Paul Preston: comparing current Spanish language's situation in Catalonia to Franco's repression of Catalan is "ridiculous"
The renowned Hispanicist Paul Preston, Professor of International History at the London School of Economics (LSE), received an honorary PhD from Tarragona’s Rovira i Virgili University (URV) on Friday. Before the ceremony, Preston seized the opportunity to state that comparing the Spanish language's current situation in Catalonia to that of the Catalan language during Franco's dictatorship "is ridiculous". "In 35 years no one told me anything for not speaking Catalan", he said in perfect Catalan. Preston's remarks follow controversial statements by the Spanish Minister for Education José Ignacio Wert on Wednesday. In particular, the Spanish Minister was recorded stating that "the situation of Spanish [language] in the education system of Catalonia, limited to being used as a non-tuition language, like any foreign language, is comparable to the situation of Catalan [language] in the times they like so much to remember", referring to Franco's dictatorship.