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European Parliament orders Barcelona office to use Spanish

An MEP complained that Catalan was the only language used in the office’s corporate image and signage

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16 January 2018 06:00 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The European Parliament information office in Barcelona is to include Spanish in its corporate image, as ordered by the institution president Antonio Tajani following complaints by a Spanish MEP on the exclusive use of Catalan.

The office will be required to add Spanish to all “corporate signs and furniture,” as well as to “the creation of its corporate image”. The changes, said Tajani, are to be made “in the shortest period of time.”

In a letter sent last October, the Spanish MEP Enrique Calvet complained that Catalan was the only language used in the corporate image of the office. He deemed it as “unacceptable and illegal” for the EP to allow visitors of one of its offices to find information only in Catalan.

According to Calvet, the fact that the same information could not be found in Spanish dismisses the fact that Spanish—and not Catalan—is the only official language in all of Spain, as well as in the EU.

Tajani also ordered the office to change the description on its website, which now states that “the main office of the institution has its headquarters in Madrid, and there is another office open to the public in Barcelona.”

Another letter to the European Commission

Calvet also sent a letter to the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, asking him to follow Tajani’s paths in ordering the EU delegation in Barcelona to use Spanish in all signs too. “The anthena in Barcelona is to serve Europeans, just like any other, and it can’t be a tool in the hands of separatism,” he wrote.

The Commission opened a delegation in Barcelona in 1991. In 1998, the European Parliament created the information office. Both institutions are located in the same building and share most of the facilities.

Calvet dismissed Catalan as a “Franco-Spanish regional language”, and said it was inacceptable for it to displace and exclude the use of Spanish. He criticizes people heading the institutions for letting the situation go on for more than 25 years, thus failing “to do anything to resolve this political and social aberration”.

 

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  • The European Parliament president Antonio Tajani at a plenasy session on October 4 (by European Parliament)

  • The European Parliament president Antonio Tajani at a plenasy session on October 4 (by European Parliament)