Yet another refusal for the linguistic rights of Catalan, Basque and Galician. The two major Spanish parties, the PSOE and the PP, have this Wednesday voted against an initiative by Together for Catalonia (Junts) urging the Spanish government to promote the granting of official status for these three languages in the European Union. The knockback to Catalans, Basques and Galicians took place in the Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee. It is an initiative that, in addition to the votes of Junts, had the support of the Catalan Republican Left, and the two Basque parties, the PNB and Bildu.
The PP voted against this initiative which aimed to defend the language rights of Catalan, Basque and Galician-speaking communities, while the PSOE chose to abstain. The position of the governing Socialists was key to the demise of the Junts initiative. In fact, the intention of the Junts senate leader, Josep Lluís Cleries, was to equate Catalan with Spanish in the European Union, but his party ended up accepting an amendment from the PNB that extended this officiality to all three of Spain's major co-official languages, which have official status in the territories where they are spoken.
In any case, the proposition was defeated and Catalans, Basques and Galicians will continue without having full linguistic rights at the European Union. It should be recalled that the Pedro Sánchez government undertook at its dialogue table meeting with the Catalan executive in July to defend the use of Catalan in the European Parliament, and announced in September that it had asked for all three languages to be made "languages of use" in the European chamber. This, however, is not the same as official EU status for a language. Cleries recalled during his speech to the Senate committee that Junts was making the gesture of proposing the initiative because "I see them standing still", in ironic reference to the Socialists.
In fact, Cleries stated that the PSOE's abstention shows that the party leading the Spanish government neither "loves" nor "respects" the Catalan language. "Defending the Catalan language is not attacking the Castilian language", the Junts senator tried to make clear during his speech in the Senate. As well, he invited the rest of the senators to "take a walk" around Catalan neighborhoods and schools in order to verify that Spanish is indeed spoken in Catalonia."There is a reality in Catalonia, and that is that languages coexist", he added.
Cleries said he was convinced that, sooner or later, it would be possible to speak in Catalan in the European Parliament. "We will achieve it", he said, in addition to affirming that he is as convinced of this as of the fact that the independence of Catalonia will become a reality. "We want independence and we want the Catalan language to be respected," he told the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs. Having said that, he recalled that "it's been more than a year" since the modification of the Spanish parliamentary regulations so that Catalan could be spoken was passed, and he denounced how the process has become chronically drawn out.