A NEW law that controls regional symbols has come into force in the Balearic Islands.
Any symbol representing a town or country will now only be displayed in public buildings with the authorisation of the regional government.
In addition, those symbols that have in their design any reference to political parties, trade unions, business associations or other entities will be banned from these buildings.
The regional government passed the regulation in order to guarantee the “neutrality and objectivity” of the public services it offers.
Some consider this a clear reference to the banners and Senyera or Catalan flags being hanged in public schools to protest against the government’s language policy in education.
In fact, many schools decided to remove any symbol from their façades in order to avoid possible fines, which could amount to up to €10,000.
Some others, including those in Menorca, have decided to continue displaying these symbols as their councils declared them of local interest.
Meanwhile, opposition political parties have expressed their rejection of the law, claiming it goes against freedom of speech.
The government, however, claims this law doesn’t put an end to freedom of speech as both are compatible.