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19 de des. 2013

There will be independence, because there will be no referendum. An opinion and a forecast. Article by Manuel Delgado


(translated in house)

December 13 2013

The truth is I do not regard myself an acute political analyst or anything like that, but I`m going to indulge myself, without this being a precedent, by sharing a personal insight into what is going on in Catalonia and what I think will happen. I refer of course to the vexed (for many) issue of the so-called sovereignty process, and which I now see as simply irrevocable and will in a few months' time lead to a new state in Europe...

Click on "Més informació" below to read the rest of the article.

17 d’oct. 2013

Tweets in Catalan

From: Interactive Google Maps Mash-ups

Interesting maps of the language of tweets, in Catalonia (1. all languages), the Catalan countries (2. all languages; 3. Catalan; 4. English) and Iberia (5. all languages).

Click on "Més informacio" below to read rest of post and see maps.

2 de set. 2013

More Catalan footprints in Australia: the Paronellas

Josep Paronella and his wife Margarita - I imagine the first photo was taken for their wedding, in 1925! - were not a classic Catalan couple. He'd been working - and saving money - in Australia for 12 years, as explained here, when he returned to Catalonia to court a Catalan girl...

Click on "Més informació" to see the rest of the post.

17 de jul. 2013

Minorcans in Florida

British Florida Food History: Andrew Turnbull’s New Smyrna Colony
"The New Smyrna settlement was the product of British attempts to populate Florida with colonists who would benefit the Crown. Britain had obtained Florida and the Mediterranean island of Minorca from Spain in 1763, following a global war involving several European powers.
Click on "Més informació" to continue



5 de jul. 2013

Madrid newspaper editor threatens the Catalans

Pedro J. Ramírez, editor of the "El Mundo" Madrid-based newspaper, has issued a scarcely veiled threat to the Catalans via twitter.



"81% of EM.es voters support the army having deposed the Islamists [in Egypt]. The key: ballot boxes don't allow just anything. Is that clear?"

The Catalan digital newspaper Vilaweb has reported the tweet. It also reminded readers that shortly after the massive September 11 2012 demonstration organised by the Assemblea Nacional Catalana, which brought together 1·5 million people in the streets of Barcelona, Ramírez wrote an editorial calling for a change in the penal code to allow the spanish authorities to amend the Penal Code so that President Mas could be imprisoned if he called a referenduim on independence.

Another Catalan digital newspaper, Nació Digital, has also added its horrified comment on the tweet.

His resolute opposition to Catalonia's independence process, and his lack of respect for ther will of the Catalan people, were well displayed on the night of the last election to the Parliament of Catalonia, where the newspaper's efforts to interfere in the campaign by releasing trumped-up police reports falsely accusing Catalan leaders of corruption were reflected in his tweet saying that the El Mundo newsroom celebrated the results - the ruling coalition lost 90,000 votes - as if it were their own victory.





25 de juny 2013

Hello, Europe!

"Hola, Europa!" is a documentary film on the current political situation in Catalonia. 31 specialists reflect on the right of the Catalan people to decide their own future and Catalonia's place in the EU. Directed by M. Dolors Genovès. (76 min 1 sec)


English subtitled / dubbed version: http://www.tv3.cat/videos/4616211/Hola-Europa


Versió original
************


El 80% dels diputats al Parlament de Catalunya donen suport a una consulta per decidir el futur col•lectiu i polític del país. Un 55% dels catalans ha manifestat, segons les enquestes, la seva voluntat de donar suport a una Catalunya amb estat propi. Aquestes xifres no es donen en cap de les nacions que han formulat la possibilitat d’esdevenir independents dels estats als quals pertanyen: el Quebec, Flandes, Escòcia o el País Basc. El fet més transcendent del moment polític que viu Catalunya respon al dret democràtic de poder decidir el futur constitucional del país.

El documental indaga i reflexiona sobre les raons d’aquest posicionament, des de la situació actual, i aborda els arguments i les dificultats que aquest procés pacífic i democràtic haurà de superar.


"Hola, Europa!" fa un recorregut per tot el territori de Catalunya, de nord a sud. Visita les glaçades aigües de l’estany de Sant Maurici i la Ratera; els paisatges fets de vent, aigua i roca del cap de Creus; els meandres verds i rogencs de l’Ebre. De la natura passa al paisatge treballat de les quatre capitals catalanes: Girona, Barcelona, Lleida i Tarragona. I 15 persones anònimes, 15 retrats, són la representació dels ciutadans de Catalunya. Per reflexionar sobre el present i el futur del país, "Hola, Europa!" recull les opinions i les anàlisis de 31 persones.

