María Jesús Sáinz a member of the PP who holds a seat in the senate used Castellano during a debate on education despite being born in Galicia and speaking the language from this part of Spain fluently. During the debate she received the support of other members of her party but the other members of the senate showed their disapproval. In fact, the PP is the only party that opposes plans to use regional languages in the Spanish senate, preferring to use Castellano to get its point across.
During the debate which for the first time allowed regional languages to be used in the Senate the PP was the only party to use Castellano. Members of the senate were able to follow the debate thanks to a system of simultaneous translation.
However the transcripts of the debate were based on the translated versions, something which the stenographers were unhappy about.
From now onwards all debates in the Senate will include motions in which regional languages will be allowed for which there will be seven translators – two for Euskera, two for Gallego and three for Valenciano and Catalan.
The Third Vice President and Minister for Territorial Policy, Manuel Chaves, said that he wanted the Senate to represent the different parts of Spain and that it was right to use Catalan, Euskera or Gallego and dismissed the the cost of translating debates in the Senate.
On the other hand, Alicia Sánchez Camacho, speaking on behalf of her party said that the defence of regional languages should not generate ‘excess costs’.