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Four conditions - with their compliance "verifiable" - in return for Junts's support for a Socialist speaker in the new Spanish Congress. Together for Catalonia (Junts per Catalunya) has completed an agreement with the Spanish Socialists (PSOE) under which the Catalan pro-independence party has provided the crucial votes to elect PSOE candidate Francina Armengol as the new speaker of the Spanish lower house, the Congress of Deputies. The general secretary of Junts, Jordi Turull, presented the provisional agreement with the PSOE to Junts executive members when they met this Thursday morning - two hours before the constitutive session of the Congress - adding that he was awaiting the documentation in order to give the green light to the understanding reached with the Socialists. What was needed, therefore, were "verifiable actions", as affirmed by the Catalan president-in-exile, Carles Puigdemont. And they have arrived: the acting Spanish foreign minister, José Manuel Albares, registered a request with the European Council this morning for the Catalan language to be official in the institutions of the European Union, as can confirm. The documentation has the corresponding stamps certifying that the request has been received and the procedure is being initiated so that it can be submitted to the European Commission for approval, which will represent a substantial advance for the Catalan language. Sources have confirmed to this newspaper that the team of the president-in-exile, Carles Puigdemont, has a copy of the letter certifying that this request has materialized.

This point is in addition to three others demanded by Junts: the use of Catalan in the Congress of Deputies on equal terms with Spanish, and the same status for Basque and Galician - a commitment that, presumably, Armengol will mention when she takes the word as new speaker of the Spanish chamber - the reopening of the commission of investigation into the state's dirty war against Catalonia, and the promotion of a commission of inquiry into the terrorist attacks that took place in Barcelona and Cambrils exactly six years ago on August 17th, 2017. 

The condition sine qua non for Junts to close the provisional agreement was, precisely, the request for the official status of the Catalan language within the framework of the European institutions. The agreement will allow the fifteenth legislature to begin, and accordingly the choice, already consummated, of Francina Armengol as speaker of Congress, elected with 178 votes in favour (PSOE, Sumar, ERC, Junts, Bildu, PNB and the BNG). This agreement, however, does not presuppose Junts' support for the investiture of a new Spanish government. That battle remains to be fought.