There is tension between Palma town hall and the national government delegation in the Balearics with regard to Catalan courses for National Police and Guardia Civil officers in the capital.
On Wednesday, the education councillor at the town hall, Llorenç Carrió, said that there had been no response from the delegation to an offer to give Catalan courses. This stemmed from an incident last year which involved a female employee at the airport and which received a great deal of publicity as it was said to have been an example of linguistic discrimination by a Guardia Civil officer - discrimination against Catalan, that is.
This offer was apparently sent in a letter on the first of July. On Thursday this week, the delegate, Ramón Morey, said he was totally gobsmacked, as a formal offer of courses had never been received. What had been received, Morey added, was a letter in July in which Carrió expressed his concern at the airport case and offered collaboration in order to prevent a recurrence and to maintain “linguistic security” for the people of Palma. Morey responded to this letter by thanking him for the offer of collaboration.
Morey also observed that the National Police and the Guardia Civil were surprised by what Carrió had to say on Wednesday. He explained that the delegation was in any event working with the regional government on organising Catalan courses. To this end, a meeting has been scheduled for next week. Carrió has meanwhile accepted that the offer may not have been precise enough.
The police union has had its say. Carrió should understand that the National Police who provide service in the Balearics are totally integrated into the society they serve and that they are one of the institutions most valued by the public. The same cannot be said for the political class.
The union continues: “We will not be anyone’s game and nor will we let ourselves be manipulated. Whoever wishes to learn Catalan will do so by their own volition and not by implicit imposition.”
Addressing itself directly to the councillor, the union adds: “The most recent recollection we have about linguistic manipulation is the publication of a book dedicated entirely to insulting and defaming police officers who worked in Catalonia and which was financed by public money from institutions in the Balearics. As you will surely know.”