Row over Madrid’s missing accent in València

A ROW has broken out between the mayors of Valencia and Madrid over the spelling of Valencia in the capital’s Puerta del Sol square.

Puerta del Sol is home to the so-called Kilómetro Cero, the starting point for all major radial roads in Spain. The spot is marked on the floor and surrounded by the names of the provincial capitals. Following changes registered in the BOE, the official gazette, in 2017 which recognised regional spellings, Madrid city council decided to take into account the new official spellings when renovating the square this spring. For instance, instead of the Castillian spelling of Gerona, the Catalan Girona has been used, and Alicante is accompanied by the Valencian spelling Alacant.

However, Valencia, which is now officially València, with an open accent on the “e”, has not been written using the newly recognised spelling, something which the city’s mayor, Joan Ribó feels strongly about. Ribó, of the left-wing Compromís party, wrote to his counterpart in Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, to ask for the spelling to be corrected. The response from Martínez-Almeida, of the right-wing Popular Party, was that the spelling was correct and there was no need to change it.

The new look Kilómetro Cero under construction (Ayto Madrid)

Ribó said: “Having approved the name change of the city of Valencia, of the province of Valencia and authorising it as the official name for the city, the only way of spelling it in the Valencian language is València” as set out in the official gazette.

Accordiing to reports in Las Provincias, Martínez-Almeida says he has not yet received a letter from Ribó with this request, but believes that the Valencian mayor “is grateful that a new design has been made in which all the provincial capitals of Spain fit and are represented” in what is “a sign of Madrid’s commitment as the capital of Spain to all the capitals”.

He added: “As far as I know, it seems to me that Valencia is correctly written as it is, of course, you will have to clarify this for me,”

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