On day 1 d. C. (after Spanish as the only language) of Congress, the PP unexpectedly joined simultaneous translation. It happened in three passages in Basque from Borja Sémper's speech. The deputy - a debutant on the platform of the Hemicycle - wanted to show that it is not necessary to reform the regulations to be able to introduce single phrases into the co-official languages, as long as the speaker himself translates them point blank.
However, Sémper's gesture, intended for the PNV and Bildu, did not please the majority of parliamentarians in his own group. Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo did not even applaud. There was "stupefaction" in the popular caucus, because they did not understand that the PP wanted to prevent speaking in the co-official languages before reforming the regulations and, yet, Sémper did so in part of his speech.
This is attested to by various deputies contacted by this newspaper. «It has been an unusual and very serious mistake. The stupefaction among the deputies is total. In all sectors. Veterans and young people. Hard and soft. "It is incomprehensible," says a representative with several legislatures already behind her. Another deputy is even harsher: «he was nonsense. You have one chance to say four well-said things... and you go out there? "He has left Cuca [Gamarra] in a bad light, who has said that those who speak in the co-official languages must be stopped from speaking before the reform comes into force," he adds. In fact, the PP spokesperson had argued that you cannot start doing something that has not yet been approved. Yesterday only the taking into consideration of the reform was voted on.
The criticisms compiled by this newspaper are very abundant. «People are outraged. We have lost a debate that we had won again. You say two words in Basque, you translate to yourself and explain that this can be done now, but to do half of the intervention in Basque...», laments another of the best-known deputies of the conservative bench. “Everyone was upset” when they heard it, he adds.
"Instead of talking" about the violation of the House's regulations, "they are talking about Sémper's speech," adds another parliamentarian. "We haven't understood it," says another. Especially because on Monday, at a press conference in Genoa, Sémper assured that the PP would not do "the canelo" and would speak in Spanish. "Have you done the cinnamon today?" another deputy prodded once the plenary session was over. “It has been contradictory,” he concluded.
At the weekend it was decided that Sémper would be the one to speak. "He is the message," they explain in Genoa. He had informed the management that he would include a paragraph in Basque (not three) to "show" that "it is not about promoting languages but about promoting a candidate," as a Genoa leader said later. The PP takes the edge off the controversy by ensuring that its group "is plural." "It is difficult to find someone who can teach Borja lessons in political courage," they add. "If 70% of your group does not understand you and you have to explain yourself, you have made a mistake," says one deputy.