13 de juny 2013

"Valencian". 1975

http://www.elpuntavui.cat/noticia/article/7-vista/8-articles/650797-mes-enlla-que-franco.html

Més enllà que Franco

El text que els passo a transcriure (en el castellà original, perquè no vull que perdi naturalitat i contundència) es va fer públic el 15 de juny de 1975, durant la dictadura de Francisco Franco. El reprodueixo íntegrament perquè es comenta sol. És cert que Franco va perseguir i prohibir el català, però no sé si és pitjor el que s'està fent en l'actual democràcia espanyola.
“Los firmantes, miembros de número de las Academias Española y de la Historia, habiendo conocido la peculiar controversia que durante meses pasados se ha hecho pública en diversos órganos de prensa valencianos, acerca del origen de la lengua hablada en la mayor parte de las comarcas del País Valenciano, y a petición de personas interesadas en que demos a conocer nuestra opinión sobre este asunto, científicamente desde hace muchos años, deseamos expresar, de acuerdo con todos los estudiosos de las lenguas románicas:Que el valenciano es una variante dialectal del catalán. Es decir, del idioma hablado en las islas Baleares, en la Cataluña francesa y española, en una franja de Aragón, en la mayor parte del País Valenciano, en el principado de Andorra y en la ciudad sarda del Alguer.
Por todo ello nos causa sorpresa ver este hecho puesto públicamente en duda y aun ásperamente impugnado, por personas que claramente utilizan sus propios prejuicios como fuente de autoridad científica, mientras pretenden ridiculizar e incluso insultar a personalidades que, por su entera labor, merecen el respeto de todos y en primer lugar el nuestro.
Se hace fácil suponer que tras esas posiciones negativas se ocultan consideraciones y propósitos que en nada se relacionan con la verdad de un hecho suficientemente claro para la filología y para la historia.
Es culturalmente aberrante todo intento –como el que contemplamos– de desmembrar el País Valenciano de la comunidad idiomática y cultural catalana por la que, como escritores e intelectuales españoles no tenemos sino respeto y admiración, y dentro de la cual el País Valenciano ha tenido y tiene un lugar tan relevante.”
Els firmantes, per cert, eren, entre altres, Dámaso Alonso (director de la RAE), Jesús Pabón (director de la RA de la Historia), Alonso Zamora Vicente, Fernando Lázaro Carreter, Emilio Alarcos Llorach, Vicente Aleixandre i Rafael Lapesa. Després s'hi van adherir Vicente Enrique y Tarancón, Camilo José Cela, Pedro Laín Entralgo, Salvador de Madariaga, Antonio Buero Vallejo, Josep Antoni Maravall, Pedro Sáinz Rodríguez, Luis Rosales i Miguel Delibes.

21 de maig 2013

How to Erase Catalan from Aragon

Even before the Language Act was amended in May 2013 (see here), the political offensive to erase any mention of the existence of Catalan in Aragon was underway. This post covers the removal of the annual literary award for creation in Catalan.

1

DECRETO 253/2001, de 23 de octubre, del Gobierno de Aragón, por el que se regulan los premios a la creación literaria (Boletín oficial de Aragón, núm. 132, de 9 de noviembre). 

Artículo 2º.--Premios literarios.
Las distinciones en el ámbito de la creación literaria en Aragón serán las siguientes:
3. El Premio "Guillem Nicolau", destinado a fomentar y difundir la creación literaria y la traducción en cualquiera de las modalidades del catalán hablado en Aragón.
4. El Premio "Arnal Cavero", dirigido a fomentar y difundir la creación literaria y la traducción en cualquiera de las modalidades del aragonés.

2
DECRETO 22/2013, de 19 de febrero, del Gobierno de Aragón, por el que se regulan los premios a la creación literaria y al sector del libro en Aragón.
Respecto a los premios "Arnal Cavero" y "Guillem Nicolau", parece más oportuno fusionar las convocatorias por cuanto ambos estaban dirigidos a estimular la creación en las lenguas propias de Aragón, pasándose a denominar a partir de ahora "Arnal Cavero-Guillem Nicolau", manteniendo el mismo fin de estimular la creación en las lenguas y sus modalidades lingüísticas propias de Aragón...
… La propuesta será decidida por el Jurado por mayoría de votos de sus miembros, no pudiendo realizarse "ex aequo" pero sí declararse desierta.

