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Sánchez government comes in for criticism over tweets in Catalan

Many Spanish users of social media respond negatively to gesture aimed at building bridges



10 July 2018 12:15 PM


ACN | Barcelona

Monday’s meeting between the Catalan and Spanish presidents appears to have gone as well as could be expected. Described as “cordial” and “productive,” both sides were keen to make constructive gestures and rebuild bridges.

An example were two tweets in Catalan, posted by Spanish president Pedro Sánchez and by an official government account. Yet, not everyone appreciated the gesture, with Sánchez and his government coming in for widespread criticism from many Spanish users of social media.

Soon after the meeting between Sánchez and Catalan president Quim Torra, the Spanish president tweeted -first in Spanish and then in Catalan- the following message: “A political crisis requires a political solution. This meeting is a constructive starting point for the normalization of relations.”

This was followed by a tweet from the president’s official residence, La Moncloa, which said: “More than two hours of a cordial and correct meeting between the two presidents. This is a first step. Now we must go forward together.”

However, many Spanish Twitter users clearly did not welcome the gesture and left highly critical comments below the timelines of both accounts. In many cases, it was not so much the fact of the meeting itself or its content that seemed to rile most of the commentators, but the fact that Sánchez and La Moncloa had chosen to post in Catalan. Nor did the fact that both accounts had also posted the messages in Spanish appear to appease the critics.

“SPEAK IN SPANISH,” said one comment

Examples of comments left by some of the dissatisfied Twitter users include a reminder to Sánchez that “the official language in Spain is Spanish,” while another demanded (in capital letters): “SPEAK IN SPANISH.”

Meanwhile, another user pointed out that despite Catalan being one of Spain’s official languages, the only one that is official for the whole of the state is Spanish “and the account addresses Spaniards.”

There were also comments that took a harder line. One user accused the posters of being “good-for-nothings,” while another referred to Sánchez as an “okupa” [squatter] and demanded the president “call an election!”

More than one comment also accused Sánchez of being subservient to Torra, accusing the president of “lowering his trousers,” a vulgar expression in Spanish to refer to a willingness to make excessive concessions.


  • The Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, during his meeting with Quim Torra on July 9, 2018 (by Rafa Garrido)

  • The Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, during his meeting with Quim Torra on July 9, 2018 (by Rafa Garrido)