For several decades, the Catalan government has been helping to finance Bressola, the network of schools in Catalan in the Pyrénées-Orientales (7 schools and 2 colleges). This year, the "Amics de la Bressola" association received 650,000 euros from the Generalitat, the same amount as in 2021. Earlier in 2008, the Catalan government had supported the construction of the college in immersion du Soler, in the amount of 2.9 million euros. The grants from Barcelona represent the most important aid received by these schools, the first of which was born in 1976. Other entities, such as the government of the Balearic Islands, also contribute.
But these public aids, known to all, are regularly denounced by the right-wing opposition and the Madrid media. Thus, at the beginning of the week, the newspaper El Mundo was moved in a full-page article: "the Catalan government is injecting large sums of money into a pan-Catalanist association". At the regional parliament in Barcelona, Ciudadanos, the formation born against Catalan nationalism and Vox on the far right have once again taken up the subject. "It's unbelievable that our taxes fund the education of children in another country," indignant Nacho Martin Blanco, deputy for Ciudadanos. "This amounts to interference in the public affairs of a foreign state. This corresponds to the imperialist vision of Catalan nationalists who want to transfer their project of rupture to other territories". These subsidies may represent only 0.009% of the total Catalan public education budget, but they also scandalize Joan Garriga, deputy of Vox. "It's all the more shocking that we have thousands of students here studying in prefabricated buildings. Families are unable to pay for the canteen or the textbooks."
It's just to help the Catalan language. Nothing more
Questioned by the Independent, the Government of Pere Aragones assumes this support. "The aim is to promote the use and teaching of Catalan in its area of influence" explains the Generalitat. "The Catalan government has always considered that the language goes beyond borders. It turns out that Catalan is also spoken in northern Catalonia".
On the left, even among those who do not support independence, this aid poses no problem. "We must protect and support Catalan in all the territories where it is spoken and therefore in Northern Catalonia" explains Jessica Albiach, deputy of En Comu Podem, close to the mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau.
An ardent defender of Catalan on both sides of the border, Aleix Renyé believes that there is no political will behind this financial support. "It is simply a question of helping the Catalan language. Nothing more. The proof is that in 2017, the year of the referendum, subsidies for Bressola decreased". According to the activist, the Generalitat above all did not want to offend France and suggest that it wanted to export its desire for independence to Northern Catalonia. "And then Spain finances the teaching of Castilian in South America through the Cervantes institutes, France does the same thing in the countries of the French-speaking world. thing in areas where Catalan is spoken?"