September 14-15, 2011: French presidency candidate François Hollande on regional languages
Elections on approach, declarations and promises on the increase…
And François Hollande is no exception, in respect to regional languages in France. He has taken position twice, so far, once on September 14 at the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, and a second time the next day during a visit in Corsica.
Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace reports that in Strasbourg, the candidate was questioned on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, a delicate subject considering that France has yet to ratify the charter despite continued mobilization by the defenders of the old continent’s minority languages: The Palace of Europe expects Paris to take position on another issue: the ratification of the charter for regional languages, which cannot be done without amending the constitution. François Hollande promised to “engage discussion in Parliament. Not to weaken the French language – it is important that we all have the same language – but to protect regional languages”.
In Corsica, a reporter at Corse Matin simply asked: “Are you in favour of having Corsican co-officialized?” The answer remains: “I’m in favour of having all regional languages both recognized and spoken. If I become President, the Parliament and I will have to consider amending the constitution to ratify the charter for regional languages. That is how we will help the Corsican language keep its vitality. The measure will apply to all regional languages, in that I do not make any difference between Corsican and the other regional languages. Keeping in mind, however, that the only official language in France, is French.”
Engaging… noncommittal discussion?
Article in Corse Matin
In Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace