The new majority that is being articulated in Congress for the re-election of Pedro Sánchez as President of the Government, with the progressive, nationalist and independence parties, has supported this Tuesday that the proposal to reform the Regulations of the Chamber itself to begin processing that the official languages in certain autonomous communities can be used in all areas of parliament. PSOE, Sumar, Junts, ERC, EH Bildu, PNV and BNG have joined the Canarian Coalition for a total of 176 seats [se han producido tres ausencias] and take into consideration the proposal, which will be definitively approved, by fast track, this Thursday.
Junqueras assumes that the PSOE accepts the amnesty and celebrates that Puigdemont has landed on “the path of negotiation”
This second vote resulted in 179 favorable votes, the figure expected for both votes. But in the first only 347 of the 350 deputies participated.
The use of Catalan, Basque and Galician, which has already been heard in this same plenary session, has provoked anger and protests from the right and the extreme right. The PP spokesperson in Congress, Cuca Gamarra, has even tried with a previous intervention to get the president, Francina Armengol, to stop the agreement for the use of languages from this Tuesday.
And the socialist José Ramón Besteiro, deputy for Lugo, has been in charge of debuting its use. “It is a double honor,” he said. “It is a double honor,” the interpreter translated. They are the first words that inaugurate this new era of presence of Catalan, Galician and Basque in the Congress rostrum.
The intervention in Galician has motivated a tantrum from Vox. The extreme right has protested loudly against the use of a Spanish language in the seat of popular sovereignty and, after being reprimanded by the president, Francina Armengol, they have left the Chamber, throwing the devices for simultaneous translation into the empty seat of the president of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, on an official trip to the UN.
Some earpieces that the PP deputies have not wanted to wear at any time, as some speaker, such as that of the PNV, Joseba Agirretxea, has reproached them from the rostrum.
Before Vox put on the ‘show’, the parliamentary spokesperson of the PP, Cuca Gamarra, had asked to speak to demand that Armengol desist from his intention to allow this very Tuesday, in the debate to take into consideration the law, that The official languages will already be used in certain territories. Armengol has rejected Gamarra’s request, which he had already submitted in a reconsideration letter before the Congress Board itself.
The text that will be processed, which was registered by all the parties that have supported it except Junts, provides that deputies will be able to use Catalan, Basque and Galician normally in all areas of the Lower House and with simultaneous translation. “The deputies will have the right to use in all areas of parliamentary activity, including oral interventions and the presentation of writings, any of the languages that have official status in any autonomous community in accordance with the Constitution and the corresponding Statute of Autonomy,” says the reform proposal.
This Tuesday, in fact, as a way to stage the agreement of this new incipient majority, the deputies have already been able to intervene in their respective languages.
The debate, which has had a very calm tone throughout its development, has begun with the defense of the text by the proposing groups. All the spokespersons have claimed the “advance” that this measure represents but at the same time they have launched messages against the opposition staged by the right.
The first to speak in an official language was the socialist José Ramón Besteiro, who delivered part of his speech in Galician. “It is a double honour.” “It is an honor that allows me to release the translation of my language, which is a symbol of the cultural wealth of the country,” he said in his first speaking turn, which he later completed with criticism of the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo. “When the PP talks about common sense, our neighbors in A Coruña, in Portugalete or in Buenos Aires do not understand that you do not speak here in Galician today,” he reproached him.
Sumar’s spokesperson, Marta Lois, has also used Galician to complete almost all of her intervention from the platform. “What we are going to approve today is a common sense measure, which has been demanded in this chamber for a century. It is historic because it defines a way of recognizing that the strength of our country is built through the recognition of plurality, of what we are. “It normalizes in Parliament what is already normal outside of it,” she defended.
At the same time, Lois has also criticized Feijóo in her speech, not only for his opposition to the rule, but also for next week’s investiture attempt, which she has called irresponsible. “Spain is not to blame for its internal problems. She is not worried about whether you are in charge, Mr. Feijóo or Mr. Aznar. We happily fired Mr. Aznar 20 years ago and you have very little left,” she told him.
After it, the independence forces of Congress have intervened, with the exception of Junts, which although it demanded this agreement to vote in favor of a progressive majority in the Chamber, has distanced itself from the drafting of the reform text and has chosen to intervene later, in the position fixation turn.
The spokesman for Esquerra Republicana, Gabriel Rufián, has celebrated a “historic” agreement and has also criticized the right for opposing the reform. “A language is not only used to communicate, but to communicate what you want. Also to represent what you are. “Many of you are not bothered by the fact that other languages are spoken, but by the identity you represent,” he criticized.
“We appreciate that you support these languages, that you want to promote them, but not from the story of the richness of these languages that make us place our language on a folkloric level, lacking the social, political and national entity that Basque and its speakers “we need,” the EH Bildu spokesperson, Mertxe Aizupura, has reproached PSOE and Sumar in turn, who has reproached the fact that citizens who speak Basque are “second-class”, with “curtailed” rights. “This is what must end,” she protested.
The spokesperson for the Basque Nationalist Party, Joseba Agirretxea, has also criticized Feijóo, whom he has referred to as the “new savior who comes from Galicia.” “You are Castilian-centrist,” he said in reference to the right-wing bench. “They cannot shake off the shadow of the empire. They do not know how to live in diversity and because they take as their enemy those who are not Spanish or do not speak Spanish. If something is not in Spanish, it goes against Spanish and it goes against Spain,” he said ironically.
“It is undignified that the person who serves as president of the Galician Government, who has the legal duty to defend our language, is against it gaining new spaces of use. It is dishonorable for him to deny the language of his people. And it is indecent that today here, who served for 13 years as president of the Xunta de la Galicia, is going to vote against Galician,” the BNG spokesperson, Néstor Rego, has also criticized, who made his entire speech in Galician.
Faced with the proposal of Vox, which later intervened in its turn, the PP has capitalized on the opposition to the norm at a discursive level. The person in charge of defending the ‘no’ has been the Basque deputy Borja Sémper, who also serves as spokesperson for the party leadership. It was he who this Monday assured that using the official languages in Congress was “making a fool of yourself”, which has earned him quite a bit of criticism, especially when he himself has combined Basque and Spanish in his presentation.
Sémper has assured that “no European nation has developed a level of protection higher than Spain in terms of respect and promotion of its linguistic reality.”
Thursday, final approval
The final reform of the regulations will be approved this Thursday. Now the deputies, in a second point of the vote this Tuesday, will vote if it is approved urgently and by single reading, that is, without going through the committees. From that moment on, Congress will allow 48 hours for the presentation of amendments and it will be on Thursday when the final text will be voted on, with all the amendments presented.
According to sources from the presidency of Congress, the total cost of the 450 headphones that need to be purchased amounts to 7,600 euros, to which must be added the rental of the transmitters and their maintenance. Between now and the end of the year, the stipulated budget is around 45,000 euros. For this week the Chamber has hired twelve translators on an ad hoc basis.
With this week’s plenary session, the circle of negotiation that began after the 23J elections to build a majority of the progressive table will be closed. The PSOE reached an agreement with Junts and ERC to approve this reform of the regulations in exchange for the independentistas giving their votes to make Francina Armengol president of the Congress Board. In recent weeks, the socialists agreed with the rest of the forces to speed up the procedures and get this reform approved before the inauguration of Alberto Núñez Feijóo, scheduled for next week.