In brief

Spanish Congress approves use of Catalan, Galician, Basque, Occitan in chamber

PNV MP Joseba Andoni Agirretxea speaks in Basque to the Spanish Congress.
PNV MP Joseba Andoni Agirretxea speaks in Basque to the Spanish Congress. Author: Congreso de los Diputados
The Congress of Deputies today greenlighted the use of Catalan, Galician, Basque, and Occitan in the lower house of the Spanish Parliament. The amendment to the rules of procedure means that from now on these languages can be used before parliament, in committees, and in documents. Until now, only the use of Spanish was allowed.

The amendment received 180 votes for: PSOE, Sumar, ERC, Junts, Bildu, PNV, BNG, Coalición Canaria, and one PP MP who made a mistake. PP, Vox, and UPN (170) voted against.

The amendment covers “languages having official status in an autonomous community.” This is the case for Catalan in Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands, Galician in Galicia, Basque in the Basque Country and Navarre, and Occitan in Catalonia. “Translation and interpretation services” are provided to enable comprehension.

The possibility of using these four official languages was one of the requisites that ERC and Junts put to PSOE and Sumar to make Mallorcan socialist Francina Armengol president of Congress.

In addition, by agreement of the Congress Bureau on 13 September, the presidency of the lower house has also been empowered to “allow speeches in languages and linguistic modalities” recognised or protected by the statutes of autonomy, even if they are not official. In this case, the MP will have to make the oral translation into Spanish during his or her speaking time. This will allow the oral use of Asturleonese and Aragonese.