The report of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by Spain, published yesterday, warns the Spanish state over its languages policy towards languages other than Castilian.
One of the most criticised issues reported by the document is the scarce presence of non-state languages in the courts and the state administration offices as well as in state owned companies such as RENFE (train transport), Telefónica and Correos (postal service). The report recommends the Spanish authorities "to ensure the presence of all regional or minority languages in state owned public services".
For the Committee of Ministers the case of the Asturian language deserves special attention, as Spain must consider the possibilities of improving the current level of protection provided by the Statute of Autonomy of Asturias to the community's own language. Similarly, it urges Madrid to take steps to adopt a specific legal framework for protecting and promoting Aragonese and Catalan in Aragon, the autonomous community's own languages.
The document also insists that the Government should clarify the status of and, where appropriate, protect and promote the following languages: Galician in Castile and León, Portuguese in the town of Olivenza, Tamazight in the Autonomous City of Melilla and Arabic in the Autonomous City of Ceuta. It also underlines that very little attention is devoted to linguistic diversity by the state Spanish media and that there still seems to be a lack of awareness among the Castilian-speaking majority population that Spain is a plurilingual country.
Support to the immersion teaching education
Besides, the members of the Committee of Ministers have referred to the immersion teaching system implemented in Catalonia as admirable, and have called for the implementation of such model in other territories.
The news has been reported by media and websites in Spain. Kontseilua and diariovasco.com in the Basque Country, A Mesa pola Normalización Lingüística and La Voz de Galicia in Galicia, and Avui, Vilaweb and Racó Català in the Catalan Countries. In Aragon, at aragóndigital.es and El Periódico de Extremadura in Extremadura. The news has also been reported by state (El País and La Vanguardia) and international media (Eurolang).
- European Charter for Minority and Regional Languages website
- Report by the Committee of Ministers [pdf]