Catalonia approves special status for Occitan Val d’Aran, including its right to self-determination
The Catalan Parliament approved on Wednesday the Law on the Val d’Aran’s special status within Catalonia, recognising its “Occitan national reality” and its right to self-determination. This small Pyrenean valley, surrounded by high peaks and located in Catalonia’s north-western corner, is the last land where the Occitan language is widely spoken, although it is called Aranese there. The Val d’Aran County has had a certain degree of self-rule within Catalonia since 1990, further recognised with the Catalan Statute of Autonomy from 2006. In addition, since September 2010, Aranese is Catalonia’s third official language, being the preferred language in this county. The law approved this Wednesday develops and consolidates the Val d’Aran’s special regime, with its own powers of self-rule and structures. In order to enter into force, it will have to be approved through referendum by the less than 11,000 inhabitants of the valley.