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Spanish Socialists urge EU ‘not to veto’ Catalan from joining EU-official languages

The Catalan branch of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSC) urged on Monday all EU member states not to veto a proposal to make Catalan a new official language of the European bloc, as demanded by regional separatist forces on Monday on the eve of a General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels.

The PSC spokesperson, Elia Tortolero, stressed it is more relevant that “the proposal to make Catalan (an official language) in the European Union is not vetoed” rather than the individual votes of each EU country, Euractiv’s partner EFE reported.

“Talking about (a variety of) languages is (talking about) richness. It is a proposal (to make Catalan a new EU official language) of the Spanish government and, therefore, the PSC defends it”, she said in a press conference held at the PSC headquarters.

The EU General Affairs Council is expected to debate the official status of Catalan in the bloc, one precondition set by Catalan pro-independence parties to open negotiations with the Socialist Party (PSOE/S&D) to reinstate the acting Prime Minister, Pedro S?nchez.

Tortolero did not want to go into detail about the ongoing negotiations between the two main Catalan pro-independence forces, centre-liberal Junts Per Catalunya (JxCat, Together for Catalonia) and the left-wing Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia ERC), nor about the possible impact that Tuesdays’ vote in Brussels could have.

“We will be very discreet”, said Tortolero, pointing out that negotiations need “a degree of discretion” and that all future agreements must be concluded always within the framework of the Spanish Constitution (1978).

Member states seek to study the financial and legal consequences of making Catalan, Basque, and Galician official EU languages, making it unlikely for the bloc to speedily reach a decision, as initially hoped for by Spain, Euractiv.com reported.

It seems EU countries are planning to slow down the process, with Sweden and Finland being the first countries to flag their concerns publicly.

Rejection of ‘unilateralism’

On the other hand, the left-wing platform Sumar has on Monday reiterated that the progressive party will again ask JxCat to renounce “unilateralism” in its separatist demands because this is opposed to any dialogue, the formation stressed.

Last weekend, the leader of Sumar and acting Labour Minister Yolanda D?az told La Vanguardia that the unilateral path – for example, a hypothetical illegal declaration of independence of Catalonia – “has no place” in the agreement that the PSOE is seeking with the pro-independence party.

From Brussels, where he has been on the run from Spanish justice since the secessionist attempt in 2017, JxCat leader Carles Puigdemont, on whose seven votes a PSOE-Sumar government depends, was defiant.

“Conditions are not set by those who ask for help”, Puigdemont, a former regional prime minister of Catalonia, warned on his X (formerly Twitter) account.

(Fernando Heller EuroEFE.Euractiv.es)

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