The Governing Council has approved this Thursday the concession by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports of a subsidy of 345,000 euros to the Fundación Instituto Castellano y Leonés de la Lengua, which until last summer was directed by the now counselor, Gonzalo Santonja (Vox), and who came to charge for it through three different ways, as published exclusively by elDiario.es, without the Government of Castilla y León having explained why.
Minister Santonja directed the Language Institute that he now subsidizes for 20 years. To camouflage a non-existent salary in the Foundation’s budgets, Santonja obtained a service commission from the Ministry of Education and Culture. From 2002 to 2013 he was paid the salary that he had as a professor at the Complutense University of Madrid, of about 50,000 euros. However, the Foundation’s board of trustees, chaired by the Ministry of Education and Culture, which contributed large amounts, and the rest of the board of trustees (city councils, provincial councils and universities) approved a salary for him that ranged between 14,000 and 16,000 euros, something prohibited by the Civil Service Law. That salary was paid to the SL of Santonja, Monbrún, from which it also invoiced the institute for concepts as varied as the transfer of intellectual rights or the “illustration and covers” of books published by the Language Institute. Gonzalo Santonja even invoiced the Foundation 500 euros for the illustration of the cover of a book about Mariano José de Larra, using an image from the National Library free of rights and that can be used free of charge citing that it belongs to those collections.
The Board, which refuses to investigate Santonja’s charges, which are not permitted by the Public Function Law, now allows Santonja to subsidize the Institute with 345,000 euros “for its operation and for carrying out cultural activities, the objective of which is to promote knowledge and the correct use of the Spanish language.
In its current programming, the Foundation has included “numerous projects and cultural activities”, such as thematic courses, seminars and literary and academic congresses on the origins of Spanish, exhibitions, workshops for children or edition of bibliographic material. The Board ensures in a statement that these activities, which are “aimed at the promotion and dissemination of knowledge of the Spanish language”, contribute to its correct use by citizens, in line with the objectives of the Ministry that recognizes the Castilian language as an “essential value” for the identity of Castilla y León and as an object of “special protection and support”.
It also defends that Castilian is part of the “most valuable historical and cultural heritage” of Castilla y León, so it is up to the regional Administration to promote its correct use and promote its learning in the international arena.