All the News of the World French opinion on the row between Chirac and Jospin over the status of regional dialects
Wednesday 30 June 1999
Lionel Jospin has now recognised that he has no responsibility in the demise and burial of the European Charter and that, furthermore, the president will only have two extremely inconvenient options to choose from - either he satisfies those to the Right, such as Charles Pasqua, who are railing against regional languages, or he displeases the defenders of these languages, such as Francois Bayrou. (And vice versa.) It is a dilemma which is the herald of others, according to whispers at Matignon.
SIGNING THE Charter after revising the Constitution would be like opening Pandora's box. It's only a small step from language to political particularism, and from particularism to autonomy. The recognition of a regional dialect as a language will inevitably lead to demands for autonomy. Its a vicious circle which will lead to rupture. Nobody feels hostile towards Corsican songs, Basque or Kabyle chants and Creole folksongs. But to accord these dialects exorbitant rights would be to engage in a process which sooner or later would give rise to demands for identity, violence, and ultimately the dislocation of the French identity.
THE QUESTION of regional languages doesn't simply create an open conflict between Jospin and Chirac, it also seriously puts to the test the coherence of the the principal cohabitation players' politics. On the one hand we have the PM who is solemnly asking the president to revise the Constitution. And on the other hand we have the president who affirmed the principles of the Charter three years ago. He declined Jospin's request, refusing "to implement an initiative which will attack the fundamental princi- ples of our Republic".
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 2 'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
- 3 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 YouTube social experiment shows just how easy it is to kidnap a child
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils