The ‘plurilingual’ Congress starts tomorrow with 650 headphones, subtitles on giant screens and more than 280,000 euros until the end of the year

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This Tuesday, the Congress of Deputies will be filled with headphones and translation boxes to allow the first plenary session after the constitution of the Chamber to use the three co-official languages ​​-Basque, Galician and Catalan- in addition to Spanish. In an express operation to fulfill the commitment that allowed the election of Francina Armengol as president, a total of 450 one-person teams -which are added to the more than 200 that were already owned-. To these 650 available devices, which are now property of Congress, we must add the rental of the radio frequency systems that will transmit the signal and their maintenance. These devices will be used by deputies and Chamber staff, as well as by the public and the press who access the Chamber.

In material alone, the cost until the end of this year has been estimated at approximately 53.000 euros, inform parliamentary sources. Of this amount around 7.600 euros corresponds to the purchase of the 450 headphones and the others 45.900 euros The rest have to do with the rental of equipment (six high-frequency radiators, infrared transmitter, packs…) and its installation when appropriate and maintenance.

In any case, the material cost is by far the smallest item that the use of the three co-official languages ​​will involve, since it does not include the bulk of the expense, which will be that corresponding to the interpreters who will do the simultaneous oral and writing and the translation of documents. Only between now and the end of the year and with a restricted use that does not affect all the procedures of the Chamber, the amount could exceed the 282.000 euros.

In principle, the intention of the Presidency of Congress is to implement the use of the three co-official languages ​​in all parliamentary activity within a maximum period of six months. Therefore, the expense will increase, since it will cover plenary sessions and especially commissions.

Congress will have at its disposal a bag of 12 approved translators who have already worked for the Senate. They will be hired “on an as-needed basis” and will invoice the work hours afterwards as self-employed workers. An interpreter with these characteristics can charge over 80 euros per hour, although the forecast is that until the end of the year none of them will be above what is considered a minor contract, which is to charge 15,000 euros plus VATinform parliamentary sources.

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