3
El Heraldo de Aragón (30/4/2013):
El premio Miguel Labordeta 2012 y del premio Arnal Cavero-Guillem Nicolau 2012 han declarado por unanimidad desiertos ambos galardones.
El jurado del ... premio Arnal Cavero-Guillem Nicolau 2012 ha estado compuesto por Humberto Vadillo[1], Mª Luisa Arnal Purroy[2], Francho Beltrán Audera[3], Javier Lozano Sierra[4], Fernando Romanos Hernando[5] y Fernando Sánchez Pitarch[6].

4
See also Manifiesto de la comunidad científica internacional a favor del reconocimiento y dignificación de las lenguas minoritarias de Aragón (World university lecturers and researchers manifesto in favour of the recognition and dignity of Aragon’s minority languages)







A trilingual society (ppt) (2.5 Mb)

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Altres entrades sobre el català a l'Aragó / Other posts on Catalan in Aragon: 


[1] director general de Cultura
[2] Profesora Titular de Universidad (área de Lengua Española), Departamento de Lingüística General e Hispánica de la Universidad de Zaragoza
[3]Meteorologo d’o Gubierno de Nabarra (por oposizión y en escedenzia dende 2000) y Cheologo (Gubierno d’Aragón) (2000-autualidá)
[4] Coautor con Fernando Romanos Hernando de Al límite : la pervivencia del aragonés en las comarcas del norte de Zaragoza, Zaragoza : Diputación, 2003.
[5] Coautor con Javier Lozano Sierra de Al límite : la pervivencia del aragonés en las comarcas del norte de Zaragoza, Zaragoza : Diputación, 2003.
[6] licenciau en Sciencias Quimicas y estudioso de l'aragonés. Miembro de l'Academia de l'Aragonés y d'o Consello d'a Fabla Aragonesa


16 de maig 2013

Les lleis de llengües de l'Aragó de 2009 i 2013, comparades

Comparativa de la Ley 10/2009, de 22 de diciembre, de uso, protección y promoción de las lenguas propias de Aragón, i el Proyecto de Ley de uso, protección y promoción de las lenguas y modalidades lingüísticas propias de Aragón, aprovat el 9 de maig de 2013: http://cv.uoc.edu/~grc0_003638_web/Lleis_Arago_Comparativa2.pdf


LEY 3/2013, de 9 de mayo, de uso, protección y promoción de las lenguas y modalidades lingüísticas propias de Aragón.
http://www.boa.aragon.es/cgi-bin/EBOA/BRSCGI?CMD=VERDOC&BASE=BZHT&PIECE=BOLE&DOCR=1&SEC=BUSQUEDA_AVANZADA&RNG=10&SORT=-PUBL&SEPARADOR=&&@PUBL-GE=20130401&@PUBL-LE=20130601&RANG=LEY&SECC-C=BOA+O+DISPOSICIONES+O+PERSONAL+O+ACUERDOS+O+JUSTICIA+O+ANUNCIOS


Altres entrades sobre el català a l'Aragó / Other posts on Catalan in Aragon: 


10 de maig 2013

La Declaració de sobirania i el dret de decidir del poble de Catalunya


  • Margallo veu 'extraordinàriament difícil' que el govern espanyol presenti un recurs contra la declaració davant el Tribunal Constitucional perquè el text aprovat 'no té efectes jurídics', sinó que és una 'declaració retòrica' que caldrà plasmar després en 'accions concretes i normes amb conseqüències jurídiques que sí que podran ser objecte de recurs al TC'." El govern espanyol respon a la declaració de sobirania amb més amenaces, Vilaweb, 23 de gener de 2013. http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticia/4076856/20130123/govern-espanyol-respon-declaracio-sobirania-amenaces.html
  • Consejo de Estado: Dictámen 147/2013, "Procedencia de la impugnación de disposiciones sin fuerza de ley y resoluciones de las Comunidades Autónomas prevista en el artículo 161.2 de la Constitución en relación con la Resolución 5/X del Parlamento de Cataluña de 23 de enero de 2013 por la que se aprueba la "Declaración de soberanía y del derecho a decidir del pueblo de Cataluña" (28 de febrer de 2013). http://www.boe.es/buscar/doc.php?coleccion=consejo_estado&id=2013-147






26 d’abr. 2013

To a Friend in Michigan

The crisis has a three-pronged origin. Large companies (Telefonica, Repsol, Abertis...) owe vast amounts of money, largely for ambitious international expansion which in some cases has ended up in South American nationalisations (eg YPF).

