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- Spain Dismisses Catalonia Government After Region Declares Independence
Spain's deputy prime minister Carmen Calvo. He returned to Brussels after his release, where he has been living in exile ever since. Please contact us for subscription options. Related topics Carmen Calvo Catalan separatist parties dialogue initiative independence referendum Pedro Sanchez socialist minority government Spain.
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Catalan leader faces temporary removal from office. Man dies in deadly floods in Northern Spain. Spain hammer France to win Women's EuroBasket. Italy extends duration of missile system in SE Turkey.
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Despite uncertainty, Spain sets date to form government. Spain appeals court to close Catalan missions abroad. Franco imposed Spanish-only schooling across the country. The result was that in the s, Catalan — a centuries-old Romance language related to Spanish, French and Italian - was spoken mostly among family and friends.
Spain Dismisses Catalonia Government After Region Declares Independence
But when Spain restored democracy in , a new constitution gave Catalonia and other regions control over their education and health systems. Gradually, it beefed up teaching in Catalan. Catalan has also become the language of the local government here and of businesses. There has been an intense government campaign to promote product labels and signs in shops in Catalan.
Public sector jobs demand Catalan proficiency. Half of theater productions in Catalonia are in Catalan, and the biggest newspaper, La Vanguardia, started a Catalan edition three years ago that now accounts for 45 percent of its print sales. In the northern areas of Catalonia, such as Girona, Castilian is little-used. Ana Losada last year formed the Assembly for Bilingual Education, a group that is helping parents to petition schools in Catalonia to adopt a Spanish-Catalan teaching system.
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Losada grew up in Catalonia and says she was well-served by a mix of Spanish and Catalan in the schools in the s, when the system was still transitioning to Catalan-only. Education Superintendent Rigau says the full-immersion system has not penalized Spanish proficiency and that the vast majority of families are happy with it because their children end up being bilingual.
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She speaks Spanish with a deep Catalan accent and says a half-and-half system is a bad idea, because the smaller language of Catalan has to be over-protected or it will disappear. Many teenagers, for instance, turn away from Catalan to plug into pop-culture references that are mostly in Spanish. At the Sant Miquel school near cosmopolitan Barcelona, most children come from Spanish-speaking homes.