By John Ensor •
Published: 16 Sep 2023 • 10:10
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The many provincial languages in use throughout Spain are the source of much debate. However, a recent incident has led to criticism of one council in particular.
Recently, the Plataforma por la Lengua (platform for language), self-proclaimed as the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) of Catalan, voiced concerns over the Council of Alicante’s decision to exclusively use Spanish and English in a tax campaign, while at the same time leaving out the Valencian language, writes ABC.
Historically, the council has opted for English, recognising the significant British and European populace in some of the province’s renowned tourist hotspots. This approach was strategically chosen to streamline communication with taxpayers.
However, the Plataforma por la Lengua is not just concerned about this isolated incident. They’ve taken issue with the recent campaign, accusing the provincial institution, under the leadership of Toni Perez, of consistently sidelining the Valencian language. They pointed out instances like the 2021 ‘Wines of Alicante’ campaign and the glaring absence of Valencian on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter (now known as X).
The promotion and regular use of Valencian is legally recognised as per the Statute of Autonomy. However, it’s worth noting that while it is a right, it is not mandatory. The documents they reference clarify that it is not a binding requirement for provincial councils. Yet, they emphasise that the legislation ‘proclaims Valencian as the language of the Valencian country’.
The Plataforma’s appeal is straightforward and heartfelt. They urge Suma, the tax authority of the Provincial Council of Alicante, to consider the prevalent use of Valencian in their communication campaigns. This includes not just official documents but also in more public displays like poster designs.
They stress that the issue hasn’t been raised without good reason. It was brought to light following a citizen’s grievance. This is just one among over 50 such complaints received this year, painting a picture of a community that feels ‘discrimination against Valencian speakers’.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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