Next, Spanish banks had lent in the form of mortgages that in part fuelled the building bubble vast amounts of money which came, as always, from account holders, but at least as much from foreign (mainly European) banks.

Finally, all the public authorities were well used, despite the 1992 Maastricht treaty requirements, to grossly overspend, relying on overseas loans at very low interest rates. All very well until confidence dropped and interest rates soared, eating up a disproportionate share of the budget. Central government reacted selfishly, raising taxes to its own benefit and drastically reducing its funding to regional authorities; and also imposing impossible regional deficit objectives. This has crippled the Catalan government (with flat rate funding, not related to GDP), which has been brought to its financial knees, with a scarcely veiled threat that this will go on till Catalonia drops its plans for independence.

As you say, the social costs are enormous, at a time (chicken or egg?) of widespread social discredit of the political... caste: particularly because of corruption charges (or hints), unfulfilled promises and the apparent inability to lead Spain out of the nose-diving economic crisis.

Only today we read of a single mother with three kids, on a €400 monthly income, with a court eviction order (she hasn't paid the rent since 2010) that the judge has had the decency to keep on hold until the authorities find a solution (which would surely be cheaper that paying an orphanage to take care of her kids). And a number of suicides when the evictors were banging on the door. Ugh!

On the identity/language/culture front, apart from VAT being hiked from 8% to 21% by central government, the tidal wave of the crisis has washed away or paralyzed key Catalan institutions that (largely) relied on Catalan and local government grants such as the Centre Unesco de Catalunya and (we fear) the Hospital de Sant Pau for instance. The only Catalan-owned airline (Spanair) also went bust. 

The crisis is also political. Spanish nationalism has intensified its attack on Catalonia's (highly successful) language-in-schools model with a flimsy application of the 'freedom' principle (surely schools are for teaching and should be regarded as black boxes left to the specialists to get on with their job, and with accurate and periodical evaluations of the level of attainment of schools objective in terms of knowledge, skills and values!). The last court injunction says that if just one Spanish-speaking family wants instruction through Spanish for their child, the whole of the rest of the class has to get it as well: an aberration if ever there was one, the confirmation that there are still 2nd class citizens in Catalonia. It is up to each school, according to the (contested) 2009 Catalan Education Act, to decide how much instruction their pupils need throught the medium of the non-default language, to ensure they all achieve the language proficiency requirements laid down by the system, but the court has stampeded over this law like a herd of maddened elephants.  To rub salt into the wound, the spokesman for the latest bout of parents is from the Argentine.


Miquel Strubell 
22 Apr 2013


19 d’abr. 2013

The Catalan language in US human rights reports

Extracts from the 


U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor's 

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices




The Law of the Catalan Language, approved by the Catalan regional legislature (Generalitat) in 1998, stipulates the use of Catalan as the official language in local government and administrative offices, regional courts, publicly owned corporations, and private companies subsidized by the Catalan regional government. Spanish-speaking citizens are provided with the right to be dealt with by public officials in Spanish. The legislation also establishes minimum quotas for Catalan-language radio and television programming. Many activists in Catalunya's Spanish-speaking community criticized the law for discriminating against Spanish-speaking citizens and imposing "linguistic hegemony" on a diverse population. Lawsuits regarding specific applications of this law are pending in various courts. Both Galicia and Valencia have laws stating the duty of the Government to "promote" their regional languages in schools and at official functions.

