there is in society" for having 25% of subjects taught in Spanish, Losada said.

Cs, against Catalan language

In parallel with this campaign, the Ciudadanos party announced yesterday that it will take the Catalan government's public spending in defence of its existing school language model to the public auditing tribunal, the Court of Accounts. The Cs offensive takes place in a framework in which it is openly disputing the pro-unionist vote in Catalonia with the Socialists, as well as attempting to arrest its own dramatic electoral decline, a far cry from the days when Ciudadanos was the single most voted party in the Catalan elections of 2017.