It has been decided that Galician, Basque and Catalan, but not Valenciano, will be allowed as languages in the Spanish Parliament and the necessary funds have been made available for this with immediate effect. González Pons, spokesperson for the Partido Popular Europeo (PPE) notes: „This means that Valenciano will be abolished as a language and can be considered Catalan in Congress and in Europe.“
José Antonio Rovira, new Valencian Education Minister, demands: „We want Valencian children to learn Valenciano and not Catalan“.
In July, families were still explicitly demanding: „an end to the 'linguistic imposition' of Valencianio not only in Castilian-speaking areas“. On 24 September, Mazón, the new Valencian president, instead decreed that he would „abolish the 'language policy' and the imposition of Valenciano in Castilian-speaking areas.“
It is a linguistic question whether Valenciano and Catalan are two separate languages or not. Of course, it is also a question for linguists whether one is a dialect of the other or vice versa. These are certainly interesting questions - but how important are the answers to them for our daily lives?
For Pedro Sánchez and his supporters, these questions have been decided and, more importantly, the rights to use them in parliament come at a price. The price of the language haggling is the acquiescence of his presidency. I ask myself, why is it possible to buy or sell citizens' rights? Either you have them or you don't. If two rights clash, violence decides, wrote Karl Marx. Surely this could be negotiated in a civilised society? But buying?
I wonder how the right to use a language can be linked to a price? Does the right have to be bought again at the next election? I think everyone has the inalienable right to speak their language and anyone who wants to be understood should speak Spanish in the Spanish parliament. Insisting on one's right is not always sensible and can end fatally in traffic, for example.
The Spanish reality: If you want to constantly annoy the large Spanish majority by speaking in a different mother tongue to them though you could speak in Spanish, you will be sold the right. And the right to the Països Catalans, the Catalan empire, at least in linguistic terms, at the same time.
At this point, one should also note: Let us assume for a moment that the minority of Catalan native speakers existing in Catalonia would have the right to demand that Catalan be admitted to the Spanish parliament. One must ask how this minority feels about the right of the Spaniards and also of the Spanish speaking majority in Catalonia to the integrity of the Spanish state borders. This right excludes the right to separation, which is why the referendum in 2017 was illegal. Furthermore, how does this minority feel about the language imposition in Catalonia? No Spanish in Catalonia, but Catalan in the Spanish parliament?
The Spanish people are not consulted in all these dealings. This also applies to the abolition of the language imposition in Valencia.
There has been an unfinished petition since March 2022 to be allowed to raise the issue of the Valenciano imposition in the Valencian parliament. Citizens have a right to this, which has been ignored for more than a year. 1 1/2 years of nothing! In the three local schools that I know of, nothing has happened to even mitigate the language imposition. However, the introduction of regional languages in the national parliament can happen in a flash.
There is one exception, however, which shows that such a change goes quickly. Mazón has decreed that the language requirement for Valenciano is now only abolished in areas where there are few native Valenciano speakers. These are supposed to be the areas in southern Valencia with the metropolis of Alicante. Driving a wedge between the citizens is quick, but how quickly the lessons can be changed, when school has already started, remains to be seen.
The city of Valencia remains exempt, although the proportion of native Valenciano speakers is estimated at around 15%, as the Plataforma por la Lengua (Platform for the Language) was still lamenting in 2020 and demanding that the language imposition be strengthened.
With the partial concession only to the South, one can possibly divide the movement for the right of parents to decide on the language of instruction for their children and thus further preserve these rights over the citizen for the market of politicians. I wonder, could this right of self-determination be bought from politicians? Yes, it is already happening to some extent. If you have enough money, you send your child to a public school, where the imposition to speak Valenciano is already reduced.
Am I wrong to remember, democracy is supposed to have something to do with politicians being there for the citizens and not vice versa? Nowhere is there any talk of buying.
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