Aragonese and Catalan languages recognised by the assembly of Aragon

The Languages Act has been approved, but keeps Spanish as the only official language while acknowledging the autonomous community’s own minoritised languages as 'original and historical' · PSOE (Spanish Labour) and CHA (Leftist Aragonese nationalists) voted in favour of it, whilst PP (conservative Spanish nationalists) and PAR (regionalists) voted against it. IU (Spanish Left) abstained · A Language Supreme Council is to advise the government on language issues.

The Languages Act has finally become a reality. The Aragonese Assembly voted in favour of a legislation that, in spite of establishing Spanish as the only official language, mentions the two minoritised languages spoken in the community Aragonese and Catalanfor the first time ever. The wording of the act states that both languages are "community's own, original and historical languages which must be preserved", and acknowledges the right of the citizens living in the territories where they are spoken to address the administration in their language and the right to study them.

The law binds the institutions to "promote a knowledge on Aragonese linguistic reality" and foresees the creation of a Aragonese Supreme Council of Languages, which will advise the government on language issues. The Council will consist of 15 members from different areas such as education, literature and law.

The new law has received the support of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), which had presented the bill before the assembly, and Chunta Aragonesista (CHA) which, in spite of considering the act as insufficient its leader said that official status for both minoritised languages raises Spanish socialists' hackles, believes it is a good "starting point".

The Popular Party (PP) and the Aragonese Party (PAR), immersed in an intense campaign against Catalan, gave their negative vote to the regulation arguing the high cost of the its implementation and that the language spoken in the eastern strip of Aragon, bordering Catalonia, is not Catalan.

Finally, United Left (IU) abstained on grounds that the new act on languages is a "backward step" compared to the previous situation. IU also said that according to the regulation too many aspects related to language will still depend on the will of individuals rather than the institutions.

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