A CONTROVERSIAL law scrapping Spanish as the common language in schools has been slammed as ‘linguistic genocide’ by critics.
The educational reform, which was passed yesterday, has caused fractures within parliament after it was introduced by the left-wing coalition as part of the education bill.
Although Spanish is not the first language in many schools across the Basque Country and Catalonia this bill, introduced by the left-wing coalition, would erase the clause that enshrines Spanish as the ‘vehicular language’.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government backed the bill, saying it reflected the reality of Spain.
The Basque, Catalan and Galician tongues were repressed by Franco after the end of the civil war in 1939 and until the dictator’s death in 1975.
Today the topic of the predominant language has remained fraught, particularly for parents who remain divided on the importance of protecting the region’s language and concerns that children will leave school without being able to read or write Spanish.
Spanish is the first language of about 322 million people worldwide, while 9.1million people can speak Catalan, 4million speak Galician and 1million know Basque.
The bill which seeks to ensure that all languages spoken in Spain have equal status has proved incredibly divisive.
César Antonio Molina, a former director of the Instituto Cervantes, which promotes Spanish culture, said that if the language is attacked “the very edifice of the state suffers a serious blow”.