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SEXISM

Spain’s PM blasts ‘repugnant’ video of students insulting women

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Thursday described as “repugnant” a viral video of male students at a Madrid university residence cheering after one of them screamed obscenities at female students, including calling them "nymphomaniac whores".

spanish university sexist insults
The video, which spread widely on social media, has dominated headlines in Spain and was condemned by various politicians, including Sánchez, a self-described feminist. Screenshot: Twitter

In the video recorded at night a man at a building across from a residence for female students can be heard screaming “Whores, come out of your burrows like rabbits, you are nymphomaniac whores. I promise we’re going to fuck all of you at the bull festival”.

The male student also threatened sexual assault before groups of men at windows of the male residence hall raised their window shutters in unison and cheered and shouted their own insults.

The video, which spread widely on social media, has dominated headlines in Spain and was condemned by various politicians, including Sánchez, a self-described feminist.

“We can’t tolerate such behaviours which generate hate and attack women…Enough of sexism,” he tweeted.

Asked about the video at a gathering of European leaders in Prague, Sánchez called the behaviour of the men in the video “inexplicable, unjustified and absolutely repugnant”.

The incident took place at Colegio Mayor Elías Ahuja, a residence for male students run by a Catholic religious order at the prestigious Complutense University.

The directors of the residence condemned the “unacceptable expressions made by a group of students” and apologised to the students at the female residence.

The residence said several of the male students involved had been expelled.

Another video from a previous academic year has surfaced showing Elías Ahuja residents performing a song which includes a Nazi salute and the words “Sieg Heil”. 

Opened in 1969, a room at the Colegio Mayor Elías Ahuja costa around €1,100 a month.

A former head of the main opposition Popular Party (PP), Pablo Casado, stayed there when he was a university student.

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ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Spaniards have second lowest level of English in EU

Despite Spain’s popularity with English-speaking holidaymakers and home buyers, its people continue to have one of the worst levels of English in Europe according to the 2022 English Proficiency Index.

Spaniards have second lowest level of English in EU

A study conducted by language school empire English First in their latest English Proficiency Index found that the Spanish rank number 33 out of 111 countries, but are way behind other nations in Europe, as they came in at number 25 out of 35.

In fact, Spaniards have the second lowest level of English in the whole of the EU, with only the French ranked worse. 

This is in stark contrast to other EU countries such as the Netherlands (number 1 in the world), Austria (3rd), Belgium (4th) and Nordic countries Norway (4th), Denmark (5th) and Sweden (7th).

Spain even fell behind other southern European countries – Portugal came at number 9, Greece at number 14 and Italy at number 32. 

READ ALSO: Why are the Spanish ‘so bad’ at speaking English?

In terms of how the Iberian nation’s level compares on the global scale, Spain maintains a medium level of English proficiency, in the same range as Ukraine, South Korea and Costa Rica. 

People with this mid-level English are able to carry out simple tasks in English such as understanding song lyrics and writing professional e-mails about subjects they’re familiar with, but may have problems with more complex conversations and understanding films that haven’t been dubbed.  

“Despite making a little progress, the English level of Spaniards remains at the moderate levels where it has stayed for many years, without showing great improvements,” said the director General of EF Spain, Xavier Martí.

“The data confirms that the educational model presents deficiencies in language learning”. 

Which regions in Spain have the best and worst levels of English?

The study revealed that Galicians have the best level of English among Spaniards, followed by Catalans, Basques and then those from Cantabria, which all had above-average levels of English compared with the rest of the country.

On the other end of the scale, those from Extremadura had the worst level of English. Only slightly better were people from La Rioja, Castilla-La Mancha and Murcia, who all had levels below the national average.

When it comes to cities, people in the Galician city of Vigo had the best level of English, followed by regional neighbour A Coruña, Barcelona and then Bilbao. Madrid is in fifth place.

In terms of the cities with the worst levels of English, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria took top spot, only slightly above the cities of Murcia, Valladolid and the other Canary capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

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