dilluns, 24 de maig del 2004

This letter was published in the "Irish Independent" newspaper

For years, the Catalan people has looked at Ireland as an example of how a nation dominated by another has been able to win its independence. For this reason, from Catalonia we see with surprise how Ireland, together with France, is blocking the possibility that the Catalan language could be official language in the European Union. We can expect it from France, since they have almost eliminated the Catalan language from Northern Catalonia (the part of Catalonia given to France by Spanish (sic) kings in 1659) and they have killed languages like occitan, breton, basque and Catalan in their territory.
But what I cannot understand is why Ireland, a nation without a state until they win their Independence from England, can block that a language spoken by 10 milion people to be official in the European Union. We have faced attempts of linguistic genocide and prosecution by the Spanish Kings and dictatorships since 1714 until the dead of dictator General Franco (1975). Finally, after years, we have convinced the Spanish government to press for the officiality of our language in EU, so why Ireland is blocking this? Notice that Catalan is the 7th language of Europe by number of population speaking it.
May be is that we will second class europeans? may we do not deserve, at least, the same rights of gaelic speaker population? If European Union has to be a success, I am sure it will not be until national minorities and rights become respected and protected. We expected support by Ireland, but I see how fast you have forgotten the Independence days and how you suffered to win.
I am sure that many Irish people do not agree with this attitude of Irish Government, for this reason, we beg your support, please send us an email to omolist@hotmail.com, expressing your support to our language being official, we will forward all this emails to Irish Prime Minister.

Signed: Oriol Molist, Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain, until we can be free, hopefully before 2050)