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Joaquim Forn: "Catalan will continue to be the Council's working language"

posted 31/05/2012 at 20:38 h. - Redacció Bcn.cat -

The City Council has reviewed the ruling from the High Court of Justice of Catalonia which strikes out several of the provisions from the regulations governing the use of the Catalan language. The First Deputy Mayor, Joaquim Forn, believes the ruling will change nothing regarding the day-to-day relations between city residents and the Council. Seven provisions in all, though some only partially, have been struck out. The Council is to study the possibility of lodging an appeal to the Spanish Supreme Court.

'Joaquim Forn's Declarations' video

Barcelona City Council has reviewed the ruling from the High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) striking out several provisions, some wholly and others partially, from the regulations governing the use of Catalan in the City Council. The First Deputy Mayor, JoaquimForn, made it very clear that Catalan would "continue to be the Council's working language".

Forn bemoaned that fact that "even today we still have to fight for the full recognition and daily use of Catalan" and stressed that the striking out of the term "preferential" resulted from the Spanish Constitutional Court's ruling on the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia.

The ruling strikes out the words "preferential" and "preferentially" from Article 2. The ruling retains the Article as a whole and therefore supports the position of Catalan as Barcelona City Council's official and regular working language and the need for the use of Catalan in municipal work and relations.

According to Joaquim Forn, "it is evident the Regulations safeguard the rights of all citizens" and called for the language issue not to be used as tool for political confrontation. "It is sad that even today some people still see the language as a problem, when it is really the essence of the country and a collective asset", he stated. The First Deputy Mayor insisted that the ruling would "not change any of the day-to-day aspects of the relationship between Barcelona City Council and city residents".

For example, the ruling keeps Article 3 of the Regulations intact, where it is explicitly stipulated that the Council's internal activities are to be conducted in Catalan, as well as the minutes of meetings and the drafting of documents by the Council's administrative units. So, too, printed matter, office signs, labels and other analogous elements must be written in Catalan. Administrative procedures carried outby the Council must be conducted in Catalan, without prejudice to the right enjoyed by citizens to submit documents and receive notifications in Spanish.

The regulations were challenged by the conservative, Spanish nationalist Partido Popular of Catalonia (PP) political group, which called for the striking out of a total of 25 provisions "and any other provisions that the Court may deem appropriate". The PP municipal group had challenged over half of the rules in the Regulations governing the use of the Catalan language. Finally, Chamber 5 of the Judicial Review Division of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) has struck out 7 provisions, some of these only partially. The City Council has instructed its judicial services to analyse the ruling in detail and study the possibility of lodging an appeal to the Spanish Supreme Court.

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