Spain education plan stokes tensions with restive Catalonia
Spain’s leader vowed on Friday to press on with an education reform that has fueled separatist sentiment in Catalonia, where politicians were closing on a pact that could lead to a vote on independence.
Catalan officials say the reform, which would require separate classes for students who want to be taught in Spanish, would undo decades of efforts to preserve the Catalan language. The dispute has enraged Catalans just as the two biggest forces in the local parliament attempt to strike a deal which would include a referendum on independence by 2015.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy denied on Friday that his proposed reform threatened languages such as Catalan or Basque, but said he was determined to overhaul Spain’s education system, which has the highest drop-out rate in Europe.
“We told him to withdraw everything connected with language,” Rigau told reporters after the meeting.
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