Europe

The Catalan vaccine

THE Balearics, in particular Mallorca, is a cosmopolitan society with residents from all over the world whose mother tongues are neither Spanish nor Catalan.

Obviously, for the majority of foreign residents, priority number one has been, or is, to learn Castellano. One would not, for example, expect to be able to work, live and fully enjoy life in the UK or Germany, where thousands of Spaniards have flocked to work, by only speaking Spanish.

I remember an NHS roadshow which stopped in Palma a few years ago to recruit local nurses and doctors. It guaranteed providing those who may have found themselves in areas where local dialects could be complicated with special phrase books.

In a time of crisis, especially medical, such as the pandemic we are living through now, clear and precise information is paramount. So why, I wonder, is all the official Balearic government information regarding the vaccination rollout and the easing of restrictions being published only in Catalan?

There are thousands of people entitled to national health care who don’t understand Catalan and therefore don’t fully understand how and when they will receive their vaccine. It may sound petty, but at a time of momentous confusion and worry I think the Balearic government should be making an effort to show that it cares for everyone living here, not just those who speak Catalan.

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