Spain Calls for Language Recognition | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 14.12.2004
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Spain Calls for Language Recognition

Spain has called for the country's minority languages to be recognized by the EU.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos on Monday presented proposals to make Galician, Basque and Catalan-Valencian official EU languages. At a regular meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday Moratinos submitted proposal calling for Basque and Galician to be accepted as "official and working languages," of the EU according to Spanish daily El Mundo. With domestic problems over the similarity, or not, of Valencian and Catalan the proposal also put forward recognition of "the language known as Catalan in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands and Valencian in Valencia." The move follows a similar proposal by the Irish government for Irish to become an official language. However little movement is expected to take place before Spain’s February referendum on the EU. The recognition of Catalan has become a focal point for rejecting the EU Constitution among Catalan nationalist and leftist parties. Spain’s Europe Minister Alberto Navarro has proposed four interim measures including shoring up the right of citizens to petition the EU in their own language. Madrid has also proposed translations for some EU legislation, and the right for members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to address the chamber in their mother tongues. Madrid has offered to foot the bill for translation. The unanimous approval of the 25 EU members is needed before any changes can come into force. (

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