Spanish Senate Interpreting Stink: A Bigger Issue Lurks Beneath

Yesterday, Spain's Senate had its first session in which the country's regional languages: Galician, Basque, Valencian and Catalan were used by senators speaking from the floor. Senators not fluent in the languages got simultaneous translation into Spanish via headsets.

www.guardian.co.uk/world/.../translation-spanish-senators-five-languages
Predictably, nationalists from these regions were thrilled, and the more centralist conservatives were outraged. In times of dire economic straits, can we afford to dole out money for translation when everyone in the Senate shares Castilian Spanish as a common language? Good question. But not the real one.
Though I am not a native speaker of it, I empathize with the Catalans in their struggle to protect their language. I would venture to say that Galicians', Basques', Catalans' and Valencians' lack of desire to use Castilian Spanish (I am at pains to call Valencian a language separate from Catalan, but that is another debate) has to do with the fact that at least two generations in the past century had Spanish rammed down their throats, and no consideration given to the tongue they spoke in their families and communities. Regional languages were not allowed under Franco, who lasted 40 years and whose regime shaped many of the ways and means still in effect today. With democracy, the languages have been given co-official status, but their situation is still precarious, and anything related with them is a political powder keg.
An intrinsic part of the Castilian mentality seems to be the desire for everything to be uniform and in Spanish. People with more nationalist leanings are anxious to vindicate their language's right to exist. How better to make a language exist than to actually use it? In the end, I suppose it is seen as something of a power play: if you speak the language I want you to, then I win. Those speaking in regional languages are not requiring everyone else to speak them, only claiming their right to express themselves in what they consider their mother tongue.
I agree with the conservatives that it is irrational to hire interpreters when everyone has a common language. But this issue is not being governed by rational criteria. It is something much deeper, that the conservatives refuse to try to understand.
My proposal is this: spend some more money for the Senators to take classes in the regional languages. With the exception of Basque, the only non-Romance language, they could pick them up in a couple weeks. After all, wouldn't it be cool for a country's ruling class to appreciate its linguistic diversity enough to want to learn the languages?
P.S. By the way, someone needs to clarify the figures, first in number of interpreters -up to 25 by some accounts, 7 by others... my number would be 8, 2 per language combo, though apparently the Catalans and Valencians form a 3 person team. No idea how that works, but it is definitely funky.). And how much do they really cost? I heard on the (Catalan) radio that it was 12,000 euros per session. Taking a conservative estimate of 10 interpreters, that's 1,200 bucks per head per day. If true, I sure hope they know the word for "gouging" in their respective languages!