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Spain’s Valencia shameful example to its immigrants

April 29, 2008

The regional government of Valencia, which is ruled by the right-wing opposition Popular Party (PP) , is planning to force immigrants to sign a contract obliging them to respect local “customs and traditions.” Apart from being illegal and a slap in the face to respect for other cultures, the PP-led initiative is racist as well.

But what does respecting “local customs and traditions” mean? Who is to say what is Valencian never mind Spanish culture unless you want to dwell in generalities and stereotypes.

Unfortunately the measures, which will put the PP on a collision course with the Socialist government of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, it exposes the myopic world of some Spaniards in the PP. It also exposes their cultural uncertainty. Such politicians continue to live in the “good old days” when Spain conquered and pillaged other cultures.

In an attempt to win over voters, PP leader Mariano Rajoy launched the idea of a immigrant contract on the campaign trail. The PP lost the March 9 election to the Socialists.

Possibly this would be a good case to take such a racist measure to a European Union court. It would be a good matter to tell these politicians as well that there are many examples were multicultural societies have benefited from cultural synergy.

Has the English language been undermined by the fact that it has been influenced by over 300 languages? Certainly not. Such a matter has strengthened – not weakened it.

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