Plataforma per la Llengua, the non-governmental organisation that defends equal language rights in Catalonia, deplored today the two sentences of the Catalan High Court of Justice (TSJC) on the Catalan educational system, and on the language guidelines of Barcelona City Council that grant Catalan a "preferential use".
According to the organisation, these two sentences impose the use of Spanish in Catalonia and perpetuate the legal discrimination against Catalan-speaking citizens in Spain. These sentences consecrate what the organisation calls "the Spanish linguistic anomaly": Spain is the only state in the European Union where a language of the size of Catalan is not recognised as official in the entire territory of the state. This fact "entails serious consequences in the life of Catalan-speaking citizens and reinforces the perception that in Spain there are first-class and second-class citizens, depending on the language they speak".
Plataforma per la Llengua has also stressed that there are more than 500 legal norms that impose the use of Spanish in Catalonia. This denies Catalan-speaking citizens their equal rights. Far from rectifying this unacceptable situation, the TSJC makes it worse with the sentences dictated today. Indeed, during the whole of 2011 the TSJC issued only 1,5% of its sentences written in Catalan. This bias in favour of one of the two official languages contradicts the principle of equal rights that should guide every democratic system, as well as precisely the demand made in the TSJC's sentences that the Catalan administrations should respect the language choice of the citizens.
Regarding the sentence on the educational system, Plataforma per la Llengua stresses that the Catalan school model guarantees knowledge of both official languages by all Catalan children. This has been recognised on a number of occasions by the European institutions, and most recently by the human rights report of the State Department of the USA. By instituting the segregation of children by language, the TSJC is depriving Spanish-speaking children of their right to learn both official languages. Plataforma per la Llengua has expressed its concern over the political bias of both sentences.