The Catalan president-in-exile, Carles Puigdemont, has spoken out publicly following the offer by Spain's acting second deputy PM, Yolanda Díaz, to ERC and Junts to reform the regulations of the Congress of Deputies so as to allow Catalan and other co-official languages to be spoken by MPs in exchange for a deal over the composition of the chamber's Bureau - the parliamentary governing body, headed by the speaker of the house, which also decides the Congress's agenda.
The first point made by Puigdemont was to make it clear that there is no need to reform the rules of the Spanish Congress to allow Catalan to be spoken there, as Díaz proposes. "Nowhere in the regulations does it say that there is an obligation to use Spanish, or a prohibition against the use of another official language. Therefore, the political will of the speaker is enough. And up till now there has never been such a will,” he tweeted.
Former president Puigdemont also stated that the process of regulation reform "is usually a strategy to waste time by pretending that you are trying to fix a problem that you really don't care about". And he gave an example of this, attaching a screenshot of the multiple time extensions presented by the PSOE over a reform of the Senate regulations so that Catalan could be spoken there. "Extensions and more extensions... until the proposal expired because the legislature ended. Do you know who presented the 59 proposals for time extensions to avoid a debate and a vote in committee? The Socialist parliamentary group", the president points out in the same tweet. "They are masters of parliamentary filibusterism," concludes Puigdemont.
Quan us parlin de la reforma del reglament del Congrés perquè s’hi pugui parlar en català heu de tenir en compte dues coses:— krls.eth / Carles Puigdemont (@KRLS) August 3, 2023
La primera, que enlloc del reglament no es diu que hi hagi l’obligació de fer servir el castellà, o la prohibició de fer servir una altra llengua oficial.… pic.twitter.com/QyHEPcqTJ2
Yolanda Díaz's offer of language rights in exchange for a Bureau deal
Being able to speak Catalan, Basque and Galician in Spain's Congress of Deputies in exchange for allowing the Bureau of the lower house to be dominated by the progressive bloc. This is what Yolanda Díaz offered this Wednesday to ERC and Junts, the two Catalan pro-independence parties that have the power to place someone from this bloc as the speaker of Congress. "At Sumar we believe that Spain's parliamentary chambers should be encouraged to reform their regulations so that we can express ourselves in the co-official languages", she stated, asserting that "progress" needs to be made in Spanish parliamentarianism so that Spain begins to show its "plurality". The co-official languages are the four languages from the Spanish state which are only official in certain territories where they are spoken: Catalan, Basque, Galician and Aranese.