Is the Spanish government silently practising genocide against the Catalan language? Plataforma per la Llengua Report, 2017

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

A report prepared by Plataforma per la Llengua (Platform for the Language) demonstrates how cynically Rajoy’s government acts to try to put an end to the Catalan language.

The constitutionalist parties say that they want to find a model of state where Catalonia can feel comfortable. But the facts blatantly deny this. This is clear from their attitude towards the Catalan language: 28 new norms approved by State and community institutions imposed Spanish in only the second term of 2017 (April-June). These may be added to the 16 cases occurring in the first three months of the year. If the first quarter of 2017 16 norms were passed that relegated Catalan in territories of the Spanish State where it is the native language. The second term has reached the figure of 28 linguistically discriminatory norms. These conclusions arise from the daily analysis of the State bulletin (BOE) carried out by the Platform for the Language over the last few weeks.

Spanish, the only language of the Spanish empire

A report carried out by Plataforma per la Llengua

All 17 linguistic regulations of a State origin are explicit cases of enforcement of Spanish, both where it is the local language and where it is not. The regulations do not foresee any kind of protection for Catalan. On the other hand, of the 11 European norms, 4 are indirect enforcement steps of Spanish and have obligations related to the official languages of the member states, a status that is not enjoyed by Catalan. Seven others are implicit exclusions of Catalan and regulate the institutional use or the right to use the official languages of the European Union, a status that the Catalan language does not have because the Spanish State vetoed it.

These new legal norms belong to very different fields, such as grants, education, labeling, requirements and documentation, but it is in the latter that more cases of enforcement are concentrated. Thus, 10 new norms (7 at a state level and 3 in the community) require that all kinds of documents be written in Spanish and 4 (all the European ones) provide that they may be in an official language of the European Union, but not in Catalan. 3 further regulations mainly regulate labeling but contain linguistic obligations that exclude the possibility of using Catalan in the documentation.

Some of the outstanding discriminatory regulations of this term:

The Spanish State will guarantee the children of foreign residents the option to learn their language… as long as it is Spanish.

1.- “Royal Decree” 316/2017, of March 31, published on April 1, establishes that to apply for a patent (this applies to international ones too), the description that is obligatory to attach to it, along with the necessary instructions to obtain a presentation date, must be written in Spanish. If they are in another language, there will be a period of time to present a translation in Spanish. It is foreseen, in each and every one of the cases, that the documentation must be presented obligatorily in Spanish, either directly or with a subsequent translation.

2.- A “Resolution” of March 21, published on April 11, provides that the baccalaureate tests for Spanish centres abroad will include the subjects of Spanish language and literature and a foreign language, but does not include a similarprovision for Catalan. Thus, it is not foreseen that the children of Catalan-speaking citizens who live abroad will have access to learning their language while that right is protected for Spanish-speakers. This policy responds to a premeditated Castilian-orientated leaning of the Spanish State and its ruling classes, which aspire to a homogeneous citizenship clearly identified with the Castilian language and culture.

3.- The “Order” APM/532/2017, of May 31, which establishes the regulatory bases for the granting of scholarships related to the foodsuff and environmental analyses, establishes as a requirement to aspire to these subsidies that the candidate masters “the Spanish language”, irrespective of the territory where the practices are to be carried out and the language that is associated with that territory or its general usage.

4.- The European Directive 2017/1132, which regulates aspects of company law, provides that the information on the domestic law of the states of interest for third parties in relation to the legal ordering of companies and their registration will be published and updated by the Commission in all EU official languages, which will provide an Internet search service, and also provides that the member state in which a branch is created may require that the advertising of certain documents be made in an official EU language. These two provisions directly exclude Catalan, since privileges are foreseen for other languages that are denied to Catalan because it is not official in the Union.

The 17 regulations of a state origin that impose Spanish at the expense of Catalan this term and the 10 of the previous term, must be added to the 243 regulations that the Spanish government has passed since Plataforma per la Llengua began to compile them in 2014. It involves a very varied set of laws, resolutions, ministerial orders and royal decrees that reserve for the Spanish language a position of supremacy over all other local languages of the State and assign a series of rights throughout the territory that are never included for speakers of other languages, not even in their own territory.