Firm fined over Catalan law
12 February 2004
BARCELONA – A businessman was fined EUR 600 for not printing labels in Catalan as well as Spanish, it was reported Thursday.
The businessman, who owns a construction company, was fined by the Catalonia Department of Work, Industry, Commerce and Tourism, for failing to comply with the Catalan law.
He had printed labels and other documentation, which would have been seen by the public, in only Spanish and not in Catalan, which is an official language in the region.
The case has created unease among business people in Catalonia.
Alexander Goni, president of Pimec-Sefes Commercial, told EFE that the
business community understood that the law had to be complied with, but this decision “created unease among many small businesses” who need to be treated differently.
Goni complained that there a large number of Catalan, Spanish and
European norms that business people have to take into account.
He said the regional government did not appear to understand the complexity of the situation.
Goni added that he did not think that this would be helped by the attitude of the Catalonian regional government in handing out this fine.
Goni argued that this fine, together with the attitude of the Catalan
government, will not encourage the business community to comply with these laws.
He said the Catalan government should try to convince businesses to comply with the law, not punish them.
Many businesses in Catalonia have to display any notices in both Catalan and Spanish. In almost every aspect of public life, Catalan must be as prominently represented as Spanish.
The language law is a symbol of the independence of the region, which was suppressed for many years under the Franco dictatorship.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news