by Humphrey Carter

“You should not and can not shut the Majorcans up” Socialist MP Isabel Oliver told the ruling Partido Popular in Parliament yesterday as the dispute over the government's new language laws gathers momentum across the island.

With pensioners on hunger strikes and schools and colleges flying bows in the colour of King James's flag, Balearic Prime Minister, Jose Ramon Bauza, may have bitten off more than he can chew by “demoting” Catalan and no longer making it a requisite for people wishing to become a civil servant or hold any other senior job such as a doctor or lawyer.

Oliver said that the flying of the bows in the colour of the flag of King James, who conquered Majorca, is a clear statement by the Majorcan people that they want to protect and preserve their language and culture.

Oliver warned the PP that these bows are now becoming a symbol of the fight to protect Catalan from gradually disappearing in the Balearics over coming generations and that the public, as we have seen over recent weeks with the mass marches, is becoming increasingly determined to force the government into a climb down.

Even the Partido Popular is split with more metropolitan members in favour of the new laws while, away from the more cosmopolitan areas and in the island's heartland, members of the centre right ruling party, oppose the demotion of Catalan. It pays to talk, but in what language. Confusion rules.


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