The Law of the Catalan Language, approved by the Catalan regional legislature (Generalitat) in 1998, stipulates the use of Catalan as the official language in local government and administrative offices, regional courts, publicly owned corporations, and private companies subsidized by the Catalan regional Government.  Spanish-speaking citizens have the right to be addressed in Spanish by public officials.  The legislation also establishes minimum quotas for Catalan-language radio and television programming.  Controversy continued over the language law implementing legislation and related regulatory measures.  Facing strong resistance from film distributors, the regional government in March annulled legislation that required foreign films distributed in sufficient quantities also to be dubbed and distributed in Catalan.
In June an administrative court in Tarragona considered a challenge to a local university regulation that imposed extensive use of Catalan in university affairs.  The court, although leaving some of the regulation intact and declaring itself not competent to rule on the constitutionality of the linguistic law, struck down several sections of the regulation.  For example, the court found that the regulation's treatment of certain administrative issues and a requirement that staff use Catalan at all public university functions exceeded university authority and autonomy and were not in conformance with other laws.  Another court challenge involved the propriety of the same university's discipline of a professor for supplying copies of the university entrance examination in Spanish, rather than Catalan, to two students requesting Spanish versions.  The court ruled in December that the professor was excluded wrongly from the administration of the examinations and praised her for defending the students' rights.  The court clearly implied that the university's regulation limiting access to the exmination in Spanish was discriminatory and said that it was permissible to foster the use of Catalan but not to do so in a manner that excludes or limits the use of Spanish.   The university administration responded that it had no intention of modifying its regulation and intended to appeal the continued suspension of certain aspects of the regulation.  Notwithstanding its response, in May it began supplying the entrance examination in Spanish to those who requested it. 

…The Law of the Catalan Language, approved by the Catalan regional legislature (Generalitat) in 1998, stipulates the use of Catalan as the official language in local government and administrative offices, regional courts, publicly owned corporations, and private companies subsidized by the Catalan regional Government.  Spanish-speaking citizens have the right to be addressed in Spanish by public officials.  The legislation also establishes minimum quotas for Catalan-language radio and television programming.  Some controversy continued over the implementing legislation and related regulatory measures. 

The Law of the Catalan Language, approved by the Catalan regional legislature (Generalitat) in 1998, stipulates the use of Catalan as the official language in local government and administrative offices, regional courts, publicly owned corporations, and private companies subsidized by the Catalan regional Government. Spanish-speaking citizens had the right to be addressed in Spanish by public officials. The legislation also established minimum quotas for Catalan-language radio and television programming. Some controversy continued over the implementing legislation and related regulatory measures.

The Law of the Catalan Language stipulated the use of Catalan as the official language in local government and administrative offices, regional courts, publicly owned corporations, and private companies subsidized by the Catalan regional Government. Spanish-speaking citizens had the right to be addressed in Spanish by public officials. The legislation also established minimum quotas for Catalan-language radio and television programming.
During the year, the Catalan regional government signed an agreement with various socio-economic institutions to increase the use of the Catalan language in public places. The Catalan Government also rejected the Government's decree mandating a specific number of Castilian Spanish language classes in all autonomous regions, calling it an "invasion" of autonomous responsibilities. Critics contended that efforts to promote the use of non-Castilian languages made it more difficult for Castilian speakers to live and work in those areas.

Citizens have filed more than 445 complaints with the Catalan regional government denouncing the lack of compliance with the law on linguistic policy, which requires that Catalan be the official language but provides Spanish-speaking citizens the right to be addressed in their native language. The Catalan Government has penalized the Post Office for repeatedly failing to comply with Catalan law.

-

In the autonomous province of Catalonia, Catalan and Castilian are both official languages and both may be used in official institutions as well as in schools. However, during the year both Spanish and Catalan ombudsmen received isolated complaints of alleged discrimination against the use of either Castilian or Catalan (see section 5).
During the year the national ombudsman received approximately 50 complaints related to alleged discrimination in Catalonia, where both Castilian and Catalan are official languages, against the teaching of the Castilian language. During the year the Catalan ombudsman received 10 complaints related to discrimination against the teaching or use of the Castilian language and 33 complaints about the failure to use the Catalan language in Catalan official institutions (these complaints were from persons who wished to be served in Catalan but were served in Castilian), although the law requires that civil servants dealing with the public be able to speak both languages. Critics on one side asserted that limiting education in Castilian reduced opportunities for Catalans who wish to live or work outside Catalonia or who simply wish to speak Castilian, and circumscribed the opportunities of Castilian speakers in Catalonia. Others, however, insist on their right to be served in the Catalan language.

In October an estimated 5,000 writers, politicians, journalists, publishers, academicians, actors, and filmmakers reportedly signed a manifesto criticizing the firing of Cristina Peri, a writer/journalist for Catalunya Radio who said she was fired for speaking in Castilian rather than Catalan.

