Palma.—A hundred or so students marched yesterday to the headquarters of the Partido Popular (PP) in Palma, protesting that the new Balearic government to be led by Jose Ramon Bauza is not planning to insist that its government workers are able to speak and write Catalan.

The march was in fact, the first protest against the new Partido Popular government as Bauza has shown himself during the pre-election campaign to be more supportive of regional languages such as Mallorquín and Ibizenco.

The students were carrying banners yesterday which demanded that Catalan should be a pre-requisite of having a job in public administration rather than merely “an advantage.” Antoni Gomez, regional Partido Popular MP and a member of the party's Policy Board said that the fact that the students have launched a protest before the new government is formed, demanding that specific legislation be introduced “just about says it all.” Gomez said that although he respected the free will of the protesters to have their say, the issue of language had been on the agenda of the electoral campaign and that voters had very clearly shown their preferences at the voting held on 22nd May. Also being “bandied about” in front of Partido Popular headquarters yesterday was a Catalan flag and a sea of yellow stickers brandished by the students to echo the “yellow card” action taken by linesmen at a football match when rules have been breached.

Amongst the vocal protests from the marchers could be heard cries of: “Stop attempts to impose Spanish language and culture on all the regions!” and “If you support Majorca, don't back the Partido Popular,” and “Teaching at school should be in Catalan, not Spanish.” A student spokesman said that the regional statutes uphold Catalan as the Balearic Islands' own language.

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