They kicked them out because they had criticized the anticatalanism of the Spanish group's presidentThe Federació d'Associacions de Gent Gran de Catalunya (FATEC) [Federation of Associations of Seniors in Catalunya] has been expelled from the Confederación Española de Organizaciones de Mayores (CEOMA) [Spanish Confederation of Seniors' Organizations]. Anticatalanism is at the root of the case. It all started when the president of CEOMA, José Luis Méler, spoke on a radio program in December of 2008. The chronological explanation of the facts begins at that point, when Méler, on the weekly program, 'El Observatorio del Mayor' [Senior Observatory] on Ràdio Onda Madrid, criticized the outlay of the Government of the Generalitat [Catalan Autonomous Government] in linguistic policy, assuring that with this budget they could resolve the financing of the Llei de la Dependència [Law of Dependents]. "The Catalan government spent 157 million euros last year  and with just one fourth of what Catalunya spends on linguistic policy you could finance the economic budget of the Law of Dependents for all the Catalan Seniors for which the Catalan government says there is no money," declared Méler. He rounded it out with a rhetorical question: "What would we rather, more linguistic policy or more attention to the necessities of a law like that of Dependents, that promises you can have your cake and eat it too*," according to directe!cat.
These declarations offended FATEC and they asked for an apology. Méler, without any intention of apologizing, sent a letter to FATEC in which he said his declarations had provoked "an unfair indignation" and that his only objective was "to defend the interests of seniors, which is the principal objective of our confederation." Later, in an assembly that took place on July 15th of this year, with 27 votes in favor, 6 against and 6 abstentions, a vote was taken to expel FATEC for provoking "an obvious bias against the activities of CEOMA."
As a final point, it's important to explain that the 157 million euros that Méler spoke about corresponds to the sum of all of the budget items in all of the departments of the Generalitat related to the Catalan language and the the secretary of Linguistic Policy of the Generalitat has only a budget of 30 million euros.
Originally published in Racó Català on 30/sep/09 at 12:45h