Sunday, March 26

Noises of forks and voices: Hermann Tertsch intervenes in the European Parliament from a restaurant

The pandemic has brought blended learning to the European Parliament. A hybrid system that allows MEPs who are not physically in the European Parliament to participate in the debates and votes from any other place to avoid crowds and, at the same time, keep alive the institution that has approved such relevant issues during this time such as recovery funds, the multi-year budget or the COVID passport.

Thus, it is common to see MEPs enter from their professional or personal offices, from the local offices of the European Parliament or even from their homes. But this Monday, Vox MEP Hermann Tertsch has gone further, and he has decided to participate in the European Parliament’s Petitions committee from the restaurant where he was having lunch.

With noise, voices, forks colliding with plates, bottles in the background and people asking him to move. The debate in which he participated was about a request from the Assembly for a Bilingual School, about linguistic immersion in Catalonia.

The intervention, loudly, has caused other people present in the room to hiss at him and call his attention. “Please, go somewhere else,” they urged him: “Go upstairs.”

But Tertsch continued, accusing the European Commission, which has no jurisdiction over the matter, of laziness: “How can one speak of freedom if the houses of those who ask to be educated in Spanish are stoned? Enough of indoctrination, enough of separatist politicians mutilating the language of our children. Enough of apartheids”

After the debate, the PETI Commission has decided to keep the petition open and send a request to the Government and the Generalitat de Catalunya regarding the Supreme Court ruling, which requires 25% in Spanish. It has also decided to refer the case to the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, and the European Parliament’s Ombudsman for Children.

Among the deputies who spoke, the vast majority of them Spanish, the representatives of PSOE, ERC, Bildu and JxCat were in favor of closing the petition, while PP, Ciudadanos and Vox demanded that it be kept open and asked for a parliamentary mission to examine the situation on the ground.

Diana Riba (ERC) and Toni Comín (JxCat) criticized that the denouncers of these cases “are determined to create a problem where it does not exist” and regretted not being able to use Catalan in their interventions in the European Parliament, since it is not one of the the official community languages, reports Efe.

Javi López (PSOE), for his part, stressed that the execution time of the Supreme Court ruling has not yet ended and that it is a debate that is not the responsibility of the European authorities. He also regretted, according to Efe, that, despite this, it is the third time that the European Parliament deals with this issue since 2018 while more than 90% of the petitions that reach this parliamentary commission are not debated.

Citizens MEP Maite Pagazaurtundua, for her part, stated in the debate: “There is palpable evidence of an obsession against linguistic diversity for an exclusive national-populist identity. The phobic compulsion from power to the use of Spanish in institutional, educational and cultural spheres is growing. It is a regimen of obsessive control.”