JxCat announces final break with linguistic policy law reform
Party argues agreement does not dodge "imposition" to teach 25% of classes in Spanish and will present an alternative proposal
BarcelonaAfter a month and a half's deadlock in Parliament and ill-fated negotiations, Together for Catalonia (JxCat) opted for a final break with the 24 May agreement for the use of Catalan in schools, signed alongside ERC, PSC and En Comú. As reported at a press conference by party spokesman Josep Rius, the leadership has unanimously agreed "not to participate in any reform of the law on language policy". JxCat, which had already withdrawn from the pact shortly after it was announced arguing the support of pro-language organisations was needed, now concludes the reform does not enjoy sufficient political, educational and linguistic "consensus", and that it has not prevented Catalonia's High Court from "imposing" the "forced execution of the 25%-in-Spanish ruling", giving the Catalan government 15 days to enforce it.
JxCat decided not to yield to pressure from other parties, which it accused of not accepting "any of the conditions" it had set to endorse the reform in the Parliament and, in the coming days –according to Rius– it will transfer a "concrete proposal" to the Catalan Government on how to "protect immersion". The spokesman did not want to give details of this proposal, which will later be shared with organisations and parties, but he made it clear that it will not involve "adapting" the language policy law to an "unjust sentence". "After the High Court order it has been proven [...] it will not work to protect immersion," he said. JxCat has ruled out "disobedience" for lack of support and has set three conditions: maintaining Catalan as a vehicular language, protecting boards and teachers through a government-approved linguistic policy and maintaining linguistic immersion and separate classrooms for new arrivals.
Accusation of "disloyalty"
With this move JxCat puts the ball in ERC's court, which has to decide if it goes ahead with the reform it agreed with the PSC and En Comú, but without its coalition partner – with the impact this could have for executive's stability – or whether it gives in and accepts to explore an alternative to respond to the High Court ruling. Rius regretted that other parties involved in the original agreement have accused JxCat of "obstructionism" and has even accused them of "disloyalty", an implicit attack on ERC. Even so, he kept his harshest words for the socialists. "In the defence of the Catalan language JxCat does not accept lessons from any party and even less so from the PSC", he affirmed, to conclude that JxCat will not endorse any measure that means a "setback" for the Catalan language.