Dear Sir, The Balearic government is doing irreperable damage to the children here in Majorca, with the compulsory teaching and learning in the Catalan language. The effect of this will be obvious in a few years time, it will strike every school-going child of whatever nationality that goes to a Spanish school here on Majorca. Obviously, as a foreigner, I will be told my opening statement is hard cheese. If you want to live here, you have to abide by their rules. But we should still be allowed to question decisions, or not?

I was one of the silent majority in this world. “Que sera, sera...” And I can be very apathetic, something I'm not proud of. But being apathetic doesn't mean you don't care, it means, in most cases, feeling impotent, isolated, accept what comes and make the best of it. Maybe this sounds irrational, but many of us will identify with it. I will happily go back to being apathetic if this letter has no effect at all, it will prove I was right in the first place. The problem is the Catalan language. It's a problem for the foreigners here, especially the young ones. Also to a similar degree it affects the Spanish families. And serious damage will be done to the young Majorcans. Who are they going to talk to when they finish school? Soon they won't be able to read, write, or even speak Castilian Spanish. And the only jobs they can look forward to are as shop-keepers, labourers, or government employees. It's sad that this government can be so short-sighted and so wrong. I've met many Majorcans, and heard of many more, that are not happy with the language changes that are being made in the education system, even though they may have voted for this government in the last elections. But they didn't vote for this.

Why can't there be a referendum on such an important issue? Not a politically challenging referendum, which I'm sure it would be used as, but as a guide to what the people really want in this issue. By inflicting compulsory teaching and learning in Catalan, they, the government, knowingly try to inconvenience the foreigners here, but also misguidedly hurt their own people more. These children will have few extra opportunities here, and far less opportunities elsewhere. But the government are succeeding in driving out the foreigners, families have left and children are sent away to study as it is impossible to finish school here.

Parents want the best opportunities for their children. I don't believe there are any that don't, it doesn't matter where you come from. So why does everybody accept this compulsory brain-washing, and the amputation of possibilities from our children's future? The invasion of Majorca, which I'm sure is the cause of this government's philosophy will not cease, it's the result of business that they've courted and still encourage. It's self inflicted. And just as other countries, for more liberal reasons, have allowed large influxes of foreigners, so Majorca's way of life has changed. It's a type of evolution, or pollution, depending on your viewpoint. Obviously, the government take the second view. And they are entitled to it. However, can they decide to act this drastically without the clear mandate of their electorate?

I'm writing this letter to you, as you reach a far greater audience than I ever will. Can't it be that others, regardless of their nationality, would like to voice their opinion on this matter? And what exactly does the press say about this themselves? Couldn't you organise a poll through your contacts to find the real feelings of the people here? Couldn't the press get together to contact everybody here to force some kind of show of hands, signatures, anything to prove that this matter has gone far enough. Quite rightly, we are not trusted to vote in referendums very often, as we, the public, are not well informed or can't understand complex issues. But we all understand this one. Perhaps it's the government that doesn't.

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