Je Suis Artur

Whilst Artur Mas – candidate of the centre-right nationalist CiU formation for the presidency of the Catalan regional government – may create a mild quiver amongst housewives of a certain age, he is not what anyone would call an ideas man. But the latest declarations from the man from ESADE on tax deductions for anyone who can prove mastery of a third language are tapping at the outer limits of credibility, even in the wacky world of Artur.   

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According to Artur, who by sheer coincidence was educated at the exclusive Liceo Francés and is thus trilingual, Catalonia must be trilingual (will he also be insisting on compulsory tennis-coach hair and well maintained teeth in his bid to model the country in his own image?) You can sort of see where the square-jawed nationalist is coming from, as globalisation and increased intra-EU trade make a third language increasingly necessary, but giving out public money to people who are probably already doing all right for themselves without putting measures in place to improve access to language teaching and ensure higher-quality teaching methods is, well, just a bit wank. What next Artur? Fiscal treats for MBA holders?

Artur has ‘form’ with this type of outburst. In the run-up to the last regional government elections, Mad Mas proposed that Catalonia could compete in the Olympics under the flag of Andorra. Aside from the silliness of the idea, Artur had neglected to check with the Andorrans whether this was going to be okay with them or not. And, in a typical display of redistributive naivety, when put up to defend charges of giving out public money to elite fee-paying schools during the last CiU government, he ‘argued’ that as there was plenty of money swilling around it wasn’t a problem.  

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~ by Daniel on September 17, 2006.

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