Monday, May 12, 2014

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

1. Give Catalans a voice

Andrew Davis, Head of the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the US urges Spain –and the international community– to see the Catalan government’s referendum proposal as part of a methodical, transparent and democratic roadmap for effective political conflict resolution:

Global Post | The Spanish government must let Catalans vote
“Rather than treating the ‘Catalan question’ as an issue to be avoided, the Spanish government should be embracing it as a natural part of a democratic process and a methodical, transparent and democratic roadmap for effective political conflict resolution. The Spanish government, and indeed the international community – many of whom are working to resolve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts – could learn much from the distinctly Catalan way in approaching these difficult but important issues.”

2. Director of Spanish daily ‘La Razón’, accused in case against Catalan judges

One of Spain’s staunch anti-independence papers, La Razón, last March published a story titled “The conspiracy of the 33 pro-independence judges”, which reported on a group of Catalan magistrates who had signed a declaration claiming that there is a case for the right to self-determination under the Spanish Constitution.

Along with the article, La Razón published a set of portraits of the judges, which in 22 instances had been taken from the State’s ID records. The Catalan judges filed a legal complaint for an alleged “unauthorised access to government files” of the ID database in order to use their photos, which could constitute a crime of discovery and disclosure of secrets.

ARA | Marhuenda accused in the case of the pro-consultation judges
The judge has agreed to this change and has called on Marhuenda to appear on 28 May to answer for possible crimes against the right to privacy and control over one’s own image. Marhuenda will have to explain who leaked the photos -although he could invoke his right not to disclose his sources and the right to not declare against himself- and why he published them, if in fact he knew that this was an offence against the privacy of the claimants.

3. Majorca: Teacher on hunger strike for Catalan language

Attacks on Catalan language are not limited to Catalonia. The Balearic Islands, the Valencian Country and other territories where Catalan is spoken suffer also from the Spanish government’s re-centralisation efforts. It is in the education sector where these attacks are usually fiercer, but also fought back by a usually well-knitted community of teachers, students and parents:

Help Catalonia | Again, Hunger strike to defend Catalan language
Jaume Sastre, a teacher at Llucmajor high school in Mallorca, has begun a hunger strike today to demand the government negotiate with the teachers immediately. Sastre, who is a member of the Teachers’ Assembly of the Balearic Islands, wants to demonstrate the rejection of the general education community to the government of Spanish Nationalist José Ramon Bauza, who remains determined to implement the controversial trilingualism decree and to crack down on striking teachers. The struggle of the Balearics’ teachers began in September last year with a three-week strike and a mass demonstration in Mallorca. Teachers in the islands have always said yes to trilingualism, and believe as many languages kids may learn, the better. But this decree reduces the teaching of Catalan language (which is the own language of the Balearic islands) which is seriously threatened by Spanish government in the Islands.

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