The mayor of Orihuela, Emilio Bascuñana (PP), has warned during the day of the Valencian Community that he will not stand for Valenciano being imposed upon his community by the newly elected regional government, stating that choices must be given, instead, to students and opportunities to expand their knowledge, rather than imposing upon them the requirement to learn a language that is not even used in the street in his community.
He added that the utmost respect should be given to Castellano as the official language of the country and that he did not want to see people discriminated against because they did not speak Valenciano, which includes the majority of Spaniards and foreigners, who are not likely to learn a minority language unheard of outside the province.
The mayor said; “it is the duty and responsibility of regional governments to serve all the municipalities of the community alike, without distinction whatsoever,” and recognised that in Orihuela “we feel discriminated against, so it is necessary to correct this situation.”
In Torrevieja, the Popular Party questioned the gesture of the first Deputy Mayor, Pablo Samper, who wore Catalan flag on his lapel during the act of the Day of the Community; something that shows support for the independence movement that is causing big problems in the neighbouring province of Cataluña, where the regional language, Catalan, is the language that must be taught in schools.
After the recent regional elections, many of the newly elected parties, such as Compromis, have been pushing for stronger usage of Valenciano, something that is seen as following in the footsteps of Cataluña. There are already many schools that require students to learn in Valenciano, which is often criticised as uncompetitive, with many wanting to see foreign languages such as English introduced and Castellano used as the main language instead.
It is estimated that well below half the population throughout the province actually speak Valenciano and it is not spoken anywhere else in Spain, including very rarely in the province’s capital, Valencia City and Alicante, while the official language, Castellano, is the world’s third-largest spoken language, behind Mandarin and English.