Spaniards demand an equal voice in Catalonia

21st January 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 January 2005, BARCELONA-A group of cultural associations in Catalonia, in north-east Spain have demanded equal treatment for Spaniards along with Catalans.

21 January 2005

BARCELONA-A group of cultural associations in Catalonia, in north-east Spain have demanded equal treatment for Spaniards along with Catalans.

The group, which includes associations from Andalusia in southern Spain, have also demanded that "Castellano (Spanish) and Catalan receive the same treatment" without discrimination".

The group have produced a 'manifesto' in an effort to promote 'pluralism' in Catalonia.

The move highlights regional disparities in Spain and how strongly Catalan is promoted as opposed to Spanish in Catalonia.

A law, introduced by the regional government or Generalitat, protects the Catalan language.

One part of the law forces businesses to print notices in both Spanish and Catalan or face fines for not complying with the so-called 'linguistic law'.

The issue was also highlighted last year when Catalan nationalists hoped to have their first international sports team, in the form of the roller hockey squad.

The sport achieved centre stage in the on-going conflict between Madrid and Catalonia after the International Roller Skating Federation decided to allow a Catalan national team in the qualifying rounds of the sport's world B championships and introduced a new national anthem and a new flag to international sport.
Catalonia went on to win the competition.

Leaders of Catalonia's semi-autonomous government said that roller skating had opened the door to world recognition that their country, like Scotland or Wales, could be treated, on the sports field at least, as a nation in its own right.

The roller skating federation of the Basque country, another region demanding more autonomy from Madrid, has also requested that it be allowed to compete separately from Spain.

But the International Roller Skating Federation refused to recognise the right of the Catalonian team to compete in international competitions, reawakening tensions between Madrid and Catalonian nationalists.

The row posed a dilemma for the future Spanish government of the Socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

In response, a Catalan nationalist politician, Josep Carod Rovira, demanded Catalans did not support Madrid's support for the 2012 Olympics bid.

But he was forced to retract his words after businesses elsewhere in Spain boycotted Catalan cava in response.

The business group is made up of the Andalusian Cultural Organisation in Catalonia and the Federation of Regional (Cultural) Houses.

They said they were not invited to take part in the reform of the Catalan regional government.

"Aren't we all Catalan citizens, can't we all participate as Catalan citizens?" asked Bienve Moya, from a group called The Other Andalusians. 

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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