The controversy regarding official language policies continued, with complaints that current policies offend the right to an education in the "mother tongue," or Castilian Spanish. In 2007 the ombudsman received approximately 100 complaints regarding Catalonia's linguistic policies, and in March the "Platform in Defense of the Freedom of Choice in Language Election" filed a formal complaint against a school in the Basque Country.  The school had refused to offer all classes in Spanish. 
In October 2007 an estimated 5,000 writers, politicians, journalists, academicians, actors, and filmmakers signed a manifesto criticizing Cataluña Radio for firing a journalist for speaking in Castilian (Spanish), rather than Catalan (Catalonia's regional language).

In October 2008 Reporters without Borders identified ETA for threatening journalists, contending that several journalists in the country required personal protection or chose to leave the Basque Country due to such threats; the judicial sentence against the weekly El Jueves for printing an obscene cartoon of the prince and princess of Asturias; the summoning of daily Gara and Deia editors by a court for the publication of satirical images of King Juan Carlos; the Partido Popular's boycott of Grupo Prisa; and the firing of Cristina Peri Rossi by radio station Cataluña Radio for speaking in Castilian rather than Catalan.
The controversy regarding official language policies continued, with complaints that current policies offend the right to an education in the "mother tongue," or Castilian Spanish. In 2007 the ombudsman received approximately 100 complaints regarding Catalonia's linguistic policies, and in March 2008 the NGO Platform in Defense of the Freedom of Choice in Language Election filed a formal complaint against a school in the Basque Country. The school had refused to offer all classes in Spanish.
In April, 39 doctors at the sole hospital on Ibiza (one of the Balearic Islands) announced their decision to leave their jobs due to a new requirement that doctors be tested for fluency in Catalan. The decree, approved by the Balearic government on March 27, requires that doctors working in public service speak Catalan and provides a window of three years for them to learn it. The doctors' union asserted that the requirement was not for public benefit but rather the result of a "political obsession." In response to the decree, 2,500 persons participated in a demonstration protesting the Catalan language requirement.
According to security forces, 4,000 persons participated in a demonstration in Barcelona in September 2008 to protest the government's linguistic policies and to defend the right to have school classes taught in Castilian.

The controversy regarding official language policies continued, with some persons complaining that policies in Catalonia interfered with receiving an education in the country's majority language, Castilian Spanish. Likewise, there were instances of Catalan speakers raising concerns that the Catalan language was not equally favored.
On December 22, the Supreme Court ruled that Castilian Spanish must become a "vehicular language" or lingua franca in Catalonia's educational system. The decision involved three separate cases of Spanish-speaking parents pursuing legal action against the Catalan education system. The ruling came during the transition to the new Catalan government. Both the outgoing and incoming administrations defended the existing education model and maintained that the decision pertained to three individual cases and that no changes were needed in Catalan language policies. Catalan leaders in favor of the existing language-immersion model claimed that students could become equally proficient in Catalan and Spanish.
On September 14, the Catalan parliament approved a decree that will require new full-time professors at public and private universities to take a language examination before they are hired to prove that they have "C-level" (medium-high oral and writing communication level) proficiency in Catalan. The decree permits universities to exempt full-time research staff or professors teaching in a foreign language from the requirement. To prevent the loss of talented professors, universities can, in some cases, delay the test for up to two years after the actual date of hire. Some universities and educators criticized the decree as discriminatory, especially if the language of instruction is not Catalan.

On September 2, Catalonia’s Superior Court ordered the regional government to comply within two months with a 2010 Spanish Supreme Court ruling that Spanish become a vehicular language in Catalonia’s public schools. As of year's end, the Catalan government had not complied with the ruling. Catalan president Artur Mas staunchly defended the current educational model and stated that Catalonia’s language policy is a “red line” not to be crossed. Advocates of the Catalan immersion model cited studies showing that Catalan public school students performed as well as their counterparts in other parts of Spain on Spanish language proficiency tests.

2012 http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/eur/204341.htm

Recent Elections: National elections in November 2011 were considered free and fair, as were regional elections during the year in Andalusia, Asturias, Galicia, the Basque Country, and Catalonia*

In April the Supreme Court confirmed the suspension of seven articles of Barcelona’s regulations on the use of Catalan in the city hall that required all public documents and any oral communications to be presented in Catalan.

* Webmaster's note:  However, of the 155,923 Catalan living abroad who were registered on October 5 2012 to vote in the snap November 25 2012 election, called on the independence issue only 6% received the voting papers in time and were able to vote, as stated in the documents taken to court. This scandal was widely reported in the press, as being a deliberate strategy on the part of the Spanish government to reduce votes in favour of pro-independence parties. This is not mentioned in the 2012 Report.