Palma/Madrid.—The leader of the Spanish National Socialist Party in the Balearic Islands Francina Armengol has accused the Partido Popular of undertaking “a crusade” against the use of Catalan in the Islands, allegedly with the aim of imposing Castilian Spanish as the leading language of the regional government.

Armengol was speaking at a tribunal yesterday in Madrid presenting an objection to a proposal by the Balearic government that Catalan should no longer be a pre-requisite to securing a job in the Civil Service.

Armengol was making her objection yesterday along with Socialist Senators Francesc Antich and Antoni Manchado who were expressing their concern at what they considered to be an essential part of the Balearic constitutional text and that is that there are two official languages in the Balearics.

Antich, a former President of the Balearic Islands said that on other occasions in other parts of the country such as Catalonia, guarantees were in place that Catalan should not take preference over Castilian.

Antich said he feared that if the proposal were accepted by the tribunal in Madrid, the equal linguistic status currently enjoyed in the Balearics could no longer be assured. The MPs said the objection comes in response to popular outcry against the change of law.