Sorry to beat blackrain to this one.
Under mounting political pressure at home, the French President, Jacques Chirac, yesterday stormed out of an EU summit in a fit of pique over a fellow Frenchman's decision to speak in English.
Already at the heart of a row over economic protectionism in Europe, M. Chirac gave the EU's spring summit a combustible start, quitting the opening session in protest at a perceived insult to the French language.
M. Chirac walked out of the meeting as it was being addressed by Ernest-Antoine Seillière, the president of the EU employers' federation, Unice. M. Seillière had been invited to address all 25 heads of government on economic reform.
After a brief introduction in French, M. Seillière said he would speak in English because it was the international business language. Without saying a word, the French President left with the French foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy and finance minister, Thierry Breton. He only returned when the president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, began speaking in French. Tony Blair and other heads of government remained to hear M. Seillière urge EU leaders to resist national protectionism to avoid a negative domino effect on the single market.
Maria-Fernanda Fau, spokeswoman for Unice, said: "M. Seillière started in French and then moved into English. He uses English because he represents 20 million companies in 33 countries and this is the language of business."
M. Chirac's walkout was greeted with embarrassment by diplomats, who had hoped yesterday's summit would dispel the impression that economic nationalism is on the rise in Europe.
Once the predominant language of the EU, French is waning in Brussels, with English spoken more widely and used in many more EU documents. The rise of English has been unstoppable since Sweden and Finland joined the EU in 1995, followed by 10 more countries in 2004, most of them in eastern Europe, where English is by far the most common second language.
Though the French president speaks good English, and worked in the US in his youth, he has fought hard to defend France's linguistic status. M. Chirac has also criticised several aspects of English life including, last year, its food.
hm... how about this, let's choose a language that no European country is using (in a mass scale, legally, officially, etc...) and that everyone could agree on (and accept). Let's standardize Europe.
Let's say Latin, let's make every European speak Latin.
novus Roma! (I don't know Latin btw)
The watch manufacturer Molvado takes it's name from it.
Ah, **** it. Use that African language where you have to make the "click" noises with your tongue. Seems fair.
Originally Posted by Erik2a4
Click click bloody click Pancakes!
I have no idea why, but when reading this the scene from EuroTrip about the french robot man popped in my mind.
Last edited by BarkingSquirrel; 03-24-2006 at 12:16 AM.
We should have one day a month when we all speak French on MP.net. No excuses. D'accord?
Yes, and the forums censorship mode won't work. Merde!
What a silly story.
What was general reaction of French citizens... I myself thought it inappropriate behaviour for a person of his position.Under mounting political pressure at home, the French President, Jacques Chirac, yesterday stormed out of an EU summit in a fit of pique over a fellow Frenchman's decision to speak in English.
BLAIR MAKES LIGHT OF CHIRAC ENGLISH PROTEST
BRUSSELS, March 24, 2006 (AFP) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair made light Friday of French President Jacques Chirac's decision to walk out of EU summit talks to protest at a fellow Frenchman speaking English.
"People do get up and go for all sorts of reasons," said Blair with a smile, referring to the incident which raised eyebrows at the first session Thursday evening of a two-day EU summit in Brussels.
Chirac walked out, taking with him his foreign and finance ministers, after Frenchman Ernest-Antoine Seilliere, head of the UNICE European employers federation, started his speech to the EU's 25 leaders in English.
Seilliere explained his decision by saying that English is the language of business.
Blair added: "Obviously a lot of business is conducted in English, but I mean I don't want to comment on the stories about President Chirac because I simply don't know about them."
But asked whether he had seen the incident, he admitted: "I did," adding: "People speak both French and English around the table at the European Council." Chirac, 73, an ardent defender of the Gallic tongue, and his ministers returned after Seilliere finished his address.
English has overtaken French as the European Union's lingua franca, especially since it welcomed 10 new member states, mostly former Soviet communist bloc states in eastern Europe, in May 2004.
Originally Posted by gsm
What a ƒucking baby.
Defender of the Gallic tongue? Maybe he should focus on the riots in his streets and the increasing unemployment.
Lol. That sums the whole thing up nicely for me too !Originally Posted by Durandal
[stewie]good news bubkus! now i shan't have to kill you![/stewie]Originally Posted by bubkusjones