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SPAIN: The Catalan Language



I disagreed with the condemnation by Miquel Strubell i Trueta of the language policy of the Madrid government, especially in regard to its treatment of Catalan. Pedro Marín Guzmán seconds my disagreement:

"It seems to me it's the Catalans, in general, that have a problem with language. Having lived for some years in Barcelona I found 'The Spanish government's unquenchable thirst for "monolingualism"' dwarfed by the Catalans' obsession with recognition (by the rest of the world) as different to the rest of Spain, even if that means creating parallel cultures with a language only a minority can read or write to an acceptable standard. This point is dramatized by the two leading dailies in Cataluña: "EL PERIODICO" and "LA VANGUARDIA", both published, and read by fervent Catalans, in Spanish! This obsession with the language (a reaction to a fascist regime long gone) coupled with an unwarranted sense of superiority they feel towards other Spaniards (specially those from Andalucia) seems to dominate the Catalan psyche. In my view, it sorely detracts from the great contribution Catalans have made to the culture and lifestyle of Spain.

And, please, lets not talk about discrimination, as there's enough in Cataluña - against people from other parts of Spain (Murcia, Andalucia), Morrocco and South America. If in doubt look up the current issue of:
http://www.lavanguardia.es
http://www.elperiodico.es
By the way, my grandfather, and his grandfather etc, etc, were all Catalans."

Ronald Hilton - 3/2/01


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