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We condemn Spanish language supremacism at the Frankfurt Alternative Book Fair

Maria de Lluc Muñoz, Plataforma per la Lengua's international officer, takes part in a round table on Spain's language minorities together with representatives of the Basque Country and Galicia

The round table was organised as part of BeyondSpain, an alternative to the Frankfurt Fair which this year had Spain as a guest country

Plataforma per la Llengua took part in a round table in Frankfurt on discrimination against language minorities in Spain as part of the Alternative Book Fair, an initiative organised in parallel with the official fair, which this year had Spain as a guest country. The discussion was held on 21 October as part of BeyondSpain: Peoples' Book Fair and Alternative Events.

Maria de Lluc Muñoz, the organisation's international officer, spoke about the situation of Catalan at an event that also looked in depth at the position of Basque and Galician, with contributions from Fito Rodríguez, from the University of the Basque Country, and Marcos Maceiras, chair of the Galician Language Normalisation Board. Each speaker spoke in their own language and three interpreters translated them into German.

During her speech, Muñoz explained that "the hierarchy between languages created by the Spanish Constitution generates superior rights for Spanish speakers and inferior rights for speakers of other languages, which are governed by the principle of territoriality and are limited by administrative considerations". For Muñoz, "this means that, although Spanish is also a regional language, Article 3 of the Spanish Constitution makes it the only official language of the State as a whole, imposing on all citizens the duty to know it and guaranteeing them the right to use it throughout the State, while other languages can only be official in particular territories if they are traditional there". 

The Plataforma per la Llengua's international officer also took the opportunity to denounce the systematic breach of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) by the Spanish State and the attempt by the country's judicial system to end language immersion teaching, even though the system enjoys political and social consensus. Muñoz also spoke about different initiatives by the organisation to combat the language emergency and recover the social use of Catalan, such as the campaign "Activa't per la llengua" or "Tots som referents linguistics. No t'excusis!"

In addition to this round table on language minorities, talks on historical memory and repression, cultural and literary activities and book stalls were also organised as part of the Frankfurt Alternative Book Fair. BeyondSpain was intended to offer a safe space for cultural and literary creativity in minority languages and champion minorities' language rights, anti-fascism and anti-colonialism.

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