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- Communiqué de presse -
European Parliament Intergroup appalled at dire situation of Alsacian language and culture
Strassburg - Strasbourg, Thursday, 15 June 2006 by Davyth Hicks The Intergroup for Traditional National Minorities, Constitutional Regions and Regional Languages met yesterday in the European Parliament in Strassburg (Strasbourg) to discuss the preservation of Alsacian culture and identity,
Tangi Louarn pour EBLUL France le 18/06/06 16:10

Strassburg - Strasbourg, Thursday, 15 June 2006 by Davyth Hicks The Intergroup for Traditional National Minorities, Constitutional Regions and Regional Languages met yesterday in the European Parliament in Strassburg (Strasbourg) to discuss the preservation of Alsacian culture and identity, under the chairmanship of Mr Csaba Tabajdi (PES).

Guest speakers were Justin Vogel, Vice-President of the Regional Council and President of the OLCA (Office for the language and culture of Alsace), François Schaffner, President of Culture et Bilinguisme d'Alsace et de Moselle, and Philippe Elsass, Vice-President of EBLUL-France. They gave an overview of the history of Alsace and of its German dialects, the status of the regional language today, and the efforts made by local authorities, associations and parents to keep the language alive despite the lack of any linguistic rights.

The Intergroup was appalled at the dire situation faced by the language today, with a rapidly declining number of speakers and little intergenerational transmission because of the degraded image and stigmatisation of the language, and because of the difficulties encountered in the development of bilingual (French-High German) schooling.

Mr. Tabajdi stated that the much-praised French-German reconciliation had been made at the expense of the Alsacian population, and that it was time for France to ratify the European Charter for Regional of Minority Languages. "Europe cannot have double standards, the older member states must respect the same rights which are demanded from the new member states", he said. (Eurolang 2006)

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