“Speaking in Valencian is a sign of bad manners”. These were the words of the head of the office of Post from Petrer (Alicante) to a neighbor who spoke to her in that language, according to the complaint Platform for the Language in what he qualifies as a new case of «linguistic discrimination» in the Valencian Community.
Always according to the same sources, the head of the Correos branch would have discriminated against a user up to two times for addressing her in Valencian and asking her to express herself in Castilian considering that it was “a lack of education.” According to this version, the client asked another colleague from the office to attend to her and, according to the Platform per la Llengua denounces, the person in charge of the Post Office “continued to scold her for speaking Valencian.” The denounced events occurred last August.
After this incident, which adds to the one registered last summer in the Alicante town of Calpe, the Plataforma per la Llengua has urged the Language Rights Office of the Generalitat to guarantee oral attention in Valencian at the Petrer Post Office. Likewise, it demands that the branch itself “respect linguistic rights and avoid any type of discrimination.”
In its statement, the association recalls that Correos operates according to public law, so it must ensure written and oral attention in the different official languages, as stipulated in article 54.11 of Royal Legislative Decree 5/2015 of the Law of the Basic Statute of the Public Employee.
The regulations to which the Platform refers include the obligation to comply with care in all official languages in the Spanish territory. In addition, it adds that “no public worker can demand that a citizen not use one of these languages or deprive him of a public service.”
According to the complaint filed with the Office of Linguistic Rights of the Generalitat, the Petrer Post Office branch violated article 3 of Law 4/1983, on the use and teaching of Valencian, which states that all people have the right to express themselves in said official language, without suffering any kind of discrimination or demand for translation.
“The current use of Valencian and the guarantee of using one’s own language are part of the collective values to be promoted by a public law corporation,” they add.