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Ahern boosts Plaid Cymru campaign for Welsh to be official EU language
Plaid Cymru's campaign for Welsh to become an official EU language received a boost last Wednesday with Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern's declaration before the European Parliament that his government wants to see Irish achieve official EU status. This would mean Irish becoming a working language of the European Institutions
Jacques-Yves Le Touze pour Plaid Cymru le 23/07/04 15:21

Plaid Cymru's campaign for Welsh to become an official EU language received a boost last Wednesday with Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern's declaration before the European Parliament that his government wants to see Irish achieve official EU status. This would mean Irish becoming a working language of the European Institutions with interpretation provided so that Ministers or MEPs could use Irish in meetings. Citizens would also be able to correspond with European Institutions in Irish. Estimates put the number of fluent Irish speakers at around 100,000. Speaking from Strasbourg, Plaid Cymru Deputy Leader Jill Evans MEP welcomed the move: "I strongly support the position of the Irish government on this issue. It is only fair that European citizens should be able to correspond with the European institutions in their native language and that politicians should be able to hold negotiations in their own languages too. "I believe that the case for Welsh to become an official EU language can only be strengthened by today's announcement. If Irish also gains official status then it is only right for Welsh to be afforded the same recognition. "Anything less would be a major snub to Wales' standing in Europe. I look forward to the day when I will be allowed to address Parliament in Welsh and when those who choose to do so will be able to correspond with the European institutions in Welsh also."

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