Spain: Parliament speaks Galician and Basque for the first time

For the first time during a plenary session of the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of Parliament, the three main Spanish regional languages were used on Tuesday 19 September: Galician, Basque and Catalan, which was already used. The left-wing interim government accepted this nationalist demand as a condition for possible support for a new government of Pedro Sanchez.

A Spanish MP listens to simultaneous translation during the first parliamentary session where the country's three main regional languages were used, in Madrid on Tuesday, September 19, 2023. © Susana Vera / Reuters

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With our correspondent in Madrid, François Musseau

The spokesman for the Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) says: "We Galicians speak a widely used and useful language.


This is one of the speeches of a historic session in the lower house of Parliament: for the first time, the 350 deputies have been equipped with translation headsets to follow all the interventions, either in Galician, Catalan and Euskara, that is to say in Basque.

Regional parties had been calling for it for years. Their languages are already co-official at the level of parliaments and regional administrations, but they were not at the national level. That has now been done.

All parliamentarians will be able to speak in one of these three languages, in addition to Spanish. This has been accepted by the socialist camp, which hopes that, thanks to this novelty, the separatist parties will vote for the investiture of Pedro Sanchez in the coming weeks.

Only one problem: the anger of Vox, a far-right party, fiercely opposed to this initiative, and whose deputies left the plenary session in protest.

" READ ALSO Spain: in Catalonia, the separatists display their unity during the Diada

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