"All Catalans are shit!" That is how, in 1959, Luís de Galinsoga, director La Vanguardia newspaper poured scorn on the Catalan language during Mass at the Parish Church of Sant Ildefons. The public response to this insult was a boycott of the newspaper. The campaign, which continued until Galinsoga was sacked in February 1960, was one of the first demonstrations of Catalan nationalism under Franco to make a widespread impact.
The insult proferred by the chief editor of La Vanguardia – a body which transmitted the regime’s values and implemented political indoctrination – on 21 June 1959 in the parish of Sant Ildefons, was a protest because Mass was celebrated in Catalan. Thus began the “Galinsoga affair”, a campaign of boycotting the newspaper instigated by supporters of the Catalan Language Academy and the group CC (Christ Catalonia or Catalan Catholics), a parapolitical nationalist and Catholic movement that emerged in the mid-1950s. The newspaper lost more than 20,000 subscribers and sales fell by 10,000 copies daily.
On 19 January 1960, Luis Martínez de Galinsoga published “Afecto y servicio a Cataluña” (Affection for and service to Catalonia), an article in which he sought to demonstrate his affinities with Catalonia by affirming his friendship with Francesc Cambó and Puig i Cadafalch, which proved counterproductive as it ignited another counter-campaign by Catalan nationalist groups. Finally, the newspaper owner, the Count of Godó, in light of the financial losses, asked the Ministry of Information and Tourism to remove Galinsoga from office immediately. On 5 February 1960, despite some disagreement in the Council of Ministers, Franco announced the decision that Galinsoga was to submit his resignation. The victory of the Francoist opposition in this affair gave impetus to the advent of various anti-Franco and Catalan nationalist movements, which instigated other campaigns advocating the Catalan language and culture.
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