Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

1. Ready for independence – ANC launches new campaign

The main Catalan civil organisation advocating for independence, Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC, or Catalan National Assembly) has launched the campaign “We Are Ready for Independence” seeking to convince the undecided, which according to the latest polls account for roughly 20% of the Catalan population:

Assemblea.cat |ANC steps on the gas to reach social majority for independence
We’re ready to be independent; to be Europe’s next state; to pay pensions and subsidies; to share nationalities; to bring on a political regeneration; to raise an economically viable state; and to build a country for everyone.

2. Catalan language at school: court strikes back

Agència Catalana de Notícies | Judiciary insists on modifying Catalan school model to increase presence of Spanish
Last Wednesday the Catalan High Court confirmed a previous decision to oblige 5 schools to teach “at least 25%” of their mandatory subjects in Spanish if the family of a single pupil asks for it, regardless of the opinion of the other children’s families.

This is an overt attack to the Catalan-medium language schooling system in place in Catalonia since the restoration of the democracy. Of all the territories within Spain with a language different than Castilian, Catalonia is the only one in which parents do not get to choose the language of education for their children. There has historically been a wide consensus in Catalonia that this system successfully prevents the creation of two separate linguistic communities, enables every single schoolchild to master both Catalan and Spanish languages, and ultimately avoids language-based discrimination.

As a response, more than 40 organisations have gathered under the platform SomEscola.cat (We Are School), and called for a festive demonstration next June 14 in Barcelona:

SomEscola | Somescola fa una crida a la mobilització del 14 de juny per respondre al TSJC
catalan-monitor-som-escola-2
SomEscola rejects once again the judicialisation of the linguistic usage in our country’s classrooms, as well as the linguistic hierarchisation in which Spanish is prioritised. The Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia contradicts the mandate of Catalan democratic institutions and the professional criteria of the educational community. It is the Parliament of Catalonia which establishes its own education legislation.

3. Time to Tackle the Catalonia crisis [Financial Times] 

The British daily published an outspoken editorial on the Catalan crisis which will surely be hard to swallow by the Spanish primer minister Mariano Rajoy:

Financial Times | Time to tackle the Catalonia crisis [behind paywall]
Madrid cannot ignore the legitimate concerns of the Catalans that their own public services should not be underfunded when compared with those in other parts of Spain. Striking a deal on these issues will not be easy. But Mr Rajoy must shake off any illusion he may have that the strength of feeling in Catalonia will fade once the economy strengthens. Catalans’ desire for independence is not some passing political whim.

Spain’s prime minister must look for a compromise. It is disingenuous of him to hide behind the Spanish constitution, arguing that it blocks the route either to a referendum or to secession. In the strictest terms, that may be so. But the constitution should be able to accommodate several core Catalan demands without bringing about the break-up of Spain. It is time for Mr Rajoy to recognise this.

Although it is not the first time the Financial Times presses the Spanish government to change its stance regarding Catalonia [see FT articles at Collectiu Emma], yesterday the anti-independence party Ciutadans amusingly accused Artur Mas of “buying” favourable articles on the international press.

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